Not everyone who is curious has impure intentions. Some of us will be patiently waiting in the orderly line at One Apple Park Way on Tuesday morning. On September 12, at 10 AM PT, Tim Cook and his team will once again showcase the latest gadgets before the festive season frenzy.
There are two things we can confidently inform you about the anticipated Apple event: the iPhone 15 and the Apple Watch Series 9. Some things in life are so certain that you can rely on them like your smartwatch. Naturally, there have been numerous rumors circulating. One notable speculation revolves around certain AirPods models showing signs of aging.
Moreover, we should also consider the possibility of new Macs being unveiled. I believe many of us share the sentiment that it would be splendid to have more hands-on experience with the Vision Pro headset, which captivated the audience at WWDC in June.
The following content consists of a combination of confirmed information, plausible assumptions, and pure wild speculation.
The big news this time is the announcement of the iPhone 15. What’s particularly interesting about it is that Apple was compelled to do it. It’s not like anyone at Apple was eagerly anticipating the adoption of USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3, or whatever name you prefer). We have the EU regulators to thank for that decision. The European Parliament voted last year to standardize ports across devices.
Technically, these regulators gave manufacturers until the end of 2024 to implement the technology across their devices, but all indications point to Apple ripping off the Band-Aid and doing it with the iPhone 15. More regional governing bodies are also likely to follow the EU’s lead in support of consumer advocacy and to address e-waste concerns.
Last September marked the 10th anniversary of Apple introducing the Lightning connector. However, here’s the thing about Lightning: it’s awful and I despise it. My colleagues despise it. Friends and family despise it. My rabbit likes it, but she’ll happily chew through any cable, regardless of what’s connected to it. The bottom line is, Lightning is subpar and has always been so.
An interesting aspect to note is the report that the higher USB 3.2 data speed will be exclusive to the pro models, whereas the standard iPhone 15 will be limited to USB 2.0 (which is still a widely used specification in the Android realm).
Regarding wireless charging, it is rumored to be increased to 35W for all models. The iPhone is expected to be one of the first smartphones to adopt the Qi2 standard, which combines wireless charging with magnets – something that Apple has been doing for some time now. Given that Apple is part of the Wireless Power Consortium, along with 344 other companies (and considering all the Qi2 iPhone accessories announced at IFA), this seems like a reasonable assumption.
Furthermore, the Dynamic Island feature, initially introduced on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, is anticipated to be available in the cheaper models as well.
Another intriguing addition is the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra, which would replace the Pro Max and align with Apple’s recent naming convention. This device is said to feature a 6.7-inch display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, reduced bezels, and an innovative “Action” button that replaces the longstanding Mute button. The new button, borrowed from the Apple Watch Ultra, would also be included in the iPhone 15 Pro. It is expected to offer various customizable shortcuts to functions like the camera, accessibility options, flashlight, and even the Shortcuts app, allowing for creative possibilities.
Apple Watch Series 9
Let’s talk about the Apple Watch. It seems that there haven’t been many rumors circulating about it. This might suggest that this year’s model will be less significant. Alternatively, Apple might be saving all the exciting updates for next year, which will mark its tenth anniversary. It’s also possible that a new Apple Watch SE will be released next year.
However, it appears that a new model called the Apple Watch Ultra is on the horizon for next week. The Ultra 2 and Series 9 are expected to receive upgraded processors and new color options. There have been discussions about Apple exploring 3D printing for case design, following the implementation of this technology in the Vision Pro. Nevertheless, considering the massive popularity of the Apple Watch, there is still a question of how feasible scaling such a product can be.
It seems like a good time to consider getting new AirPods. Nevertheless, it is more likely that the headphones will receive the H2 chip upgrade in 2024. There is a possibility that a separate USB-C charging case will be available for purchase. By the way, it has been almost three years since the release of the AirPods Max. While we’re discussing this, I wouldn’t mind seeing a new HomePod mini.
It’s highly likely that we’ll get a closer look at the Vision Pro. However, there is still uncertainty regarding the content it will offer, so it’s probable that this year will be focused on providing demonstrations since the headset with “spatial computing” is set to be released early next year. When it comes to games, there hasn’t been much information available. Now that the SDK and Unity’s development platform have been available for a while, it seems quite possible that more details will be revealed.
It would be reasonable to expect more specific release dates for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. However, the release of Macs appears to be less certain this time, and the M3 is more likely to come in 2024.
The Apple Event will start at 10 AM PT on September 12. We’ll be there to provide you with live coverage.