2023 is set to be a big year for Apple. Just 18 days into it, the brand had already announced the long-awaited HomePod 2. So the question becomes, what else will arrive in the coming months? The iPhone 15 is probably the only given (as far as 'givens' go for Apple launches), though new iPads and Apple Watches are rumoured to be on their way. That’s not all that could surface, though; not by a long shot.
This year looks good for an Apple AR/VR headset to break cover, even if it may not be aimed at the average consumer just yet. Apple also looks to be readying a new slew of Macs, too, outside of the updates that have already been announced.
New AirPods and a next-gen Apple TV don’t seem to be on the cards this year, with reports suggesting they will launch in 2024. Nonetheless, 2023 looks to be absolutely jam-packed with new Apple products, from new iPhones to new Macs to Apple’s first take on AR/VR tech and more.
Of course, while rumours and leaks around Apple products are typically rife in the months (and sometimes years) before unveilings are expected, there’s never an official word on product reveals until the actual announcement or launch event. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a look at all the leaks and make some educated guesses…
iPhone 15 rumours at a glance
- Two iPhone 15 models and two 15 Pro models
- Pro Max renamed Ultra
- Dynamic Islands on all models
- USB-C charging instead of Lightning
- New periscope zoom
- Predicted starting price: $799 / £849 / AU$1399
Another year, another iPhone. Considering Apple has released a new iPhone series every year for quite some time, a follow-up to 2022’s iPhone 14, likely to be named the iPhone 15, is a pretty safe bet for 2023 in its usual September spot. But what’s changing?
Well, the short answer is that it looks like we’re getting Apple’s dynamic island – as seen on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max – on all iPhone 15 models as standard, finally phasing out the rather controversial notch system in favour of the smaller, more flexible Dynamic Island camera-cutout that’ll take up less space and be less intrusive.
While it’s been rumoured for years and years at this point, USB-C charging is thought to be finally coming with iPhone 15, replacing Apple’s now-classic Lightning connector. In 2022, Apple marketing exec Greg Joswiak commented on the EU’s mandate to standardise charging connectors across consumer electronics and said, “[Apple] will have to comply.” However, some folks theorise that Lightning might stick around for a while still before Apple moves to the next big thing: truly wireless iPhones that are charged via wireless charging.
Of course, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see higher prices, a new chipset, and some battery life improvements on iPhone 15, too. Plus, courtesy of Jeff Pu of Haitong Intl Tech Research, the standard iPhone 15 is expected to bring with it a meaty 48MP camera, while iPhone 15 Pro Max (which is expected to be renamed to the iPhone 15 Ultra) is rumoured to be bringing a 12MP periscope lens to the table for even greater optical zoom.
iPad rumours at a glance
- New iPad Pro unlikely in 2023
- Bigger 14-inch iPad + OLED iPads not coming soon
- Standard iPad could get refreshed this year with minor upgrades
- iPad Mini likely to get an update soon with more powerful internals
So, what’s possible with iPad this year? Firstly, a new iPad Pro is unlikely considering we got a new iPad Pro quite recently in October of 2022. OLED iPads have been rumoured for some time, but the latest speculation is that it’s going to take Apple until 2024 at the earliest to drop an OLED tablet. There are further rumours that Apple was considering bringing a larger 14-inch iPad to market, but recent developments suggest that Apple will not, in fact, release a bigger iPad anytime soon.
So, that leaves the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. The iPad Air was updated in 2022, so another upgrade coming in 2023 seems unlikely, even though the iPad Air (2022) was a relatively modest upgrade over the previous generation. However, a new iPad or iPad Mini could happen.
As far as the standard iPad goes, Apple did release a new entry-level iPad in 2022, the 10th generation of Apple’s iconic tablet, but Apple has launched a new standard iPad every year since 2017, so an upgrade in 2023 doesn’t seem out of the question at all. A new iPad would likely bring with it a new chip alongside possible upgrades like Apple Pencil 2 support, camera improvements, and better battery life, though that alone wouldn’t exactly make for an especially exciting new release. Accordingly, some are speculating that we may see a price drop on iPad (2022), with a new standard iPad coming in 2024.
The iPad Mini (last updated in 2021) is the most likely candidate of the lot for a refresh. Of the entire iPad line, it’s the only iPad attracting active rumours and leaks that back up the idea that we may see a new one soon. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, an updated iPad Mini with some modest upgrades is possible in 2023, while analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that a new Mini is expected by the latter half of 2023 (or the first half of 2024) and will bring with it a new chip as its main new feature.
Apple Watch 9
Apple Watch rumours at a glance
- New Ultra could get a minor 2023 refresh or a bigger update in 2024
- Apple Watch X instead of Series 9 in 2023 is possible but unlikely
- Series 9 is likely coming this year, but expect minor upgrades
As Apple’s latest Watch, the Ultra, was released last year, you might think that an upgrade isn’t particularly likely in 2023 – but insider Mark Gurman predicts that we will see updates to both the Ultra and the standard Apple Watch this year.
Considering how new the Ultra really is, it’s definitely possible Apple may elect to wait until 2024 to launch a second generation, but if not, expect upgrades like better battery life, more storage, and a new chipset. Although more recent rumours suggest Apple is working on a new Apple Watch with a MicroLED display, which would be a good fit for the premium Ultra, but analyst Jeff Pu expects this to come in 2024 at the earliest. If Apple is pushing for a MicroLED Ultra, it might make sense to skip a new Ultra this year.
There is some belief that Apple will hold out on a traditional Watch refresh this year to instead launch an ‘Apple Watch X’ in celebration of Apple Watch’s 10th anniversary. Considering 2023 marks nine years since the Watch's original release, and the fact there haven’t been any serious leaks or rumours suggesting Apple is introducing an all-new Watch in 2023, we’d take this one with a big pinch of salt.
So, what’s left is the Apple Watch Series 9, which is reportedly coming in 2023. Although the Series 9 isn’t expected to be a major upgrade or introduce any major new features, changes may well include an upgraded chipset and better battery life. There aren’t many concrete leaks about the specific details of Series 9 just yet, other than that it is expected this year.
Mac rumours at a glance
- New MacBook Pros and Mac Minis already announced
- MacBook Air could get 15-inch model + new chip this year
- iMac refresh also expected this year with new chip
- OLED MacBook Airs and bigger iMac Pros expected 2024 or later
- Mac Pro likely to be updated with Apple silicon
- Mac Studio could get new M2 chip options
In the Mac world, Apple has already announced MacBook Pros this year. They sport Apple’s new M2 chips (M2 Pro and M2 Max), faster performance, and better battery life. Plus, Apple has also recently announced a new Mac Mini that comes with the M2 Pro chip, but these aren’t the only Mac updates Apple’s expected to launch this year.
The MacBook Air line, for example, is rumoured to get a 15-inch model this year equipped with new Apple silicon, according to insider Mark Gurman. Gurman also suggests that we’ll also see a new iMac come in 2023 with new Apple silicon, and notes that an OLED MacBook Air and a 27-inch iMac Pro are also in development but aren’t necessarily expected this year. There’s evidence that we could see new Macs ship with a next-gen M3 chip from Apple, but whether the brand manages that or sticks with the also-new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips remains to be seen.
The Mac Pro is currently the most outdated Mac, still relying on Intel chips rather than Apple’s own silicon, and accordingly, Gurman expects a new Mac Pro to drop this year outfitted with Apple’s own silicon and the same design as the last generation of Mac Pro, although user-upgradeable RAM is not expected to be supported.
Lastly, Apple’s Mac Studio was just updated in 2022, and there aren’t any concrete rumours out there about a refresh coming in 2023; however, since the Studio ships with the M1 Max or M1 Ultra chips, there is some speculation the existing Studio will get support for Apple’s next-gen M2 platform, although that’s still largely just speculation at this point.
AR/VR headset rumours at a glance
- Apple's first AR/VR headset likely coming this year
- Expensive: expected price upwards of $3000
- 4K Micro-OLED displays, eye and gesture tracking, external battery pack, M Series chip, prescription lenses, new xrOS operating system
- Use as external display for Apple kit and more immersive video
- New App Store coming for the headset
- Mixed AR/VR functionality
- Cheaper headset could be coming next year
Much like the long-rumoured Apple Car, Apple-branded AR and VR headsets have been reportedly in development for years and years. Apple hasn’t announced or released any AR/VR products as yet, though 2023 looks to be the year that’s finally changing.
Once again according to Gurman, Apple had reportedly been planning to ship its first AR/VR headset in January 2023 but missed that target, and now the company is reportedly planning on introducing the headset at WWDC this year, in June or shortly before.
However, don’t get too excited just yet. This headset is expected to cost thousands of dollars (upwards of $3000 is the current speculation) and not necessarily be positioned as a mass-market consumer device. For years, the expectation has been that Apple will introduce a more expensive headset first and then a cheaper, more consumer-oriented set (or perhaps glasses) afterwards.
So, what’s coming with the Apple AR/VR headset? Well, once again, nothing official on that, but there are most certainly rumours. The rumoured specs are as follows: mixed VR/AR functionality, 4K Micro-OLED displays, eye and gesture tracking, an external battery pack, an Apple M Series chip, prescription lenses, and a new xrOS operating system for the headset to run.
What does all that mean? Well, it’s speculated that you’ll get some fairly unsurprising functionality like being able to use the headset as a display for Apple products and immerse yourself more fully in video content, but Apple is also reportedly working on an App Store for the headset so developers can create their own AR apps, gaming experiences, and much more. And it's important to remember that we’re expecting mixed AR/VR features on this set, so while you’ll likely be able to play VR games with it, for example, you can also likely expect AR applications to augment and play with what’s actually in front of you.
With other Apple products, we have a good sense of what’s come before, and with leaks and rumours, we generally have a good sense of what we can expect from later versions. However, with an all-new product in an all-new category, rumours and speculation are generally less reliable, so it’s important to take these AR/VR rumours with a grain of salt until we actually see Apple announce something.
Nonetheless, with industry heavyweights predicting that a headset is coming this year, it’s looking more and more like a sure thing that the beginning of Apple’s AR/VR journey is just about to start, so make sure to stay tuned.
AirPods, HomePod and Apple TV
AirPods, HomePod and Apple TV rumours at a glance
- No new AirPods expected in 2023
- AirPods Max may get new colourways this year, though
- HomePod Mini doesn't look to be getting updated in 2023
- A new Apple TV is in the works but will likely come in 2024
Regarding AirPods, HomePod and Apple TV, the expectation is that we won't be seeing these updated in 2023. Insider Mark Gurman expects no updates "of note" in 2023 for the above products, which doesn't for sure rule out any possibility of a refresh, but in terms of meaningful new products, it likely does.
AirPods Pro just got updated in 2022, so a refresh coming this year doesn't make a ton of sense, while AirPods Max is a bit older and a better fit for a refresh, but Apple isn't reportedly working on the next generation of the Max just yet. However, new colours for the Max may be coming.
The Standard AirPods last got an update in 2021, so they are getting older, but there isn't any concrete evidence suggesting the original AirPods are getting updated this year. Analyst Jeff Pu reports that Apple is working on an AirPods Lite to compete with cheaper earbuds, but there aren't any details on what an AirPods Lite would look like or when that might release just yet.
For HomePod, the HomePod 2 was just announced, so a HomePod 3 probably isn't on deck anytime soon, while the HomePod Mini is a few years old. However, the Mini has been getting updates over time to bring it much more in line with the featureset of the HomePod 2, so it also seems like Apple will hold off on refreshing the Mini, at least over the course of this year.
A new Apple TV is reportedly in the works, outfitted with a new chip, but the current speculation is that a new Apple TV won't actually make its way to market in 2023, opting instead for a 2024 release, which would make sense considering the Apple TV got updated in 2022. Either way, though, the next version of Apple TV doesn't look to be a huge departure from the last version, nor is it reported to support 8K video.
Of course, new AirPods and HomePods are also inevitable, given a long enough time period, but you'll probably have to wait a bit longer for those to come out, unlike a lot of what's been discussed earlier on this page.
Check out our rumour roundup of everything iPhone 15
As well as our list of the best iPhones out there
And our full-fat review of iPhone 14