How to watch Apple’s iPhone event and what to expect

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 12 on Oct. 13, a month later than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company normally hosts guests and celebrities for its most important product showcase of the year in the Steve Jobs Theater at its Cupertino, California, campus — but this time it’s going virtual.

And while Apple (AAPL) previously required you to use its Safari browser to watch its events, locking out users on Android and Windows devices, the company is giving everyone a chance to tune in this year.

To watch the big show, you can navigate to Apple’s YouTube channel and click on the tab for Apple Event — Oct. 13. If you visit the site beforehand, you can even set a reminder, letting you know to hit the play button just before things get underway on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.

Now that you know how to watch, here’s what to expect from the show including a whopping four new iPhones with 5G connectivity and new designs, a smaller HomePod speaker, Apple’s first over-the-ear headphones, and maybe Apple’s first laptops with its own processors.

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Four new iPhones

Apple has taken to introducing several new iPhone models at once during its fall events, and this year will be no different — it will debut four new iPhones.

The phones will come in three sizes, according to a report by 9to5Mac citing Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and further corroborated by both The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. The smallest will sport a screen measuring 5.4 inches and will be called the iPhone 12 mini, according to leaks by Twitter user DuanRui, who posted images of what appear to be product tags for the new iPhones’ cases.

Apple is also expected to launch its iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, both of which will feature 6.1-inch panels. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, meanwhile, will get a massive 6.7-inch screen, the largest yet for an iPhone. Apple’s current big-screen model is the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max.

CEO Tim Cook presents the new iPhone 11 at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen LamCEO Tim Cook presents the new iPhone 11 at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
CEO Tim Cook presents the new iPhone 11 at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Of course, the big news will be the addition of 5G cellular technology in the new iPhones. Apple is expected to include 5G with all of the new phones, making them the first to get the high-speed networking tech under Apple’s banner.

5G promises vastly improved download and upload speeds on smartphones, though networks aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as current 4G LTE systems that have been built out over many years. As a result, users may not see the immediate benefits of 5G in their areas for some time.

The new phones will also sport new designs that harken back to the iPhone 5 with squared corners rather than the rounded looks found on the last few generations of iPhones, according to Bloomberg. To differentiate the base iPhone 12 models from the Pro versions, Apple will outfit them with different casings. The 12 models will sport aluminum bodies, while the 12 Pros will get stainless steel.

An ad for iPad Air, seen in Sofia city center. On October 7, 2020, in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)An ad for iPad Air, seen in Sofia city center. On October 7, 2020, in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Apple’s new iPad Air sports the A14 Bionic processor, which the company is expected to use in its upcoming iPhones. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Inside, the phones will likely all get Apple’s new A14 Bionic processor, the same chips found in Apple’s latest iPad Air. Apple would usually show off its flagship processor in the iPhone first, but because the phone event was delayed, we’ve already gotten a look at what is sure to be the next iPhone chip.

Finally, Apple, according to Bloomberg, is expected to outfit the Pro models with the same LiDAR sensor as the iPad Air, helping to improve the devices’ augmented reality capabilities. That will be in addition to the Pro’s three cameras for wide-angle, ultra-wide angle, and telephoto shots. The standard iPhone 12s will get two cameras, and no LiDAR sensors.

Apple headphones and speakers

In addition to Apple’s new iPhones, the company, Bloomberg reported, is also expected to roll out its long-awaited over-the-ear headphones. The headphones are set to be Apple’s first over-the-ear version outside of the Beats brand, and could carry the AirPods name.

Apple is also said to be preparing a smaller version of its HomePod, dubbed the HomePod mini. The speaker is expected to be less expensive than the original HomePod, which cost $349 at launch.

A prototype Apple HomePod is seen during the annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen LamA prototype Apple HomePod is seen during the annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Apple’s HomePod mini is, as its name suggests, expected to be more compact than the current full-size version. Reuters/Stephen Lam

Apple lent more credence to the reports this month when it removed headphones and speakers from third-party manufacturers including Sonos and Bose from its physical and online stores.

MacBooks with Apple’s own chips

The Oct. 13 event will likely focus on the iPhone and its accessories, but Apple could also use the show to debut its first MacBooks running on its own processors. Apple announced that it would start working on its own chips in the past, leaving long-time collaborator Intel (INTC) in the rearview.

The chips could prove to be a game changer for Apple, giving the company the ability to completely control its Macs’ capabilities from top to bottom.

It’s still an outside chance that the company will actually make the announcement during its show, but with the way 2020 has played out for the firm’s event schedule, anything is possible.

Got a tip? Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoofinance.com over via encrypted mail at danielphowley@protonmail.com, and follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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