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What to expect from Apple’s iPhone 15 event

Apple is holding its next big event in September to take the wraps off the iPhone 15, new Apple Watches, and more.

Here, we’ll go over how and when you can watch the event, along with the new product announcements we’re expecting to see from Apple.

When is the iPhone 15 showcase?

The iPhone 15 event will take place on September 12th, 2023, at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. As shown in the invite sent out by Apple, the company has named the event “Wonderlust.” It will take place live from Apple Park in Cupertino, California.

How to watch Apple’s iPhone 15 event

As is the case with past events, Apple will likely stream the iPhone 15 showcase on its website and YouTube channel. You can also watch it from the livestream embedded at the top of this article.

An iPhone 15 lineup that’s finally compatible with USB-C

One of the biggest changes coming to this year’s iPhone lineup is the addition of USB-C. For the first time, the iPhone 15 is expected to come with the widely used port instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as Apple confirmed last year that it would make the change to USB-C to comply with the European Union’s incoming regulations.

Although reports indicate that all phones in the iPhone 15 lineup will get the USB-C port, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says only the Pro and Pro Max will benefit from higher data transfer rates. Both premium models will come with “at least” USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3, while the base iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will support USB 2.0, according to Kuo. Either way, 9to5Mac reports that all iPhone 15 models should have faster 35W charging rates thanks to the switch.

The entire iPhone 15 lineup is expected to get the Dynamic Island.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Additionally, supply chain analyst Ross Young reported last year that all models of the iPhone 15 will come with the Dynamic Island. That’s a change from what Apple currently offers, as it only includes the pill-shaped cutout on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. This time around, the most significant changes coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are reported to be a titanium frame, thinner bezels, and a potentially more expensive price.

Both premium models may also come with an action button similar to the one on the Apple Watch Ultra, as reported by MacRumors and 9to5Mac. This button is supposed to replace the mute toggle and could allow you to assign shortcuts to different apps and utilities. And while early rumors suggested that Apple will replace the volume rocker and the power button on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max with solid-state toggles, recent reports from Kuo and leaker Unknownz21 suggest they’ll stay the same for now.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max may be in for a rebranding as well, with Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman reporting last year that Apple could change the name to the “Ultra.” Oh, and there is one change that the iPhone 15 Max — or Ultra — may exclusively get: a periscope lens with up to 6x optical zoom.

We also may see some changes to the colors Apple includes in its iPhone 15 Pro line. According to 9to5Mac, Apple could swap its gold finish for a “titan gray.” The company may reveal a new dark blue option as well, which it might be teasing with the blue, gray, and black color scheme it included in its event invite. The standard iPhone 15 is rumored to come in black, green, blue, yellow, and pink.

An incremental update to the Apple Watch lineup

In addition to the iPhone 15, Apple is also likely to reveal its latest smartwatch lineup — and so far, we’re not expecting many major changes. Not much is known about the expected update to the premium Apple Watch Ultra outside the addition of a darker titanium case, but rumors indicate that the Watch Series 9 will come with an updated S9 processor.

The second Watch Ultra is expected to come in a darker color option.
Image: Shrimp Apple Pro

According to Gurman, the S9 chip is based on the A15 processor that Apple introduced with the iPhone 13. This could allow for more efficiency and better battery life when compared to its predecessor, which comes equipped with the S8 chip that’s based on the same tech as the processors in the previous two Watch models.

Other smaller updates expected to come with the Watch Series 9 include a pink color option and the option of a band with a magnetic buckle. We likely won’t see a new Watch SE during this year’s event, as the product appears to be on a two-year refresh cycle and was just updated last year.

AirPods with a USB-C-equipped charging case

The iPhone 15 isn’t the only Apple device that’s expected to get the USB-C treatment. Gurman reports that Apple plans on releasing “updated” AirPods with USB-C during its event in September.

That tracks with a prediction from Kuo last year, who said Apple would launch AirPods with a USB-C charging case in 2023. It’s not clear whether Apple will actually make any updates to the AirPods themselves, however — it may just update its charging case.

Modder Ken Pillonel added USB-C to both the AirPods and AirPods Pro cases.
Image: Ken Pillonel

In January, Kuo said Apple could ship its fourth-gen AirPods in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025. That’s when Apple may also launch a new pair of cheaper $99 AirPods, along with a second generation of its over-the-ear AirPods Max. If that’s the case, we’re a full year or more away from big updates.

But if Apple does decide to release its fourth-generation AirPods this year, they could feature the H2 chip that comes with the AirPods Pro released last year, potentially offering improvements to battery life and sound quality.

More info on iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and more

With a new iPhone and watch coming, we’ll probably get the release dates for iOS 17 and watchOS 10 during Apple’s upcoming event. As for iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma, we might not see them until later this fall, in line with Apple’s recent pattern of launching them in October.

But the betas for each of these operating systems have been out for some time now, giving us a peek at what we can expect. While iOS 17 comes with a number of small but meaningful upgrades, including StandBy mode, voicemail transcriptions, and a Journal app, macOS Sonoma adds widgets, a game mode, and profiles on Safari.

StandBy Mode in iOS 17.
Image: David Pierce / The Verge

As for iPadOS 17, Apple is adding personalized lock screens, interactive widgets, the Health app, and support for external USB webcams and cameras. Apple is launching an update to Stage Manager as well, which finally lets you customize the sizes and orientations of each window on your screen.

Lastly, watchOS 10 will also incorporate widgets (seeing a trend yet?) that should give you quick access to various apps. There are also new topographic mapping features, mood logging, and a couple of new watchfaces.

Is there anything else?

There are a few other things Apple is rumored to be working on that likely won’t make an appearance at its iPhone 15 event. That includes some new Macs and iPads, which Apple usually holds an event for in October.

This fall, we’re expecting a new iMac, a 13-inch MacBook Air, and a 13-inch MacBook Pro powered by Apple’s new in-house M3 chip. On the iPad side of things, rumors suggest that we might see the release of the seventh-gen iPad Mini.

But even with all these exciting launches on the horizon, all eyes are still on the $3,499 Apple Vision Pro, which is set for release early next year. We’re likely to see some updates in the months leading up to its launch.

In the meantime, make sure to stay tuned to The Verge’s coverage of Apple’s iPhone 15 event.

Update August 30th, 8:17AM ET: Added a rumor about AirPods with USB-C.

Update September 5th, 1:30PM ET: Added Apple’s link to the livestream.

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