New iPhones and an Apple Watch aren't the only things to exp

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Apple's invitation to the company's 9/12 event

We can probably blame Andy Warhol and Blondie for this right? Back in 1985 to help launch the Commodore Amiga, these two artists came together in front of an assembled audience of tech journalists and interested fans/enthusiasts to sing the praises of the device in question. In the decades since, we've had everything from skydivers backing Google Glass to Drake hanging with Apple developers to Big Bird letting us all know he's #BornMobile (thanks, Qualcomm).

The fall tech event season for 2018 truly gets underway tomorrow with Apple's anticipated iPhone-unveiling (though other events on the horizon include Google's Pixel 3 reveal and a Microsoft hardware event for early October). Cupertino has toned down its spectacle during these announcements in recent years, perhaps save a notable Bono-insertion at the 2014 edition of this fall event. But even in an age of better reporting, leaks, and rumors than ever before, you never really know what will happen until an event is officially underway.

Of course, this being Ars and all, we have an idea or two of what's coming from Tim Cook and company this week. So for this edition of the Orbital Transmission, we're sharing our best intel on all things Apple's fall event. iPhones and an Apple Watch update are pretty safe bets according to Reviews Editor Samuel Axon, but there are plenty of products that could possibly come up yet feel far less certain. 

Orbital Transmission 09.11.2018
Apple's AirPower announcement

Prepare to (finally) wireless charge all your iGear at once

Apple announced AirPower, a charging mat for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods wireless headphones, at its September event last year. The company originally promised to deliver this in early spring 2018... but it never came. AirPower is based on Qi wireless charging technology, and its main value proposition is that it can simultaneously charge all three of the above devices. A new target date feels likely tomorrow.

The Apple TV

The Apple streaming-TV picture could get clearer

Apple is definitely working on a new streaming-TV service, programmed with big-budget original content. Just last month the company confirmed to Ars that it ordered a full series based on Isaac Asimov's The Foundation, for instance. Reports indicate Apple services lead Eddy Cue recently mentioned in passing that Apple is considering making its TV app (currently available on iOS and tvOS devices) available outside of the Apple ecosystem for this service. While we don't expect anything to launch right away, Apple may finally lift the curtain and let its customers get a better picture of what it has been working on.

One more thing? The MacBook may refresh, too

Above is the current MacBook Air design... though this photo was taken way back in 2014. The Air hasn't changed since, but rumors suggest that it's about to. A Bloomberg report cited sources familiar with Apple's plans who claim the company will release a new MacBook that would combine some elements from both the MacBook and MacBook Air product lines. The new design would purportedly resemble the MacBook Air but with smaller bezels around the screen, and it'd boast technology post-2014.

Whatever happens, Ars is there and you can follow us live

As has been our tradition for nearly a decade, we'll be live at Apple's event and liveblogging the news at it happens—follow along starting at 1pm ET/10am PT. For now, we're still banking on a trio of potential iPhones as the headliner—Apple's iPhone X has been the top-selling smartphone since its launch in November 2017, so expect Apple's new phones to draw from the trends that the X started. Specifically, pre-event murmurs point to a near-edge-to-edge display that has a notch to house the TrueDepth sensor array. We're also expecting a new chip which, according to Apple's usual naming convention, will be called the A12. That chip might be the result of a 7nm manufacturing process.

Arstechnica.com on September 11, 2001

A quick remembrance

Ars turns 20 at the end of 2018, meaning we've been around online and in operation for many crazy news days: the Edward Snowden saga, the death of Steve Jobs, various lives and deaths of net neutrality, the election of Barack Obama, etc. But for our US-based staff and many of our readers, it'll be hard to ever forget September 11 within any calendar year. So given the date you're likely reading this newsletter on, we thought we'd reshare one way Ars readers grieved together that day—through a communal forum thread, of course.

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