iPhone 13 launch live blog: iPad mini, Apple Watch 7 and AirPods 3 at 2021’s Apple event

iPhone 13 launch live blog: iPad mini, Apple Watch 7 and AirPods 3 at 2021’s Apple event

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(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 mini price will start at $699 and iPhone 13 costs $799 and it’ll start at 128GB this time around. That’s way better than the 64GB entry-level models. 

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

Maybe the most exciting new feature is the ‘Cinematic Mode’, which brings rack focus to a smartphone – and does what Apple does: makes it simple. If you don’t know what rack focus is, it’s when a video focuses on a character in the foreground, they turn around and the camera focuses on the background. You see it in movies all of the time.

The camera will holds focus on subjectand transition automatically and anticipate subjects entering the frame. When subjects look away from the camera, the camera will shift focus. You can also tap to shift focus and tap again to lock and track.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The camera, my favorite part of upgrade my iPhone year-after-year is getting some exciting upgrades. Apple says the iPhone 13 line will have its most advanced dual-camera system yet thanks to a new image sensor (ISP) that allows for 47% more light from the main f/1.6 12MP wide camera. There’s a new ultra-wide f/2.4 12MP camera. 

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is going over its sensors and chips, first hyping up the 5nm Apple 15 Bionic chip that boasts nearly 15 billion transistors. The 6-core CPU has two high-powered cores and four efficiency cores, making up the fastest chip in a smartphone. That’s not Apple hype, that’s what we see in real-world testing vs Android phones year after year. Apple says the A15 chip will be 30% faster than leading competition. We’ll have to test that part ourselves too.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 is being announced, and while it doesn’t look very different, Apple is about to hype the… stuffing out of this phone. It’ll have exactly what I want: a bigger battery in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini and the screen will be 28% brighter.

The Super Retina XDR display is coming to the slightly cheaper iPhone 13 line, and you’ll get a nice upgrade if you upgrading from an old LED iPhone.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch 7

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch Series 7 is getting that new design that leaked, with a larger display that Apple says is its most advance display yet. It has 20% more screen area over Series 6, 1.7mm borders. The Watch 7 dimensions barely changed from previous generations. 

The Apple Watch 7 release date is ‘Later this Fall’ according to Apple, meaning it won’t be available right away like today’s other products. The Series 3 will remain on sale at $199, which is surprising. Expect Black Friday deals as the price hasn’t changed.

Apple Watch Series 7 features include a new bike features that can auto detect when you start riding and tell you to start workout. There’s also auto pause and resume, fall detection, improved algorithm for e-bike riding

The Apple Watch Series 7 case and display have softer more rounded corners. The screen is up to 70% brighter indoors when wrist is done for easier, discreet peeking. The on-screen buttons have been redesigned and enlarged thanks to the larger display and it fits nearly 50% more text than Series 6 watch and comes with New watch faces, pushing dial out to the edge.

Apple has upped the durability upgrade with the Apple Watch 7, calling it its most durable apple watch ever – and crack-resistant. That’s thanks to its front crystal. There’s IP6X certification and WR50 water resistance. It’ll still have that all-day battery life at 18 hours.

Breaking, it’ll have 33% faster charging than Series 6, which may be worth it alone, based on its updated charging architecture.

In fact, the Apple Watch will allow you to do an 8-minute charge and get 8 hours of sleep tracking, which seems pretty amazing. Despite the new design, it’ll be compatible with older bands.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The new iPad mini will be available to order today and the price is $499, and you’ll be able to pre-order it today, with delivery on Friday, September 24. That release date may be a hint. It’ll come in WiFi and cellular models.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

Hey, the Touch ID button is on the top, matching what we see from the iPhone and more expensive iPad Pro models. The screen will have wide color, True tone, 500 nits, and lowest reflectivity in the industry, according to Apple.

As far as speed goes, it’ll be the “fastest device of its kind”, and Apple attached a stat: 40% jump in CPU and 80% in GPU performance compared to past model. Neural Engine gets 2x machine learning performance boost.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad mini is getting radically redesigned, and it feels overdue. Apple says the little iPad is getting “its biggest upgrade ever”. It’ll have Apple pencil support and magnetic connection, so Gen 2, thankfully. It’ll come in fun colors: purple, pink, starlight, and space gray and have a souped-up display. 

The Liquid retina display is nicer than the LCD screen of previous generations and there’s big more to the screen real estate here: it’s 8.3 inches while keeping same footprint of past min! Yes, exactly what we want.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad is the first announcement with ‘The New iPad’. Despite the generic name, this is the iPad 9th generation. The A13 Bionic chip inside 20% faster, according to Apple’s Melody Kuna, and 3x faster than the fastest Chromebook. Tim Cook said the iPad saw a 40% growth year-over-year, so there’s a lot of emphasis on starting the Apple live stream out with this product. Timed for Back to School, too.

It’s has a 12MP ultra-wide camera that offers better photos and now includes the ‘Center Stage’ feature to keep you in the frame as you move about during video calls. It’ll auto-zoom, crop and pan when it detects people. 

It’ll use the same accessories, and the price is cheaper at $329 in the US. No mention of a discount for educators, but that is usually at $299. Still supports Apple Pencil 1st Gen (not 2nd gen) and comes in Space gray and silver. No 5G version, just LTE.


Really big stars are a part of this sizzle reel: Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston, and Jon Stewart, Paul Rudd… with shows like:

  • Morning show (on Friday)
  • Foundation (on 9/24)
  • The problem with John Stewart
  • Invasion
  • Swagger
  • Finch
  • The Shrink Next Door

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The first announcement revolves around Apple TV Plus and its nominations, including 35 Prime Time Emmy nominations. Most – 20 of them– are for Ted Lasso. Tim Cook is talking up new trailers. Let’s take a look.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

This Apple event isn’t taking place in-person. Instead, we’re getting another click video centered around the Apple campus. Tim Cook is hyping up California.

Apple Event September 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

It’s Matt Swider taking over the Apple live blog from James Peckham, and this is the first time I can remember that Sir Gareth Beavis isn’t handling the duties. It’s an honor. 

I’m gearing up to ready to use our new live blogging tool, and it’s already been a busy morning for us (there was a PS5 restock in the US today) and now I’m covering Apple, which always delivers big news.

My expectations are the following:

  • Apple TV Plus news – give us a trailer of The Morning Show season 2, please
  • Apple iPad 9th generation – hopefully at a bigger size and cheaper starting price 
  • Apple AirPods 3 – they’ll probably look more like the Pros with have ANC.
  • Apple Watch 7 – new design with a bigger screen, which seems like a worthy upgrade
  • iPhone 13 – in four flavors with the Pro Max version being the best of the bunch. Bring on the fat-free notch, please
  • One more thing? I’m not sure we’ll actually see a big surprise at this event, but we know Apple has been working on a VR headset and Apple Car. Those may not be destined for today.

With half an hour left to go until the iPhone 13 launch, we thought we’d run you through the announcements we expect to see at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 10:30pm IST (or 1am ACT September 15 in Australia).

iPhone 13 – Four new smartphones from Apple, including the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Expect longer battery life, small camera improvements and the introduction of a 120Hz screen on the Pro models.

Apple Watch 7 – The next smartwatch from Apple is expected to have a brand new design, which includes flat edges to the screen. We don’t currently expect any game changing health features, but Apple may surprise us.

AirPods 3 – A new pair of true wireless headphones from Apple with improved battery life and active noise cancellation. You should expect a similar design to previous models.

New iPads – This one is uncertain, but we may hear about a new iPad mini 6 and iPad 2021. Many rumors now suggest these will debut later in the year though, so don’t hold out hope for these.


The next big question is whether Apple will call this smartphone the iPhone 13. Leaks and rumors haven’t been clear so far on what the name will officially be, but colloquially the internet has taken to calling it the iPhone 13.

As you probably know, Apple does sometimes call its smaller upgrades the S model so there’s every chance we’ll be hearing about an iPhone 12S. That’s not as exciting to anyone who wants to upgrade though.

On the other hand, the number 13 is unlucky for some. Could that mean Apple will avoid that title for its next smartphone? We’re uncertain it is a big enough problem to stop Apple embracing the iPhone 13 name, but it may happen.

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It’s around an hour before the big launch begins, which means we’re about to go grab some food to ensure we’re fully fueled for the big launch later. Before that, we wanted to draw your attention to an article we have running through the big changes between the iPhone 13 and last year’s iPhone 12 series.


Oh, and if you’re planning to watch on YouTube this is the stream you’ll want to be using.


How will you be watching the event today? Apple is hosting a livestream on its own website, or you can tune in through YouTube. In our experience, the Apple website is usually a touch ahead of the YouTube option.

Apple arcade

(Image credit: Apple)

Two years ago, Apple introduced Apple Arcade. Will we see anything today for the mobile gaming platform? Gaming Editor, Vic Hood, says, “Apple Arcade still hasn’t done enough to impress me and I’m hoping today will change that. Sure, there are plenty of titles on Arcade but none that would have me rushing out to pick up a subscription. 

“I’m hoping that today will see the revealing of some big hitting Apple Arcade exclusives that will thrill mobile gamers and console gamer alike, maybe even encouraging the latter to put down their controller and pick up their phone.
In terms of more solid updates, 

“I expect we’ll get a release date for Konami’s revived Castlevania: Grimoire Of Souls, Proxi (from The Sims’ creator Will Wright) and Lego Star Wars Battles to name a few – but lets hope Apple has some surprises up its sleeve that will see Apple Arcade proving worthy competition for Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.”


What is iOS 15 set to do to your current iPhone? We heard a lot about the software back at WWDC 2021 in June, but there have been some changes to the rollout since then.

We’re expecting to hear tonight when iOS 15 will be landing on your smartphone. Can’t wait until then? Check out our guide to the 5 biggest changes iOS 15 will make to your iPhone.


Tim Cook’s tweet may also be a hint toward the company’s rumored satellite communication technology that will allow you to send messages and make calls over a separate network when you’re in a remote location. That desert he tweeted a photo of looks pretty remote.

It could mean you’ll be able to communicate even though you don’t have a 5G, 4G or 3G connection. Imagine this as the opposite of 5G, but it may be a feature that can help you get a connection when you most need it.

Will the next-gen Apple Watch offer any game-changing new health features? “We’ve seen a lot of rumors about blood pressure monitoring,” says TechRadar’s Fitness and Wellbeing Editor, Cat Ellis. 

“If true, that could make it easier to spot signs of hypertension early, and get treatment before they develop serious symptoms.

“Many watches (such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2) can estimate changes in blood pressure. Put simply, the watch’s optical heart rate sensor shines light onto your wrist, and an algorithm interprets the light that’s reflected back to give a reading. 

“However, it’s been suggested that the Apple Watch 7 could offer something much more advanced. The company has registered patents for watch bands that use pressure sensors or ultrasound, and there have been suggestions that the Apple Watch 7’s production was delayed due to the complexities of new blood pressure monitoring sensors.

“Of course, these are just rumors so far, but Apple often touts the benefits of its ECG app for detecting early signs of heart disease, and advanced blood pressure monitoring could be a natural next step.”


If you’re planning to tune into the iPhone 13 launch, we’d also recommend following along after the show itself. Our reaction livestream will be available below where we’ll be talking through everything that happened.


We’ve just dug into the metadata of the photo that Tim Cook has provided, and sadly there’s nothing to be found. It’s either been set up so nothing was recorded, or it has been wiped before it was uploaded.

That means we can’t work out where this photo is from… maybe we’ll learn the location during the launch.


Every Apple event, we await the first message from Tim Cook on Twitter. Today’s is a little different with him including a photograph of a desert scene in California.

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Could this be a hint that it won’t be taking place at Apple Park? Probably not, but it could be a little hint at a scene we can expect during the launch.


Jeremy Kaplan, Content Director at TechRadar, says, “Tom Power says not to expect any 2022 Apple TV announcements, but I disagree. Apple is a business, and a damn efficient one. 

“When it sees an opportunity, it runs with it. The runaway success of shows like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston proves that Apple can do good content. Of course Apple can do good content. 

“I’m expecting to see several trailers for upcoming content. If I were Tim Cook, I’d triple down on the areas of the business that are doing well, and Apple TV sure seems to be one of them.

“Then again, if I were Tim Cook, I’d be driving a different Maserati every day of the week. It’s Tuesday, which must mean it’s time for my racing green Maserati.”


Olivia Tambini, Audio & Music Editor, says, “I’ve been waiting for the AirPods 3 for what feels like forever – they haven’t been updated since 2019, and every time there’s a new Apple event I get my hopes up and am disappointed. However, this time feels different. 

“We’ve heard so many rumors that production is ramping up on the next AirPods, and lots of respected analysts have said that they’re likely to launch today alongside the iPhone 13. 

“I’m feeling optimistic – and if Apple can deliver on the features we’ve been hearing about, such as biometric sensors, a longer battery life, and a sleeker design, without increasing the price of the AirPods, I’ll be very happy indeed.”

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One big difference we’re expecting between the iPhone 12 series and the iPhone 13 series is the introduction of a 1TB model. That will be the largest storage size we’ve ever seen on an Apple phone, and it’s expected to be available on both the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

While that may be a big change, arguably the more interesting element is Apple is rumored to be dropping 64GB models from its range. That means every iPhone 13 product will start at a 128GB minimum.

If this happens, that’s an important step as it means the cheapest models in the iPhone 13 range are coming with remarkably more storage than previous iterations that started on 64GB. 


The iPhone 13 series is set to be the highlight of today’s launch, and below we’ve put together all the specs we’re currently anticipating for each model. If you want to learn more, here’s everything we know so far about iPhone 13.

iPhone 13 leaks so far
iPhone 13 mini iPhone 13 iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
Screen size 5.4-inch 6.1-inch 6.1-inch 6.7-inch
Resolution 2340 x 1080 2532 x 1170 2532 x 1170 2778 x 1284
Refresh rate 60Hz 60Hz 120Hz 120Hz
Camera 12MP + 12MP 12MP + 12MP 12MP + 12MP + 12MP 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Selfie camera 12MP 12MP 12MP 12MP
Chipset A15 A15 A15 A15
Battery 2,406mAh 3,095mAh 3,095mAh 4,325mAh
Charging 25W 25W 25W 25W
Storage Up to 512GB Up to 512GB Up to 1TB Up to 1TB
Launch date September 14 September 14 September 14 September 14
Release date September 24 September 24 September 24 September 24

Gerald Lynch, Executive Editor at TechRadar, says, “Those hoping for an Apple TV update during today’s event shouldn’t hold their breath. We had a revision back in the Spring that added the A12 Bionic Chip and Siri remote, as well as support for high frame rate HDR viewing. 

“You’re more likely to get a look at its upcoming sci-fi TV show, Foundation. But more than anything, we want to see Apple’s continued commitment to gaming with Apple Arcade – not just on mobile with the iPhone and iPad, but in the living room too with Apple TV. T

“The service has some fantastic games now, and if Apple was able to reposition the Apple TV as a gaming device as much as a streaming box, its low-priced Arcade subscription could compliment those already paying for, for instance, Xbox Game Pass.”

An artist's impression of the iPhone 13's camera in purple

An artist’s impression of the iPhone 13’s camera in purple (Image credit: TechRadar)

One of the big iPhone 13 rumors suggests minor improvements for the camera on each of the models. Mark Wilson, Cameras Editor at TechRadar, says, “The cameras are always one of the most interesting parts of any new iPhone announcement and I’m expecting it to be the same today. 

“We will likely see minor photographic improvements on the iPhone 13 series, like a brighter wide-angle lens with autofocus and an improved Portrait mode. But I think their video skills could be the biggest deal – particularly if Apple does, as has been rumored, announce a video portrait mode (supposedly called Cinematic Video) that actually works. 

“That could be massive for vloggers and YouTubers, alongside the expected support for the Apple ProRes format. A next-gen Lidar scanner on the pro models could also be a big deal for Apple’s AR ambitions, too.”


With California Streaming as the tagline for this Apple event, could the company be planning to update us on its Apple TV Plus schedule? We saw a new trailer for Ted Lasso season 2 at WWDC 2021, so it may be we see more trailers debut tonight.

Tom Power, Entertainment Writer for TechRadar, says, “Apple has made some stellar TV shows and movies over the past year or so – and I would expect to see a couple of its remaining 2021 productions to be shown off.

“Foundation, Apple’s TV adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi book saga, may get one final trailer before its September 24 release. Big things are expected of original sci-fi series Invasion, as well as the Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd-starring show The Shrink Next Door. So both could also make an appearance. 

“I wouldn’t expect to see any 2022 announcements just yet, though.”

Want to learn more about Foundation? You can see the latest trailer below.

A screenshot of the Apple Store after it has been taken down

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Store is down, which means there’s someone tinkering with it at Apple HQ right now. If you’re not familiar with Apple launches, this is often how the company ensures it doesn’t accidentally leak its products ahead of time.

It means if you wanted to buy any Apple gadgets in the next few hours, you’ll have to head to a different retailer or go to one of the company’s brick and mortar stores instead.

When can we expect the Apple Store to return? We’d expect it to be soon after the launch, which is when you’ll be able to read about all the new gadgets on the company’s official website.


If you’re on Twitter for the event today, you’ll notice anything tagged with #AppleEvent will give you a unique Apple logo animation when you like the tweet.

A new iPhone launch is often the best time to buy a new smartphone, if you’re keen on Apple’s products. Even if you don’t want the iPhone 13, the iPhone 12 series will likely drop in price after today.

Alex Hughes, Broadband and Phones Deals Editor for TechRadar, says, “The iPhone 13 launch isn’t just about getting a new roster of iPhones. Apple has historically used its smartphone launches as an opportunity to alter its existing collection of devices too. 

“I’d expect to see Apple significantly cut the price of the iPhone 12 and quite possibly, finally discontinue the iPhone XR after an impressive three years on the market.”


What will the iPhone 13 look like? Back in July, we created some renders of what we expected from the iPhone 13’s design. We used the most prolific leaks and rumors we’d seen so far, and here’s what we came up with;

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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in eight different colors including red, blue and orange

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in eight different colors including red, blue and orange

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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iPhone 13 renders

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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in purple

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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13's camera in purple

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in pink

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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in pink

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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in pink from the top of the phone

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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in pink

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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An artist's impression of the iPhone 13 in pink

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Little has changed since we made these renders, and a lot of leaks since this stage have suggested we’ll be seeing a similar design to what you can see above. It’s only a matter of hours now until we learn about what the iPhone 13 will look like, so it’s time to find out whether we were right.


Will we see any Mac products today? Computing Editor at TechRadar, Matthew Hanson, says, “I don’t think we’ll see any Macs or MacBooks today, as Apple usually holds off on its computing stuff for a separate event – and that may not be too far off. 

“We’ve seen quite a few rumors suggesting Apple will hold another event in October, and we’ve just published a news story about how it could happen on October 12. So, for Mac fans, don’t get your hopes up about today, but you may not have too long to wait either.”


We’re off with the first leak spotted today, and it’s from Evleaks with some case renders from manufacturer Spigen. The images below show the design of the iPhone 13 with a smaller notch and a diagonal camera.

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Whether these are based on hard information is the big question. Often case manufacturers base designs on leaked information, and we believe that may be the case here.


What are you most looking forward to later today? Let us know in our Twitter poll below.

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iPhone 13 renders

Our artist’s impression of what we expect the iPhone 13 to look like (Image credit: TechRadar)

Welcome to iPhone 13 launch day, and welcome to our live blog, where you’ll be able to follow all the news from the latest Apple event as it happens. 

The event is set to kick off later today, and before then we’ll be talking you through the products we’re expecting to see. We’ll be giving you a preview of the iPhone 13, AirPods 3, Apple Watch 7 and more throughout the day.

On top of that, we’ll be including all the latest leaks and rumors that break in the hours leading up to Tim Cook taking the virtual stage. And if anything else big happens in the world of Apple, you’ll be able to read about it here first.

Then, from 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST (1am ACT September 15 in Australia) we’ll be covering the event itself. So be sure to check back in with us just before that time to find out about everything Apple has to offer.



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