Tim Cook and his team will return to unveil the latest innovations before the upcoming holiday season at One Apple Park Way on Tuesday morning. At 10 AM PT, on September 12.
Two prominent products we can confidently anticipate at the grand Apple event are the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9. Some things in this world are highly predictable. Of course, there have been numerous rumors circulating, especially regarding the aging AirPods lineup.
Macs, too, have the potential to make an appearance. I believe I speak for many when I express a longing for more information on the Vision Pro headset that captivated audiences at WWDC in June.
What follows is a blend of what we know, what we believe we know, and what we're wildly speculating about.
The headline announcement this time around is the iPhone 15. What's particularly intriguing is that Apple's hand was somewhat forced in this regard. The adoption of USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3, as some call it) wasn't a choice made willingly by the company. The credit for this move goes to EU regulators who voted last year to standardize ports across devices. While manufacturers were given until the end of 2024 to implement this technology, Apple appears set to embrace it with the iPhone 15, likely influenced by other regional bodies following the EU's lead for consumer advocacy and e-waste concerns.
Last September marked the 10th anniversary of Apple introducing the Lightning connector, a feature widely criticized for its limitations. Many, including myself, loathe it. However, reports suggest that the higher USB 3.2 data speed will be reserved for the pro models, while the standard iPhone 15 will be stuck at USB 2.0, a common spec in the Android realm.
Wireless charging is expected to see an upgrade to 35W across all models, adopting the Qi2 standard, which combines wireless charging with magnets. Given Apple's membership in the Wireless Power Consortium, this seems like a reliable prediction. The Dynamic Island feature, introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, should also make its way to the cheaper models.
Additionally, there are rumors of an iPhone 15 Ultra, replacing the Pro Max, featuring a 6.7-inch display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, slimmer bezels, and a new "Action" button, borrowed from the Apple Watch Ultra, offering customizable shortcuts for camera functions, accessibility options, flashlight, and more.
Apple Watch Series 9
The Apple Watch remains somewhat of a mystery in the rumor mill. This might suggest that it could be a quieter year for the wearable, possibly waiting for next year's significant 10-year milestone. There's also talk of a new Apple Watch SE next year. Nevertheless, a new Apple Watch Ultra could make an appearance next week, likely featuring new processors and color options. There's even discussion of Apple exploring 3D printing for case designs, following elements of the Vision Pro. Yet, the scalability of 3D printing for a mass-market product like the Apple Watch remains uncertain.
The time appears ripe for new AirPods, although a 2024 timeline for H2 chip upgrades seems more plausible. However, there may be a standalone USB-C charging case in the works. Additionally, it's been nearly three years since the release of AirPods Max, so an update there wouldn't be surprising. A new HomePod mini could also be on the horizon.
Expect a closer look at the Vision Pro, as content for the headset remains a question mark, especially given its early 2024 release. We've seen little in terms of gaming, but with the availability of SDK and Unity's development platform, it's a possibility.
More specific release dates for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and watchOS would be welcome. Macs, however, seem less likely this time around, with the M3 chip probably reserved for a 2024 release.
The Apple Event commences at 10 AM PT on September 12, and we'll be there to bring you the latest updates.