Apple September event: iPhone 15, new Apple Watch, more

Apple has officially set a date for its annual iPhone special event. This year, the festivities commence on September 12 and the iPhone 15 is expected to be the star of the show. Head below as we round up all of the announcements we expect at the Apple event, including new software and hardware.

Apple September event details

This year’s Apple event will be held on September 12 at 10 a.m. PT and 1 p.m. ET. Apple’s invite for the event teases the tagline “Wonderlust,” and some people have speculated the blue and gray color scheme could be a hint at Apple’s color choices for the iPhone 15.

The “Wonderlust” event is once again a hybrid-style event. This means it will include pre-recorded keynote that the majority of us watch from home. Members of the press, however, will watch from Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park and subsequently get hands-on time with the iPhone 15 and other new hardware.

If you’re watching from home, you’ll be able to tune in via Apple’s website, the TV app on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, and via Apple’s official YouTube channel.

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are on track for an announcement at Apple’s September event this year. Here’s a rundown of the features and changes that have been rumored for the entry-level iPhone 15 models:

As you can see, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus won’t be radically different than their iPhone 14 counterparts. The biggest changes are the switch to USB-C and the addition of the Dynamic Island.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will likely start at the same prices as their predecessors, coming in at $799 and $899 respectively. With an announcement on September 12, iPhone 15 pre-orders will likely begin on September 15, and the first shipments will arrive to customers on September 22.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Big iPhone 15 discounts expected | Render of the Pro model expected

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to get their own share of big changes this year, with design updates, dramatically better performance, and camera upgrades. Here’s a rundown:

  • The iPhone 15 Pro lineup will have noticeably smaller bezels around the display. The iPhone 14 Pro features a bezel that measures in a 2.17mm thick, while the iPhone 15 Pro will reportedly cut that down to 1.5mm.
  • Like the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Pro models will also switch to USB-C for charging and data transfer. The iPhone 15 Pro, however, could offer faster charging speeds at up to 35W, compared to the iPhone 14 Pro at 27W. iPhone 15 Pro might also support Thunderbolt speeds for data transfers at rates of up to 40 Gbps.
  • Support for the new Qi2 wireless charging standard, which will allow for 15W wireless charging on a greater number of accessories.
  • The chassis of the iPhone 15 Pro will be made from titanium, replacing the current stainless steel edges. This means the devices will be lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro and also feature a matte texture rather than a glossy finish.
  • A new A17 Bionic chip built with a 3nm fabrication process, which is expected to offer dramatic improvements in performance and efficiency. This will be Apple’s first-ever 3nm chip.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max (but not the iPhone 15 Pro) will include an upgraded camera system with periscope lens technology. The new periscope lens will offer increased optical zoom, up to 5x or 6x. Currently, the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s optical zoom is limited to 3x.
  • The mute switch will reportedly be replaced with a new programmable Action button, similar to what was first debuted on the Apple Watch Ultra last year. iPhone 15 Pro users will be able to assign this Action button to a number of different tasks.
  • iPhone 15 Pro colors: space black, silver, blue, and gray.
iPhone 15 Pro USB-C charging speed storage tiers | 9to5Mac render

These new features, however, will reportedly come at a cost. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are both expected to be more expensive than their predecessors. At least one analyst has suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro could start at $1,099 (an increase of $100) and the iPhone 15 Pro Max could start at $1,299 (an increase of $200).

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to go up for pre-order on September 15th, but a recent analyst report indicated that the iPhone 15 Pro Max could face shipping delays of two to three weeks due to supply issues affecting the new camera hardware.

Apple Watch Series 9

apple watch series 9 pink

In addition to the new iPhone 15 hardware, Apple is also planning a new Apple Watch Series 9 update. The new Apple Watch Series 9, however, is expected to be an iterative update without many major changes.

The one change for the new Apple Watch that’s been rumored is a new processor inside. The Apple Watch Series 9 will reportedly be powered by a new S9 processor that offers performance and battery life improvements. This will mark the first change to the Apple Watch’s performance since the Apple Watch Series 6.

For context’s sake, the Apple Watch Series 8 is powered by the S8 processor, which is identical to the S7 chip used in the Apple Watch Series 7, which was identical to the S6 chip used in the Apple Watch Series 6.

The Apple Watch Series 9 will also be available in a new pink color option, according to one leaker. This new color would coexist alongside midnight, starlight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED. Apple is also reportedly planning to debut a new band design with woven fabric materials and magnetic buckle.

That’s about all we know in regards to the Apple Watch Series 9. Apple, however, is reportedly working on a dramatic “Apple Watch X” update that could debut as soon as next year. The Apple Watch X has been described as the “biggest redesign of the Watch ever.”

Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra is also expected to get an update this year, but details here are just as sparse as details about the Apple Watch Series 9. Presumably, the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 will use the same S9 processor with improved performance and battery life.

Bloomberg reported that Apple tested a black titanium color for the Apple Watch Ultra last year but scrapped those plans. Bloomberg suggested the black titanium color could resurface this year with the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra, which leaker ShrimpApplePro has also echoed. “I can confirm this year we will have the black titanium this year along with the current standard titanium,” they posted on Twitter.

AirPods Pro with USB-C

In line with the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C, Apple will also reportedly unveil a new version of AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case at its September event. The change from Lightning to USB-C is expected to be the only change for the new version of AirPods Pro. Apple will also likely sell a standalone version of the AirPods Pro charging case with USB-C, so existing users don’t have to buy a completely new pair.

Apple may also have USB-C versions of its other accessories in the works, such as the MagSafe Battery Pack, the MagSafe Duo, and its various peripherals for the Mac; whether or not those announcements are set for the September event remains to be seen.

iOS 17 release date and more updates

iOS 17 icon

Looking beyond new hardware, Apple will also announce more details about iOS 17 and its other new software updates during the September event. This includes iOS 17, watchOS 10, tvOS 17, and iPadOS 17. These updates were first announced at WWDC in June and have been in beta testing since then.

During its September special event, Apple will announce a release date for these software updates. It will also likely give another rundown of the new features included in these updates.

One thing to note is that macOS Sonoma won’t be released in September, despite being announced alongside the other updates at WWDC in June. macOS Sonoma will be released sometime in October – which is when Apple will also reportedly unveil its first M3-powered Macs.

Apple September event wrap-up

Based on what we know now, Apple’s September 12 “Wonderlust” event is expected to be relatively to true to the precedent set in previous years. That is, the focus will be on the new iPhones with the Apple Watch updates being relatively minor.

One thing I’m particularly interested in seeing is the general public’s reaction to the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C. While those of us in the tech community have been calling for Apple to replace Lightning for several years, there’s always the possibility that the broader iPhone user base will feel different.

What are you most excited to see at Apple’s September event? Are you planning to upgrade to the iPhone 15? Let us know down in the comments.

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