Apple will launch its upcoming iPhones— including a rumored 10th anniversary model—and new Apple Watch models at a industry briefing on Sept. 12, according to news reports based on information from people with knowledge of the company's plans.
The upcoming iPhones have been the focus of rumors for months as analysts and Apple watchers have speculated the features that Apple has built into the handsets, how much the new phones will cost and whether they will have what it takes to trigger a new round of upgrades.
The Sept. 12 launch date was reported in an August 28 Wall Street Journal article. However, Apple hasn't publicly confirmed the date. Apple did not immediately respond on Aug. 28 to an email inquiry from eWEEK about its upcoming launch date.
Apple is expected to introduce three new iPhones as well as several new Apple Watch models. One of the new iPhones is expected to be a more-costly 10th anniversary edition commemorating the introduction the first ground-breaking iPhone in September 2007.
In July, rumors circulated that starting prices for the next iPhones could rise in price to as much as $1,200, which is substantially higher than current iPhone 7 prices. Prices of some of the upcoming iPhone models—which could be called iPhone 8, but more likely will be labeled with extensions of the iPhone 7 naming hierarchy—could even hit $1,399, those earlier reports stated.
The expected higher prices could help differentiate the newest iPhones from existing models while also giving the company the opportunity to sell the handsets at its existing 35 percent margins and in measured quantities based on available supplies of components. The original iPhone 7 prices started at $649 for a 32GB base iPhone 7 and rose to $969 for a 256GB iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple has also been considering using advanced OLED screens in some of its new iPhone models and supplies of those screens could perhaps be hard to come by in the quantities needed by Apple based on its quarterly sales averages of 70 to 80 million handsets. The company could likely raise prices on OLED models to differentiate them in its model lineup and perhaps tamp down sales to enable demand to more closely track component supplies.
Apple will also probably keep existing, older iPhone 7 models in its lineup as well with lower price tags, as it has done in the past.
The latest rumors about OLED displays in the next-generation iPhones began earlier this year, when reports mentioned details revealed by unnamed sources who allegedly had direct knowledge of Apple's production plans.
By using OLED screen technology and manufacturing processes, handset makers design their handsets with curved displays. The OLED displays will offer Apple a noteworthy new feature, which smartphone makers always try to deliver to spur sales. However, smartphone makers have tried to outdo each other with so many feature advances in recent years that it's getting harder to add new "must-have" features to spur buyer interest.
Apple's iPhone 7 models, which were released in 2016, were the first iPhones to drop a physical headphone jack in favor of wireless ear buds.
The iPhone 7 models, which currently start at $649, are water- and dust-resistant, include 12-megapixel cameras with dual lens cameras in the iPhone 7 Plus model and the new A10 Fusion processor. The handsets come in 32GB, 128GB or 256GB versions.
The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch Retina touch-screen display, while the iPhone 7 Plus uses a 5.5-inch Retina touch-screen display. Both handsets offer 4K video recording capabilities as well as autofocus and optical image stabilization features.