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As expected, Apple has just sent out invites for its big fall special event to be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
As with last year, the event is being held at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park Campus in Cupertino, where Apple is almost certain to announce this year’s iPhone 15 lineup and likely a new series of Apple Watch models.
Specifically, we’re expecting the standard 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus models as sequels to last year’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, along with an iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max that will take things up a notch, with rumors of a new design that will replace the traditional stainless steel frame with titanium, feature even slimmer bezels, and add a new haptic action button to replace the sleep/wake switch.
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The iPhone 15 Pro Max is also expected to gain a new periscope camera system that could take the optical zoom level to new heights. While it’s unlikely to reach that of its rivals just yet, most reports are suggesting an improvement of up to 6X — double the 3X offered by the telephoto lens on the iPhone 14 Pro models.
In terms of chips, the iPhone 15 lineup is expected to continue the trend that started last year, with the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus getting an upgrade to the A16 chip that was previously exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max move on to Apple’s latest A17 Bionic.
The A17 Bionic is reportedly Apple’s first 3-nanometer (3nm) chip, which should improve performance and efficiency, helping Apple eke even more battery life out of its highest-end Pro models, which are also expected to get larger batteries this year.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will adopt the Dynamic Island, bringing the user experience of the entire iPhone 15 lineup into alignment, unlike last year’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, which retained the notch from previous models. If rumors are true, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will also gain the 48-megapixel sensor from last year’s Pro models, which could allow them to offer a 2X optical zoom without the need for a third telephoto lens.
With the move to titanium, the iPhone 15 Pro models are also expected to ditch the traditional Gold finish, replacing it with a “Titan Gray” that’s expected to complement the new frame. The Silver and Graphite colors will remain in the lineup, while the unique 2023 finish is rumored to be a dark blue that follows in the footsteps of the Pacific Blue of the iPhone 12 Pro. Apple also seems to be hinting at these colors in the animated metallic logo on its official page for the event, which was also shared in a tweet by Apple Senior VP Greg Joswiak.
As with previous events, the whole thing will be live-streamed starting at 10 a.m. PT, with only some members of the media invited to attend in person. However, it will still be a pre-recorded event, following a format similar to what Apple has done since the COVID-19 pandemic prevented large in-person gatherings and stage presentations. Those who attend in person will be watching the same livestream but will likely have access to a hands-on demo area following the event.
In addition to the iPhone 15 lineup, which will undoubtedly be the star of the show, Apple will also likely use the opportunity to unveil the Apple Watch Series 9 and a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra. By all reports, these will be minor refinements over the current models, although both are expected to pack in a faster S9 chip, which could mark the first real performance upgrade to come to Apple’s wearables in years.
The event should also herald the public release of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17. These won’t likely drop the same day, but Apple typically announces a specific release date a week or so out from the event. If past years are any indicator, macOS Sonoma will likely remain a few weeks further off.
Following the event, Apple will likely open pre-orders for the new iPhone 15 models on Friday, September 15, with at least some arriving in stores (and in customer’s hands) on Friday, September 22. There have been rumors that some models, such as the iPhone 15 Pro Max, may be delayed by a few weeks, but it’s unclear whether Apple will push off the pre-orders for those or simply the delivery times.