Everything launched at the Apple event: new iPhones and Watches

Apple gave us four new iPhone 15 handsets, the Apple Watch 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

At the Apple event on September 12 the Cupertino, California-based firm revealed its new iPhone 15 series. But the quartet of smartphones wasn’t the only thing to break cover during the keynote presentation.

If you’re an Apple fan who likes to keep up with the latest products, the September event is always an exciting one, with a host of products and updates shared by CEO Tim Cook and his team. You can rewatch the iPhone 15 launch in full if you’d like to hear everything Cook and co had to say.

So, whether you’re considering a new iPhone, or fancy learning about the Apple Watch 9 or Watch Ultra 2, here’s everything that launched at the Apple event.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, standing outside the firm's HQ in CaliforniaCredit: Apple
Apple CEO, Tim Cook (above) will be joined by his team to announce a range of new products

Four new iPhones

From the standard iPhone 15 through to the iPhone 15 Pro Max

For the past three years, Apple has launched a quartet of new smartphones during its iPhone launch event, and the same is occurred in 2023.

The four are split into two groups: the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus share most of the same features, with the key difference being screen size – the standard 15 has a 6.1-inch screen, while the 15 Plus model has a 6.7-inch display.

Then we have the two Pro models, which again will share many of the same features, but with more power, features and cameras than the standard handsets.

The main difference between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max is again be screen size, with the latter offering a larger, 6.7-inch display versus the standard Pro’s 6.1-inch screen.

One of the big talking points centres around the port at the bottom of the phones, as Apple has switched from the lightning port it’s used in every iPhone since 2015, to a USB-C port for the iPhone 15 charger.

USB-C is the default port used on Android smartphones, and thanks to new EU rules, Apple is being forced to fall in line with the now-mandatory charging standard. What it means for you is you’ll need a new charging cable if you look to upgrade from an older iPhone to the iPhone 15 (one is likely to be included in the box, however).

Pre-orders for all four new iPhones open on September 15, with the iPhone 15 release date set for September 22.

Apple Watch 9 & Ultra 2

The latest generation of Apple’s smartwatches

During its 2023 event, Apple not only unveiled the Apple Watch 9 but also the Apple Watch Ultra 2 – a minor iteration to its adventure-focused – and supremely sizable and expensive – premium smartwatch.

The Watch 9 comes with a new chip which offers up faster performance and a slicker Siri experience as it can process results on-watch for quicker responses.

The screen is now better in bright light with a peak brightness of 2000 nits (double that of the Apple Watch 8) which means it should be easily readable even in direct sunlight. The display can also go all the way down to an ultra-dim 1 nit, making it less obtrusive when viewed in the dark.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 also benefits from the new S9 chip, and its screen can go even brighter – up to 3000 nits – making it the brightness display Apple has ever made.

Both watches feature a new ultrawide band chip, making it easy to locate your iPhone using your Watch, although the most interesting new feature on both is an innovative way to interactive with the device.

Apple has introduced a double tap gesture to its latest Watches, allowing you to control basic functions on the watch by simply tapping your thumb and forefinger together (on the hand your watch is on).

This provides you one-handed control over your Apple Watch, which will come in handy if you’re other hand is busy holding or doing something.

The double tap gesture can do things such as answer a call, end a call, 
start and stop a timer, snooze an alarm, play and pause music or video playback, and control the camera shutter on your iPhone.

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch 9 and Watch Ultra 2 are open now, and they’ll be available from September 22.

Featured product

Apple Watch 9

RRP: From £399

Apple Watch 9

Featured product

Apple Watch Ultra 2

RRP: From £799

Apple Watch Ultra 2

AirPods Pro update

AirPods Pro get a small, but significant update

Although Apple didn’t give it much fanfare during its presentation, the AirPods Pro (2nd gen) wireless earbuds got a small, yet significant update too.

While the buds themselves haven’t changed, Apple has added a USB-C port to the bottom of the charging case (previous versions had a Lightning port), bringing it inline with the new iPhone.

A nice bonus feature to this addition is the ability to charge the case from an iPhone 15 using a USB-C cable to connect the two.

The new AirPods Pro with USB-C case are on pre-order now, and will be available from September 22.

Featured product

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen) with USB-C case

RRP: £229

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen) with USB-C case

What we didn’t get

No updates on iOS 17 / iPadOS 17 / watchOS 10 release dates

While the new iPhone 15 handset will ship with Apple’s latest iOS 17 software onboard, and the Watch 9 and Watch Ultra 2 will come with watchOS 10 out of the box, Apple didn’t tell us when owners of older iPhones and Watches (along with iPad owners) can expect the new software update to land.

The good news is the wait won’t be long, considering both the new iPhones and Watches go on sale on September 22 – so it should only be a matter of days before current iPhone, iPad and Watch owners get a software update notification appear.

What this means for you

Older iPhones will become more affordable

A slew of new Apple products can be tempting, but for anyone looking to upgrade their iPhone or Apple Watch, it’s not only the latest devices that come with benefits.

With the introduction of the new range, prices of existing stock of iPhone 14, iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 handsets (and Apple Watches) are reduced – giving you more affordable options to consider when upgrading.

Apple’s software updates are generous, too. Even if you have an older iPhone, the iOS 17 update will come to handsets all the way back to the iPhone XS and XR.

Those phones launched in 2018 – so even if you upgrade to an iPhone from two or three years ago, you’ll still benefit from a few years of software updates.

Another way to save money – and to reduce electronic waste – is to opt for a refurbished device. These are second-hand devices that have been given a once-over by a certified engineer. Apple runs its own Certified Refurbished service, with a range of products available at a reduced cost.

Featured product

iPhone 14

RRP: From £764

iPhone 14

Featured product

iPhone 13

RRP: From £699

iPhone 13

Featured product

iPhone SE (2022)

RRP: From £449

iPhone SE (2022)
John McCann

Written by John McCann he/him

Updated:

John McCann has been a technology journalist for more than a decade, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He’s interviewed CEOs from some of the world’s biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. During his time in journalism, John has written for TechRadar, T3, What Laptop, Windows 8 magazine and Gizmodo UK, and he’s appeared in the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers.

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