Apple Rolls Out New iPhones, Watches, iCloud Plans and More

During yesterday’s Wonderlust new product showcase, Apple unveiled its new family of iPhone 15 models — the 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max (no SE or Ultra yet) — which all feature USB-C in place of the Lightning port. The company also revealed the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in addition to AirPods that include a USB-C port in the charging case. Apple announced that iOS 17, watchOS 10, iPadOS 17 and tvOS 17 will arrive on September 18, while the new macOS Sonoma will be available the following week on September 26. Higher storage options of 6 TB and 12 TB for iCloud plans were also introduced.

“The 15 Plus has a bigger battery and a 6.7-inch screen compared to the 6.1-inch of the 15,” according to CNET. “Both also use the second-generation Ultra Wideband chip that’s in the new watches.” While the biggest news is the jump to USB-C charging, “Apple has upped its MagSafe to support the Qi2 standard.”

The 15’s new main camera offers 48 megapixels and pixel binning for low-light situations. It also has an autodetect feature for automatically switching  to portrait mode.

“The new A16 Bionic chip with an improved neural engine adds aggressive background noise cancellation on calls,” notes CNET. The iPhone 15 starts at $799 and the 15 Plus starts at $899, with carrier activation.

The 6.1-inch Pro (starting at $999) and 6.7-inch Pro Max (starting at $1,199) — both shipping September 22 — feature a titanium alloy case and aluminum substructure. The phones are lighter and tout smaller borders for increased screen visibility. The programmable Action button includes haptic feedback. Video capability includes ACES support, v-log encoding, and the option of recording to a USB drive.

Apple is rolling out its A17 Pro chip for the two higher-end phones, touting a new GPU and ray-tracing acceleration. “The chip also has improved performance cores, a new neural engine, a dedicated AV1 decoder, a USB 3 controller and USB-C connection,” reports CNET.

In addition, the iPhone 15 Pro’s redesigned camera system and powerful A17 Pro CPU will enable the phone to “shoot 3D spatial videos and photos which can then be viewed by using the forthcoming Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset,” explains Engadget.

Apple is bringing USB-C to its iPhones and AirPods, abandoning Lightning ports. The company is offering a collection of new cables and dongles to ease the transition. Details and links are posted by The Verge.

The Apple Watch Series 9 — starting at $399 with GPS and $499 with cellular connectivity — features an upgraded chipset. “The S9 chip has 5.6 billion transistors and a GPU that Apple says is 30 percent faster than before,” Engadget reports. “There’s a four-core neural engine and machine learning capabilities that are up to twice as fast on those seen in the Series 8,” enabling more advanced Siri experiences.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 — starting at $799 for GPS and cell connectivity — includes the same S9 and ultra wideband features as the Series 9 and “the same battery life as the first Ultra (up to 36 hours and 72 on low-power mode),” but features a 50 percent brighter display. Both watches are available for pre-order and will begin shipping on September 22.

Apple also announced important storage updates. “Previously, an individual iCloud account maxed out at 2 TB storage, for $9.99/month,” reports 9to5Mac. “But beginning September 18, Apple will offer 6 TB and 12 TB plans, offering more storage for personal photos, videos, documents and data. The 6 TB plan of iCloud+ will be priced at $29.99 per month,” while the 12 TB plan will run $59.99 per month.

“Like other iCloud+ plans, the storage can be shared with up to six people via Family Sharing.”

Apple’s $60 iCloud Service Is the Future of Apple, Wired, 9/12/23
Apple’s iOS 17 Arrives Monday, September 18, TechCrunch, 9/12/23
Hey, Remember Those Apple Wonder Goggles?, Vox, 9/12/23
New Apple Leak Highlights Shock MacBook Pro Decision, Forbes, 9/12/23
Apple Forced to Ditch Lightning Charger in New iPhone, BBC, 9/12/23
Apple’s iPhone 15 Marks a New Era, Wired, 9/12/23
Apple to Sell Made-in-India iPhones on Launch Day for First Time, Bloomberg, 9/12/23
Apple Is Adding Roadside Assistance via Satellite to the iPhone, The Verge, 9/12/23
Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Death Stranding, Resident Evil Village Coming to iPhone 15 Pro, Engadget, 9/12/23

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