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Apple September event live blog – iPhone 15 going USB-C, periscope camera and new Apple Watches

Apple September event live blog – iPhone 15 going USB-C, periscope camera and new Apple Watches

Today is the day we’ll likely see the reveal of the iPhone 15 lineup, comprising the standard iPhone, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. We also expect to see the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, and possibly more. New AirPods, maybe? We’ve got full details in our Apple September event preview.  

As someone who’s been covering iPhone launches for years, I think this could be a big one for the Cupertino company’s phones. We’re expecting to see a tweaked design, Dynamic Island across all four models, a 6x zoom via a new periscope camera for the Pro Max, and more power all round. 

I’ll be bringing you the latest rumors and last-minute leaks around the various devices, as well as chewing over what we’ve heard so far and previewing what to look forward to later. Then as we approach the launch I’ll hand over to Phones Editor Philip Berne, who’ll take you through the main event and beyond. 

If you want to follow the iPhone 15 launch yourself, then check out our guide on how to watch the Apple September event, or follow it on YouTube via the embedded video below. But for everything else you’re in the right place – so read on for all the big news as it happens.

Watch the iPhone 15 event live here

Apple’s Wonderlust live stream isn’t live yet, of course, but you’ll be able to follow it here once things kick off at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST today (September 12).

Hello, Managing Editor Roland Moore-Colyer here. I’ve been covering Apple launches for years and today’s launch could be one of the more interesting iPhone reveals in a while.

While the iPhone 14 launch saw the debut of the Dynamic Island, the iPhone 15 promises to take that further with by spreading the pill-shaped camera cutout that can morph into a flexible UI element to all iPhone 15 models.

iPhone 14 Pro Max review Dynamic Island Maps small

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Now I’ve yet to be sold on the Dynamic Island. But spreading it to all iPhones, not just their Pro variants, could see more developers introduce controls for their apps that work with the Dynamic Island. 

I’d like to see it become a truly useful tool rather than a nice-to-have UI element. 

Tim Cook Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

But the Dynamic Island is not why I’m feeling somewhat hyped for the iPhone 15 launch…

Apple iPhone 14 Yellow

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

For starters the standard iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus are set to get 48MP main cameras

I hope that will see a notable uptick in iPhone photography even on its base models; that’s providing Apple can use its software to get the most out of a 48MP sensor, particularly when the end photo tends to be reduced to 12MP through pixel binning techniques. 

A new design for all iPhone 15 models is also on the cards, with rounded edges set to replace the flat edges, this is arguably Apple going forward and backwards; the latter because it introduced flat edges with the iPhone 12 and onwards, the former because many people find phones with curved edges to be more comfortable to hold. 

My colleague Alex Walker-Todd seems pretty stoked for curved edges on the next-gen iPhones

iPhone 11 Pro rounded iPhone 14 Pro straight edged

(Image credit: Apple)

I’m keen to see if the rumor of titanium sides comes true for the iPhone 15 Pro, as that could make for a tougher and lighter phone. But I’d be interested to see how Apple approaches finessing colors for a titanium chassis

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max angle with screen on

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Speaking of the iPhone 15 Pro, I’m most excited to see if an Action button does indeed jump from the Apple Watch Ultra to the next-gen Apple phones. 

I’m already sold on the idea of a customizable button that can trigger all manner of apps and services. My only concern is Apple could limit its use – if indeed the rumors of an Action button prove to be correct. 

The second iPhone upgrade I’m most intrigued by, at least going by the multitude of rumors to date, is the 6x optical zoom periscope camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max

Such cameras, which involve some interesting prism arrangement, aren’t new in smartphones. But on the iPhone 15 Pro Max it would double the optical zoom range of the latest Pro iPhone from 3x to 6x. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review camera

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Android fans may scoff and cite how the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers two telephoto cameras, one at 3x and the other at 10x, with a capable hybrid zoom option. 

But I’d argue that 6x optical zoom threads the line between usable zooming and delivering impressive photos; the commonly used 3x tends to require a bit of maneuvering to get the shot I want, while 10x is arguably a bit much unless you happen to pinpoint a particular subject in the middle distance. I think 6x could be the new optical zoom range for smartphone makers to aim for.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro full back

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

I’m also a bit of a sucker for telephoto cameras, preferring them to ultrawides as the second camera option on smartphones; maybe that’s because I just don’t have many friends… 

But I find telephotos cameras great for getting close up shots of things like flowers without needing to rely on sometimes finicky macro modes. And for capturing shots of the urban foxes that call my end of East London home, a good zoom is needed; the critters are relatively confident but don’t let big humans like me get too close! 

Of course, a smartphone camera is only as good as the processing behind it. 

But with the standard and iPhone 15 Plus set to get the A16 Bionic chip, and the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are expected to get the rumored A17 Bionic, Apple should have plenty of onboard computational photography power to play around with the ensure prospective iPhone 15 users get the shots they want. 

On the whole I’ve been impressed with Apple’s computational photography performance, having stuck with an iPhone 13 Pro for nearly two years and have been rarely let down by its photo snapping chops. 

But I’d be keen to see the smart folks at Cupertino use extra power from a new slice of silicon to get even better photos. After all, Google’s and Samsung’s image processing continues to improve, making competition in this area stiff. 

Apple Arcade promo image

(Image credit: Apple)

When it comes to power, I’d like to see Apple bring some truly impressive gaming to next-gen iPhones. With Apple Arcade, there’s already a decent selection of interesting titles to play, but few really blow my mind. 

So I’d love to see something from the developers in Apple’s app ecosystem that can really push into the power of its A-series chips and make for an evolved take on smartphone gaming. This could all be wishful thinking on my part… 

Apple iPhone 14 Pro base

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

One BIG thing the iPhone 15 range will surely bring to the table is USB-C connectivity. This means it could finally be the end of the proprietary Lightning port. 

I for one welcome this move, as I’m sick of carrying around a dedicated cable for my iPhone or iPad mini, or AirPods Pro

It’s weird to think that moving to a USB-C port warrants much of a mention. 

The best Android phones have been using USB-C for years, so Apple’s likely move to adopt the port is hardly revolutionary. 

But then again, this is a sign of Apple moving with the industry rather then trying to forge its own path. Which raises the question of what will Apple do next that others have had for some time? Maybe we’ll finally get a touchscreen MacBook…

Sorry I got distracted. So USB-C on iPhones. 

We’re talking speedier charging times, potentially improved data transfer, no need to carry around a dedicated charger or cable. 

Well that’s if Apple integrates USB-C in a sensible way and doesn’t try and force people to by Apple-certified cables and chargers (I’m not hopeful about this). 

US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff has some interesting thoughts on the iPhone 15 going USB-C

iPhone lightning port

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Moving from Lightning to USB-C does throw up a few wrinkles, namely that people with a host of Lightning port accessories could be left out in the cold. 

Maybe Apple will provide some form of Lightning to USB-C converter, though I doubt the company would bundle one in the box for the iPhone 15 models. 

Nevertheless, it’s about damn time got an iPhone family with USB-C. Apple’s move to USB-C already started with the iPads and MacBooks, so it’s only logical that other devices follow suit. 

AirPods Pro 2 in use

(Image credit: TechRadar)

And while I’m on the topic of USB-C, I suspect that we’ll see Apple announce a USB-C charging case for its AirPods

I doubt we’ll see new AirPods today, but I can fully see the folks at Cupertino almost retrofitting the AirPods with USB-C by releasing a new case; don’t expect it to be cheap. I may have to get one as it frustrates me a heck of a lot that I can’t charge my AirPods with the myriad of USB-C cables I have in my work bag. 

iPad mini 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)

When it comes to other things I’d like to see from Apple today, one of the devices is the rumored iPad mini 7

But the rumors are a little sketchy on if we’ll see such a tablet today or at a seperate event later this year or early-ish in 2024. 

Such an iPad is rumored to have a specs bump and not much else; no bad thing as the current iPad mini’s design is rather good. 

But equally its size makes it a decent handheld gaming device, so some game announcements in relation to it would put a smile on my face. 

However, I’d suggest you don’t hold your breath. As mentioned, the iPad mini 7 could be revealed at a later date. 

And if it’s just a specs bump, it could even get announced in an Apple press release rather than at a dedicated iPad event. 

And don’t go expecting any other iPads either. Apple refreshed a good suite of them in the past 12 months, and I’m not sure it has the scope to do a lot more to its tablets until the so-called Apple M3 chip comes along. 

While I’m on the subject of what we very likely WON’T see at the Apple September event, let me point you towards my subject: 5 things we won’t see at the Apple event

Apple Unleashed

(Image credit: Apple)

So that means no new Macs and no new AirPods (other than the aforementioned USB-C charing case). And I very much doubt we’ll see any HomePod tech or updates either.  

The Apple TV 4K 2022 with its remote on a grey background

(Image credit: Apple)

And don’t go expecting to see any Apple TV upgrades, as that streaming gadget was updated last year. 

Yet, one could posit that new shows or second series to popular series like Severance, could make an appearance as Apple talks up Apple TV Plus

Oh boy, wasn’t Severance good? The plot, acting, setting, aesthetic all ticked my boxes. 

So I’d love to hear about Severance season 2 today. But with the Writers Guild of America on strike, Apple is reportedly facing big delays for the second season of Severance. 

I’m not convinced we’ll see more of the Vision Pro mixed reality headset either. Apple made a big song and dance about it at WWDC 2023, but I think today’s showcase will be firmly fixed on devices that are within the reach of many consumers rather than early adopters with deep pockets. 

Equally, if Apple were to make some cursory hits at what’s coming for the Vision Pro, or the developers it has in place, I’d not be overwhelmed with surprise. 

Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

BONG! I interrupt my Apple event musing with some fresh news: a last-minute iPhone 15 Pro leak reveals the likely storage and RAM

Looks like more RAM could be coming to the Pro phone but may be linked to the amount of storage you opt for. Doesn’t look like we’re getting a 2TB iPhone 15 Pro Max either. 

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro Max rumor lead image split-screen

(Image credit: Future | Apple)

I’ve never really struggled with RAM or storage when it comes to iPhone. But a lot of the time , more is better so I won’t complain if we get an iPhone 15 Pro Max with 8GB of RAM.  

More power and RAM can make for snappier processing of things like images when applying computational photography to them, so that would be a positive uptick in my opinion. 

Ok let me put iPhones to one side for a moment and talk Apple Watch models. 

We’re expecting two of them to be revealed today: the Apple Watch 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2

watchOS 10 on the Apple Watch

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch 9 is expected to be a minor bump on the Apple Watch 8

Expect improved specs under the hood, and perhaps a new take on watch straps with the aim of being eco-friendly. Iteration over big changes seems to be the flavor here, that’s if the rumors are to be believed. 

Apple Watch Ultra in use on wrist and on table

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 could be the more interesting Apple wearable revealed today. 

It’s tipped to get a larger display and will likely have functions that lean into adventuring; that’s what we posit from the ‘Wonderlust‘ strapline for the Apple event. But it’s not set to be a dramatic upgrade over its predecessor, which has only been available for some 12 months. 

Not that anyone asked me, but what I’d really like to see is a new affordable Apple Watch. An evolution of the Apple Watch SE line. 

There have been zero hints of this happening, so I’m not holding my breath. But a guy can dream right? 

Ding ding! I interrupt my musing once again with fresh iPhone 15 news. This time it looks like the Action button for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max looks all but confirmed thanks to images from an iPhone case maker. 

Going by the case design, it looks like the Action button will be take up a little more space than the mute switch it’s set to replace. But it doesn’t look like it would be an ungainly addition to the iPhone Pro’s design either. I’m all for it. 

My big hope is the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro models is customizable. 

Apple has a tendency to want its users to do things the Apple way. Too often that means sticking to a suite of predetermined functions rather than letting users do things based on their own initiative. Maybe Apple could surprise me this time; again, no breath holding here. 

I think the combo of the Action button, periscope camera, more performance and a titanium design could actually see me look favourably on the iPhone 15 Pro Max

Normally I prefer the 6.1-inch screen size of the standard iPhone Pro models; they are simply easier to use without being too small. But the upgrades the new Max has slated for it, does make it more compelling than ever before. 

Apple iPhone 14 Pro hero

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

With all the rumors in mind, I suggest you hold off buying a new iPhone until the next-gen range is announced. 

Even if the rumored upgrades aren’t to your taste, the iPhone 14 is surely going to get a discount, meaning that it’s best to buy a new iPhone once the pre-orders for the upcoming generation go live. 

Apple iPhone store down

(Image credit: Apple )

Speaking of buying Apple things, well you can’t as the Apple Store has just gone down. This is normally preamble for it to be updated with a host of new devices. 

As mentioned, we expect new iPhones and Apple Watch models. And precious few surprises. 

MacBook Air (2022, M2)

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

If you do want to buy one Apple device that’s out right now, may I recommend the MacBook Air M2? I think it’s one of the best laptops around and I’m currently writing this blog on it. 

But I also think it’s worth getting now as I don’t see Apple doing much of a refresh anytime soon. Not that it needs to as the MacBook Air is simply great

For more detail on the ‘should you, shouldn’t you?’ of getting a new iPhone, Deals Editor Alex Whitelock has a rundown on whether you should wait for an iPhone 14 price drop or get the iPhone 15?

My suggestion would be to get the iPhone 15 as I think it could offer the more compelling feature set. But we’ll wait and see.

iPhone 14 Pro on a pink background

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Equally, one thing that looks set to irk me about the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus is the rumored continued use of a 60Hz refresh rate

That’s simply not acceptable in 2023, when even the best cheap phones tend to have 90Hz displays. People deserve fluid motion on the screens they are sure to spend the most time looking at. 

On the topic of displays, I don’t expect much to change with the screens of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. 120Hz ProMotion is set to remain present and correct, which is no bad thing as that display is great. 

Apple may trim the bezels a little on its Pro phones, which would be interesting. But I’ve never been too concered about the bezels on the current iPhones. 

OK so we’re still some four hours and a bit from the iPhone 15 launch. Oddly, the leaks and rumors have gone a bit quiet. 

Perhaps that’s a sign that those in the know have already spilt everything significant about the showcase. 

We have US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff as the boots-on-the-ground representative for TechRadar. It’s around 5:30am in California, so I’m not expecting any juicy tidbits of pre-Apple event preamble from him just yet. 

Though I do know Apple tends to offer some rather nice breakfast items at its events. I’m blogging from East London where it’s lunchtime… but thinking about such food items is making me peckish. 

So now’s a good time to recap what to expect. See below: 

  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus 
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Apple Watch 9 
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 
  • USB-C AirPods charging case
  • A bold ‘Good Morning’ from Tim Cook

News just in! A tipster called Kosutami  has posted an image of the so-called ‘FineWoven Link’ watch strap for the Apple Watch series. This new strap eschews real leather for combination of recycled nylon and polyester that’s been weaved into a band with twill.

If this image is legitimate, then the strap looks pretty good and is reportedly more environmentally friendly than real leather watch straps. It looks like it could be pretty hard-wearing as well. 

See more

If you’re considering pre-ordering the iPhone 15, then you make want to bookmark our guide on iPhone 15 preorders

I reckon the preorders will go live today for most of the next-gen iphones, if not all devices Apple reveals today. When will those devices will be shipped, well that’s a whole different question. 

Looks like Apple CEO Tim Cook is up bright and early at Cupertino. He’s taken to Twitt… sorry X to err… tweet his readiness for the Apple event. 

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I’m quite taken by the Apple event teaser animation, which looks like the shifting of sand in the wind. 

Going by our own analysis this could be a hint at exploring enabled by a new Apple Watch Ultra and the zoom capabilities of the iPhone 15 Por Max. Or we could be completely off the mark. Time will tell very soon. 

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Well look who it is! It’s only Lance Ulanoff, our fearless leader in the US and the man on the ground at the Apple event. 

an image of Lance Ulanoff at the Apple September event

(Image credit: Lance Ulanoff)

If you want such hot early insights as the one below, before the Apple show kicks off, then give Lance a follow on X (yeah, I know it’s really Twitter) @LanceUlanoff

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This live blog had now descended into Lance Watch as here he is with his official Apple event badge; that’s a fetching green! 

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And here’s the main man zipping inside Apple Park. 

I’ve only met Lance once in the real world, and I’ve never seen him walk. But I’m going to assume this is a sped-up video and that he’s not on rollerskates. Either way the excitement for the iPhone 15 launch is starting to gather pace. 

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And Mr Ulanoff is inside the main Apple product room. 

I have to agree with my esteemed colleague that the room does indeed look good. But then Apple has always had an eye for good design. 

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Something that has surprised me is the lack of any big last-minute leaks for the iPhone 15. Maybe we know all there is to know. Or perhaps the upgrades won’t be  that significant. 

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some leaks but none to really move the needle today. I’d have thought we’d have seen an Apple Watch Ultra 2 leak today, but no. 

More blog post here