Apple’s product release cycle has become more and more packed year by year as they expand out into more product categories.
We’re most likely just over 2 weeks away from Apple’s next big product announcement on the 7th of September, but what does Apple have in store for us for the next 12 months? Let’s talk about that.
We’re starting to see new patterns emerge for where Apple is likely to place events through the year, and we’re set to see even more in the coming year. So let’s talk about September, October, January, March, June and back round to September 2023. 6 events to get through, so lets get started.
Let’s start off with this September – And because it’s pretty close we have a pretty good idea of what’s likely to be coming.
First up, the iPhone 14, 14 Max, 14 pro and 14 Pro Max. While the iPhone 14 isn’t expected to change too much, Apple is switching out the mini for a Max at the base level, meaning you can get a big screened iPhone without the big outlay this year. Inside though, the chip is thought to be basically a reused A15 from the iPhone 13 range, though its quite possible that Apple will do what they’ve done the past couple of years on the Apple Watch and just rename it with a new number.
The pro iPhones however will be getting a new generation chip, so if they do rename the A15 to A16, this could be the A16 pro, or A16X perhaps. The camera is set to get a massive pixel leap from 12 to 48 megapixels, allowing 8k movie recording for the first time on an iPhone. But going up just like that resolution is also the price, with the Pro iPhones most likely getting a $100 price hike, while it’s unclear if they’ll get a storage boost too. Oh, and of course, the pro iPhones finally dump the notch for the patent pending iHole, the controversial combination of a pill and hole cut out on the screen side, as well as potentially an improved selfie camera. And that screen will have the ability to be always on thanks to a refresh rate that can dip to 1Hz, dimming your image and keeping the widgets visible, though I personally think when its in your pocket, Apple will use the proximity sensor to turn that off too.
Also at the September event, expect the Apple Watch Series 8, just not with the redesign we all wanted. Instead, expect maybe some new colours and a body temperature sensor being added. We could see an update to the iPhone SE and the final demise of the for some reason still here Apple Watch Series 3.
It also looks like Apple Watch Edition will leave the lineup this year with the Apple Watch Pro taking over, with a premium titanium build and a slightly modified design, though I’m not expecting this to be the mythical “rugged” watch everyone has been talking about. I’m still pretty sure that was the Series 7, and so is Apple’s marketing team it seems.
AirPods Pro are due an update too, though new features are unclear. Perhaps better support for find my, probably high resolution audio over some new standard, but the reports of health features are likely over exaggerated.
Then, things get a bit muddy. Most years we’d expect iPads here, but while it seems iOS16 is fully baked and ready to ship, iPadOS 16 is being delayed until October when the next event comes along. If we were to get iPads, expect the base $330ish iPad 10th gen to be one of them, along most likely with a 7th generation iPad mini. The base iPad would be likely to get A14 from iPhone 12 inside, and the mini a bump to A16 along with the iPhone Pros. It could be that these devices still get revealed at the event but don’t ship until later in the year like the iPad Air 4th gen in 2020, or they may ship with iPadOS 15 inititally as iPadOS isn’t getting many upgrades anyway for non M1 iPads.
If the iPads are missing, then perhaps we could see the rumoured HomePod updates that we’ve heard about, though they’re more likely to arrive in the Spring. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
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So Mac. We’ve had M2 announced in June this year, so that doesn’t need explaining again. Think how Apple approached the iMac M1 at the Spring Loaded event in 2021 – the focus was on the new design and updated product. Here we’ll most likely see our new Mac mini, and reports are mixed on whether it gets a redesign or not. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Apple could just anodise them in new colours and we’d be excited. Imagine that thing in Midnight? I’m in. So M2 Mac mini and most likely an M2 Pro version too, which would be a great way to bring a little more performance to the desktop. I’d expect M2 pricing to be inline with the previous M1 at 699, just like the 13” MacBook Pro, with the M1 Pro option coming in with 512gb storage and 16gb Memory as standard, at maybe 1299 – That seems like a realistic price point for that device, but let me know your thoughts in the comments. I know there’s been talk of the iMac being skipped over until M3, but in what world would that make sense? I could see the iMac getting M2 and M2 Pro at this event too, as I doubt Apple would have put out a new design last year and already backed themselves into a thermal corner. Maybe M2 starts at 1499 and the binned M1 stays at 1299. M2 Pro iMac from 1999?
I can’t see Apple releasing the M2 Pro without a MacBook Pro though, so I think we’ll see the M2 Pro and M2 Max updates for the MacBook Pro 14” and 16” coming too, with the M1 Pro and Max versions being discontinued this time, but I’d really love to see the M1 Mac mini stick around with a $100 price cut… I can dream.
Also at this event, we know iPadOS is being delayed until October so we could see the base and mini iPads mentioned before here, but I’m pretty convinced we’ll see an M2 MacBook Pro, especially as the iPad Air was updated to M1 in the Spring this year. Beyond M2 inside, there have been rumours about a redesign and possible wireless charging, as well as a new 4 pin smart style connector. Everything is pretty vague on that front though, so I guess, watch this space?
There has been talk of a Mac Pro being previewed before launching later in the year too, and again, I’d love that but I’m skeptical – I think the Spring event that we’ll come to soon makes more sense. Rumours suggest a 40 core CPU with 32 of those being performance, and 128 GPU cores. The design is likely to look similar to the current 2019 model, possibly with some changes to the dimensions and reports have said that prototypes have included at least one full sized PCI slot, though its not clear if this is for testing hardware, or something that would be included in a final product. If it is however, don’t expect it to be for discreet GPUs, but more likely controllers for audio hardware or additional storage. In the past Apple has announced the Mac Pro around WWDC with orders opening around December to take advantage of leftover budget being spent. Crafty.
Then, January. Yes. January 2023
Apple doesn’t hold January events, though one particular Apple reveal stands out, the original iPhone on January 9th 2007. January 9th falls on a Monday in 2023, so that’s not out of the realms of possibility. And January is when Apple is rumoured to be showing off their Apple Reality headset, presumably their play for the meta verse and the software platform it will run on, realityOS. Just like with iPhone, Apple Reality probably won’t ship right away, but perhaps between easter and WWDC in June, allowing Developers time to get some apps together ahead of launch. The headset is rumoured to consist of a pair of 8k OLED displays as well as an LCD display for peripheral vision and be powered by something like the M2 chip, working as a standalone device rather than running from an iPhone or Mac, with a price point between $2000 and $3000.
Oh, and if we didn’t see the Mac Pro in October, it could well be here instead.
Spring 2023 (probably March)
The Spring event seems to be becoming more of a regular feature of the Apple calendar now, having occurred the past two years. Three is a pattern, right?
The Spring 2021 event brought AirTag, AppleTV update, a purple iPhone 12, M1 iMac and iPad Pro. Spring 2022 gave us iPhone SE3, Green iPhone 13 and 13Pro, iPad Air M1 and the Mac Studio and Studio Display, introducing the M1 Ultra chip.
I think we could see a similar lineup to the 2022 event, a new iPhone colour, iPad Air M2 and Mac Studio with M2 Max and Ultra options. I also think Spring would be a good time for HomePod updates and probably some services updates, so maybe Podcasts Plus, Maps plus and more, maybe even AppleCard rolling out to more countries. There’s also been talk of the larger MacBook Air that Apple has under development potentially coming here too with M2 inside and, unrealistically for me at least, M2 pro? I don’t see that, and I don’t see it coming in the spring. I think its way more likely in…
June 2023, WWDC.
Back around to WWDC, and if my theory is correct, we should be seeing the first of the M3 Macs arriving, and likely as the first Apple Silicon chips built on TSMC’s 3 Nanometer node – as the chipmaker has reported that the first 3nm chips will be delivered to customers around Spring 2023 – and those customers are… Apple, not us, so they’ll then go into manufacturing to be ready for June’s conference and delivery.
3nm will give huge improvements, around 25% more efficient and 15% faster before Apple does any work on the design of the cores themselves, just for scaling down the transistors. Apple tends to get some work done too though. Of course, WWDC also brings the new software features for the coming year, making the stuff you already have better too, so really, it’s the most important event of the year for most Apple users.
And back to the iPhone event, this time for the iPhone 15 which will be solid state hydrogen powered instead of traditional batteries, with periscope cameras for underwater photography.
Seriously though, it’ll be the usual for September, iPhones, watches, maybe some iPads. And the cycle begins again.
The big take away from this is that I really expect Apple is shifting to an annual update cycle for their products as far as possible. MacBooks Air and Pro in the past averaged 360 days or so between updates, so now Apple is in charge of the development, and they’re designing the cores every year for iPhone anyway, why wouldn’t they? Apple could even move to a modular chiplet design for some of their chips too, reducing the issue of binning for chips with errors.
Let me know what you’re most excited for, and if you have a question for a future show, iCaveAnswers in the comments. Thanks to my Patreon, the neural engine of my channel, because someone has to bring the intelligence.