Apple’s eagerly awaited fall event, dubbed “Wonderlust,” is on the horizon. It promises to unveil four new iPhones and a couple of fresh Apple Watch models, making it a day of significant product launches. Among the highlights, the spotlight will shine on USB-C as Apple adapts to new EU regulations by changing its charging ports. While nothing is set in stone until Tim Cook takes the stage on Tuesday, we’ve compiled the most plausible leaks and rumors leading up to Apple’s September 12 event.
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iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro
Without a doubt, the new iPhones will be the stars of the show, dominating headlines. The lineup is expected to feature a high-end iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, alongside a standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. There were earlier reports suggesting that Apple might rebrand the Pro Max model as the “iPhone 15 Ultra” this year, but the final decision remains unclear.
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Screen sizes are likely to remain consistent, with 6.1-inch displays for the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro and 6.7-inch screens for the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max (or possibly the “Ultra”). ProMotion, Apple’s 120Hz variable refresh rate display technology, is expected to remain exclusive to the top-tier models.
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A significant change anticipated is the phasing out of Lightning cables. After over a decade since transitioning from 30-pin connectors to Lightning, European regulations have prompted Apple to switch ports once again, this time to USB-C. Apple VP Greg Joswiak confirmed compliance with the EU’s requirements in an interview with the WSJ last year. Leaks and credible insiders almost unanimously suggest that this year’s iPhone 15 will herald the USB-C era for iPhones. However, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that only the higher-end iPhone models will support faster USB-C data transfer speeds. Kuo suggests that the two pro models will offer “at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3” high-speed wired connections, while the standard models (iPhone 15 / 15 Plus) would use slower USB 2.0 speeds, similar to Lightning.
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Dynamic Island, the display cutout introduced on the iPhone 14 Pro / Pro Max, is expected to carry over to all four models in 2023. Serving as a replacement for the “notch” on older full-screen iPhones, Dynamic Island is a floating black pill-shaped section just below the top of the screen. It conceals the phone’s front camera and Face ID sensor, and it can also display alerts, animations, and shortcuts for various tasks.
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max may switch from stainless steel to titanium frames, enhancing strength and reducing weight. The back of the phones is expected to retain frosted glass, but the corners may have a more rounded design. Additionally, Apple may introduce a “titan gray” color option, replacing the gold hue.
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Thinner bezels are projected to accompany the pro series’ titanium frame, thanks to a technology called low-injection pressure over-molding (LIPO), previously used in the Apple Watch Series 7. This innovation could reduce the bezels to a mere 1.5 mm, down from the 2.2 mm bezels in current models.
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Another potential addition to the iPhone 15 Pro series is the Action Button, similar to the one on the Apple Watch Ultra. This customizable toggle might replace the mute switch on the upper-left side of the pro-tier iPhones, offering various functions like launching the camera, activating the flashlight, or accessing accessibility features.
While Apple initially considered haptic solid-state buttons for the iPhone’s physical volume and power buttons, it reportedly canceled the feature due to unresolved technical issues, so we can expect standard volume and power/sleep buttons.