Apple's annual fall event draws excitement and media scrutiny unlike any other product announcements in the tech world, and this year's, scheduled for Wednesday, September 9, is no exception.
The company has a history of being tight-lipped about announcements, but tidbits have been slipping out in recent weeks and, if those are any indication, the event will be filled with plenty of updates and innovations for Apple aficionados to peruse and analyze.
There's expected to be a new version of the iPhone 6, an upgraded Apple TV and rainbow of colorful bands to go with your Apple Watch. The iPad gets a makeover and there could even be news about MacBook. And like any Apple event, it wouldn't be special without a few surprises. Here's a look at some of the anticipated developments tech industry insiders are most excited about...
iPhone 6 upgrades
This is an "off" year in Apple's two-year iPhone cycle, meaning the basic design and screen sizes of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, introduced one year ago, are not expected to change. However, the new models may boast a number of highly anticipated improvements - notably in the camera.
Challenged by higher-resolution cameras from other smartphone makers like Sony, Apple is expected to announce that this year's version of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will feature a 12 megapixel camera on the back and a front-facing selfie camera with a flash, CNET reports. It may also be able to record 4K video.
The other new iPhone feature getting the most buzz is the pressure-sensitive Force Touch, first developed for Apple Watch. 9to5Mac reports the next-generation version, likely to be called 3D Touch Display, will allow a variety of shortcuts in iOS apps depending on whether you give a quick tap or a deep press on the screen.
The new iPhone reportedly will also come in a new color option, a coppery rose gold, same as Apple Watch.
So is it time to trade in your phone? "It's a two-year cycle. Last year's is still fine," CNET's Dan Ackerman told CBS News. "If you bought one two years ago, you're probably itching for an upgrade now."
Bigger, better iPad
The long-rumored iPad Pro could finally make its debut, looking in many ways like a bigger iPad Air. The nearly 13-inch tablet will feature a larger, 2732 x 2048 display, according to 9to5Mac, with a FaceTime camera on the front, an iSight camera on the rear, better speakers on the sides and a Force Touch screen.
If that seems a little bulky for your needs, Apple reportedly also plans to roll out an improved iPad mini that will run on iOS 9. It would be thinner than the current model and have a faster, A-series chip, support for split-screen mode and updated cameras.
No prices have been announced, but the new iPads could be available to ship by November.
Next-gen Apple TV
Apple TV is reportedly in for some big changes - especially good news for gamers.
"The Apple TV is kind of a cult hit -- a lot of people love it," CNET's Dan Ackerman told CBS News. "It streams stuff to your TV from the Internet. And this new version, according to some leaks that we've seen, it's going to be a little bit bigger, a little bit more powerful."
According to 9to5Mac, the first hardware upgrade in three years will include a faster, A8 chip and accelerometers for motion control. The New York Times reports Apple will position the device as an alternative to traditional gaming systems like Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation by focusing on more casual, social games available in the App Store.
Reports say there will also be a system-wide, universal search and it may work with Siri for voice commands. These changes will likely make the device more expensive, jumping from the current price of $69 to perhaps $149 or more.
Apple Watch gets colorful
Apple Watch has only been on the market since spring, so it's too soon to expect any major changes, but fashionistas are buzzing about some colorful new watchband options that may be introduced.
In terms of software, we should hear more about the first significant upgrade to the signature wearable device. 9to5Mac reports that watchOS 2.o will include a new Nightstand Mode for timekeeping and managing alarms, the ability to run apps natively, and an Activation Lock to ward off thieves.
One more thing...
Beyond the big ticket items, the Apple-obsessed have been playing a guessing game about what more might be announced.
The folks at Computerworld have surmised we might hear something about Apple Music for Android or maybe upgrades to such things as Keynote and GarageBand. Others including those at CNET have suggested we might hear something about upgrades to Macbook, including a reference to Intel's Skylake processor. ZDNet reports that a smarter Siri will be unveiled, featuring expanded search results and answers.
We'll bring you all the details on Wednesday or you can follow a live blog of the event on our partner site, CNET. Apple's event begins at 10 a.m. Pacific time, 1 p.m. Eastern.