Apple Inc.’s biggest day of the year has arrived, and the company is set to unveil updated versions of its iPhone, smartwatch and AirPods.
(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc.’s biggest day of the year has arrived, and the company is set to unveil updated versions of its iPhone, smartwatch and AirPods.
The new iPhone 15 will be a significant upgrade, especially at the high end of the lineup. Pro-branded versions of the device will feature a revamped design that switches the side material from stainless steel to titanium. The top-of-the-line model — the Pro Max — will also get a new camera that takes better telephoto pictures.
Another change is less groundbreaking but may strike consumers as bigger news: Apple is switching the charging port of the iPhone from Lightning to USB-C. The last time the company made such a change, in 2012, it irked many Apple fans. In this case, the company didn’t have much choice: The European Union mandated the shift.
The iPhone launch is always a critical moment for Apple: The device accounts for roughly 50% of its sales, or more than $205 billion last year. But this year is a particular high-wire act because the company is trying to reverse a sales slump and stave off concerns about a backlash in China.
You can read here about everything that’s expected at the Apple event, dubbed “Wonderlust,” but these are some of the highlights:
1. The Change to Titanium
The titanium on the Pro phones will have a brushed look, replacing the fingerprint-prone steel that has characterized the device since the iPhone X line. People with knowledge of the matter say the switch to titanium makes the phone more durable and about 10% lighter. The devices will retain the frosted glass back of current models, but the edges connecting the side and front are now less sharp than before.
2. Faster Chips
The higher-end phones also will have a performance edge over the standard models. The Pro versions will get a faster A17 chip built on the new 3-nanometer production process and additional memory. That will make the phones more responsive, but the biggest enhancements are the battery-life savings. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, meanwhile, will get the slower A16 chip from last year’s Pro phones.
The Apple Watch line also will get more powerful processors — marking its first performance bump since 2020. The company is planning to tout major gains in the watch’s processing speed.
3. Embracing USB-C
The four new iPhone models will switch from Lightning to USB-C for wired charging and data transfers. That will bring increased transfer speeds, but only for the Pro models — another way Apple is coaxing consumers to spend a bit more. All of the phones will gain faster wireless charging.
Apple also is expected to unveil a version of its AirPods Pro that uses USB-C, matching the phones.
4. A Better Camera
The Pro Max’s updated telephoto system, known as a periscope lens, will enhance hardware zoom capabilities. The approach doubles the iPhone’s ability to zoom into images — via the physical lens itself, rather than software — from 3X magnification to around 6X.
5. The Environment
Apple will also unveil a broader green push, with the company planning to replace some of its leather iPhone cases and watchbands with more sustainable materials. The plan could include an eco-friendly Apple Watch.
6. No More Ring-Mute Switch
The Pro phones will replace the ring-mute switch for the first time since the feature launched with the original iPhone in 2007. The switch is becoming an “Action Button” that can be customized to handle a variety of functions, including silencing the phone, opening the flashlight or launching the camera.
7. Moving Further Upscale
Consumers will have to spend more to get more, with Apple reserving its best features for the most expensive iPhones. The company also is expected to raise the price of certain models in at least some markets, something it avoided doing last year. But the lower-end iPhone 15s are getting some of last year’s Pro features, including the Dynamic Island interface.
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