pple is expected to unveil new versions of the iPhone and Apple Watch on Tuesday, although experts are predicting few major updates compared to last year’s devices.
The iPhone 13 – in a range of sizes but similar in looks to last year’s iPhone 12 – is expected to be announced, with some reports claiming a one terabyte internal storage option could be available for the first time alongside improvements to the phone’s cameras.
But there have been reports the Apple Watch could be in line for a design refresh, with flat edges to more closely resemble the current iPhone and a larger screen both rumoured as possible inclusions.
However, experts are not expecting a vast overhaul of the new Watch’s features.
“For the Apple Watch, we’re still far away from a major product upgrade with for example the introduction of new sensors such as body temperature or blood sugar, but incremental innovation, a new design and a better battery life should be good enough to guarantee significant sales,” industry expert and principal analyst at Forrester, Thomas Husson, said
“Apple has won its bet to create a new product category with the Apple Watch the way it did with the iPod or the iPhone.
“More affordable watches and the increasing focus on fitness, wellbeing, sleep monitoring and connected health products are democratising the smartwatch category.”
Mr Husson said he only expected “incremental” changes to the iPhone 13 range and that for many iPhone 12 users there would be few reasons to upgrade.
“However, for the majority of Apple consumers who have an old iPhone model or want to upgrade to 5G, the new iPhone 13 devices and more affordable iPhone 12 models will represent a leap forward,” he said.
“From a competitive standpoint, Apple has a large window of opportunity to sell more iPhones given Samsung’s new Galaxy S22 won’t launch before next year and given Xiaomi will need time to establish credibility on the premium smartphone segment despite the upcoming launch of its Mi 11T Pro flagship device.”
For the second year running, Apple will unveil its flagship smartphone and wearable ranges in a virtual event, streamed online, because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A computer chip shortage, also linked to the pandemic, could have an impact on the pricing and availability of the new devices announced, experts have warned.
Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com said this will be a key issue for many.
“Some 10 million consumers say they are planning to upgrade to the next generation of iPhone in the coming year so the pressure is on Apple to deliver the goods,” she said.
“Rumours have suggested that the global chip shortage and corresponding hardware price rises could have a knock-on effect on the iPhone prices.
“Our research suggests that a third of Apple fans would like the upcoming handset to be cheaper, so it’s important to get the price right.”
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