It’s official: Apple will hold its latest product showcase on September 12 and it doesn’t take much imagination to predict what the star of the show will be.
Apple’s September event, which this year will once again take place at Apple Park, tends to be its biggest of the year, with a much more hardware focus than WWDC. Multiple headline releases are expected, from new phones to updated earbuds.
But what specific products are we expecting Apple to reveal? And what will likely have to wait?
The iPhone 15 series
The headline act of the September event is typically the unveiling of the latest iPhone and we doubt things will be any different this year.
Expect to see four models announced: a standard iPhone 15, a larger iPhone 15 Plus model, the iPhone 15 Pro and, finally, the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Reports have already suggested the 15 Pro Max could lag behind the other models in terms of its release date, so that’s something to look out for.
One of the biggest changes expected to come to all four models is the switch from a Lightning port to USB-C – the port used by all the latest iPads and MacBooks, plus pretty much every Android phone we’ve reviewed in the past four years.
How Apple portrays this change will be interesting. Will it give the new port a fancy name in the same vein as the Dynamic Island? Will it highlight the benefits of faster charging enabled by the port? Or will it just brush it under the carpet and barely mention the change? There’s not long to wait to find out.
Elsewhere, the Dynamic Island looks set to arrive on the iPhone 15 after making its debut on the Pro models last year. We could also see a higher megapixel camera on the back of the cheaper models, a feature that once again debuted on the iPhone 14 Pro.
Moving onto the iPhone 15 Pro, this could be a fairly hefty update for Apple’s high-end device. Aside from the USB-C port, possibly with Thunderbolt skills, rumours suggest a thinner bezel around the screen, improved performance and a new titanium build.
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Updates to the Apple Watch family
After the iPhone, the next product line that tends to get its yearly update in September is the Apple Watch. Not much is known about the Apple Watch Series 9 and possible Apple Watch Ultra 2 yet, with much of the internet rumblings suggesting all the big changes are being held for next year’s Apple Watch X.
Release dates for iOS 17 and possibly iPadOS 17
Another likely announcement is a firm release date for iOS 17, the software that’ll power the iPhone 15 and also add some new features to older devices.
Initially announced at WWDC and currently in both public and developer betas, iOS 17 brings several new features, including contact posters, an updated keyboard, interactive widgets and more. Expect the release date to fall on the same week as the iPhone is available to the public.
We could also get a release date for iPadOS 17, however this could just as likely be held for a later October if Apple has more iPad-related updates to highlight this year.
Minor AirPods updates
Reliable Apple analyst Mark Gurman revealed that Apple plans to update its AirPods at the event too, equipping them with the same USB-C port found on the new iPhone 15 phones. This would make sense, as it would be a faff to need separate cables for your phone and earbuds.
Whether we’ll see updates to both the AirPods and AirPods Pro remains to be seen, and it’s not clear whether it’ll just be an optional USB-C case made available or whether other new features will be added too.
A slew of new iPads
Moving on to an announcement we doubt will happen. First off, new iPads. It’s not out of the question we might get a minor iPad update or even a price drop at the September event, but it seems more likely the next-gen tablets will either get their own event or be announced alongside new Mac products.
A recent report from Gurman suggested new iPad Pro models would arrive in 2024 with an updated design, OLED screens and a new Magic Keyboard. And it would make sense for Apple to update its other Apple models at the same time.
News of the M3 chip
With the September event set to focus on the iPhones and its ecosystem of accessories, it’s unlikely we’ll hear anything about new Macs and the heavily rumoured M3 chip that’ll power them.
Apple has been known to hold a separate October event before, so this (or even a basic press release) would be a far more likely home.