- It's looking like Apple could make a big push into augmented reality next year by outfitting its new iPhones and iPads with 3-D camera sensors, possibly setting the stage for an AR headset.
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It's been a big year for Apple product launches. Not only did the company keep with its schedule of releasing a trio of new smartphones and an Apple Watch in September, but 2019 also held a few surprises such as a new iPod touch and two new pairs of AirPods.
Next year is bound to be just as eventful for Apple, if the rumors and reports are to be believed. Apple is expected to release its first 5G-enabled iPhone next year as well as a new low-cost smartphone among other devices.
Here's a look at some of the new Apple gadgets we're expecting to see in 2020.
A new iPad Pro with 3-D cameras
Apple is planning to release a new iPad Pro next year that will have two camera sensors and a 3-D sensor that will make it possible to create digital reconstructions of the world around you, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman . It's said to be part of Apple's big push into augmented reality as it prepares to release its first headset in 2021 or 2022, the report also said.
Gurman isn't the only one to report that a new iPad Pro with 3-D depth sensing is coming next year. Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable analyst with TF International Securities known for his Apple predictions, also said as much, according to a research note reported by MacRumors.
A new "cheap" iPhone to succeed the iPhone SE
Apple fans looking for a bargain on a new iPhone may be in luck next year.
The company is reportedly planning to launch a new version of the iPhone SE in 2020, according to reports from Nikkei Asian Review and Kuo. The original iPhone SE, which launched in 2016, was significantly cheaper than Apple's flagship smartphones at $400 and resembled the iPhone 5S.
The new version is expected to launch in the spring of 2020 and may have a 4.7-inch screen just like the iPhone 8. It'll reportedly run on the same processor as the iPhone 11, Apple's A13 Bionic chip, and could cost $400. That would make it $300 cheaper than the $700 base model iPhone 11.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which may come in two new sizes and support 5G
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Apple debuts its new iPhone's like clockwork every September, and next year isn't likely to be any different. Apple's next-generation iPhones are expected to come with support for 5G networks, new 3-D cameras, and updated screen sizes for the Pro models, according to reports from Bloomberg , Kuo , and others.
The new iPhones are said to come with a new 3-D camera that scan and digitally reproduce the environment around you using lasers, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. It's the same sensor that's expected to appear on Apple's new iPad Pro in 2020.
It's also very likely that next year's iPhones will include support for 5G connectivity, coming after Android device makers like Samsung have already launched 5G-ready phones in 2019.
Apple may also implement the biggest redesign to the iPhone since the iPhone X launched in 2017. Both Kuo and Korean news outlet ET News have reported that next year's iPhones will come in 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch screen sizes, unlike the current lineup which includes the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro, the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, and the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max.
A new Apple Watch that can track your sleep
Apple traditionally unveils its new Apple Watch alongside new iPhones in September, so there's a good chance we'll see the company follow the same pattern in 2020.
The biggest update to next year's Apple Watch could be the addition of sleep tracking technology, a feature that rival watches from Fitbit and others have long offered. Apple has been testing sleep monitoring for the Apple Watch this year and hopes to have the feature ready by 2020, according to Bloomberg .
The next-generation watch is also expected to include faster performance and improved water resistance, according to a note from Kuo obtained by MacRumors .
An accessory to help you find lost items with your iPhone
Apple is reportedly working on an accessory that can help you find lost items by using your iPhone, according to reports from 9to5Mac and MacRumors . The device would be similar to the Bluetooth tracker Tile, and would likely consist of a small tag to be placed on easily misplaced items like keys and wallets, the reports noted. It would work with the iPhone's "Find My" app.
It's unclear when Apple intends to launch the accessory if at all, but 9to5Mac and MacRumors have discovered references to the product in Apple's iPhone software. The reports suggest that the device could be called AirTags, and it may even use augmented reality to point users toward their lost item.
Possibly Apples first smart glasses
There's a chance Apple could unveil its first pair of smart glasses next year. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said in October that Apple was targeting a 2020 release date for its AR glasses, but has more recently reported that it plans to launch an AR/VR headset in 2021 or 2022 and smart glasses in 2023.
But Kuo has also said that Apple is working with third-party companies on smart glasses that could arrive next year, as the Chinese website MyDrivers reported in early October. It's unclear if that report from Kuo references the same products mentioned by Bloomberg.
A services bundle that includes Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Music
Apple may offer three of its digital services as a bundle subscription in 2020, according to Bloomberg . The company is reportedly considering offering Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Music as one lump offering in a bid to boost subscribers. Such a move would further Apple's push into services as it seeks to boost its other product categories as iPhone revenue declines.
A cheaper version of the HomePod
Apple may introduce a less expensive version of its HomePod smart speaker next year, according to Bloomberg . The cheaper model would include two tweeters instead of the seven present in the current version.
Apple unveiled the $350 HomePod in 2017 as a high-end audio alternative to rivals like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. But since the HomePod's launch, firms like Amazon and Google have also placed more emphasis on audio quality though speakers like the Echo Studio and Google Home Max, making it even harder for Apple to differentiate itself and break into the market. A cheaper model could make the HomePod more approachable and appealing to Apple loyalists who were reluctant to shell out $300 for the company's Siri-enabled smart speaker in the past.
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