Apple launches iPhone 13 in the UK
Ming Jung | Getty Images
Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung and other companies are gearing up for a busy fall filled with lots of new gadget releases.
It’s like a clock. Big tech companies launch the latest products, such as phones, watches or even robots and flying security drones, from August and into November to prepare for the holiday shopping rush.
Samsung starts next week, on August 10, when it will announce new foldable phones, giving it a chance to attract consumers before Apple holds its iPhone event in September. New products at Apple’s fall events have a direct impact on the company’s balance sheet. The holiday quarter is typically Apple’s biggest. For example, it reported record revenue last year for the quarter ended Dec. 25.
Meanwhile, Google has promised to release its next phone with an all-new chip, and the first competitor to the Apple Watch, this fall. And don’t forget Amazon: It usually announces new Echos, Fire TV products and sometimes surprises, like last year’s Astro Robot, at an event held between September and November.
There’s a lot, so here’s a rundown of what to expect.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Customers can already book one of these new smartphones, even though they haven’t been announced yet. Some of the main complaints about foldable phones have been the price of the higher-end Galaxy Z Fold model and the conspicuous seam that interrupts the phone’s screen. Any price drop or upgrades to make the aspect less obvious will be noticeable. Samsung usually announces new headphones, tablets and smartwatches to compete with Apple’s iPad, AirPods and Apple Watch.
Check out what was released last August: Last year, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which was priced at $1,799, and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 for $1,000. It also announced the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Watch 4.
Customers walk past a digital display of the new green Apple iPhone 13 pro inside the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, March 18, 2022.
Mike Segar | Reuters
Here’s what to expect:
Apple is reportedly planning four iPhone 14 models this year Bloomberg, which said we can expect new features like an always-on display on the higher-end Pro models. The same report said that Apple may abandon the 5.4-inch iPhone mini and instead release a more affordable large-screen iPhone with a 6.7-inch screen. This suggests that Apple will release an iPhone 14, an iPhone 14 with a larger screen, the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple is also set to unveil three new Apple Watch variants, including a new base SE model, a standard Series 8 and a rugged version aimed at extreme sports, according to Bloomberg. AirPods Pro headphones are an update and there is still we’re talking about Apple’s first mixed reality headsetbut those could also come later.
However, Apple’s mixed reality headset will mark the company’s first major product launch since it introduced the Apple Watch in 2015. The headset will combine elements of virtual and augmented reality, allowing users to overlay digital content on top of the real world, according to Bloomberg. Apple is hard at work on VR content, enlisting Jon Favreau to develop video content for its headset, the New York Times reported in June.
What was released last September: Last year, in its fall lineup, Apple announced a new iPad and iPad mini, the Apple Watch Series 7, the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 mini, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro
While Google doesn’t make much revenue from its hardware business, it will release its first smartwatch and the Google Pixel 7 as it continues to try to build momentum in the hardware market.
Here’s what to expect: Google has announced gadgets in October for years. Back in May at its I/O event, Google has teased what’s on deck. Its newest phone, the Pixel 7 will have a second-generation Tensor processor and a glass design with a new aluminum camera bar. A larger Pixel 7 Pro model will come with a triple-lens camera. But we don’t know much about what else is in store for the phones, like pricing or what the cameras and new chip can do, so expect to hear all about that.
Google also introduced the Pixel Watch, the company’s first smartwatch, which will be released this fall. In a tweet on May 11, Google said the watch “features the best of Google, plus Fitbit’s health and fitness experiences.” So expect some sort of software tie-in that provides new fitness and health features.
We’re likely to see updates to at least one Google Nest product. A recent FCC filing from Google described a product they’re working on as a “wireless device,” with connectivity ports similar to current Nest devices, according to 9to5Google. It hasn’t announced any new Nest thermostats or speakers since 2020, so those could be on deck.
What was released last year: Last August, Google announced new Nest cameras and doorbells. Then in October, Google revealed all the details of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. These were the first smartphones to run on Google’s Tensor chip instead of Qualcomm’s processor.
Amazon Echo Show 15
Here’s what to expect: Amazon historically holds its hardware event sometime in the fall, when it announces a slew of gadgets, ranging from new Echos (like last year’s Echo Show 15, pictured above) to glasses with built-in Alexa and more.
The fourth-generation Echo speaker was released in October 2020, so it’s an update unless Amazon continues to experiment with new form factors. Similarly, Amazon typically announces updates to its Fire TV products in the fall.
For the past two years, Amazon’s ring has been teasing the Ring Always Home Cam, a flying drone camera for home security. It’s still not released, so it’s likely we’ll find out when it hits the market.
Check out what was released last year: Amazon had few surprises in store last year, so this year could be just as exciting. Amazon debuted its Astro robot home, which is still available by invitation only. It also announced its first smart thermostat, the first Amazon-branded TVs, the Echo Show 15, and a new Halo View fitness tracker.
This photo from Oculus shows what it might be like to play it in an apartment.
Here’s what to expect: Meta, formerly Facebook, could have a new VR headset on deck.
Bloomberg said in July that Meta was preparing to announce the Meta Quest Pro virtual reality set later this year. It will reportedly cost more than $1,000 and have a better screen, improved cameras and support for enhanced graphics.
Meta’s Quest 2 headphones are currently the most popular on the market. As other players enter the race to develop the so-called “metataver,” Facebook’s parent company will have to keep pushing its stuff to stay in the lead. And it might want to get something ahead of what Apple is planning.
Check out what was released last year: Last September Facebook introduced its updated Portal video calling devices. There hasn’t been a new version of the Oculus device since September 2020.