What we want to see at Apple’s Special Event

Our take on what Apple will launch tonight, and what else we’d like to see

With Apple's Special Event taking place later today, we asked ourselves exactly what the tech giant will reveal in a few hours' time.

Because it's fun to speculate, too, we also wondered what Apple might have up its sleeve to surprise people with tonight, as well.

Read on for our verdict on the major launches tonight, as well as the stuff we'd love to see.

Apple Watch release date, price & features

Jane McCallion, features editor

What I expect Apple to launch:

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A new flagship iPhone is a no brainer for Wednesday's Special Event and, given the past two years' launches, I think we can expect to see an iPhone 7 Plus as well as an iPhone 7.

Another Apple Watch is also more-or-less a given. I do believe there could be up to five variants - Apple has to do something new to make the launch worthwhile.

Could there be anything unexpected? Maybe, but there have been no leaks about anything else, so we may have to be content with the iPhone 7 being the "one more thing".

What I want Apple to launch:

I would like to see Apple launch something really innovative that will break new ground. I don't really know what this could be, but that's kind of the point of seeing something unexpected!

For purely selfish reasons, I'd like to see a new Apple Watch launch as well. My current fitness tracker has seen better days and I quite fancy a smartwatch, so a price drop in the original Apple Watch would suit me down to the ground.

For the record, I don't think we're going to see an Apple Car this year. Maybe one day, but not yet.

iPhone 7 by Marek Weidlich

iPhone 7 image courtesy of Marek Weidlich

Rene Millman, freelance journalist

What I expect Apple to launch:

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are pretty much a given for today'sevent. Someone at Apple has let slip on this one with an update on itswebsite showing iPhone 7 compatible earphones. It is all but confirmedthat the headphone jack is going and this is no bad thing; wirelessearphones are getting better and the Lightning port can do doubleduty without any problems. However, Apple needs to announce more than justa new flagship device to keep interest in the company alive.

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What I want Apple to launch:

I hope that Apple Watch will get a refresh, with better batterylife and 3D Touch to replace Force Touch. I'd like to see better Siriintegration on the Watch so I wouldn't have to pull out my phone sofrequently. It would be great if it had a bigger screen too, but Ithink I'm in a very small minority on that issue.

Google Home and Amazon Echo

Adam Shepherd, staff writer

What I expect Apple to launch:

The fact that Apple is ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack is now one of the worst-kept secrets in tech. However, the fact that it's axing the regular port almost certainly means that the iPhone 7 will come with a brand-new set of Bluetooth earphones in the box.

This is actually a fairly interesting prospect, as it will be the first major shake-up to Apple's ubiquitous accessory in years. The new AirPods' are also likely to be quite impressive, given that Apple now owns one of the most well-known audio peripheral companies in the world.

What I want Apple to launch:

The concept of a truly connected smart home is now coming tantalisingly close to being a reality, but what would really seal the deal is for Apple to release a standalone smart home hub, similar to the Amazon Echo.

The infrastructure is already in place most available smart home products have some form of Siri and/or HomeKit integration. All Apple would need to do is centralise that control into a single appliance, with always-on voice control and access to all Siri's regular functionality.

Apple Car concept courtesy ofJean-Patrick Lee-Pat-Yuen

Paul Franklin, IT Pro, Cloud Pro, and Channel Pro publisher

What I expect Apple to launch:

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Beyond the highly anticipated iPhone 7 and subsequent iterations, there are almost certainly updates for the Apple Watch and the iOS software upgrades powering the devices.

Given the comparative novelty of the Watch there are undoubtedly improvements in functionality to come. It also feels like there's plenty more to say about iOS 10. How can it help Apple's drive into the enterprise, for example?

Similarly, perhaps Apple will touch on their vision to drive artificial intelligence given their recent acquisitions this summer.

What I want Apple to launch:

In terms of what I'd like to see from Apple well continuing on the theme of artificial intelligence, and a fairly large competitor of theirs making big strides in this field, I'd like them to announce an Apple Car I can buy for Christmas! Beyond that, and only because I'm in the market for one right now, is a decent TV. Not just a viewing platform, but a fresh TV kit itself.

iPhone 7 Siri iOS 9

Joe Curtis, deputy editor

What I expect Apple to launch:

Apple has already accidentally confirmed that it's releasing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus tonight. Beyond that, it's highly likely that the Apple Watch 2 will make an appearance. With its own GPS and a longer battery life, this is the device they should have waited to release, instead of rushing to produce the first Watch. It will be much better than its predecessor, chiefly because it won't be tied to the iPhone.

What I want Apple to launch:

I'd be most excited to see some real breakthroughs with Siri, Apple's voice assistant. Currently it lags behind the likes of Microsoft's Cortana in terms of functionality and usefulness, and with the growing importance of bots, voice assistants will soon rule how we communicate with our devices and by extension the wider world.

Apple's rumoured push into building an Apple Car won't come off for years, but its focus on providing software for smart cars might lead to some interesting innovations in Siri that I'd hope might become available sooner rather than later.

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