The Apple events landing page.
September 2 update below. This post was first published on August 30, 2023.
Apple’s fall special event, where it will doubtless reveal the 2023 iPhones, a couple of Apple Watches and even new AirPods, perhaps, is just days away. It’s being held on Tuesday, September 12—full details of the event announcement here, and your complete run-down of the run-up to the iPhone release, likely Friday, September 22, here. Now, Apple has revealed more.
Apple has now updated its Events page on apple.com to tell us more about what’s coming.
First of all, it re-confirms the date and time found in the invites sent out on Tuesday, saying, “Watch on 9/12 at 10 a.m. PT”.
And it now reveals how you can watch it: “View online at apple.com or on the Apple TV app.” This is useful, even if not unexpected. It may be that Apple will announce more ways to watch between now and the day of the keynote.
There’s also a button to click which will add the event to your calendar, so you don’t forget to watch. But you weren’t about to forget, now were you?
The rest of the page is dominated by the image from the invite, a carefully sculpted Apple logo in blacks, blues, grays and even hints of silvery gold. The black, blue and gray likely hint at the colors of the iPhone 15 Pro, but it’s thought there won’t be a gold iPhone 15 Pro (the first time there hasn’t been a gold iPhone in the range since the launch of the iPhone Xs in 2018).
The image is dominated, though, by delicate motes of light escaping from the logo. If this were a novel from Philip Pullman’s extraordinary “His Dark Materials” series, it would resemble nothing so much as the dust which mystically fills the universe.
As we don’t live there, the swirling particles seem to hint at the matte finish frame expected for the iPhone 15 Pro. Instead of the gleaming stainless steel frame found on Apple’s flagships since the iPhone X, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are believed to have a titanium frame, matte not shiny.
There’s one thing that’s missing, though. Apple usually has a cool AR animation which can be viewed on the iPhone, for instance. This is a lot of fun. But there isn’t one this year. Ah, well. The animation here makes up for it.
The new hashmoji for the Apple special event.
One other little detail. Apple creates a hashflag for Twitter, or, as we now say, a hasmoji for X. As Greg Joswiak, Apple’s brilliant SVP of Marketing tweeted, “Wonder awaits. September 12. #AppleEvent.”
This was followed—and how’s this for attention to detail?—by an Apple logo in colors that perfectly match the landing page invite. More details as we have them.
September 1 update. Now the special event date is set, with the release date presumed to fall on Friday, September 22, speculation is growing about why it’s so important. Oh, and there’s good news about the iPhone 15 Pro Max, let’s hope.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has commented that the release this year is especially crucial for Apple because, “Its sales have slid for three straight quarters as the company contends with shaky demand for smartphones and other devices. The new products should help restore growth this holiday season — Apple’s biggest sales period of the year. Together, the iPhone and Apple Watch bring in the majority of the tech giant’s revenue.”
The Apple Watch models will see a serious speed uptick, it’s thought, and while Series 9 and Ultra will mostly be looky-likey updates, there will be new colors, including a black Ultra (which sounds fantastic).
As you’ll doubtless have seen, there were strong rumors that the release date for the iPhone 15 Pro Max would be delayed. This was believed to be because of the complication of building in the periscope lens that’s exclusive to the Max. Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TFI Securities has now said, “The fact is that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will start mass shipments this week.” Which means it shouldn’t be delayed—though it could still be in very high demand, even despite the expected price hike.
September 2 update. The latest evidence, mentioned above, is that the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max will arrive at the same time as the others in the round-up, not late as had been feared. Even so, if that’s the one you want, you could expect demand to be high and supply a little constrained at first.
However, there’s now a rumor that there will be a fifth iPhone to go on sale. In which case, what’s the release date for that?
The report has picked up a lot of traction. One of those discussing it is Majin Bu, that increasingly reliable leaker.
They say, “Based on the information I was able to obtain, we could see changes in the lineup of the new iPhone 15. Apple could present a version called iPhone 15 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM and storage up to 1TB and another version called 15 Ultra with 8GB of RAM, memory up to 2TB and a much better camera features than the normal Pro. The iPhone 15 Ultra price could undergo a further increase of about $100.”
That intriguing. Before we go any further, I don’t believe there’s an ounce of truth in it. Five phones, with one of them a differently specced version of the priciest phone, seems preposterous, and would make it difficult to tell the iPhone story clearly. And, to be fair to Apple, it’s great at telling a clear story.
I believe that one Pro Max with 2TB storage and upgraded RAM to help is a possibility, for sure, But the range would just be dizzily wide. Right now, it’s eight phones: four iPhone 14 series, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12 and iPhone SE. My expectation is we’ll see four iPhone 15 models, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 13 (but not mini) and iPhone SE.
No sooner had I written this update but Mark Gurman from Bloomberg chipped in. In a tweet, he wrote, “There’s only one new high-end 6.7 inch iPhone. No Pro Max and Ultra this year. Perhaps next year as I wrote in February.”
By the way, if it does happen to be the case next year, I’d expect the range to be iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Pro Max, iPhone Ultra (note the absence of a digit). But we’re a long way away from that right now.
So, in answer to the question, when will the iPhone 15 Ultra arrive?
The Apple events landing page.