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No AirPower, iPads, Macs or AirPods: The products that didn’t make Apple’s September event

Alan Martin
13 Sep 2018
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All the focus was on the iPhone Xs and Apple Watch Series 4… so where was everything else?

So that was the September Apple event for another year. As predicted we saw iPhones and Apple Watches but, barring a very short nod to Apple TV and iOS 12, very little else.

What was missing in action? Here’s everything Apple didn’t mention and when we can expect an update…

AirPower

The most alarming omission by far was Apple AirPower. Announced exactly a year ago, the wireless charging pad was promised for 2018 but has so far failed to materialise, with whispers of all kinds of production problems.

Technically Apple still has a few more months to pull this rabbit out of the hat, but ominously all references to the product have been pulled from the Apple site, barring a single listing in the legal trademarks section.

Removing all references to a product on your website isn’t exactly a confident move. If it does still exist, we’ll hopefully hear more before the inevitable September 2019 Apple event.

AirPods

With no AirPower, the main upgrade promised for the AirPods – a wireless charging case – would have fallen slightly flat. Nonetheless, anyone hoping for AirPods 2 will be left sorely disappointed.

A wireless charging case could be incremental enough an update to just appear on the store one day without fanfare. Anything more substantial – better sound or a redesign – is now unlikely to come this side of summer 2019.

iPhone SE

Big-handed phones were in abundance at Apple’s September events. Ranging from 5.8in to 6.5in, the days of Apple’s ‘Thumb’ advertising campaign are well and truly behind us.

The iPhone SE 2 should have been the alternative to this: a flagship phone in a smaller form factor. The original iPhone SE is now over two years old, and while there have been signs of an update being in the works, we’re yet to see any hard evidence.

Of course the original SE broke Apple’s typical launch pattern by emerging in March, so maybe we could see a spring 2019 appearance? All speculation, but fingers crossed.

MacBook

A lack of new MacBook Pros is no real surprise – they were refreshed in July after all. But no 2018 MacBook Air is disappointing for those who feel Apple has neglected its ultrathin laptop.

Rumours suggest a Retina Display model of the Air is in the works. If it is, VentureBeat suggests we may have an iPad- and MacBook-specific event before the year is out

Mac Pro

Any extra Mac-centric event won’t feature the Mac Pro, however. The professional £3,000 big beast is due for a refresh (its unchanged since 2013), but Apple has already confirmed that it’ll be coming in 2019, not this year.

“We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community, so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of hardware product marketing, in an interview with Techcrunch. “It’s not something for this year.”

iPad Pro

We’ve had one new iPad this year – the education-focused 2018 iPad with Apple Pencil support – but what about the Pro models? They haven’t seen a refresh since the introduction of the 10.5in model last year and a 2018 iPad Pro is definitely rumoured.

That feels like the kind of thing that could be bundled alongside new MacBooks, so fingers crossed the aforementioned rumours of a bonus event turn out to be founded.

HomePod

The HomePod 2 always felt like a long shot, given Apple’s smart speaker is only eight months old. Yet rumours of a HomePod 2 – or at least a HomePod Mini – have still been doing the rounds.

It was a no-show at the September event, but if the rumours are founded, you can probably expect something sooner rather than later. Apple needs to make serious inroads in the space if it hopes to catch up with Amazon and Google’s market-cornering efforts.

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