Apple has already unveiled several major new products this year, including its first mixed reality headset called Vision Pro and the 15-inch MacBook Air. But if history is any indication, there’s still plenty more to come in 2023, potentially including a USB-C-equipped iPhone 15 and the Apple Watch Series 9.
As for other products like AirPods, the Apple TV and the iPad, Bloomberg reports that we likely won’t see major changes to those lines this year. But Apple could launch a USB-C charging case for the AirPods Pro to match the iPhone’s switch to USB-C, according to a report from Bloomberg. More broadly, Apple is reportedly working on new health features for AirPods like temperature and hearing detection, Bloomberg also said, though those additions aren’t expected to arrive for months or years.
While Vision Pro is Apple’s most significant new product announcement in years, the next iPhone might also make a bigger impression than usual if Apple does decide to make the switch to USB-C. It would signal the first time in more than a decade that you might need a different charger for your iPhone.
Here’s a look at what we’re expecting this year based on Apple’s previous launches, rumors and leaks so far. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the reports below. The company also didn’t responded to a previous comment request in March when the original version of this story was published.
iPhone 15 lineup
Apple usually launches new iPhones in September, and this year will likely be no different. Among the most significant changes we’re expecting to see in the iPhone 15 is the switch from the Lightning charging port to USB-C. That’s because there are new rules requiring tech products sold in Europe to support USB-C by 2024. Still, it’s unclear whether Apple will fully embrace the transition to USB-C across the entire iPhone 15 lineup, or if it will make a region-specific model for Europe.
Another potential update could include the Dynamic Island’s arrival on standard non-Pro iPhone 15 models, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, tweeted in September. A more recent report from Bloomberg also indicates the Dynamic Island could come to the lower-priced iPhone 15. Apple could also further shrink the borders around the iPhone 15 Pro’s display by using a technology called low-injection pressure over-molding, according to that report, which is the same tech that Apple used to minimize the Apple Watch Series 7’s bezels.
At the same time, Apple may add more features to the iPhone 15 Pro that differentiate it from the base models. Such features could include a new periscope camera with better optical zoom for the iPhone 15 Pro Max and solid-state buttons for both Pro phones, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple Watch Series 9
Like clockwork, the company typically releases new Apple Watch models alongside its new iPhones in the fall. This year, however, we may see a more modest update than usual. Bloomberg reports that we shouldn’t expect to see significant changes to the Apple Watch this year. What that means is unclear, but it’s possible the watch could include routine updates like performance enhancements rather than significant new health-tracking features. Apple is expected to release two Series 9 models, according to Bloomberg, though this could be in reference to the two size options it typically releases for each watch.
That falls in line with the pattern that Apple has followed in recent years. Other than the addition of temperature sensing and car-crash detection, the Apple Watch Series 8 is very similar to the Series 7. Apple has also introduced more new features through software updates rather than hardware changes in recent years, such as the ability to track sleep stages that arrived in WatchOS 9 and the refreshed widget-focused interface coming in WatchOS 10. But I’m hoping the Series 9 inherits some features from the Apple Watch Ultra, especially its handy Action button, which makes it easier to jump right into a workout.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple is also planning to release a new version of the Apple Watch Ultra alongside the Series 9, according to Bloomberg. However, the report doesn’t mention any details other than that the device is code-named N210.
While there haven’t been many rumors about a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra yet, there are plenty of ways Apple could improve its high-end sports watch. Even though the Ultra’s battery life is a huge improvement over the standard model, competitors like Fitbit’s smartwatches can last for multiple days on a single charge. It would be great to see Apple catch up in this regard.
I’d also like to see Apple incorporate more workout recovery metrics into the Apple Watch, similar to Oura’s readiness score. While a feature like this would be useful for any Apple Watch model, it especially makes sense on a device like the Ultra that’s more geared towards athletes.
A new iMac
Fans of Apple’s colorful all-in-one computer may have something to look forward to this year. The company’s next iMac is at an advanced development stage, meaning it could arrive in the second half of this year, according to Bloomberg. The refreshed computer will likely run on Apple’s rumored M3 processor, which would be a step up from the M2 chip powering the current MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. It’ll have a 24-inch screen like the 2021 edition and will be available in the same color options, but will have some internal design changes, according to the report.
There are also a slew of other Mac and iPad products reportedly in the works, according to Bloomberg, including an M3 13-inch MacBook Pro, new versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros that would run on a more powerful M3 Pro and M3 Max chip, new MacBook Air models, updated iPad Pro tablets with OLED screens and a new iPad Air.
Apple hasn’t announced its M3 chip yet, meaning there’s a good chance the new iMac might not arrive until 2024. But since Bloomberg previously reported that the upcoming iMac was far along in the development process, it seems like this could be the first product powered by the new processor. Apple has a history of announcing new Mac products in October and November, so if it does have anything else in the pipeline for this year we could hear about it then.
All told, 2023 has turned out to be a pivotal year for Apple’s product line so far. The arrival of the first USB-C iPhone would cap it off.