From iPhone 15 to an AR/VR headset: Apple products to expect in 2023

Apple never discusses new products until it’s ready to formally introduce them, making it impossible to know exactly what to expect. But certain products tend to arrive around the same time each year, providing possible clues. Leaks and rumors also paint a picture of potential gadgets we may see during 2023, such as Apple’s long-rumored “mixed-reality” headset.

If the reports prove accurate, 2023 could mark more firsts for Apple’s product lineup. We might see the company’s first AR/VR headset, that first iPhone with USB-C and the first 15-inch MacBook Air, for example. As for other products like AirPods, Apple TV, and iPad, Bloomberg reports that we likely won’t see major changes to those product lines this year.

The debut of a mixed reality headset would signal an entirely new product category for Apple, while the other updates suggest that Apple is further optimizing its devices to compete with Android and Windows competitors that offer larger screens and universal USB-C – charging.

Video: Beyond Yellow iPhone: Apple Rumors Point to New Macs, But When?

Apple has already released several new products this year, including a new one yellow version of iPhone 14an updated one HomePoda Mac Mini with M2 and M2 Pro chips, and MacBook Pro computers with the new M2 Pro and M2 Max.

Here’s a look at what we expect in 2023 based on Apple’s past launches, rumors and leaks so far. Apple did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

iPhone 15 lineup

From left to right: iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14.

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Apple usually launches new iPhones in September, and this year is likely to be no different. Among the most significant changes we expect to see in iPhone 15 has switched from the Lightning charging port to USB-C. This is because there are new regulations that require technical products sold in Europe to support USB-C in 2024. Still, it’s unclear whether Apple will fully embrace the move to USB-C across the entire iPhone 15 lineup, or whether it will make a region-specific model for Europe.

Another potential update could include the arrival of Dynamic Islands on standard non-Pro iPhone 15 models, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, tweeted in September. At the same time, Apple could add more features to the iPhone 15 Pro that differentiate it from the base models. Such features could include a new periscope camera with better optical zoom for the iPhone 15 Pro Max and solid state buttons for both Pro phones, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple AR/VR headset

Apple is rumored to release a mixed-reality headset this year.

James Martin/CNET

Apple’s long-awaited mixed-reality headset may finally make its debut in June, according to Bloomberg, marking Apple’s first major expansion into a new product category since the Apple Watch. The headset is expected to blend elements of augmented reality, which overlays digital graphics over real-world environments similar to the smartphone game Pokemon Go, and virtual reality, which envelops users in 360-degree graphics as $400 Meta Quest 2.

But don’t expect Apple’s headset to come cheap. The device could cost $3,000 and will run on a new type of software that is essentially a 3D version of the iPhone’s interface, Bloomberg reports. Expect it to be powered by Apple’s M2 chip, which can be found in its current MacBook lineup, the report says.

Tech giants from Meta to Sony to Microsoft have all dabbled in virtual or augmented reality. But there is an expectation that Apple’s first VR product can make the technology popular, as the company has a long experience of doing so with other products.

“I think Apple will be a big help to the market, just as it has been with, let’s face it, smartphones, tablets and smartwatches,” said Ramon Llamas, director of research at International Data Corporation.

Apple Watch Series 9

The Apple Watch Ultra (left) and the Apple Watch Series 8 (right) were both launched last year.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Like clockwork, Apple typically releases new Apple Watch models alongside its new iPhones in the fall. This year, however, we can see a more modest update than usual. Bloomberg reports that we shouldn’t expect to see significant changes to the Apple Watch this year. What that means is unclear, but it’s possible that the watch could include routine updates like performance improvements rather than significant new health-tracking features.

It falls in line with the pattern that Apple has followed in recent years. Except for the addition of temperature sensing and car accident detection Apple Watch Series 8 are very much alike for series 7. Apple has also introduced more new features through software updates rather than hardware changes in recent years, such as ability to track sleep stages that arrived in WatchOS 9. But I hope the Series 9 inherits some features from it Apple Watch Ultraespecially its handy Action button, which makes it easier to jump straight into a workout.

There haven’t been many rumors or reports on whether to expect an update Apple Watch SE or Ultra models in 2023. But since Apple doesn’t always release special-edition products on an annual cadence, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple skip those updates this time around.

A new iMac

2021 iMac with Apple’s M1 chip.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Fans of Apple’s colorful all-in-one computer may have something to look forward to this year. The company’s next iMac is at an advanced stage of development, meaning it could arrive in the second half of this year, according to Bloomberg. The updated computer will likely run on Apple’s rumored M3 processor, which would be a step up from the M2 chip that powers the current MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. It will have a 24-inch screen just like the 2021 edition and will be available in the same color options, but will have some internal design changes, according to the report.

Mac Pro with M2 Ultra

2019 Mac Pro on stage with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Screenshot by Alexandra Able/CNET

Apple is also preparing a new version of its top-of-the-line Mac Pro that would run on a chip called the M2 Ultra processor, likely a successor to the M1 Ultra, according to Bloomberg. That would mark a departure from the current model, which debuted in 2019 and runs on Intel’s Xeon processors. The chip will reportedly have 24 CPU cores, 76 graphics cores and 192GB of memory.

That $5,999 Mac Pro is Apple’s advanced desktop computer aimed at professionals. It’s the last remaining Mac in Apple’s current lineup that doesn’t include the company’s own silicon. The report suggests that it will launch between late spring and summer, which means we could see it at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

A 15-inch MacBook Air

M2 MacBook Air.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Apple’s lightweight laptop will reportedly be available in a 15-inch size for the first time this year. Bloomberg reports that a 15-inch MacBook Air is in Apple’s 2023 product roadmap, though it’s unclear whether that machine will run on the company’s expected M3 chip. A new 13-inch MacBook Air is also said to be on the way.

These two laptops are also expected to arrive in the late spring or summer, so we should hear about them in the coming months if Bloomberg’s report is correct.

All in all, the rumors, leaks, and reports suggest that 2023 could be a pivotal year for Apple’s computing lineup. If Apple announces its first mixed-reality headset, we will get an insight into the company’s vision for the future of computing. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about the potential he sees for augmented reality, but we have yet to see dedicated Apple hardware to deliver these experiences. The arrival of Apple silicon in the Mac Pro would also mark the end of Apple’s transition to its homegrown Mac chips within its current lineup.

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