It’s been a long wait between drinks, but Apple has finally unveiled its annual iPhone refresh, alongside a raft of updates to the Apple Watch and AirPods. Announced at the Cupertino technology company’s ‘Wonderlust’ showcase overnight, the new iPhone 15 launch promises to deliver the most powerful range of Apple portables ever released, but that wasn’t all. After a ruling by the European Union, Apple has finally bowed to pressure and waved goodbye to its proprietary Lightning charging connector to the universally used USB-C port. Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 Apple product launch.
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New Apple Lineup 2023
Arguably the biggest day on the technology calendar, the annual Apple hardware showcase displays the very best in new products and updates. While the iPhone 15 undoubtedly stole the show, there were a number of other releases that also made headlines, some for less glamorous reasons.
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
The premiere release for 2023, the new Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max phones take things in a (slightly) bold new direction for the American technology giant. Just as last year’s iPhone 14 failed to deliver much in the way of internal changes, the new iPhone 15 Pro Max lineup is focused on the external.
For 2023, Apple has wrapped the new phone in aerospace-grade titanium, which the brand claims will maintain strength while also reducing weight. Further design updates continue Apple’s plan for a sharp edge-less future, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max copping an even more contoured border than its predecessor, alongside a new customisable Action button.
According to Apple, the new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models have also copped a fresh camera upgrade, including a more advanced 48MP Main camera system that now supports the new super-high-resolution 24MP default. You can also expect to find new portrait features such as Focus and Depth Control, improvements to Night mode and Smart HDR, and an all-new 5x Telephoto camera exclusively on iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Inside, the new 6-core CPU in A17 Pro is set to unlock new experiences for iPhone 15 Pro Max users, with the newly integrated USB‑C connector reportedly up to 20x faster than USB 2. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, described the two new releases as the ‘most pro’ lineup ever unveiled under the Apple branding.
“This is the most pro line-up we have ever created, with a state-of-the-art titanium design, the best iPhone camera system yet that enables game-changing new workflows, and the A17 Pro chip, which ushers in a new chapter of performance and games never before seen on iPhone,” Joswiak said. “iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max represent the best of Apple design and industry-first innovations to help enrich the everyday experiences of our users, while enabling them to unleash their creativity.”
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be available in four new finishes, including black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium. Pre-orders begin Friday, 15 September, with availability beginning Friday, September 22, but you should start saving now – these bad boys won’t come cheap. iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be available in black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium finishes. iPhone 15 Pro starts at AUD$1,849, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at AUD$2,199.
iPhone 15 and 15 Plus
On the more simple side of the equation, the new iPhone 15 and 15 Plus also arrive with a series of updates, however, Apple stopped short of adorning these entry-level phones (if you can say that with a starting price of AUD$1,499) with titanium. Instead, the new releases feature an ‘industry-first’ colour-infused back glass, which again flows through to the new countered edge design.
Both models feature the Dynamic Island introduced in last year’s iPhone 14, alongside a refreshed camera system and processing power. The new iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come with a 48MP Main camera, with a 2x Telephoto option and additional portrait capabilities.
Powering the new phones is the A16 Bionic, a sharp step down from the all-encompassing A17 Pro that Big Brother gets, however, it’s nothing to be sneezed at. As we’ve seen over the past few years, Apple’s in-house processors have proven to be incredibly popular and powerful, with the architecture significantly outperforming our expectations.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will be available in five new colours: pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. Pre-orders begin Friday, 15 September, with availability beginning Friday, September 22. iPhone 15 will start from AUD$1,499 with iPhone 15 Plus setting you back around AUD$1,649.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple’s rugged and durable Watch Ultra made some serious headlines when it was unveiled last year and its successor is certain to follow suit. The new Apple Watch Ultra 2 takes the already impressive spec sheet of the past and embellishes it with a raft of features that will probably go unused by the desk jockeys that more often than not are seen sporting these.
Like the Series 9 watch, Ultra 2 is powered by the new S9 SiP and features a new double tap gesture, Apple’s brightest display ever and an expanded altitude range for the true adventurers. The good news is that Apple Watch Ultra 2 runs on watchOS 10, which grants users access to Smart Stack, new cycling experiences along with a new watch face — Modular Ultra. Best of all, despite having all the new upgrades, Apple Watch Ultra 2 has the same 36-hour battery life with regular use and up to 72 hours in Low Power Mode that we loved from the first edition.
“This year we’ve made our most rugged and capable Apple Watch even better,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer said. “Apple Watch Ultra 2 is our most advanced Apple Watch, with great performance and feature updates. It’s perfect for anyone who wants our biggest, brightest display, longest battery life, and best GPS of any Apple Watch, all in a stunning design.”
According to Apple, the S9 SiP features a new 4-core Neural Engine that can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the original Apple Watch Ultra Apple Watch Ultra 2 can be ordered today, with availability beginning Friday, 22 September. Available in 49mm, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 will set you back AUD$1,399.
Apple Watch Series 9
For the past few years, Apple has put significant time and energy into plugging its environmental efforts, with the new Apple Watch Series 9 perhaps the best example of this. The new wearable tech is reportedly ‘more powerful than ever’ thanks to the new S9 SiP, but also comes with a carbon-neutral option (more on that later).
For Apple Watch users, the new Series 9 release stops short of completely reinventing the wheel, instead opting to simply add new features to an already beloved product. This time around, Apple has introduced a new double tap gesture; alongside a brighter display; faster on-device Siri and Precision Finding for iPhone. Importantly, Apple Watch Series 9 runs watchOS 10, which the brand claims delivers “redesigned apps, the new Smart Stack, new watch faces, new cycling and hiking features, and tools to support mental health”.
Perhaps most importantly, Apple has finally addressed the battery life concerns, with Series 9 reportedly able to run for a full 18 hours straight. According to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, the new S9 SiP has a new 4-core Neural Engine that can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast, when compared with Apple Watch Series 8.
“Apple Watch is an indispensable companion that helps millions of people with their health, fitness, communications, and safety,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer said. “We’re introducing our best Apple Watch lineup, with incredible new capabilities and technological advancements, including a new double tap gesture, brighter display, on-device Siri, as well as our first-ever carbon neutral products. Whether users are upgrading from earlier models or buying their first, there’s never been a more compelling time to experience Apple Watch.”
The Apple Watch Series 9 will be available to customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S. from today, with availability in stores beginning Friday, 22 September. The Apple Watch Series 9 starts at AUD$649, while the Apple Watch SE starts at AUD$399.
AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Updates
One of the biggest updates to come out of the ‘Wonderlust’ event was the introduction of USB-C charging in the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) product lineup. Essentially, this means that the headphones will use the same charging cable as the iPhone 15, iPad Pro, MacBook and the majority of all other tech products, which is long overdue.
According to Apple, the new audio devices provide up to double the Active Noise Cancellation of the previous generation, alongside an advanced Transparency mode and some upgrades to the Spatial Audio experience. Impressively, the latest editions feature an H2 chip whihc will reportedly dish out 20-bit, 48 kHz Lossless Audio with a massive reduction in audio latency.
While that might not mean a lot to most, it should get the gamers amongst us a little excited. These kinds of moves (and even language) suggest that the new AirPods Pro headphones will make the perfect accompaniment for the upcoming Apple Vision Pro when it finally releases in early 2024.
AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with MagSafe Charging Case (USB‐C) will be available to order starting today, with availability in stores beginning Friday, 22 September. They are priced at AUD$399.
Carbon Neutral Products
As mentioned with the Apple Watch Series 9, the new 2023 Apple lineup has one common theme – sustainability. While you could argue that mass production processes aren’t exactly the best for the environment, you have to acknowledge Apple is making inroads.
At the ‘Wonderlust’ event, Apple confirmed that a vast number of new products are completely carbon-neutral, leading to a reduction in product emissions of over 75 per cent for each carbon-neutral Apple Watch.
“At Apple, we have a longstanding and proven commitment to leading the fight against climate change. Our focus on renewable energy and low-carbon design has already driven industry-leading emissions reductions, and we’re not slowing down,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives said. “We’ve achieved an important milestone in making the world’s most popular watch carbon neutral — and we will keep innovating to meet the urgency of the moment.”
According to Apple, each carbon-neutral Apple Watch model was subject to strict criteria, including:
- 100 per cent clean electricity for manufacturing and product use
- 30 per cent recycled or renewable material by weight
- 50 per cent of shipping without the use of air transportation
2023 Apple Showcase FAQs
At its ‘Wonderlust’ event on September 13, 2023, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, alongside upgrades to the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) and a host of carbon-neutral product innovations.
The Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will be available for pre-orders from Friday, 15 September, with availability beginning Friday, September 22.
The iPhone 15 will start from AUD$1,499 with iPhone 15 Plus setting you back around AUD$1,649. Meanwhile, iPhone 15 Pro starts at AUD$1,849, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at AUD$2,199.