Updated 03/14/19: Apple has announced the dates for the 2019 WWDC conference. It will be held from June 3-7 in San Jose.
Apple doesn’t often participate in big industry-wide events like CES or E3. The most valuable company in the world holds its own events, thank you very much. Several times a year, Apple invites the press and industry professionals out to a theater to hear all about its latest products and services. Apple calls these “Special Events,” and streams them online to its millions of fans.
There’s also WWDC, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, a multi-day event in the middle of the year focused on sessions for developers, helping them make the most out of the latest Apple tools and products. It kicks off with a big keynote that serves to announce new products (typically the latest versions of iOS and macOS, as well as a few hardware products).
Apple usually announces the exact dates of its special events only a couple weeks in advance, but it tends to hold events at similar times from one year to the next. Here’s a list of the events we expect Apple to hold in 2019, and what we expect it to announce there.
The next Apple Event: March 25
Apple has sent out invitations to a special event on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park. The invite simply says, "It's show time," which seems like an obvious hint that Apple is about to reveal its streaming media plans and perhaps preview some of its original shows and series.
A report from Bloomberg says that Apple invited big Hollywood stars involved with Apple’s original TV series to attend a March 25 unveiling of the service. The stars include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and J.J. Abrams.
Also rumored to be introduced is the new news and periodicals service, a transformation and expansion of the Texture service that Apple acquired last year.
Last year, Apple held an education-themed event on March 27 at the Lane Tech College Prep School in Chicago, where it announced the new 9.7-inch iPad. There was no event in March of 2017, but Apple held one in March of 2016 and 2015, with a number of new products and software updates at each.
Rumors suggest that a slew of new products may be coming soon. AirPower, second-generation AirPods, a new iPad mini and 9.7-inch iPad, and a new iPod Touch are all due for release “soon,” if the rumor mill is to be believed.
Then there are the old rumors that just won’t die: That Apple is working on a new iPhone SE and high-end over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones.
While the focus may be on services, some of these new products may make an appearance, too.
WWDC: June 3-7 2019
Apple always holds its big annual developer conference on the first or second week of June. The event lasts for several days of developer sessions, but all major new products, services, and software updates are announced during the opening keynote.
Apple typically takes the wraps off its new version of iOS and macOS at WWDC, giving everyone a sneak peek at what’s coming in the fall and opening up beta testing for developers. We expect Apple to launch iOS 13 at the show, with a developer beta kicking off right away and a public beta starting within a few weeks. The final release will likely be in September, before the release of new iPhones.
We'll also get a peek at watchOS 6 and macOS 10.15. Expect more health features in the former, and a framework to make it easier to bring iOS apps to the Mac on the latter.
It’s also typically the venue for Apple to introduce new MacBook Pro laptops and Mac desktop computers. If Apple is going to release the new Mac Pro this year, WWDC is the event where it makes the most sense to do it. We think that's likely to happen, and we'll see a new stand-alone Apple display to go along with it. It's also long past time for the iMac ad maybe even iMac Pro to get an upgrade, hopefully with Face ID. Together, these present a big shift for the Mac.
We may hear about new services and upgraded features for HomePod, too. But don't expect new iPhone or Apple Watch announcements—those are usually reserved for an event in September.
iPhone Special Event: September 2019
For the last six years or so, Apple has announced the new iPhones at an event in the first half of September. The new iPhones typically go up for preorder shortly after, and ship to stores and customers in late September or early October.
Since its introduction in 2014, Apple has always revealed the new Apple Watch at its September event, too. The first Apple Watch was available the following year (2015), but every other model went on sale in the September in which it was announced.
There are no reliable rumors that would lead us to believe that Apple would stray from this pattern in 2019. So expect new iPhones and a new Apple Watch at an event in the first two weeks of September.
Final event of the year: October 2019?
Apple often, but not always, holds one last event for the year in the second half of October.
It’s an opportunity for the company to reveal a few products that will ship before the holidays without crowding them into the September event or WWDC, both of which tend to be packed.
The products announced in October can be anything. In 2018, it was a new MacBook Air, a new Mac mini, and all new iPad Pro. In 2016, it was a MacBook Pro. In 2014, we got several new iPads and the 5K iMac.
Apple sells more products than ever before, and October is still a long way away. We’ll have a better picture of whether or not the company will hold an October event, and what it might announce there, as the 2019 rolls on.