Apple products to expect in 2023: iPhone 15, AR/VR headset and more

Since Apple never discusses new products before they’re announced, it’s impossible to know exactly what to expect in the pipeline for 2023. But certain devices arrive around the same time each year, giving possible clues as to what to expect. Leaks and rumors also paint a picture of possible gadgets we could see in 2023, such as Apple’s long-rumoured “mixed-reality” headset.

If the reports prove correct, 2023 could see several firsts for Apple’s line of products. We may see the company’s first AR/VR headset, the first iPhone with USB-C and, for example, the first 15-inch MacBook Air. As for other products like AirPods, the Apple TV, and the iPad, Bloomberg reports that we probably won’t see any 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 Apple is further optimizing its devices to compete with Android and Windows competitors that offer larger screens and universal USB-C charging.

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In small launches as early as 2023, Apple released a new one yellow version of the iPhone 14one updated HomePoda Macmini with the 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 previous launches, rumors and leaks from Apple so far. Apple did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

iPhone 15 lineup

All four models in the iPhone 14 series sit on a desk

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

Celso Bulgatti/CNET

Apple usually launches new iPhones in September, and this year is likely to be no different. One of the most important changes we expect to see the iPhone 15 is the switch from the Lightning charging port to USB-C. That’s because there are new rules that require technical products sold in Europe to support USB-C by 2024. Still, it’s unclear if Apple will fully embrace the transition to USB-C for the entire iPhone 15 range, or if it will make a region-specific model for Europe.

Another possible update could be the arrival of Dynamic Island 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 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 AR/VR virtual reality headset

Apple is rumored to be releasing a mixed reality headset this year.

James Martin/CNET

Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset could 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 combine elements of augmented reality, which superimposes digital graphics over real-world environments, similar to the smartphone game Pokemon Go, and virtual reality, which envelops users in 360-degree graphics like the $400 Meta quest 2.

But don’t expect Apple’s headset to be 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, found in the current MacBook lineup, the report says.

Tech giants from Meta to Sony to Microsoft have all done their best with virtual or augmented reality. But it is expected that Apple’s first VR product could popularize the technology, as the company has a long track record of doing so with other products.

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

Apple Watch Series 9

Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8

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

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Like timepieces, Apple usually releases new Apple Watch models in the fall alongside its new iPhones. However, this year we may see a more modest update than usual. Bloomberg reports that we should not expect any significant changes to the Apple Watch this year. What that means is unclear, but it’s possible the watch will include routine updates like performance improvements rather than major new health tracking features.

That ties in with the pattern Apple has followed in recent years. Apart from the addition of temperature detection and car accident detection, the Apple Watch Series 8 are very similar to Series 7. Apple has also introduced more new features in recent years through software updates than through hardware changes, such as the ability to track sleep stages which arrived in WatchOS 9. But I hope the Series 9 inherits some features from the Apple Watch Ultraespecially the handy action button, which makes it easier to get straight into a workout.

There haven’t been many rumors or reports on whether or not to expect updates Apple Watch SE or Ultra models in 2023. But since Apple doesn’t always release special edition products on a yearly basis, it wouldn’t be surprising if Apple skips those updates this time around.

A new iMac

Apple iMac M1

The 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 in advanced development, meaning it could appear in the second half of this year, according to Bloomberg. The redesigned computer will probably run on Apple’s rumours 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 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

The 2019 Mac Pro on stage next to Apple CEO Tim Cook

The 2019 Mac Pro on stage next to 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 be 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 192 GB of memory.

The $5,999 Mac Pro is Apple’s high-end desktop computer aimed at professionals. It’s the last remaining Mac in Apple’s current lineup that doesn’t contain the company’s proprietary silicon. The report suggests it will launch between late spring and summer, meaning we might see it at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

A 15-inch MacBook Air

MacBook Air M2 2022 laptop

The 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 on Apple’s product roadmap for 2023, though it’s unclear if this machine will run on the company’s expected M3 chip. Work is also underway on a new 13-inch MacBook Air.

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

Taken together, the rumors, leaks, and reports suggest that 2023 could prove to be a pivotal year for Apple’s computing lineup. As Apple announces its first mixed reality headset, we get a glimpse of the company’s vision for the future of computing. Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out the potential he sees for augmented reality, but we haven’t yet seen any dedicated Apple hardware to deliver those experiences. The arrival of Apple silicon in the Mac Pro would also mark the completion of Apple’s transition to its own Mac chips within its current lineup.

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