Apple’s annual showcase happened last night, introducing the world to their latest innovations in the iPhone and Watch lines.
The industry titans are very secretive about everything to do with their products, and after months of speculation and rumours as to what the latest iteration of the iPhone could bring, it all has been revealed to the public.
Find out everything that was announced during the Apple Wanderlust event 2023.
The marquee announcement - the main event, really the only thing basically everyone is there for or tuning in for - was the new iPhone 15 and its full lineup.
The latest series includes four phones: the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Before getting into the specific phones, there are some new features that will be the standard for each phone.
Obviously, the big one is that they are finally using a USB-C port - more on that later - but they have also brought back and expanded on the Dynamic Island feature that debuted on the iPhone 14 Pro. It will now feature on every iPhone 15 model.
The Dynamic Island was a much-loved announcement on last year’s top-end phone, removing the dead space at the top of the phone that surrounded the front camera and replacing it with a little pill-shaped widget.
It can be customised for user needs and Apple has even improved upon it by introducing new features. Some examples Apple gave for how to use it is that you can follow MLS games on it (which they have the streaming rights to), or track your flight before you board.
It’s a cool feature that has been needed for some time, and introducing it to every model of the iPhone 15 range is a massive positive.
Every iPhone will also feature the new iOS 17, the latest iteration of Apple's operating system for the iPhone.
As for the cameras, all phones will have the same features for the front-facing cameras, but the rear-facing cameras will have some differences between the 15/15 Plus and the Pro/Pro Max.
Let’s take a look at the specs of each:
iPhone 15 & 15 Plus
Starting with the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, these are essentially the two base versions of the 15 range. They are basically the same phones with the only difference being size - the 15 is a 6.1-inch display while the Plus has a 6.7-inch.
They feature the A16 Bionic chipset as the processor which powered the iPhone 14 Pro models. The OLED display features Super Retina XDR technology to deliver sharper details and vibrant colours.
The biggest upgrades come from the cameras. For the first time, the base iPhones now feature a 48-megapixel f/1.6 main rear camera. In comparison, previous iterations of the base iPhone range had a 12-megapixel camera.
Improved technology from Apple, such as their Photonic engine, pairs with the camera’s pixel binning to create super-high-resolution images. Apple also boasts improvements to Portrait mode.
While the base iPhone 15s won’t have a dedicated telephoto camera like on the Pro range, the primary and ultra-wide camera coupled with the improved processor will offer users a 2x telephoto option.
While they didn’t specify the exact battery size, Apple claim that the iPhone 15 has all-day battery life, with the Plus potentially lasting even longer as it has a bigger battery.
Lastly, Apple has been kind on the prices this year, cutting the 15 and 15 Plus price by £50.
iPhone 15 Pro & Pro Max
Many expected Apple to replace the Pro Max with a new ‘ultra’ variant but this did not come to fruition this year. Maybe next year.
The first thing to know is that Apple has made efforts to reduce the weight of the Pro range. Using a new, lighter titanium frame coupled with the aluminium inner structure, the two phones are 19g lighter than their predecessors.
As expected, the mute switch has been replaced by a programmable ‘Action button’, which will be customisable so users can combine the button with Apple’s Shortcuts app so it can do more than just be a mute switch, like turning on the flashlight, for example.
The Pro range will be getting Apple’s newest processor, the A17 Pro chip. They say it’s the industry’s first 3nm processor chip sporting 19 billion transistors. The 15 and 15 Plus’s A16 chip features 16 billion transistors.
The six-core CPU features two performance cores, four high-efficiency cores and a 16-core neural engine. All this adds up to supreme performance and dedicated engines to power features such as ProRes and Pro display.
Finally, on the A17 Pro chip, it has an improved GPU that is up to 20% faster, providing peak performance and better efficiency for sustained performance in gaming. They also spoke about hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
Moving onto the cameras, they will be receiving upgrades, too. A new coating will reduce lens flare, while the 48-megapixel sensor will enable high-resolution photo capture as well as new software to mimic numerous focal lengths.
A new 12-megapixel 5x telephoto camera with a 120mm focal range is exclusive to the Pro Max. This allows for a new macro mode, providing incredibly close-up photos with remarkable quality.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 15 range will begin on 15th September, with the release date set for a week later on 22nd September.
Watch Series 9
Apple announced two new watches during the event, with the first being the latest iteration of the Apple Watch.
The Series 9 will feature the updated S9 chip, helping aid better performance and an 18-hour battery life.
You will be able to ask Siri to process requests on the watch, so you can ask Siri to retrieve health information, display the weather or much more.
A double-tap feature will be added. It resembles an action they showed off with the Apple Vision Pro, where you can tap your index finger and thumb together to do things like answer a phone call. This won’t be available immediately, instead coming as part of a software update in October.
Other small improvements will be a brighter display and a GPU that is 30% faster.
The Apple Watch Series 9 will be available from 22nd September and will start from £399.
Watch Ultra 2
The next generation of the Watch Ultra is coming too. This sport and outdoor-focused device will have all the features of the Apple Watch Series 9, only with improvement for their target customers.
It will include a Modular Ultra watch face that can present real-time date such as altitude or depth, depending on the activity that they are doing.
This premium watch has specific purposes on top of being a standard Apple Watch, so if you’re thinking of getting one but don’t tend to do much outdoor adventuring, you’re probably best going with the Series 9.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be available from 22nd September and will start from £799.
It seems a bit silly to celebrate and promote a legal requirement as much as Apple did during the showcase but that’s just how they roll.
Apple announced they will be following the EU ruling which states that all phones in the region must utilise USB-C.
While they could have just created a specific device that followed this ruling in the region, they decided to enact the change across their device lineup.
Going forward, all Apple products will feature USB-C - this even applies to the second-generation AirPods Pro, which was also announced last night (the change to USB-C, not the AirPods Pro 2nd gen. They were announced last year).
The latest version of Apple’s operating system will be coming soon, with iOS 17 being made available for public download on 18th September, four days before the release of all the products above.
iOS17 will introduce features and improvements such as:
- Contact Posters – Create a specific picture for your contact
- Customisable stickers
- New Siri activation – No more starting with ‘hey’
- Live Voicemail – Displays a live transcript of the voicemail if you don’t answer the call (if one is left)
- StandBy mode – Basically becomes a little bedside clock when the phone goes into standby, displaying the time and notification icon
- Improvements to autocorrect and voice transcription
Not a device but Apple announced that they would be using this new textile instead of leather in new products - phone cases, AirTag holders, and watch brands.
FineWoven is a suede-like material made out of 68% post-consumer recycled content. It is part of the Apple 2030 mission, which sees them aim to become carbon neutral and use 100% clean energy for all their production across the world by 2030.