Everything Announced at the September 2021 'California Streaming' Apple Event

Apple introduced four new iPhone 13 models, the Apple Watch Series 7, an iPad and iPad mini refresh, but no AirPods 3 or Macs.

Apple's fall 2021 event, called "California Streaming," opened with a video montage that seemed designed to sell the audience on how beautiful California is. The montage then concluded with Tim Cook stepping onto a stage at Apple Park in Cupertino. Perhaps this is Tim Cook's way of trying to persuade remote Apple employees reluctant to give up working from home that it's time to return to the office? From there, Cook and the Apple team introduced a host of new products including the iPhone 13 lineup consisting of four new models, a ninth-generation iPad and sixth-generation iPad mini, and the Apple Watch Series 7 (but no Apple Watch SE update). Notably, no new AirPods were announced. While some of the new iPhone camera features are pretty exciting (Cinematic Mode, anyone?), there were no big surprises during the event. But even so, shiny new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches are always exciting. Here's everything you should know about Apple's latest devices.

Related: iOS 15 Update for iPhone: Availability, New Features & Major Delays

iPhone 13: Price, Availability, Cinematic Mode, Better Battery Life

iPhone 13 models

Availability

  • Pre-order: September 17
  • Available in stores: September 24

Price

  • iPhone 13 mini: Starts at $699
  • iPhone 13: Starts at $799
  • iPhone 13 Pro: Starts at $999
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: Starts at $1,099

Apple unveiled the new iPhone 13 line, including the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone 13 and 13 mini feature redesigned aluminum frames in a choice of starlight, midnight, blue, pink, and (PRODUCT)RED colors, and feature 5.4 and 6.1-inch displays, respectively. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are available in graphite, gold, silver, and sierra blue with 6.1 and 6.7-inch displays. All four new iPhones take a leap forward with the new A15 Bionic chip, longer battery life, larger storage capacity options, and improved 5G performance. Camera advancements are the highlight of this year's iPhone offerings, and include Cinematic mode for all four models, a video recording feature that lets you switch focus back and forth between subjects while recording or after during editing. The iPhone 13 and 13 mini feature an enhanced dual-camera system and Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60fps, an improvement over the 4K at 30fps offered by the iPhone 12 and 12 mini. The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max feature new sensors and lenses for all three rear cameras that, coupled with the new A15 chip, improve image stabilization, zooming capabilities, and low-light photography, and make macro photography a possibility, a first for the iPhone. Read our full article for all the details about the iPhone 13 family.

Apple Watch Series 7: More Screen, Same Band Size, Faster Charging

Availability

  • Pre-order: October 8
  • Available in stores: October 15

Price

  • Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS): Starts at $399
  • Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS + Cellular): Starts at $499

The Apple Watch Series 7 has been redesigned, but not as majorly as some expected. The shape of the new watch is softer, with more rounded corners for a better wrap-around effect. More exciting changes include a much larger screen area and thinner borders, at no cost to watch size or battery life. Plus, the Series 7 can charge fully in just 45 minutes with a USB-C magnetic charger.

A larger display allows apps to have larger buttons and fit more text so that you can scroll less. This means that Apple Watch Series 7 will offer larger font sizes and even a full keyboard that you can tap or swipe with QuickPath. The Series 7 will be available later this fall in five new aluminum colors: green, blue, red, starlight, and midnight. With a higher dust resistance and a stronger front crystal, you can enjoy the new colors without worrying as much about damage.

The upcoming watchOS 8 update brings even more features to Apple Watch, including improved fitness tracking. Cyclers can now enjoy fall detection, automatic start and stop, and more accurate e-bike calories. There are also other new stats such as tracking tennis ball speed, golf swing distance, and the number of waves caught surfing. Apple Fitness Plus is getting new activities and will soon make it possible to participate in group workouts with other Apple Watch users.

New iPad 9 & iPad Mini 6: Center Stage for Both, USB-C Port & Edge-to-Edge Display for Mini

iPad

Availability

  • Pre-order: September 14
  • Available in stores: September 24

Price

  • iPad mini (6th generation): Starting at $499 for the Wi-Fi model and $649 for the Wi-Fi + cellular model
  • iPad (9th generation): Starting at $329 for the Wi-Fi model and $459 for the Wi-Fi + cellular model. Education pricing begins at $299

Apple announced two new iPad models announced during the event—the iPad (9th generation) and the iPad mini (6th generation). Both of these new offerings on popular lines will cost the same as their predecessors—starting at $329 for the iPad and $499 for the iPad mini–but feature improved processors. The new iPad uses the A13 Bionic processor and the iPad mini uses the A15 Bionic, both for faster image processing and more responsive performance. Both improved devices will also feature Center Stage, which lets lets the front and back cameras shift their field of view to track your face when you move around during a video call or video recording—very useful for TikTok and FaceTime! In another boon to video, the new iPad mini abandons the old Home button in favor of an edge-to-edge display with no notch, so you can devote the whole mini surface to video or productivity. Check out our full article for everything about the iPad (9th generation) and the iPad mini (6th generation) including details on the new displays and full pricing and availability

When Does iOS 15 Come Out? What about iPadOS 15 & watchOS 8?

During the event, Apple announced that iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 will be available for older devices starting on September 20. New iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches will ship with the latest software already installed. We don’t yet have a set date for the release of macOS Monterey, but if last year is any indication we can expect it to roll out around the same time as the rumored new M1X Macs this October or November.

The updates will include exciting new features such as Live Text, a Safari redesign, and Focus modes to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. However, some other highly anticipated features, such as SharePlay, Apple Digital Legacy, Apple Maps for CarPlay, and App Privacy Reports, won't be released until later in the fall. In our full articles on each new Apple software update, we discuss release dates and compatibility, plus new and delayed features for iPhoneiPadMac, and Apple Watch.

Everything That Apple Didn't Announce

Among the releases of California Streaming, the devices that didn't appear include new MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, AirPods 3, and AirPods Pro 2. We may have to wait until October or even longer for the new M1X MacBook Pros, which are predicted to increase the minimum screen size available to 14 inches and feature the return of HDMI ports and SD card slots. The MacBook Airs, which may not arrive until 2022, may feature the successor to the M1 chip used in the 2021 Airs and an upgraded webcam. AirPods 3 are expected this year, possibly at a second fall Apple Event, and are speculated to come with shorter stems, silicone tips, and may further mimic AirPods Pro with a compact system-in-package solution. AirPods Pro 2 likely won't arrive until 2022, but leakers predict they will be smaller and feature a more rounded shape that may help with noise cancellation, and they may get a chip upgrade to set them above the upcoming AirPods 3.

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Author Details

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Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor and SEO Content Manager at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time Apple enthusiast, Sarah can't live without her iPhone, Macbook Air, HomePod, Apple TV, or Apple Watch. As the original contributor to the iPhone Life Tip of the Day Newsletter, she wrote hundreds of iPhone how-tos to help users master their iPhones. It's safe to say that she has written or edited every tip published on iPhoneLife.com! In her 20 years of editing and writing, Sarah has done everything from working as the associate editor of the Iowa Source magazine to developing recipes and reviewing cookbooks for a vegetarian cooking website. But teaching people how to use their Apple devices is her favorite job so far.

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