It’s that time of the year again, when Apple fanatics are glued to their screens awaiting the new line of sleek products and updates from the global tech giant. Apple’s event, titled ‘Wonderlust’, introduced a number of expected updates to their flagship devices including new Series 9 Apple Watches and a new lineup of iPhone 15 phones. Most announcements fell within expectations of industry analysts, although two announcements did manage to catch viewers by surprise: the pricing and the move away from their proprietary ‘lightning cable’ to the more ubiquitous USB-C charging cable.
Let’s dive right in to all of the important updates and announcements:
To no one's surprise, Apple unveiled the latest model of their flagship iPhone series. As we previously mentioned, Apple shocked consumers with its announcement to drop their lightning cable chargers and implement a more standardized USB-C cable charging system. This move keeps Apple in line and compliant with the European Union regulations that require tech companies to use USB-C cables and reduce the amount of e-waste.
The new iPhone models will also feature the dynamic island which was previously only available on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. All models will also sport the powerful A16 chip that powered the Pro versions of the model 14 lineup. The base iPhone 15 will have a 6.1 inch Retina display while the Plus will have a 6.7 inch display. Both models will come standard with a 48 megapixel front camera, “all-day battery life,” and a second-generation ultra wideband chip. The iPhone 15 will start at $799, while the Plus model will start at $899. All iPhone models will be available for pre-order on September 15th, with initial shipments going out by September 22nd.
There are a number of new features coming to the premium models of the iPhone 15 series. Besides the move to USB-C, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will feature a new customizable action button that will replace the mute toggle. They will also sport thinner bezels and a slightly lighter weight, thanks to an ‘aerospace-grade titanium design.”
The Pro and Pro Max models will also be boasting a brand new A17 Pro Processor chip. The new chip has a dedicated six-core central processing unit as well as an all-new six-core graphics processing unit. This will allow enhanced fidelity and improved graphics capabilities, including new gaming technologies such as ray tracing. The USB-C cable charging capabilities are also improved over the base models, with significantly improved charging speeds. On top of the 48 megapixel camera, the Pro and Pro Max will also come with a 5x telephoto camera. The Pro model comes with a 6.1 inch Retina display and starts at $999, while the Pro Max model comes with a 6.7 inch Retina display and starts at $1,199.
Alongside the new iPhone lineup, Apple also introduced its latest series of Apple Watches. The new Series 9 comes with an ultra-wideband chip and an upgraded S9 processor, which Apple claims will allow for “all-day” battery life. The new series of watches will also feature a new “double tap” gesture that allows the user to do things like snoozing alarms or answering calls simply by tapping your index finger and thumb together twice in quick succession.
The Apple Watch Series 9 will come in its standard stainless steel case options, but will also be introducing a new pink color choice. On top of that, Apple is now moving away from leather Watch bands and iPhone cases in order to reduce their global carbon footprint. The Series 9 Watches will start at $399 for the GPS version, or $499 with both GPS and cellular.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 will also be receiving a slight performance boost. Like the rest of the Series 9 watches, the Ultra 2 will feature the ultra-wideband chip which enables the double tap gesture. It will also come with an upgraded 3,000 nit display while still managing to get 72 hours of battery life from a single charge while in power-saving mode. Apple also showed off a brand new watchface called Modular Ultra which utilizes the display’s outer edges. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 costs $799 and comes with GPS and cellular by default.
Alongside the announcement that the iPhone series would be moving to USB-C, Apple also announced that the new generations of AirPods Pro will also come with a USB-C charging case. Their wired EarPods will also come USB-C compatible, and Apple claims that users will be able to charge their Apple Watch and AirPods Pro through the iPhone 15.
Apple has also announced that they will be expanding their emergency SOS systems via satellite to include roadside assistance through a partnership with AAA. Through this new feature, users can simply text roadside assistance for help with things like a flat tire, stuck vehicle, dead battery, and more. This service comes free for two years with the purchase of a new iPhone 15, although users will have to fork over annual payments once the free period has expired.
During their Wonderlust event, Apple revealed the release dates for the next round of updates to iOS, watchOS, iPadOS, and macOS. According to their announcement, Apple plans on launching iOS 17, watchOS, and iPadOS 17 on September 18th, while the macOS won’t ship until the following week on September 26th.
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