Apple's next online presentation will be on September 15 with the Apple Watch and iPad running

Apple’s next online presentation will be on September 15 with the Apple Watch and iPad running

Apple’s invitation to the event, which was sent to reporters, suggests that the launch could be for the Apple Watch.

Screenshot by Shara Tibken / CNET

This story is part of it Apple event, the full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple has set a date for its next event. The company’s latest devices – which will likely include the sixth-generation Apple Watch and a new iPad – will be presented on September 15 at 10 a.m. PT. Like Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the event will be held entirely online amid ongoing concerns about coronavirus pandemic. The Apple event will be broadcast via its website.

Apple’s invitation, which was posted on its website, included a variation on its logo, made in swirling blue lines that turned out to be a bit of a scam. When displayed on an iPhone, the Apple Invitation logo transforms into the event date: 9.15. The invitation sent to journalists included another indication – the phrase “Time Flies”. This suggests the event that focuses on the Apple Watch, the tech giant’s popular wearer, instead of the first iPhone 5G.

Apple usually holds a brilliant product launch in September to showcase its latest iPhones. The Apple Watch, iPad, and other devices usually take a back seat to Apple’s flagship smartphone, and the company occasionally hosts another event in October for its iPads and Macs.

This time, however, Apple will most likely focus on its laptop and tablet for its September 15 event. Apple said its newest iPhones, which will have extremely fast 5G connectivity, will be delayed “a few weeks” this year due to production problems related to the Koran virus pandemic. The new iPhones are expected to arrive in October and Apple will be holding a new event at that time to focus on its phones.

While most of Apple’s revenue still comes from the iPhone, the company is diversifying its operations. The Apple Watch was the first major new category under CEO Tim Cook, and has since taken over the watch market. Instead of positioning the Apple Watch as a luxury item, Apple has changed the focus to emphasize the characteristics of health and fitness integrated into the watch, elements that are particularly important to users as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the Apple Watch sold out the entire Swiss watch industry with a huge margin, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple shipped about 31 million units in 2019, while all Swiss watch brands accounted for 21 million shipments, the research company said.

At the same time, Apple iPads and Macs are in high demand as consumers work and go to school at home during the pandemic. Thirteen of the country’s 15 largest school districts are taking virtual lessons this fall, and student devices are experiencing sharp delays in transportation. Apple’s new iPad, most likely a mid-range iPad Air, could come with a larger screen and Touch ID. It would not be as expensive as Apple’s line-up Pro, but it would have much of the feel and performance of more expensive devices.

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Apple’s product range in the fall is expected to reach a wave of upgrade markets, analysts say, with fans seeing the iPhone’s new rumors of 5G capabilities and a new look similar to that of the iPad Pro. Flashier rivals – such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 2 5G with foldable screen or Microsoft Surface Duo, with two screens together – offer new spins to the standard smartphone and metal construction.

But perhaps the biggest advantage of Apple’s product line in late 2020 may be its newer computer, which will be the first device powered by what the company calls Apple Silicon, or its own microprocessor chip.

The company has not shared many details about its newer computers, which will replace the Intel processors that Apple relied on for 14 years with brands similar to those that power iPhone, iPad and Apple TVs. Apple has said it will continue to sell Intel-powered computers for the time being, but it is clear where the company is headed.

“Hardware and software are fundamental to what we do,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, announcing the effort this summer. “It will take the Mac to the next level.”

There also seems to be an augmented reality element at the Apple event on September 15, based on the interactive invitation.

AR could provide Apple with a way to show its young people the devices without having to be there in person. Technology companies are trying to find the best way to keep virtual display rooms, a key part of any product release. Last week, Samsung has released a tour of a digital home with its new devices.

Apple has been promoting AR in recent years. The most notable example is the popularity of the Pokemon Go game on his iPhone. The company is also working on AR and VR glasses, but it is unlikely the device will launch in September.

Apple’s augmented reality expectations have always been driven by applications and services, and education has been an AR goal on the iPad for years. An upgraded processor on an iPad Air could help enable Apple’s latest ARKit capabilities, and a larger screen could take advantage of some of the larger canvas ideas now on the iPad Pro. However, it is unlikely that a new Air will have the Lidar sensor that detects the depth of the Pro.

CNET’s Scott Stein contributed to this report.

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