Apple hosted its annual fall event on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, to announce some of the company’s latest products, including the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple Watch Series 9, and AirPods. The event, dubbed “Wonderlust”, showcased Apple’s innovations in design, performance, and features across its devices. Here are some of the highlights from the event.
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max: lighter, faster, and smarter
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max were the stars of the show, with new and improved form factors, updated processors, and the latest advancements in the iPhone camera. The biggest change, at least on the surface, is the slimmer and lighter design, which has new contoured edges, Grade 5 Titanium, and the thinnest borders ever on an iPhone.
The iPhone 15 Pro features the fastest mobile CPU – A17 Pro. The new CPU can run up to 10% faster than the A16 Bionic chip in last year’s iPhone 14 Pro. Compared to Apple’s previous iterations, the neural engine is up to two times faster, and the pro-class GPU is up to 20 times faster, optimizing overall smartphone performance.
As for the cameras, the Pro variants feature a 48MP main camera, which allows users to switch between the 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm focal lengths and supports 48MP HEIF images with up to four times the resolution. The Pro Max also features a 5X telephoto lens, the longest optical zoom ever on iPhone. Like on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, Portrait Mode now runs in the background, so the iPhone can measure the depth information of a photo’s subject and later give users the ability to adjust the bokeh effect. The quality of photos in low light will also improve, with a night mode that provides sharper detail and more vivid colors.
Besides the cameras, another major selling point is the Action Button, which replaces the traditional alert slider. The Action Button can be customized to perform various functions, such as launching Siri, toggling Do Not Disturb mode, or activating Emergency SOS. Users can also assign different actions for single press, double press, or long press.
The iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 for 128GB of storage, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $1,099 for 128GB of storage. Both models are available in four colors: graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue. Pre-orders begin on Friday, September 15 at 5 a.m. PDT.
Apple Watch Series 9: improved heart rate sensor and new U2 chip
The Apple Watch Series 9 is the latest iteration of Apple’s popular smartwatch, with an updated heart rate sensor, a new U2 chip for ultra-wideband connectivity, and a redesigned Digital Crown. The heart rate sensor now uses photoplethysmography (PPG) technology to measure blood flow more accurately and detect irregular heart rhythms. The U2 chip enables precise location tracking and spatial awareness for features like AirDrop, Find My, and CarKey. The Digital Crown has been re-engineered to provide haptic feedback and smoother scrolling.
The Apple Watch Series 9 also comes with watchOS 8 pre-installed, which introduces new health and fitness features such as Mindfulness app, Respiratory Rate tracking, Tai Chi and Pilates workouts, and Focus mode. The watchOS 8 also supports Portrait Mode photos as watch faces and multiple timers.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is available in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. It comes in aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, or ceramic cases. The aluminum models start at $399 for GPS only or $499 for GPS + Cellular. The stainless steel models start at $699 for GPS + Cellular. The titanium models start at $799 for GPS + Cellular. The ceramic models start at $1,299 for GPS + Cellular. Pre-orders begin on Friday, September 15 at 5 a.m. PDT.
AirPods: USB-C port and spatial audio
The AirPods are Apple’s wireless earbuds that offer high-quality sound and seamless integration with other Apple devices. The latest version of AirPods features a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port for charging. This change is in line with Apple’s decision to switch to USB-C ports for its other devices such as MacBooks and iPads. Apple claims that this will provide more convenience for users who can use one cable to charge all their devices.
The AirPods also support spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for an immersive sound experience. Spatial audio creates a three-dimensional sound field that adapts to the movement of the user’s head and device. Users can enjoy spatial audio on compatible content from apps like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+, and more.
The AirPods are priced at $159 with a wired charging case or $199 with a wireless charging case. They are available to order now and will ship on Friday, September 22.