Apple Watch fans will be disappointed with this 2023 rumour

Looks like it’ll be a quiet year for most Apple products, with all attention on a new mixed reality headset

Apple Watch SE 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

It may only be the second week of January, but already it looks like Apple fans could be in for a quiet year, with very few major new products expected.

This is the opinion of Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has an excellent record for insider news on upcoming Apple products.

In what will no doubt be disappointing news for Apple fans, Gurman’s first email newsletter for 2023 says he does not anticipate “major changes” to the Apple Watch’s hardware this year, “save for some minor performance boosts.”

The Apple Watch Ultra only arrived a few months ago, so it is unlikely that 2023 will see any big upgrades for that model, and for several years now the regular Watch has received only incremental improvements each year.

At this point, it seems unlikely that the Watch Series 9 will be much different to the Series 8 that arrived in 2022. Instead, Watch fans might want to hold out for a bigger revamp with the Series 10 – and if the iPhone X was anything to go by, Apple will hopefully make a big deal of its tenth-generation smartwatch.

Gurman has similar news for Apple’s AirPods lineup, with no major upgrades expected, even for the AirPods Max that arrived back in 2020. He also says there are no plans to update the Apple TV, although a new version of the original HomePod smart speaker is expected for 2023 but he adds: “I wouldn’t expect anything revolutionary about it.”

Apple VR concept

(Image credit: Antonio de Rosa)

Apple is working on OLED displays for the 11in and 13in iPad Pro, Gurman says, but he adds that these won’t arrive until 2024, while only small upgrades are expected for the rest of the iPad family.

Mercifully, Gurman says the iPhone 15’s hardware “could still be impressive”, with the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island display appearing on all four models of handset. He also predicts a titanium frame will replace the stainless steel of the Pro models, and there will be “haptic volume buttons” and (finally) a switch from Lightning to USB-C for the charging port.

All of this, Gurman says, is because Apple is working hard to launch a mixed reality headset. In the works for half a decade and originally due back in 2019, the headset is now planned for 2023. After yet another delay from its January deadline, Gurman says Apple “is aiming to unveil it this spring ahead of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June,”.

He added: “Apple has already shared the device with a small number of high-profile software developers for testing, letting them get started on third-party apps…On this timeline the company would then ship the product later in the fall of 2023.”

The headset is expected to offer both augmented reality and virtual reality experiences, running on a new operating system dubbed Borealis and expected to be known publicly as xrOS, with XR short for mixed reality.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.