What to expect from Apple in 2024 – iPhone 16, AirPods 4, new iPads and more

What to expect from Apple in 2024
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple launching at least a handful of new products every year is pretty much guaranteed. With such a vast portfolio of AirPods headphones, iPad tablets, Mac computers and laptops, iPhones (of course!) and much more besides, Apple has a lot to keep on top of and tends to update models fairly regularly. 

So what is due this year?  We can't say for certain, as Apple doesn't like to give official heads-ups on new products on the way, but based on product launch timelines and the ever-spinning Apple rumour mill, we can take an educated guess.

From the new iPhone 16 and fresh AirPods to the Apple Watch and the company's first proper foray into AI within its iOS 18 update, here is everything we expect to come down the Apple pipeline in the next 12 months...

The iPhone 16 lineup

iPhone on desk

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The one thing we can almost be certain of is that Apple will reveal the iPhone 16 lineup this year, likely in September to follow suit with previous iPhone launches. This year we're expecting the announcement to come during the week of 9th September. And the rumours are flowing in fast with lots to get excited about.

When it comes to pricing, the iPhone 15 launched with a lower-than-expected RRP, so that gives hope for a lower-cost iPhone 16 too. You can expect prices for the 'standard' iPhone to start from £799 / $799 / AU$1499, going up from there for the Plus, Pro and Pro Max models.

The iPhone 16's display could, according to analyst Ross Young, grow on the iPhone 15's, offering a Pro 6.3-inch screen over a current Pro's 6.1-inch size. The iPhone 16 Pro Max could also get a screen bump to 6.9 inches from the current 6.7 inches. The standard iPhone 16 is expected to remain at 6.1 inches. There is also a rumour of a new M14 screen technology that would save on power, while the use of Micro Lens Array could increase brightness too.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 16 Pro will get the 5x optical zoom camera feature that currently only the iPhone 15 Pro Max features.

And lastly, we can expect a new A18 processor, with the Pro models getting an A18 Bionic Pro variant, according to MacRumours. The same site also claims we can expect the action button to come on all iPhone 16 variants, more AI in iOS 18, and the introduction of graphene to combat overheating.

Check out our dedicated iPhone 16 rumour guide for more leaks.

iOS 18 with AI boosts

Rumoured iOS 18 logo on a grey background

(Image credit: Mac Rumours)

The next version of Apple's mobile operating system should be announced at its usual time – at the company's WWDC developer conference in June, to arrive with the iPhone 16 in September 2024. This year's update is rumoured to be a big one, with plenty of intelligent AI integration offering significant improvements.

Bloomberg's reliable Apple reporter Mark Gurman suggests this could be a "relatively groundbreaking" update, reports MacRumours. Expect things like auto-generated playlists in Music and AI-assisted writing and slide deck creation in Pages and Keynote.

Siri is also rumoured to get an update using Large Language Models, famous for AI platforms like Chat-GPT. That should mean deeper integration of Siri with apps and improved interactions with Messages specifically.

Messages should also get an update to use Rich Communication Services to improve cross-platform communications between iPhone and Android devices. Apple is also rumoured to offer greater support for higher-resolution photos and videos as well as audio messages.

AirPods earbuds criss-crossed on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)

AirPods 4

While the next AirPods Pro (AirPods Pro 3) aren't likely to show up until next year, Apple is rumoured to be launching a fourth generation of the AirPods pretty soon. Despite the AirPods 3 being a relatively recent release, in 2021, the company is reportedly pressing on with a new pair.

Apple has left around two and a half years between each upgrade of the AirPods so far – they've arrived in 2016, 2019 and 2021 – so an update is due and, according to Bloomberg, we can expect them in mid-2024.

The price of this latest generation of AirPods is expected to be similar to previous releases – around the $179 / £169 / AU$279 mark. But naturally we are expecting some headway to be made in terms of their design and performance. Rumours are surprisingly pretty thin on the ground in terms of what improvements we can expect, but we, for one, would like on-bud volume adjustment and improved sound quality. And a USB-C case is pretty much a given.

Check out our AirPods 4 rumours guide for all the latest leaks.

iPads with new OLED screens

Every colour of iPad in a fan-like arrangement

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple did not update its iPads last year, which has left expectations high for 2024. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, we can expect some major changes to come to the iPad range this year.

The iPad Pro is expected to get an update, though in what ways we aren't sure. There are, however, rumours of screen upgrades. The word is that Apple is getting ready to reveal new iPads with upgraded OLED displays that offer 120Hz refresh rates. That would take the tablets up to the screen quality of the newer iPhone models – which makes sense when you consider these devices are all about their display quality.

More rumours, from 9to5 Mac, suggest we could see an entire iPad line overhaul with the iPad, iPad Mini and iPad Air all entering their next generations. These include the iPad Mini getting a 7th Generation A16 Bionic Chip, the 8th Generation iPad Air getting an M2 processor, and an undisclosed upgrade to the 11th Generation iPad's silicone.

More M3 Macs and MacBooks

An open MacBook on a white background

(Image credit: Spotify / Apple)

Expect Apple to announce some updates to its laptop line in the form of fresh MacBooks and Mac machines. After Apple upgraded all its computers in 2023 with its own silicon, we can expect upgraded versions to land this year.

According to MacWorld sources, we can look forward to the new M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips finding their way into new Mac Mini, MacBook Air and iMac Pro models this year.

These chips all appeared in October 2023 across the new iMac and MacBook Pro.

10th-anniversary Apple Watch

Apple Watch in purple against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)

It's the tenth anniversary of the Apple Watch this year, so you can expect some big changes to the iconic timepiece. Expect a new model to launch around September.

According to Bloomberg, we can expect the 10th Generation Apple Watch Series 9 to get a design overhaul. That should mean it is slimmer than it is currently and will come with new methods of attaching bands.

The display is rumoured by Jeff Pu to get an upgrade to a new 2.1-inch micro LED, screen making it more battery efficient. This could be an Apple Watch Ultra upgrade rather than a Series 9.

There could also be a new blood pressure monitor that uses the wave of a heartbeat to take a reading, making it far less invasive than most methods. Continuing on health, this watch could also detect hypertension as well as sleep apnea. Clever.

AirPods Max 2

Grey AirPods Max on a wooden desk next to plants

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

With a suite of excellent features, including wonderfully cinematic spatial audio, brilliant sound quality, a reliable battery life, and a comfortable but sturdy build, the original Apple wireless over-ears remain a staple recommendation Apple users who can afford them. But there's still room for improvement and we think it's time the 2020-released headphones got a sequel. After all, Apple hasn't historically left many of its products for more than four years without an update.

A softer update than we might expect is actually rumoured for the AirPods Max 2, though that includes new colourways, a USB-C port, improved ANC and a redesigned case. Gesture controls, lossless audio support over a wire (or even wirelessly!) and waterproofing would be welcome, so we'll have to wait to see what transpires.

Rumour has it these should launch towards the end of this year or, in the worst-case scenario, early 2025.

Check out our AirPods Max 2 rumours guide for all the latest leaks.


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