Apple’s iPhone 15 event: What to expect from the ‘Wonderlust’ launch

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Apple is set to unveil its latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 15, along with other new products and updates at its annual September event on Tuesday. The event, dubbed ‘Wonderlust’, will be streamed online from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. Here are some of the highlights and rumors about what Apple fans can expect from the event.

iPhone 15: USB-C, Qi 2 and a new Action button

The iPhone 15 is expected to be the star of the show, as Apple’s most popular and profitable product. According to various reports and leaks, Apple will release four new iPhone models, following the pattern that’s been in place since 2020. The models will likely share the iPhone 15 brand, with two sizes of middle-range iPhones (6.1-inch and 6.7-inch) and two sizes of higher-end ‘Pro’ iPhones (6.1-inch and 6.7-inch) with titanium casing and better cameras.

Some of the rumored features and changes for the iPhone 15 include:

  • A switch to USB-C port, replacing the Lightning port that has been used since 2012. This would make the iPhone compatible with a wider range of accessories and chargers, as well as align it with the iPad Pro and MacBooks that already use USB-C.
  • Support for Qi 2 wireless charging standard, which would enable faster and more efficient wireless charging for the iPhone. Qi 2 is also backward compatible with Qi 1 devices, so existing wireless chargers would still work with the new iPhone.

Apple’s iPhone 15 event

  • A new mute button/programmable Action button for the Pro models, which would replace the volume buttons on the left side of the device. The Action button could be used to launch Siri, control media playback, take screenshots or perform other custom actions.
  • A smaller notch at the top of the screen, which would house the Face ID sensors and the front-facing camera. The notch has been a controversial design element since it was introduced in 2017, and many users have been hoping for a more seamless screen experience.
  • A 120Hz refresh rate for the Pro models, which would make the display smoother and more responsive. The refresh rate refers to how often the screen updates its image per second, and a higher rate can improve gaming and video performance. The iPad Pro already supports a 120Hz refresh rate, but the iPhone has been stuck at 60Hz so far.

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2: New designs and health features

The Apple Watch is another key product for Apple, as it dominates the smartwatch market and serves as a gateway to other Apple services and devices. Apple is expected to announce two new models of its wearable device: the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The Series 9 is expected to be an upgrade from the Series 8, which was launched last year with a blood oxygen sensor and an always-on altimeter. The Series 9 could feature a new design with flat edges, similar to the iPhone 12 and iPad Pro, as well as a larger screen size (41mm and 45mm) and a faster processor.

The Ultra 2 is expected to be a premium version of the Apple Watch, aimed at fitness enthusiasts and athletes. The Ultra 2 could have a rugged design with more durable materials, such as titanium or ceramic, as well as advanced health features, such as blood pressure monitoring and body temperature sensing.

AirPods Pro: Noise cancellation and spatial audio

The AirPods are another popular accessory that complement the iPhone and other Apple devices. The wireless earbuds have been praised for their sound quality, ease of use and integration with Siri. Apple is expected to announce a new version of its AirPods Pro, which offer noise cancellation and spatial audio features.

The new AirPods Pro could have a shorter stem design, similar to the Beats Studio Buds that were released earlier this year. They could also have improved battery life, water resistance and sound quality. Additionally, they could support Find My network, which would allow users to locate their lost or stolen earbuds using other nearby Apple devices.

Other announcements: iOS 17, iPad mini, Vision Pro

Apart from the main products mentioned above, Apple could also announce some other updates and surprises at its event. Some of these include:

  • iOS 17: The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, which powers the iPhone and iPad. iOS 17 was previewed at WWDC in June, and it features new widgets, app library, privacy controls, FaceTime enhancements and more.
  • iPad mini: A refreshed version of Apple’s smallest tablet, which has not been updated since 2019. The new iPad mini could have a larger screen (8.5-inch or 9-inch), thinner bezels, USB-C port and Touch ID button.
  • Vision Pro: Apple’s first VR headset, which was announced in June ahead of a planned launch in 2024. The Vision Pro is a high-end device that offers immersive and realistic experiences for gaming, entertainment and education. Apple could provide an update on its efforts to attract developers and content creators for the device.

Apple’s ‘Wonderlust’ event is expected to be an exciting and innovative showcase of its latest products and technologies. The event will start at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 12, and it will be streamed on YouTube and Apple’s website. You can also follow our live blog on CNBC.com for the latest updates and analysis.

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