August was a quiet month for Apple, as it generally is. (We've expressed our feelings about the wisdom of this policy elsewhere.) And one of the results of a lazy summer, as the grasshopper found to his cost, is that you end up with masses of work to do when the weather turns cold.
September is likely to be rammed with Apple product releases, including several of the most important of the year. Here's what to expect this month.
The tentpole product, the money maker, the focal point for Apple's entire yearly plans. Yes, we're going to get a set of new iPhones in September.
We're fairly sure that Apple will announce four new handsets at an event in mid-September, with the smallest model surviving a poor year of sales (contrary to our advice) and appearing as the iPhone 13 mini, alongside the iPhone 13, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. It's possible, however, that Apple will avoid the unlucky number 13 and instead brand these new phones as the 12s series, or ditch numbering altogether.
Catch up with the latest leaks and rumours in our iPhone 13 news hub.
Apple Watch Series 7
When a new iPhone is announced, a new Apple Watch generally isn't far behind - although this year may yet see an exception to that tradition.
The plan has always been for Apple to unveil the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 at the same time, at an event in mid-September. But the complicated design of the new watch has caused production problems, and there is a chance that the Series 7 will be delayed.
It could be that Apple still announces the phone and watch together, but the watch has a later shipping date. But the company may instead choose to push the watch back to a later event this autumn. (The third option is that Apple's suppliers solve the production problems and we all wonder what the big deal was. That's often the outcome of these headaches.)
Whenever the Series 7 does arrive, however, it should be worth the wait. We're expecting a radical redesign including flatter edges, a larger (and edge-to-edge) screen and a new colour. It will also have a faster processor and longer battery life.
Find out what to expect from the upcoming wearable with our regularly updated Apple Watch Series 7 news hub.
Leaked CAD render of the Apple Watch Series 7 from 91mobiles.
We've been waiting forever for new AirPods earbuds. (I've specified earbuds because we did get the AirPods Max in December 2020, but they don't really count.) The standard AirPods were last updated in March 2019, and the AirPods Pro came out in October 2019.
Is our long wait finally coming to an end in September 2021? It looks like it is, although only for the AirPods 3; the second-gen AirPods Pro won't be here until next year.
The standard AirPods will get a new design and feature set to bring them closer to the Pro model. The 'stems' of the AirPods 3 will be shorter, as per the Pro version, and we may also get new silicone ear tips. The silicone tips complement the active noise cancellation feature of the Pro models, which is unlikely to be duplicated on the cheaper models, but silicone tips would still achieve better passive isolation.
The charging case, too, will look more like that of the current AirPods Pro.
Find all the information you need in our new AirPods hub.
Chances: 8/10 (but that only applies to the standard model, not Pro)
Leaked image from 52audio.
What hardware won't be announced?
The current consensus among pundits is that Apple will again hold multiple events across the autumn period: most likely three, with one in September, October and November respectively. The devices listed above will form the action-packed itinerary at the September event, but there will be plenty more to look forward to.
In October we will get new iPads - a larger updated version of the iPad mini is favourite - and the November event will focus on the Mac. Apple is overdue a proper look at the MacBook Pro, with the more expensive models still waiting for an upgrade to Apple Silicon chips.
As for the new AirPods Pro and the much-hyped Apple AR glasses, the earliest you can expect to see them is 2022.
That's all for now. But if you'd like to know more about the announcements we expect this year, take a look at our guide to the new Apple products coming in 2021.
It may be, of course, that the brand-new products we expect this month will be outside your budget. But you may well be able to find a bargain on an older model: for help in this endeavour, read our roundup of the best Apple deals.