Apple September 12th "Wonderlust" Event Wish List
Apple is holding their ‘Wonderlust’ event next week on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple’s September event is one of the most anticipated throughout the year because it is where Apple has announced new iPhones since 2011. Between 2007 and 2010 they had June releases, but the September release has become their standard time to announce flagship iPhones.
The one thing that is almost guaranteed to be announced is the next set of iPhones. It is likely that there will be four new models, two regular iPhones and two Pro iPhone models. There has been speculation that Apple might switch out the name “Pro Max” with “Ultra”. It could go either way. I could see Apple doing this to simplify the line to just have a single word after the model, but I could also see Apple waiting to use Ultra once they have a radically different form factor, like a folding iPhone. To be clear, I do not expect a foldable iPhone to be announced.
It is long rumored that this year iPhones will switch away from the Lightning connector to using USB-C. I absolutely expect this to be the case. The European Union has passed a law that requires all cell phone manufacturers to use USB-C for wired charging by the end of 2024. While Apple could indeed wait, now is a good time to do that. It is entirely possible that Apple might just wait until next year for USB-C, but I do not see that happening.
It is possible that Apple could just forgo USB-C and go with wireless charging, but there are many places where having a wired connection works more reliably, like within cars. I do hope Apple releases their own USB-A to USB-C cable, much like they have with the USB-A to Lightning that is half a meter long. This type of cable works really well for use in cars. Maybe this is purely because I could use a cable like this, but it would make sense for Apple to have this as an option. If Apple does not provide one, then third-parties will absolutely provide options.
The original Apple Watch was announced in September 2014 and released in April of 2015. Therefore we are 9 years since the original announcement. As has been the case since 2016, I expect that we will see an Apple Watch Series 9. I would like to see some significant improvements with the battery life as well as just general speed increases, particularly when it comes to updating the Apple Watch. Beyond this, I would like to see additional sensors, but I think those would need to be super reliable.
One thing that Apple does is release new Watch bands three times a year, and when there is a new Apple Watch is one of those times. I am sure the colors will match any new Apple Watch colors or iPhone colors.
Last year Apple released the Apple Watch Ultra. It will be interesting to see if Apple releases the Apple Watch Ultra 2. If they do, it could signify that they intend to update the Apple Watch every year. There have been rumors that the Apple Watch Ultra will come in Black this year, which would be a nice addition to the standard titanium color introduced last year.
Having new iPads at this event could go either way. If there is a mention of new iPads, I would think it could be an 11th Generation iPad to replace the re-designed 10th generation introduced last year. I would think that Apple would replace the 10th generation and keep the 9th generation around. However, it is also possible that Apple would
I do not think that we will see iPad Pros at this event. Those models seem to be updated every 18 months and we are less than a year from the introduction of the 4th Generation 11-inch and 6th Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, so it does not seem likely that we will see those this year.
If iPads are announced it could include a new iPad mini. I do not think much would change with the new iPad mini except for the processor and maybe thinner bezels. It has been two years since the 6th generation iPad mini was released. The iPad mini currently has an A15 Bionic, so I could see them using an M1 in those iPads, or at least upgrading it to the A16 Bionic, like those in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPad Air could also be inline for an update as the 5th generation iPad Air was released in March of 2022, so we are at the 18-month mark for that model. The iPad Air is currently running an M1, so it is conceivable that an update could be made to update it to the M2, much like the 4th generation 11-inch iPad Air and 6th generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro have now.
One thing that has not been rumored at all is any updates to any of the AirPods. I do not expect AirPods Pro, because they were released on September 23rd, 2023. One product that has not seen any update since its introduction is the AirPods Max. They were announced on December 8th, 2020 and released on December 15th, 2020. As of this writing it has been more than 1000 days since they were announced. It would be great to see a new set announced.
New AirPods Max would likely have new colors, include a different carry case, use USB-C, and possibly a bit lighter than their predecessor. Much like the half-meter USB-A to USB-C cable, this may just be me trying to manifest this because I am in the market for new on ear/over the ear headphones.
Operating System Release Dates
The dates that Apple releases their operating systems can vary wildly. Back in 2020 there was a single day between the September Event and the release of iOS 14. However, most years there is about a week between the announcement and the release. iOS, watchOS, and tvOS are all generally released at the same time.
Of course iOS is the biggest release, but there are other operating systems. macOS and iPadOS are typically released later than iOS. I expect macOS to be released later, like usual, but I think iPadOS will be released at the same time as iOS this year. This is merely a guess, but given the features in both operating systems it seems to make sense that both would be released simultaneously.
Here is a recap of what I think we will see at the "Wonderlust" event.
|Four new iPhones, with a possible name change for the Pro Max|
|USB-C for all new iPhones.|
|Possible new iPads, specifically the iPad and iPad mini|
|No new Macs|
|New Apple Watch Series 9|
|New Apple Watch Ultra Series 2|
|Second generation AirPods Max|
|iOS and iPadOS being released at the same time.|
|Second generation AirPods Max|
Apple’s September event is usually the most watched and therefore it has been used to pre-announce new products, including the Apple TV in 2006, codenamed the iTV, and again in 2014 when Apple announced the Apple Watch, which would be available in April of 2015. I do not expect any new product categories to be announced, because Apple announced the Apple Vision Pro at the World Wide Developer Conference in June. Even without another new product category, I suspect that this will be a full event.
I will have a post about what Apple does announce sometime after the event.
If you want to read all about the new features as soon as the new operating systems are released, be sure to pre-order my book "macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 for Users and Developers" from Apple. It is DRM-free so it can be read anywhere.