Apple's Sept. 9 product launch event is whipping up more rumors beyond the expected new iPhones and a next-generation Apple TV set-top box. The latest rumors hint at the possible surprise releases of a long-awaited large-screen iPad Pro and an iPad Mini 4.
Apple could unveil the long-awaited 12-inch iPad Pro at the event in San Francisco, with not only a larger screen compared with earlier iPads but several other new features as well, such as a Force Touch pressure-sensitive display, a faster processor and more memory, according to a Sept. 2 story by The International Business Times.
Also possible at the product event is news of a rumored iPad Mini 4, the story reported. Though sources said the products could be unveiled on Sept. 9, it is also possible that both are held back until October, according to the report. The iPad Pro would likely ship in November, the report continued.
The new iPads would run Apple's latest iOS 9 operating system, which would bring the latest split-screen multitasking and picture-in-picture viewing of apps to the devices, the report said.
Apple product rumors have been swirling wildly since at least August, when reports surfaced about a possible release of a new iPhone 6c basic model to round out the latest iPhone line, according to a recent eWEEK report. A Twitter post at the time by frequent tipster Evan Blass, who posts under the name "@evleaks," reported that it "Sounds like iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and 6c will all arrive concurrently." No other information or attribution was provided in the post.
Also in August, Apple's anticipated new iPhone 6s, which is also expected to be unveiled at the Sept. 9 new products event, was rumored to be receiving an improved and stronger backplate to prevent the bending problems that were experienced by some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners when the handsets went on sale in September 2014. The bending issues occurred for some users when they had the phones in their pants pockets and bent over or sat down, according to earlier eWEEK stories.
The stronger backplate was revealed by Unbox Therapy's Lewis Hilsenteger, who creates video reviews and reports about a wide range of consumer products, including smartphones, in an Aug. 10 video he posted on YouTube.
In addition, Apple will reportedly be announcing its next-generation Apple TV set-top box at the product event. The upcoming fourth-generation Apple TV set-top box will be priced at $149 or $199 and will be available for purchase in October, according to the latest rumors and reports about the device. The set-top box will cost at least twice as much as the existing Apple TV units, which sell for $69 after a price drop from $99 earlier this year. The existing Apple TV models will stay in production as an entry-level model for users, according to a recent eWEEK report.
The upcoming Apple TV set-top box was originally expected to be announced back in June at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). That didn't happen. Rumors earlier in August said the delay was due to a desire by the company to push its release back so it could be ready to run on Apple's latest iOS 9 operating system.
Apple TV, which hasn't had any major updates since 2013, is expected to get a slimmer chassis, an updated remote and support for Apple's Siri digital personal assistant. The device, introduced in 2007, is expected to receive a wide range of improvements, marking the first major design changes to the product since 2013. The new Apple TV is expected to receive an improved remote that includes touch-pad controls, as well as additional integrated storage, its own App Store and a new software development kit that the company hopes will encourage developers to build new apps for the device.