Apple is set to launch its AR/VR, or “mixed reality” headset, in the head-worn wearable market in 2023. It’s going be an exciting year with a brand new product and all the hype that goes along with it.
Much of the Mac lineup is due for a refresh, and we’re expecting to see new MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro models, and the Mac Pro in particular is notable because it hasn’t been updated since 2019. All regular products, including the Apple Watch and iPhone, will see refreshes. The iPhone 15 models will also be available.
The major change to the iPhone 15 will be a swap over to USB-C, with Apple eliminating the Lightning port. Other features include periscope zoom technology for the iPhone 15 Pro (or Ultra), plus an A17 chip. We have summarized everything we know so far about all the new Apple products in 2023 based on current rumors.
Apple has been working for an AR/VR headset since 2005. 2023 is when we expect the first version to make its debut. This is the first category Apple will enter since 2015’s launch of the Apple Watch. It will also be Apple’s second wearable.
The first AR/VR headset, like the Apple Watch, will be more expensive and available in smaller quantities. It could also have limited utility. AR/VR is a combination of augmented reality and virtual reality. This concept is known as mixed reality. It blends virtual reality with augmented reality. In some cases, virtual objects are overlayed over the real world. However, most rumors indicate that it will be heavily focused on virtual experiences.
Although the Reality Pro and Reality One could be called the AR/VR headsets, the final name is still unknown.
Apple’s AR/VR headset will look similar to other VR headsets available on the market. It features a curving front display that covers the eyes. The mesh material will cover the display and the straps will be adjustable and swappable. It is lightweight and will be more comfortable than other headsets on the market.
The device could have physical controls as well as built-in audio capabilities. Additionally, multiple cameras will detect gestures, eye movements, ambient light, and other environmental factors.
The mixed reality headset will feature two 4K micro OLED displays that have up to 3000 pixels per inch. An external display is also possible to provide information for exterior indicators.
Apple is planning to add more then a dozen optical cameras for mapping the environment and monitoring the user to the headset. This will allow the company to project visual experiences and create virtual environments. The headset will be capable of capturing accurate facial movements that can then be relayed in video chats or other interactions.
Eight cameras will be used for augmented reality and see-through experiences. One example is the cameras that can detect people in a room, map surfaces, and room dimensions. These cameras will also be able to place virtual objects in front and behind real objects for seamless experiences between the real and virtual.
For more precise motion tracking, a pair of downfacing cameras could capture leg movements. Apple’s control system will include eye-tracking and hand gestures. There could also be an accessory component attached to the device, such as an input accessory.
As an authentication and security feature, Iris scanning may be added to the MacBook Air. It is similar to Touch ID and Face ID. It will have the same chips as the MacBook Air’s, but with Apple-designed chips inside. It will be equipped with both a powerful main processor as well as a processor that manages the sensors.
Functionality and Operating System
AR/VR headsets will run an operating-system called xrOS. It stands for the extended reality concept which includes both virtual and augmented reality functions.
Apple will likely create an App store for the headset with a focus in gaming, streaming video content, communication, and other areas. Apple could collaborate with media partners to create VR content, and there may be a VR FaceTime experience that uses Animojis to mirror facial expressions.
Apple could also work with game developers on VR games. The headset is expected to be integrated with Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and other services.
Apple has had to push back the release date for the headset several times over the years as it worked to resolve design issues and differences about the direction of the project. But, the launch year is 2023.
Pricing and Release Date
The AR/VR headset should cost about $3,000 and will not be available to general consumers. It will instead be designed for professionals, developers, and content creators.
Apple could launch the headset at the Worldwide Developers Conference, giving developers enough time to create apps before the fall launch. Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, has stated that the headset could be announced as soon as January 2023. This means we might even see it in the early part of the year.
You can find all the latest news about the AR/VR headset in our dedicated roundup.
iPhone refreshes happen every September and are some of Apple’s most reliable product updates. We can always count on getting a new iPhone, and in 2023, we’re expecting the iPhone 15 lineup.
Rumors suggest Apple will release the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, though that latter device could actually get a new name – iPhone 15 Ultra to reflect its position as the highest-end iPhone available. The 6.7-inch iPhone 15 “Pro” model may get features not available in the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro or the two standard iPhone 15 models.
Design and size
The iPhone 15 models are expected to come in the same general sizes (Apple isn’t returning to the 5.4-inch iPhone mini), so we can expect two 6.1-inch iPhones and two 6.7-inch iPhones. We have not heard any news about major design changes, but there are rumors of a new, more polished design, similar to the one seen on the 2021 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models.
There’s talk of a possible titanium chassis for the Pro models, as well as solid state volume and power buttons that would be similar to the Home button on Touch ID iPhones. iPhones have mechanical buttons that are physically depressible as of now. A solid state button would instead use tactile feedback to simulate the feeling of pressing a button.
Such functionality would require Apple to add two additional Taptic Engines at the sides of the iPhone 15 Pro models, but it could have benefits like additional protection against water ingress.
All new iPhones will support Dynamic Island by 2023. Currently, it is only available for the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Rumours suggest that Apple will abandon Lightning and adopt USB-C instead. This connector is already used on iPads and Macs. USB-C will enable universal charging for most Apple devices, and on certain models it may even allow faster charging speeds.
The iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to support either USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt speeds for data transfer up to 40Gb/s. That’s going to be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro, though, and the standard iPhone 15 models will continue to feature USB 2.0 speeds limited to 480Mb/s.
Periscope camera technology is expected to be the major update for the iPhone 15 models, but the periscope lens could be limited to the high-end 6.7-inch iPhone 15 “Pro” or “Ultra” depending on the naming scheme.
Rumors suggest that only the high-end larger iPhone will have the space for the periscope lens technology, which is zoom lens technology. The periscope lens will be replacing the telephoto lens and will offer improved optical zoom. Apple is expected to implement 6x optical zoom, up from 3x in the current iPhone 14 Pro models.
With 6x optical zoom and digital zoom, the iPhone 15 Ultra could have one of the super zoom features that are available in Android smartphones. Samsung, for instance, offers up to 100x zoom via its 10x optical Zoom sensor.
Apple is expected to adopt Sony’s image sensors for the iPhone 15 models with more light to improve both underexposure and overexposure. The sensor will make portraits and other images with strong backlighting easier. It isn’t known if the new sensor will be used across the iPhone 15 lineup or limited to the higher-end iPhone 15 “Pro” models.
Apple is going to use the A16 chips for the standard iPhone 15 models, but the iPhone 15 Pro models could get Apple’s next-generation A17 chip, the first built on TSMC’s next-generation 3-nanometer node.
The 3nm chip technology will improve processing performance by between 10 and 15 percent while also reducing power usage by up to 30%.
iPhone 15 Pro models could offer 8GB RAM, up from 6GB in the current iPhone 14 Pro models.
For more on the iPhone 15 models, we have a dedicated iPhone 15 roundup that is updated whenever new rumors come out.
Displays and Macs
Almost the entire Mac lineup is due for a refresh, and there are some exciting updates coming, including a new 15-inch MacBook Air and the first Apple silicon Mac Pro.
Mac Pro (First half of 2022)
The Mac Pro is the last remaining Mac that is equipped with Intel-based chips, and it has not been refreshed since 2019. Apple is working on a new version of the Mac Pro, but it took some time to develop because Apple silicon chips needed to evolve before they could replace Intel’s high-end Xeon chips.
We are not expecting notable design changes for the Mac Pro, and it will likely use the same stainless steel frame and aluminum housing with interlocking three-dimensional hemispheres for heat dissipation.
Apple’s silicon chip technology will be the new thing. Apple expects to use the M2 Ultra chip (an iteration M1). It could have a 24-core CPU and a 76 core GPU. There may also be 192GB of RAM.
There’s no word on when exactly the Mac Pro is coming, but rumors so far suggest that it could come early in the year, perhaps at a spring event or at WWDC.
MacBook Pro, 14-inch and 16 inch (Spring 2023 to End 2023)
The 14-inch and 16 inch MacBook Pro models were not updated in 2022. They are due for an update by 2023. Although design changes are unlikely, the last major design change was made in 2021. We expect new Apple silicon chip designs.
The updated MacBook Pro models are expected to feature M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, upgrades from the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips used in the prior-generation models. Rumors suggest the M2 Max chip will feature up to a 12-core CPU and up to a 38-core GPU.
MacBook Air 15-inch (Spring 2023 to Late2023)
The current MacBook Air measures in at 13.6 inches, but Apple is working on a larger 15-inch version that would be between the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in size.
We don’t know a lot about the 15-inch MacBook Air, but it is expected to use the same general design as the 2022 13-inch MacBook Air with flat edges, a large Force Touch trackpad, a keyboard with function keys, and no fan.
Apple will keep those features for its higher-end MacBook Pro models.
Prior to the launch of the Mac Studio, it was believed the machine would be in the Mac mini family, but it was not. The Mac Studio is not replacing the Mac mini, though, and there is rumored to be a new Mac mini coming in 2023.
Little is known about the Mac mini, which means it’s probably going to get an iterative update rather than major refresh with a new design. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says we can expect no design changes with the same form factor, though some rumors have suggested we could see different colors.
The Mac mini will use Apple’s M2 and M2 Pro chips. The M2 was already introduced in the MacBook Air, while the M2 Pro has yet to launch. Timing on a new Mac mini launch is unclear.
The 24-inch iMac hasn’t been refreshed since 2021, so it is due for an update. An updated version would likely get Apple’s M2 or newer chips, but no major design updates.
There are also rumors that Apple is working on a larger-screened version of the iMac that would bring back the bigger iMac option, but little has been heard about such a machine. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman has said that it could feature an M3 chip, and it’s also possible that this larger iMac could be an iMac “Pro,” replacing the discontinued 2017 machine that never got a successor.
Aside from a possible 2023 launch date, we don’t know anything else about the timing of refreshed 24-inch iMac or the debut of a 27-inch iMac.
Apple is developing multiple display options that will be available in 2023. One of these displays will replace the Pro Display XDR high-end display, while the other may be a followup or something between the Studio Display XDR and Pro Display XDR.
Ross Young, an analyst, says one of the displays will measure 27 inches and will have mini-LED technology. ProMotion support will also be available. However, little else is known. There could be new options for display options in 2023.
Apple is working on a new version of the HomePod that’s set to come out in 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, while Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman has said that the HomePod could be sized between the original HomePod and the HomePod mini.
A mid-sized HomePod would likely be sold alongside the HomePod mini as a more expensive option, with the speaker expected to feature a touch-integrated display and an S8 chip. Apple is believed to be planning to launch the HomePod new in 2023.
Apple Watch Series 9 (Fall2023)
Apple refreshes the Apple Watch every year alongside the iPhone, and in 2023, we are expecting the Apple Watch Series 9. We haven’t heard any rumors about the Series 9 and there are no details on its contents.
Apple is currently working on new sensors to monitor blood sugar and blood pressure. However, they don’t appear ready for launch. Alongside the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple could possibly refresh the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Ultra, but the Apple Watch SE doesn’t typically get yearly refreshes and we don’t yet know the refresh cycle of the Ultra because it is new.
AirPods Max have not been refreshed in two years, so there could be a new version. There have been no rumors of a refresh, but based on past launch timelines, the AirPods Max will be the next AirPods to get an update.
A new version of the AirPods Max could adopt features already introduced in the AirPods Pro such as an H2 chip, improved Active Noise Cancellation, a U1 chip for Find My Precision Finding, Bluetooth 5.3, and Adaptive Transparency.
iPad mini (Late 2023) and iPad Air
The iPad Air could get an update with an M2 chip in 2023, and the iPad mini is overdue for a refresh because it hasn’t been updated since 2021. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that a new iPad mini is expected in late 2023 or early 2024.
Grab Your Clothes
We’re hearing rumors that 2023 will be a busy year for Apple. There are many exciting announcements. Follow MacRumors.com to get the latest news. MacRumors Roundups and guides will be published throughout 2023 to keep you up to date with all the latest rumors. You can also bookmark our What to Expect Guide or our Events Guide to get an always-updated overview of what’s in store.