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For the first time ever, Apple’s most exciting new product of the year isn’t an iPhone

iPhone XS Leak

Apple’s “fall event” takes place in late summer each year, so it remains a mystery why it’s referred to as a “fall event.” What never remains a mystery, however, are the new products Apple unveils each year at its “fall event.” Apple’s component suppliers and manufacturing partners in China and the surrounding area can never manage to keep anything secret, so we’re always well aware of Apple’s next-generation iPhone designs long before they’re shown off on stage. As for the details and specs, top Apple insider and TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo leaks most of those details even before we get a glimpse of the aforementioned leaks from China. It happens every single year without fail, and it happened again in 2018. But this time around, something different happened as well.

When Apple sent out invitations to the press for its big event on September 12th, it apparently also accidentally posted some information and images for a brief time on a public server. An iOS developer was alerted to the mistake, and he shared all the details with the world on an Apple news blog. As a result, many of the remaining blanks surrounding Apple’s fall event have been filled in, and we’ve even seen official marketing renders of Apple’s new product lineup. Most interestingly, this new leak also revealed that for the first time ever, Apple’s most exciting launch of the season won’t be a new iPhone.

As most hardcore Apple fans have undoubtedly seen by now, new information surrounding Apple’s next-generation iPhone XS was posted on 9to5Mac on Thursday. That’s right, both of Apple’s new flagship iPhone models are apparently called “iPhone XS.” That is an awful, awful name. My problem with it isn’t the idea of Apple using the same name for both models — the company does the same thing with its laptops and with the iPad Pro. One will be the 5.8-inch iPhone XS, and the other will be the 6.5-inch iPhone XS. My problem is the fact that Apple is using two Latin characters in succession, but one is a Roman numeral and the other is a letter from the English alphabet. Honestly, that’s just stupid… but it’s neither here nor there.

For me, the most interesting thing about yesterday’s leaks was the confirmation that Apple’s next-generation iPhone lineup will not be Apple’s most exciting launches this year. In fact, they’re pretty boring. It doesn’t look like we’re getting anything new as far as novel features are concerned. Instead, this is going to be a true “S” update with significant performance improvements and not much else aside from the addition of a bigger version with a 6.5-inch display and a new gold finish. The Apple Watch Series 4, on the other hand, looks like it’s going to be a hugely exciting update.

In addition to the iPhone XS leak, information about the Apple Watch Series 4 was posted on 9to5Mac. A marketing render was posted along with it, and it looks… awesome:

Image source: 9to5Mac

The new Apple Watch S4 will feature the same basic design as the three previous generations, and it’ll also use the same bands. The new OLED displays will occupy much more of the watch’s face though, and the case looks much thinner than it is on the current models. There are also some hardware changes like the addition of a mic on the right side, the possible addition of a UV sensor (though that complication might just be location-based), and the Apple Watch Series 3’s hideous red dot is gone from the crown and replaced by a more subtle red ring.

Apple is the number 1 watchmaker on the planet by sales, and the Apple Watch Series 4 is going to a massive update. The hardware changes are fantastic and we’re apparently in store for gorgeous new faces and complications to make use of all that extra screen real estate. September 12th can’t get here soon enough, and it’s because of the Apple Watch Series 4, not the iPhone XS.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.