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What to expect at Apple's big event this week

Apple's new iPhone

Today’s Apple event starts at 1 p.m. Eastern time, 10 a.m. Pacific. CBSNews.com will have complete coverage, and watch CBSN for all the highlights and analysis. You can also follow CNET’s live blog of the Apple event.


On Wednesday, Sept. 7, the world will most likely get the first official look at the new iPhone 7 and possibly the next version of the Apple Watch. 

Official invites to the Apple media event – which starts at 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco – arrived last week, and the internet rumor mill has been buzzing about what Apple fans can expect. 

iPhone 7 excitement and criticism

Obviously, most of the rumors have focused on the iPhone 7. Leaked images and video of the new smartphone have generated a mix of excitement and criticism. 

The biggest point of contention has to be persistent reports that the new iPhone’s design has done away with a headphone jack – news that wasn’t greeted warmly by audiophiles and podcast-addicted commuters. A thinner, jack-free iPhone would force users to invest in wireless headphones with a bluetooth connection or buy a separate adapter to make their existing headphones functional. 

Is this the new iPhone 7?

“People that ... want to hear a fuller sound are paying at least $150 or $300 for headphones that will now require an adapter,” CNET Editor Brian Tong told CBS News last month. “And let’s be honest, a lot of us are going to lose that mini adapter. That’s just the way it is.”

Beyond critiques over this aspect of the phone’s design, the new phone is widely expected to maintain Apple’s traditionally sleek aesthetic, looking very similar to the current line of iPhone 6s phones. 

Reports say it may be offered in a new color, “Space Black,” to match one of the Apple Watch color options.  

It’s also likely have a new home button.

The redesigned home button is said to be pressure-sensitive and will vibrate on contact, similar to the the way Macbook trackpads function, CNET reports.

CNET notes there has also been some speculation Apple may make the new phones more water-resistant, although it’s unlikely to match the popular waterproof (or near-waterproof) design of the competing Samsung Galaxy 7.

Visible design tweaks appear minimal, meant to keep a cohesive through-line connecting the look of the company’s signature devices.

“If you’re looking to be wowed by a new iPhone design, you might have to wait until 2017” – the iPhone’s 10th anniversary – CNET’s Shara Tibken says. “All rumors so far point to minor tweaks in Apple’s iPhone 7.” 

Photos and storage

It is widely expected that Apple may be phasing out the 16GB model iPhone, instead  starting with 32GB phones. This is to make room for the photos and other data-guzzling media that most phone users consume now, the Wall Street Journal reports.

And speaking of photos, a significant upgrade to the iPhone camera may be in the works. For those of you who like to channel your inner Annie Leibowitz on Instagram, phone is said to have a larger, better camera lens. 

The top-of-the-line iPhone 7 Plus may go a step beyond, with an “improved, dual lens camera,” Tong reported. The dual lens camera is said to produce better color image quality and shoot well in low-light situations. Camera enhancements may include an improved zoom function. 

Beyond the iPhone

While talk about the iPhone 7 has generated the most excitement, there has been speculation that a new Apple Watch will also be revealed this week. 

Apple Watch 2 - Byte World Exclusive 01/09/2016, 38mm, 42mm, Tear down, Unboxing, LCD, Battery by Bytesuperstore on YouTube

Video that allegedly shows a model of a new Apple Watch 2 suggests a slightly thinner watch display, reports Macrumors.com. 

The Apple rumor site says the upgraded Apple Watch may also have a significantly bigger battery than its predecessor. If leaks are to be believed, the Apple Watch 2 will have a battery that is about 35 percent larger than that of the original watch model.

However, CNET’s Tibken is keeping expectations low. “Like the iPhone 7, the Apple Watch isn’t expected to have a big design overhaul but just tweaks that make it faster and more useful,” she writes

“It’s unlikely the watch will be a standalone version with its own cellular connectivity, even though that’s something Apple is reportedly working on for future models.” 

We’ll just have to wait and see if all these rumors and leaks pan out when Tim Cook takes the stage. 

CBSNews.com, CBSN and our partner site CNET​​​ will have complete coverage and analysis of all the highlights. 

You can also follow CNET’s live blog of the event​ Wednesday beginning at noon Eastern / 9 a.m. Pacific.