Apple Event 2023 recap: iPhone 15 series, Watch Ultra 2, USB-C change and more

Apple reveals the iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, 15 Pro Max, Watch Series 9, Watch Ultra 2, SE 2, USB-C and more!

That's a wrap! Apple's Wonderlust 12 September event is done and dusted, with just shy of 90 minutes presentation revealing the iPhone 15 series and all-new Apple Watch devices (and, quietly, USB-C-toting AirPods Pro 2 too!).

There was a lot to take in: the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus with Dynamic Island design; the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max with new Titanium design; an all-new 5x zoom for the iPhone 15 Pro Max; plus a trio of watches in the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and entry-level Apple Watch SE 2 update. 

Here's a rundown of all the expanded coverage that the T3 team has concocted during the event, with links to each article below, or scroll beyond for the original live blog as it happened beat for beat:

iPhone 15 series

Apple Watch

Original live blog follows below:


Colour me excited...

iPhone 15 smartphone

(Image credit: 4RMD)

As I was writing the intro to this Apple iPhone 15 live blog it got me thinking about iPhone's colour options. As you can see from the render above there's largely expected to be a red/pink finish, plus there's already been word of a refresh of the colour palette for the iPhone 15 series with wider options.

But then I couldn't stop staring at the Wonderlust teaser animation and its swirling of silvers and blues. It could just be me imagining it, but is Apple about to drop a more pearlescent finish with a new blue hue (try saying that 15 times in a row, eh)? I know the iPhone has offered a blue finish prior to now, but this is 2023, so it's time for a fresher shade of it...

The ultimate iPhone?

iPhone 15 dummies

(Image credit: YouTube/MacRumors)

Happy Apple Day! Tech Staff Writer Andy Sansom here, the iPhone Ultra of Staff Writers. What is an iPhone Ultra you ask? Well, earlier this year there was a genuine belief that there would be a mysterious fifth model that would go beyond even the Pro Max model. Dubbed the iPhone Ultra, it was supposedly the ultimate bells and whistles iPhone, but sorry to break your heart, we aren't expecting it later today.

It is instead believed that the iPhone Ultra will come with the iPhone 16 range, likely releasing about this time next year! So see you all then as well. Do stay tuned however because we have a hunch Apple has some interesting reveals in store for today. 

Made of tough stuff 

iPhone 15 pro alleged hands-on images

(Image credit: Ice Universe)

One of the most persistent rumours about the iPhone Pro models could change the look and feel of the phone forever. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are made from a stainless steel body, but the new phones are believed to be made of titanium. 

Titanium (atomic number 22) is both stronger and lighter than stainless steel, but also more expensive. We're hopeful that this means we could see either a significant weight reduction and/or the toughest iPhone ever. It may also however see the price go up a chunk. 

All action

Spigen iPhone 15 case showing action button

(Image credit: Spigen)

It looks like we've had our first new featue confirmation of the day... kind of. Case manufacturer Spigen has been a bit cheeky and seemingly revealed the brand-new 'action button' believed to replace the mute slider.

This button above the volume controls is suspected to be a bit of a mini-marvel capable of a host of different things. Muting is of course one of them iOS 17 source code has given us clues it could also be used for "Accessibility, Shortcuts, Silent Mode, Camera, Flashlight, Focus, Magnifier, Translate, and Voice Memos."

That's one busy button. 

Up periscope

iPhone 15 smartphone

(Image credit: 4RMD)

Another headline feature we expect to see is bound to bring a smile to the face of amateur photographers everywhere. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is rumoured to be getting a periscope lens camera. This will greatly improve the optical zoom capabilities of the camera, believed to be up to 6x magnification. Any camera enthusiast will tell you that optical zoom eats digital zoom for breakfast, so this would be a massive upgrade. 

The best thing about a perisocpe lens is that you get all of the improved performance without a giant lens weighing the phone down. Sounds great right! 

What(ch) else?

Apple Watch Ultra running WatchOS 10

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

It may be all some of us can think about, but it's not only the iPhone 15 that we are expecting to see today. The Apple Watch Series 9 is rumoured to be revealed too, with big changes and improvements expected for WatchOS, particularly if you're a cyclist or keen hiker.

We are hopeful as well that Apple's latest wearable will include Apple's A15 chip to dramatically improve the battery life of the watch. There's also talk of AirPods news, although that may just be unveiling the move to USB-C that many expect. 

Vision Pro no show?

Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

This gentleman may be very happy to be wearing his Apple Vision Pro, but we don't expect there to be any significant news on Apple's headset today. Revealed at WWDC 2023, the Vision Pro is set to be released in 2024 while today is more about products launching imminently. 

That being said we can always cross our fingers for snippets of how development is going. There has been talk on how an iPhone 16 Ultra could be influenced by the Vision Pro, with a camera capable of taking 3D images


Nothing (2) USB-C cable

(Image credit: Carl Pei)

Unless you've been living under a rock you'll probably know that it seems almost certain that the iPhone 15 will be the first to come with a USB-C port. This standardised charger is a big deal and will save those switching from Android hassle and money. It could however be a problem for iPhone loyalists.

The iPhone 15 is expected to come with a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box (probably not quite as cool as the Nothing cable above), but not a USB-C plug.  If you're firmly ensconced in the Apple ecosystem, you might not have many handy. It may be worth investing in one, as even if the iPhone 15 gets a wireless charging upgrade, it's probably not going to be as quick as plugging in.

Base model camera bump?

iPhone 14 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

While it's the iPhone 15 Pro Max that everyone expects to get the headline camera upgrade, the cheaper iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus might get the most significant. 

The talk is that the base models will swap their current 12MP sensors for a 48MP sensor provided by Sony with a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera added to boot. That's a serious jump in specs. If you've been put off by the price of the Pro phones,  it could be a good year to try one of the more affordable offerings.  

3 nm, what does it mean?

iPhone 15 mystery chips

(Image credit: Chargerlab)

We have seen word that the iPhone 15 Pro models could be the first phones to feature a 3nm (nanometer) processor, Apple's A17 Bionic chip. That sounds great, but what does it mean? 

Well in layman's terms, 3nm refers to the size of the transistors in the phone's chips. With smaller transistors, Apple can shove more into the phone and make it perform a lot better. It's expected that the jump to 3nm could bring 15% more speed with the same level of power consumption or up to 30% less power consumption without slowing the speed of the phone. That's a pretty hefty upgrade. 

All the action live

Tim Cook on stage during WWDC 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

Hi, it's news editor Rik Henderson here. I'm taking over for a while and, first up, would like to remind you that you'll be able to watch all of tonight's action right here on T3.

The show is being streamed live online and we have the video on our dedicated "how to watch" page. You will also be able to watch it on Apple's YouTube channel and through an Apple TV or plenty of other Apple devices.

There should be a crowd this year, much like WWDC 2023, so expect plenty of hollaring, whooping and a-cheering from the most enthusiastic members of the audience. Also remember that it starts at 10am PT (local time to Apple's HQ), which is 6pm BST UK time.

One rumoured iPhone 15 display rumour has the internet outraged

iPhone 14 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

It seems like one particular iPhone 15 rumour has rubbed many up the wrong way.

According to speculation, the standard iPhone 15 models will be sticking with the 60Hz refresh rate found on the existing iPhone 14 equivalents (and several other generations of Apple handsets).

That has irked the gamers out there, but our own Sam Cross isn't so bothered. As he points out, there are plenty of alternatives if you're looking for a handset to game on – phones with much higher refresh rates than is being quoted here.

He'd rather see other features implemented that will improve the day-to-day functionality of the iPhone, instead. I suspect he'll be happy with the launch tonight then.

New AirPods Pro coming too?

AirPods Pro 2

(Image credit: Amazon)

As well as the iPhone 15 family and possible new Apple Watch models, it's claimed that Apple will announce a new version of its AirPods Pro ANC earbuds during the event.

However, don't expect anything radically new about them.

That's because the refresh is likely only going to bring one main, new feature: USB-C charging.

At least that means that, if you've recently bought a pair of AirPods Pro 2, you won't be any hurry to upgrade (not least because they also support wireless charging, anyway). And, if you're in the market for new in-ears, you might also find the existing model cheaper post event. A win-win, really.

Sugar, we're going down...

A screenshot of the Apple Store which is down ahead of the Wonderlust launch event

(Image credit: Apple)

Afternoon folks! T3's resident News Writer, Sam Cross, here to take you through the build up to the event. And we've just had a big bit of news roll in...

If you're trying to buy anything from the Apple Store right now, you might recognise the page above. That screenshot is taken from their UK site at the time of writing.

Don't panic, either – if this is your first rodeo, this is completely normal. Apple always blocks off their store a few hours before, to give them time to update it with all the new goodies we'll get a look at this evening. What are you most excited for?

Something is cooking in Cali

A photo of the sunrise over Apple Park on the morning of the Wonderlust launch event

(Image credit: Tim Cook)

It's just gone 7am in California, and the sun is currently rising on the many members of the tech industry heading to Apple Park today. Of course, at 7am, I'm sure most of them are just grabbing an early coffee or a spot of breakfast.

Not Tim Cook, though, who shared this sumptuous image of the sunrise over Apple Park on Twitter a short while ago. Cook accompanied the image with the words, "It’s almost Time! See ya soon!"

Shot on the new iPhone 15? Perhaps. That's rumoured to come with a new 48MP camera, so it's possibly an early tease of that technology.

Whatever it was taken on, I hope he was wearing a harness up there...

Apple Watch Ultra 2 coming?

Apple Watch Ultra workout mode

(Image credit: Future)

One grey area surrounding the event at the moment is whether or not we'll see the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Rumours have gone back and forth on that one, with the original Apple Watch Ultra only hitting the market last year.

However, T3's Active Editor, Matt Kollat, believes we just might see the Ultra 2 today. Why is he so confident? Well, he spotted a price reduction on the current model on Amazon.

Could that be a sign that Apple is clearing out some old stock to make way for the new stuff? It's certainly a plausible take, though it is – of course – something we won't know for sure before this evening.

If an Apple Watch Ultra 2 is on the cards, what would you like to see added?

Thin is in for the iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 Pro renders

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

The new iPhone 15 range isn't just marking the next generation of iPhone technology, either. Some reports have suggested that the Pro Max variant could be a record breaker.

That's thanks to some super-slim 1.5mm bezels. If that proves true, the Pro Max would have the slimmest bezels on any phone yet.

While it's not likely to make any real functional difference, it does look absolutely stunning in renders. The screen-to-body ratio is just phenomenal, with an almost endless appearance.

It's one of the rumours I desperately hope proves true.

Hell for (faux) leather

Apple leather iPhone case

(Image credit: Apple)

While new products coming in always mean we have to say goodbye to some others, there's one in particular which I'm really sad to see go.

Rumours have suggested that Apple will make a move away from using real leather in their products this time out – including the iconic iPhone case. And while I totally understand why they're making the move, I'm a little dubious about what they'll replace it with.

It might go further, too. Other leaks have suggested that the Apple Watch partnership with luxury fashion house, Hermès, could end, too. They supply leather bands for the smartwatch range, which might be axed as part of the switch.

Apple event

(Image credit: Future)

Good afternoon everyone in the UK, and good morning to those lucky attendees poised to attend the Apple event in person today in Cupertino, California. It's Mat Gallagher here, T3's Editor-in-Chief taking you right up until the big event. 

So are you excited yet? I said, are you excited yet?? Of course you are! Today we are hoping to see Apple's best phones to date and some beautiful watches, and maybe something else – who knows? Is there space for a one more thing this year? I feel we're more likely to get an update on the upcoming Vision Pro, rather than something new, but Tim could have something extra up his sleeve. 

Lance Ulanoff, US Managing Editor of our sister title, Tech Radar is already inside Apple Park ready for the event. Just look at that ceiling! Apple Park really does look like it's landed from outer space, bringing with it future tech for the masses. 

See more

Apple T-shirt

(Image credit: Future)

I'm not at Apple Park but I am getting in the spirit here in Bath with this Apple Park T-shirt. You can only get Apple's apparel range from the Apple Store outside of the Cupertino HQ. So if you're visiting it's a very good excuse to go shopping. 

iPhone 14 Pro camera close

(Image credit: Apple)

We're now less than an hour away from the main event. We're expecting another pre-filmed event today, so most of what you can see on the livestream is the same as the attendees will be seeing. 

Of all the products we're likely to see today, it's the iPhone 15 Pro models that really interest me. These are expected to come with a titanium casing and new action button. plus the Pro Max could have a superior camera array over the Pro, giving it a longer zoom.  

Alleged leaked image of iPhone 15 Pro USB-C port

(Image credit: Unknownz21 / Twitter)

A lot has already been said about the iPhone's move to USB-C from Lightning connector. However, I'm expecting to Apple to play this down today. To be fair, Apple already uses USB-C for its iPads and Macs, so it no longer feels like a massive jump. 

Both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 models included a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box, so most users will already have some form of USB-C plug in their homes, ready for the new phone – and the cable in the iPhone 15 box is expected to be a USB-C to USB-C cable. 

There's no doubt though, user will want to stock up on USB-C power adapters, so that you can have one wherever you are. Apple is likely to be pushing it's standard USB-C adapter in addition to the dual 35W USB-C adapter. 

We could also see a new charger released to offer even faster charging to the iPhone 15. If that's the case, we can expect a big rush on them with iPhone pre-orders. 

Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

One rumour that I hope will come to fruition is that all of the new iPhones will get the Dynamic Island treatment. There was a lot of skepticism around the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro, as it was seen as just a clever way to disguise the punch hole camera. It was that but it was also an extremely clever new notification centre that has seen the integration into the OS increase. 

I'm a big fan of the Dynamic Island and I really hope that all iPhone 15 users get to experience what it can do. I'm also hopeful that we will see always in displays on all iPhones. Even if we don't get 120Hz on all models, the ability to lower the refresh rate could be added to allow this while maintaining battery. 

Apple Event 'Wonderlust' 12th September 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

Just 10 minutes to go now and it looks like people are taking their seats in the Steve Jobs theatre. All of the T3 team are here now, ready to provide you with blow by blow coverage as each new product and feature is revealed. 

After the event we'll bring you opinions from our experts on the new devices and comparisons with existing models, all to help you device if you should upgrade, or wait a little longer. 

In the meantime, enjoy the show (you can watch it live on Apple TV, or YouTube). Handing back to Tech Editor Mike Lowe for the main event. 

See more

What, no music?

Music on iPhone

(Image credit: David Espejo / Getty Images)

With minutes to go until the event proper it's myself, T3's Tech Editor, Mike Lowe, back in the Apple hot seat to bring this live blog home. I'm expecting a 6-7pm, possibly 6-8pm UK BST event runtime, so strap in!

Except right now I'm staring at the event live-stream and wondering: "Why's there no, y'know, movement or music?" Usually Apple goes big with the tunes, so it seems like a quiet beginning for this major 'Wonderlust' event. I suspect the noise is about to be turned up loud though...

Get ready for Wonder...

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

It's a go! The Apple Event for September 2023 is underway. So here's the thinking: expect new iPhones – although precisely which is up for question (will the Plus survive?; there's rumour of an Ultra too) – the Watch Series 9 and updated USB-C toting AirPods Pro. 

But first, but of course, it's time for a fancy pre-recorded pre-on-stage video to show off Apple's ecosystem of products and how they integrate into their users' lives (and, thanks to Emergency SOS and Crash Detection) actually saves them sometimes too...

Two essential products!

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

Tim Cook is hanging out on the green at Apple HQ in Cupertino and it's official: "two essential products" are coming in the shape of the iPhone 15 series and Apple Watch Series 9. So it's no longer a rumour, it's official!

Vision Pro is "on track"

Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Mr Cook confirms that Apple's Vision Pro is "on track" for a release date "early next year". Good to hear that we'll be getting it on schedule in 2024!

Apple Watch Series 9

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

"Redesigned on the inside" is the message about the Apple Watch Series 9. 

It comes with a new S9 chip that promises more power (a 30% GPU boost) for better animations and consistent battery life (to a claimed 18 hours per charge).

There's also a neural engine that delivers dictation that's "up to 25% more accurate" with this latest S9 chipset compared to the previous S8. 

It's also got much more accurate "locate my iPhone" features thanks to ultra-wideband comms. 

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

The Series 9's screen gets a big boost too: with variable brightness from 1 nit to 2,000 nits, it's up to double the brightness of the previous Series 8 model. Nice!

A new double-tap feature means you can click your fingers twice on your Watch-wearing hand, so you can keep your other arm completely free. Ideal if you're carrying a bag of shopping, although I do wonder if this new S9 chip will be discerning enough to not misinterpret movements.

Apple Watch Series 9 will be available "next month" in a "gorgeous new pink-aluminum case", in addition to many others.

Mother Nature in the house

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

Corporate responsibility and sustainability is hot topic right now and Apple's got a lot to say.

The company will eliminate all plastic in packaging by the end of 2024. 

All MacBooks, Apple TVs already use 100% recycled aluminum. 

Leather will be phased out from iPhone cases. 

Every Apple Store and Office already uses 100% renewable electricity. 

Transportation-wise, the company is shipping more by sea instead of air, reducing emissions by 95%.

The end goal? A net zero climate impact on all Apple products by 2030. All of them. 

Apple Watch Series 9 is the first Apple product that's Carbon Neutral. There's even a fancy new logo on the box to say so.

Apple Watch Ultra 2!

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

Say hello to the second-gen Apple Watch Ultra.

Like the Series 9, the Ultra 2 features the new S9 chip, double-tap feature, and improved display – although to a massive 3,000 nits, meaning it's 50% brighter again for ideal outdoors viewing. 

There's Watch OS 10 which brings all the latest features as per the previous Ultra model, including the cycling features that might make you throw that cycling computer out!

Battery life? That's apparently the same as it was in the original Ultra. Sounds like a serious statement given the improvement to screen brightness.

Apple Watch SE 2 and pricing info

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

There's also the new Apple Watch SE 2, which is also carbon neutral. That'll be priced from $249. 

The Apple Watch Series 9 is priced from $399.

Meanwhile the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the priciest of the lot, starting at $799.

iPhone 15 & Plus add Dynamic Island 

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

The iPhone 15 is here and, as was rumoured, the entry-level and smaller handset gains Dynamic Island and effectively ditches the notch - just like the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max models did last year.

There's more brightness, too, with a peak brightness of 2000 nits meaning it's twice as bright for high dynamic range (HDR) content compared to the iPhone 14 from last year. 

There's also the iPhone 15 Plus, if you want a bigger-screen option. 

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

When it comes to colours there are plenty of bright options: Pink, Yellow, Blue, Green, and Black. Told you there would be a new blue one!

The camera also gets a boost: the main camera is a 48-megapixel resolution. That's four times the resolution of the earlier iPhone 14's main snapper. That introduces a 2x zoom at 12-megapixels just by using the central pixels of this higher-resolution camera. 

'Next-generation portraits' will get richer colour, improved low-light performance, and uses a rich depth-map to introduce focus control - even after taking the shot.

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

Under the hood the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will feature the A16 Bionic chip, the same as first introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. That means more power and better battery management. The gap is closing!

Like the Apple Watch Series 9 the iPhone series will also feature ultra-wideband connectivity for enhanced precision. Satellite features will also be available as standard for free for two years.

The USB is out of the bag

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

Bye, bye Lightning! iPhone 15 will use USB-C, ushering in a new era for the flagship phone series. 

It was inevitable, really, as people have been asking for it for a long time (needless to say new EU rules likely expedited this decision).

iPhone 15 Pro & Pro Max

Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple Event)

"The most pro iPhone we've ever created," says Mr Cook. Well, the clue's in the name I s'pose. 

The headline here is an all-new Titanium design option. This incredibly strong and durable material is also lighter than previous material choices, so the 15 Pro is lighter than before. It also permits smaller bezels around the screen.

Apple event

(Image credit: Apple event)

There are two Pro models to chose from: the 6.1in iPhone 15 Pro and the 6.7in iPhone 15 Pro Max. So no Ultra... yet anyway.

A new internal architecture also means iPhone 15 Pro & Pro Max are more easily repairable. 

Call to Action!

Long-rumoured, now confirmed: the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will feature an all-new Action Button. It adds additional controls beyond being used as just a silencer switch.

More performance: A17 Pro

Apple event

(Image credit: Apple event)

While the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus get the A16 Bionic, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max get a new generation of Apple silicon in the form of the A17 Pro chip. 

This includes a new GPU and that is among the first to be developed as 3-nanometre (it's not technically the first, though, as MediaTek and TSMC announced this just last week - that'll be coming in the company's next-gen Dimensity chip in 2024, though, so Apple's will be first to market).

So the end of Bionic as we know it? The 'Pro' differentiator, it seems, is what Apple wants to promote for next-gen gaming, with hardware accelerated ray-tracing, variable refresh rate and dynamic lighting and effects. 

Pro camera

Apple event

(Image credit: Apple event)

Onto cameras. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max use a "more advanced 48MP sensor", which I take as meaning a new sensor choice for this generation. The sensor size is also larger than that in the iPhone 15. 

Also new for this series is a new nanoscale coating to reduce flare, better low-light performance for portraits and light mode, a 48-megapixel Pro Raw mode (and 48MP HEIF format), and the same 24-megapixel super-high resolution default output.

Apple event

(Image credit: Apple event)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max goes a stage further, adding a 5X (or 120mm focal length) zoom. Impressively it has an f/2.8 aperture, which is massive for such a focal length - and made possible by using a tetra-prysm design to reflect the light four times to create the distance required for such an optical zoom - without the physical size.

In addition this camera is sat on a 3D sensor shift module, meaning it can offer advanced optical stabilisation in multiple directions for ultimate smoothness.

Sunset Tim, signing out

Apple event

(Image credit: Apple event)

And that's a wrap. Tim Cook, with the sun setting on Apple Park behind him, is calling it a day. Whew.