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What to expect from Apple's 'Wonderlust' iPhone 15 event today

All iPhone 15 colors

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Apple's iPhone 15 event is happening today. Here's what you can expect Apple to launch during the event, and possibly after.

Apple confirmed that the first fall special event is taking place on September 12, sending invitations out to the media to watch a special Apple Event broadcasting from Apple Park.

It will be a presentation that will be broadcast online at 10:00 a.m.Pacific, 1:00 p.m. Eastern, via Apple's dedicated Events page and the Apple TV app.

The title of the event is "Wonderlust," a play on the term "Wanderlust." The customized Apple logo for the event is one that features a sculpture-like appearance, with blue and yellow swirling particles acting like sand on a dune.

As usual, neither the name nor the sandy Apple logo graphic provide much clue as to what exactly Apple's product launches will offer.

Apple is habitual when it comes to special events, with the reliable-as-clockwork tech giant set to hold its fall special event or events. It's a high-earning period for Apple, thanks to the upcoming holiday shopping period, so it saves the launch of its most lucrative and important products for this pre-sales period.

Here's what you can expect from Apple for its fall 2023 product introductions.

How many Fall 2023 Apple Events will there be?

For the fall Apple Event schedule, September is the main month for activity, as it has commonly been when the event takes place, or the first in a series of events.

There's no guarantee that Apple's September event will be the only one, as it does frequently expand its product launches into October. In the case of 2020, it held events in September, October, and November, prompted by various issues caused by COVID.

The number of events Apple will ultimately hold depends on many different things, outside of a pandemic. This can include the intended release schedules for its various products, as well as any production issues that may get in the way and interfere with prearranged plans.

The quantity of products can also result in Apple splintering off a category or two into a second event, if only to prevent the first from being too cluttered for its own good.

Late August rumors have claimed that Apple will be holding an October event, intended to show off new Mac models.

Even with such rumors, there's no guarantee of an October event at all.

Over the last ten years, Apple had October events in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2021. October events didn't happen in 2015, 2017, 2019, nor in 2022.

There have been claims of the September event being pared down to a smaller range of products, but with a number of other items expected to ship in 2024, that could severely reduce the number of launches in October. Rather than an event, Apple could end up issuing press releases in October if the number of updated products is too few to do a full production.

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

The standard iPhone model for 2023, the iPhone 15 and its supersized counterpart, the iPhone 15 Plus, will form the non-Pro tier of the iPhone range.

One size and weight leak indicates that the iPhone 15 will be very close to the iPhone 14 in all of its main dimensions, and weight. There are slight changes that are less than a millimeter, and a one-gram weight loss.

The rumors largely center around smaller upgrades rather than massive shifts, such as gaining the A16 used in the iPhone 14 Pro lineup.

For the display, there have been rumors of the inclusion of a slimmer bezel, which could give it more of an edge-to-edge appearance than in previous generations.

USB-C iPhones could happen in 2023
USB-C iPhones could happen in 2023

The displays will also allegedly inherit the Dynamic Island from the Pro models, bringing the welcomed replacement for the infamous notch to the standard models.

The cameras on the rear may also get a boost, in the form of a 48-megapixel Main sensor and lens combo. Just as with the iPhone 14 Pro's update, there will be the ability to take 12MP photos using pixel binning, but it won't have the use of the ProRAW format directly.

A low-key change will be the switch from Lightning to USB-C for the physical connector port, which rumors say has resulted in Apple requiring Made For iPhone certification for third-party accessories.

A late leak on September 8 detailed a lot about what to expect from the iPhones, and while it recapped most rumors, it also added in the introduction of a U2 ultrawideband chip, marking the first update since the 2019 U1's launch.

As for colors, rumors point to there being a pale green option for this year. On August 30, images of leaked color options seem to indicate that the range may be fairly pale or mute in tone for 2023.

iPhone 15 Pro, plus iPhone 15 Pro Max and/or iPhone 15 Ultra

Continuing Apple's tendency to offer a quartet of iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro is expected to be joined by the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Though there has been speculation that the naming convention may be changed.

Following on from the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple could end up renaming the iPhone 15 Pro Max as iPhone 15 Ultra.

On more concrete changes, the design could be made more rounded at the edges, with a titanium body instead of steel to save weight.

According to data leaked on September 9, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max could have a narrower display and a thicker body than its predecessors, while also being lighter. It is likely that this last point is due to the titanium switch.

Render of the expected iPhone 15 Pro chassis design. (Source: AppleInsider)
Render of the expected iPhone 15 Pro chassis design. (Source: AppleInsider)

Like the iPhone 15, the thin bezel theories have extended to the Pro range, though the display may still see another change. There have been claims Apple will slip the proximity sensor into the Dynamic Island area, instead of mounting it underneath the display.

Display technologies like ProMotion and Always-On are expected to stay a Pro-tier benefit.

Inside, the A17 is expected to offer considerable speed improvements to the range, in part thanks to a decision to adopt TSMC's 3-nanometer manufacturing process rather than a 4-nanometer version.

For the cameras, the 48-megapixel sensor reappears in rumors, but with the Pro Max or Ultra having a more pronounced camera bump. This would allow Apple to include a periscope lens arrangement, which can help improve the optical zoom capabilities of the camera.

On September 7, a late leak said the Pro model cameras will consist of a 48MP Main Camera using the IMX-803 image sensor and an f/1.78 aperture, with a 12.7MP f/2.8 Telephoto and 13.4MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide counterpart. For the Pro Max, the addition of the Periscope lens will offer a shift in zoom from 3x to a 5x to 10x, though it has also been speculated to be 6x.

That camera could end up being a major selling point for the model for this year.

The mute switch may not be included in the Pro models anymore, with numerous rumors claiming that a new "Action Button" will be used instead. This multi-function button could be used in many configurable ways, including acting like a traditional camera shutter button.

The switch to USB-C, as well as battery capacity bumps, have also been rumored.

Current rumors have Apple offering three shades of gray and a dark blue color, with the invitation alleged to be hiding the colors in plain sight.

Along with a new color, leaks indicate Apple will be making changes to at least one of the iPhone accessories. Fake leather cases have been discovered on social media, supposedly made from multiple materials.

While the iPhone 15 Pro line will launch on time, there was the threat that production problems could've caused the release of the models to be delayed. However, on August 30, a report reckoned that issues with "stacked SCIS, panels, batteries," and titanium frames were mostly resolved before the crunch production period.

A price hike is also anticipated, ranging from $100 extra for the Pro Max compared to normal, to a possible Pro line increase of $200 to $300.

Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra

With the introduction of watchOS 10, you'd expect that Apple would be keen to make changes to the Apple Watch Series 9 to reflect the milestone. However, rumors have repeatedly indicated that the changes won't be that major for the wearable device.

Indeed, the bulk of hardware updates relate to the Apple Watch X instead.

The Series 9 is expected to be offered in 41mm and 45mm size options.

Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra

What is anticipated to be a bigger change is the performance of the S9 chip. After relatively minimal chip improvements in previous models, the S9 is believed to offer a lot more performance by comparison.

An updated Apple Watch Ultra is also thought to be on the Apple Watch roster, but there's not much else to expect other than the chip upgrade at this stage.

A September 8 infodump proposed the other upgrades due include sensor and "internal component" changes, such as an upgraded heart rate sensor, complete with accuracy and efficiency improvements. The switch to the U2 Ultra Wide Band chip will apparently improve the capabilities of Find My too.

One late August rumor claims that Apple is using 3D printing for the chassis of a future Apple Watch, with testing carried out on a stainless steel Apple Watch Series 9, though not necessarily for production at the moment.

iPad and iPad Pro

Apple has introduced new iPad models in the fall for the last couple of years, and the last set it did was the October launches of the gen-10 iPad and the updated 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

It's entirely plausible that Apple could refresh the models in the fall, but exactly what Apple will introduce is a bit difficult to determine due to the relative lack of rumors. There's even a chance that the launches could be extremely minimal.

iPad mini
iPad mini

So far, rumors have offered an updated iPad mini 7 could land in the fall, though others say a 2024 launch is more likely. A revamp with OLED and a new Magic Keyboard has also been claimed in late August for an early 2024 release.

One late rumor from September 9 has Apple skipping iPads entirely during the September event. However, the same claim puts forward that the iPad Air could be updated via a press release in October, rather than a typical formal presentation.

For the iPad Pro, an update to M3 isn't entirely out of the bounds of believability, but since there are rumors of an OLED iPad Pro release in 2024, Apple may wait until then.

But wait, there's more

If Apple does end up splitting the product pile into two events and adds an October event to the schedule, its Mac changes are usually the ones to be bumped over to it. Rumors have already put forward this narrative, though it may not be an event and could end up being a press release debut for the updates.

There's even a chance that there won't be any Mac launches this fall at all.

If there are actual Mac launches for fall 2023, that effectively means the shift over from the M2 generation to the start of the M3, and therefore entry-level Mac options. As usual for Apple, the M3 Pro, M3 Max, and M3 Ultra launches will be further down the road.

Apple tends to make the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the 13-inch MacBook Air, and the Mac mini the first models to ship in a chip generation, and they are still good candidates this time around. The 24-inch iMac is also awaiting an upgrade, missing out on the M2 generation, though there's less of a chance of an M3 15-inch MacBook Air since the M2 hasn't been around that long.

Then again, on September 8, just days ahead of the "Wonderlust" event, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo declared that there may not be an M3 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro launch before the end of 2023. If Kuo is right, Apple may just skip Macs entirely for the event, in favor of a more full M3 launch in early 2024.

Apple Vision Pro at WWDC 2023
Apple Vision Pro at WWDC 2023

The other big name that could get bumped to a follow-up event is the Apple Vision Pro. Following the WWDC introduction and ahead of an early 2024 release, there's a good chance that some form of update will be offered by Apple.

The magnitude of the headset without any sellable units in time for the holidays means it could be given a lot of time to be talked about in an October event update.

Whether it gets talked about in September or bumped to October is up for debate, but Apple won't be missing an opportunity to talk about the future of its headset.