As it currently stands, 2023 has already been a busy year for Apple. The company launched a new yellow iPhone 14, brought back the HomePod, and refreshed its Mac lineup with an M2 Mac mini and M2 MacBook Pro. But what else is on the docket? As it turns out, a lot more. From new iPhones, an upgraded Apple Watch, and possibly an AR headset, here are nine products we still expect from Apple in 2023.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro
If there is any Apple product with an upgrade cycle that’s literally like clockwork, it’s the iPhone, which is always out in the fall. This year, we can expect the iPhone 15 lineup to include an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, it is rumored that the iPhone 15 will have a bigger 6.2-inch display this year, but the rest of the lineup will have the same sizes as before.
The iPhone 15 series is expected to drop Lightning for USB-C charging, due to European regulations mandating the use of a common charger for all electronics, including the iPhone. Apple may still be doing a “Made for iPhone” (MFi) program for USB-C charging, though, which would mean USB-C cables that are “optimized” for the iPhone. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models may benefit from faster data transfer speeds, but the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus may be stuck with slower USB 2.0 transfer speeds, which would be the same as the current Lightning cables.
While the Dynamic Island was exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, it may be available across the entire iPhone 15 lineup. The bezels on the iPhone 15 Pro models could be much thinner than their predecessors, while the regular iPhone 15 models may not see as much of a reduction.
The iPhone 15 lineup is also rumored to be ditching physical volume buttons in favor of solid-state buttons that rely on haptics, and even the mute toggle may be going away for a solid-state button as well.
iPhone 15 Ultra
Other rumors circulating around the iPhone 15 involve a brand new iPhone 15 Ultra, which may or may not be the same as the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
But this would involve more than just a name change. The iPhone 15 Ultra is rumored to have a titanium body instead of stainless steel, which would be more lightweight and durable. This would also mean a higher starting price, though, with rumors suggesting a starting price of $1200.
Another big upgrade would be a periscope-style telephoto camera, which is rumored to be available on the iPhone 15 Ultra or Pro Max model only. This would mean a higher level of optical zoom than what we currently have, bringing the iPhone up to similar optical zoom ranges offered by competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Another camera improvement would be dual selfie cameras for improved bokeh effect on self-portrait images. And while the rest of the iPhone 15 lineup gets USB-C, reports suggest the iPhone 15 Ultra could be completely portless, relying only on wireless charging.
Again, we’re not completely sure if the iPhone 15 Ultra is going to be a separate product, or if it’s just going to be a better iPhone 15 Pro Max. But if these rumored upgrades are true, then it could be worthy of that high price tag.
Apple Watch Series 9
Another product that is on an annual release cycle, and comes out alongside the new iPhones, is the Apple Watch. This year, we can expect an Apple Watch Series 9, though if the Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch Series 8 are any indications, we might not get any major upgrades. Last year, the big upgrades came in the form of the brand-new Apple Watch Ultra, which is an entirely different product. It would be nice to see some of the Ultra features trickle down to the regular Apple Watch Series 9, but we won’t hold our breath.
The rumor mill has been fairly light on the Apple Watch front, whether it’s the Series 9, a second-generation Ultra, or even a new affordable SE model. While Apple has made some significant milestones on the non-intrusive blood glucose monitoring front, the tech for that may still be a ways off, so we might not see any new groundbreaking health features in the Series 9. Still, we do have an Apple Watch Series 9 wishlist of what we hope to see … if we’re being optimistic.
iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini
Since Apple released an updated iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro in 2022, and an iPad mini in 2021, there may not be much to expect this year in terms of major upgrades. In fact, rumors suggest that Apple is shifting most of its focus on the mixed reality headset, which means less focus on other products like the entire iPad lineup.
However, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg suggests that there may be very small spec bumps for the entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Air this year if there are any new models released at all. But for major updates, that may not be until the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pros, which might be announced in the first half of 2024.
M2 Mac Pro
The Mac Pro is the one product still in Apple’s lineup that it hasn’t transitioned to Apple silicon. Despite having shown time and time again that its own M1 Ultra runs circles around the old Intel chip in the current Mac Pro, you can spend thousands of dollars buying one from Apple.
An updated Mac Pro has long been in the works — heck, it was even mentioned by name in the spring event in 2022. But it’s finally coming, and it could launch as soon as April. The rumors about it, however, might be disappointing to some. First off, it’s rumored to come with an M2 Ultra chip, not something more powerful. Currently, the M1 Ultra is available in just the Mac Studio and remains the most powerful Apple Silicon you can buy. The proposition of having both the Mac Pro and Mac Studio in the lineup have left some scratching their heads, especially since some sources claim it won’t have user-upgradeable RAM or graphics this time around.
15-inch MacBook Air
A larger MacBook Air is one of the oddest rumored additions to the lineup in 2023. Apple already has a packed lineup of MacBooks, especially in the under $1,500 category, including the M1 MacBook Air, M2 MacBook Air, and 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro. But reports are showing that Apple plans to expand the MacBook Air to a larger size. This would be the first time Apple offered size options for the MacBook Air since the 11-inch model was discontinued in 2016.
This bigger MacBook Air is rumored to have a large 15.5-inch screen, but should otherwise share a lot in common with the current 13-inch M2 MacBook Air.
The 24-inch iMac was one of the first Apple Silicon Macs to demonstrate how the efficiency of the chips could allow Apple to make some cutting-edge designs. In the case of the 24-inch iMac, Apple was able to make the display incredibly thin by squeezing the entire motherboard into the bottom chin. Jokes about the side of that chin aside, it was a striking new look for the iMac, which had been relatively unchanged for a decade prior.
An updated iMac is now rumored to be in the works, which should bump the chip inside from its current M1. It’s not currently known if Apple will upgrade the iMac to an M2 and launch it sooner — or save it as a launch product for the M3 later on down the line. If the latter ends up being true, this one may end up slipping into 2024.
Unfortunately, there don’t appear to be new reports about a larger iMac in the works. Apple killed off the 27-inch iMac in the switch to Apple silicon and apparently remains content to point customers to the Mac Studio and Studio Display as a replacement.
Apple Reality Pro headset
The splashiest Apple product of 2023 is bound to be the Reality Pro headset — if it ends up coming out this year. The Reality Pro headset, as it’s rumored to be named, will be the company’s first big new product category launch since the Apple Watch, which explains why the anticipation has been so strong. The high-end product is rumored to be a mixed-reality headset along the lines of the Meta Quest Pro or HTC Vive XR Elite and may end up costing as much as $3,000. Whew.
However, the rumored 15 cameras, 4K screens, 150-gram weight, and the ability to toggle between AR and VR would easily make the Reality Pro the most advanced product of its kind — but we’ll have to wait and see what Apple has cooked up. Either way, it’s going to be a make-or-break moment for XR technology and the metaverse. As for the release date, all the rumors are pointing to an announcement at WWDC in June, with a possible release later in the year.
Mini-LED Pro Display XDR
An update to the Pro Display XDR has long been rumored but continues to get its release date pushed back. This updated 27-inch monitor would supposedly make the jump to mini-LED or OLED to match what the company has done with its recent MacBook Pros. There’s been surging interest in mini-LED and OLED monitors recently, and Apple’s ultra-expensive Pro Display XDR is starting to feel a bit long in the tooth.
It certainly would make sense for Apple to want its most expensive and pro-certified monitor to have the best display technology it could offer, which also includes a faster ProMotion refresh rate. It would also make sense for Apple to launch this display alongside a new Mac Pro, but rumors are currently pointing toward a late 2023 launch at the earliest.