Where to get the new Apple Watch, iPad and the latest iPhone rumours
Could the new iPhone announcement be just around the corner…
Around this time, every year, the tech-inclined amongst begin to feel a tingling in their thumbs.
Early in September, the Godfather of gadgets and CEO of Apple, Tim Cook begins a journey that takes him from his Silicon Valley Grotto to the headlines of virtually every publication across the world.
This year, because of the impact of the global pandemic on manufacturing, supply chain logistics and think tank boffinry – the announcement regarding the release of the new iPhones has been delayed.
Leaks and rumours suggest that a definitive communication on the launch date, price, specs and colours (see below for most up-to-date whispers) of the covetous handsets is likely to come in October. So we, along with the rest of the world, wait with the same frenetic energy as a shaky iOS app just before you delete it.
We did get some good news from Apple this month, though. New operating system updates, Apple Watches and iPads all with traditionally slick upgraded features.
What’s the deal with the new Apple Watches?
Apple announced that it would be launching two new versions of its smartwatch range, at a special event on September 15. The units went on sale in the UAE on September 18 and are now available to buy in retailers across the country.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has a starting price of around Dhs1,599 for the 40mm model, and Dhs1,719 for the larger 44mm screen. The UAE Apple Store actually had the best prices we could find for the units.
Series 6 new features include a blood oxygen sensor and app; new case finishes and colours to choose from; a faster S6 System in Package (SiP); a next-generation always-on altimeter (for those obsessed with measuring their steps); and there’s an ‘Always-On Retina’ display (not on the SE model) that’s two and a half times brighter than the Series 5.
The watchOS 7 software updates have brought seven additional watch face options to devices – including Stripes, Chronograph Pro, GMT, and Artist. There are also new health and fitness features including low-range VO2 Max; sleep tracking; automatic handwashing detection; and new workout types. Siri can also now perform verbal language translation, putting us within com distance of living in the Star Trek age.
What’s the deal with the new iPad 10.2?
There are a few different iPad variations available now, the classic iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Pro and an iPad Air (available as of October). This September we were introduced to the eighth generation of the classic iPad – the iPad 10.2.
Available from Dhs1,349 for the 32GB version, and from Dhs1,719 for the 128GB model, the best prices we found were again on the online Apple store.
So why should you part with ‘a grand and a half’ of your hard-earned cash for this new device? Well, all cards on the table – there is only one significant difference to the 2020 hardware, and that’s an upgraded A12 Bionic processor with Neural Engine.
And if that all sounds a bit Tony Stark, well it’s probably just as well. Apple claims that their A12 Bionic chip enables 40 per cent faster CPU performance, with double the graphics capability. In a processing power drag-race that clocks the new iPad in at literally twice as fast as the top-selling Windows laptop and almost unbelievably, three times faster than the most popular Android tablet.
The Neural Engine concerns the device’s machine learning capabilities – aspects which will only become more important as technology develops. This new iPad is bringing people occlusion and AR motion tracking to the yard.
The eighth-gen iPad also comes with enhanced photo editing capabilities and new Siri functions.
What we know about the new iPhone
We know the new iPad Air is coming at some point in October. And although we’re not even certain of the name (most pundits are putting their money on the iPhone 12), we have good reason to suspect (from leaks) that the new iPhone will drop sometime in the first half of October. Probably.
So it would make sense that they’re announced and released together.
Fairly credible leaks have also given us insight into the specifications (they’re likely to be 15 per cent faster than the previous gen) and new features (for example Air Drop upgrades, 5G compatibility, BIG updates to the camera — LiDAR, a la iPad PRO, enhanced 3D, 4K capture at 240FPS) of the new phones and the model variations. According to a feature in MacWorld, we’re likely to see the following unit types:
- iPhone 12 mini (5.4in)
- iPhone 12 (6.1in)
- iPhone 12 Pro (6.1in)
- iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7in)
Yep, if the rumours are true we could see the first-ever iPhone mini, 16 years after the iPod mini was launched. And bizarrely, despite being smaller, the mini might not necessarily be cheaper than the standard model, at least – that’s the case with iPads.
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We’re also pretty sure – following cues from the confirmed iPad Air model – there’ll be a saucy new sky blue finish available.
How much might the new iPhone cost in the UAE?
You’ll have to wait until the actual announcement for the final confirmed prices, but looking at the launch costs of the 2019 models could give us some clues. It would be sensible to assume that there will be a slight increase on each of the below.
At launch the iPhone 11 was available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB sizes with prices starting from Dhs2,949. It’s available in six colour ways: purple, green, yellow, black, white and red.
The two new premium iPhone models, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, were available to buy in the UAE in September 2019 for Dhs4,219 and Dhs4,639 respectively.