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Apple "Wonderlust" Event Recap

Invitation to watch the September 12th, 2023

Earlier today Apple held its September 2023 event titled ‘Wanderlust’. Apple focused on just two products, the Apple Watch and the iPhone. Let us start with the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has continued to evolve with the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Both of these have a new S9 System in Package, SIP. The S9 allows for a new gesture, Double Tap.

Double Tap is a new feature that will allow you to perform actions just by tapping your index finger and thumb together. When you do this you can answer, or end a call, reply to a message, and more. Double Tap will be available in October.

The S9 also support for the new 2nd generation Ultra Wideband processor. This means that that you can use precision finding of not only devices, like your AirPods, but also for your iPhone. If you need to find your iPhone you can get haptic and audible feedback while finding your devices. The limit to this is that your iPhone must have a second-generation Ultra Wideband chip, more on that later.

The S9 also allows Siri to be processed directly on the device and no longer need to be sent to the Cloud for processing. The most common functions, like starting a timer, closing the garage, or performing many other actions can now be done from your Watch.

Siri on the Apple Watch is now also able to handle health requests, like starting a walking workout, how you slept last night,

Apple Watch Series 9

Apple Watch Series 9

The Apple Watch Series 9 has been improved in a few ways, beyond what is already included in the S9. The Series 9 now has a brighter screen which supports up to 2000 nits of brightness, which is double of the Series 8, and is easier to read in bright sunlight. Similarly, it can drop down to 1 nit at night or in low light situations, like in theaters.

The Apple Watch Series 9 comes in Aluminum and Stainless Steel. The aluminum version is available in a variety of colors including Starlight, Midnight, Silver, PRODUCT(RED), and for the first time Pink.

The Series 9 is available in two sizes, 41mm and 45mm. The 41mm is $399 for GPS and $499 for Cellular. The 45mm is $429 for the GPS model and $529 for the Cellular model.

The Stainless Steel models are available in 41mm and 45mm. These are GPS and Cellular. You can choose from Gold, Graphite, or Silver. The 41mm is $699 and the 45mm is $749.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is available for ordering today and will be available on September 22nd.

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has the same S9 SIP as the Series 9, so it has the same features. Much like the Series 9, the Ultra 2 has a new display. This one can go up to 3000 nits of brightness for those instances when needed. Like the Series 9, it can also go down to 1 nit for low light situations. Night mode, which is exclusive to the Apple Watch Ultra, now automatically activates, which is where the screen will reduce down to 1 nit.


As widely anticipated Apple unveiled its newest line of phones, the iPhone 15 line. Similar to the past few years there are four new models, the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.


All of the iPhones have USB-C, which replaces the lightning cable, which was introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012. This is only the second connector change for the iPhone. From 2007 to 2012, the iPhones all had Apple’s 30-pin Dock connector.

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

Apple iPhone 15

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus come in the same sizes, of 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays respectively. And as mentioned above has USB-C. However, the USB-C port is limited to USB-2 speeds of up to 480 Mbps. This is the same limitation as on the Lightning-based iPhones.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are powered by the A16 Bionic, which was in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Because they have the A16 the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus now also has the Dynamic Island. This means that you get the same functionality as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, with Live Activities. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus has the Super Retina XDR display, which is an OLED display that can be up to 1600 nits of peak brightness.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus has a brand new camera system. The camera system 48 megapixel sensor system. There are two cameras, the Main Camera and Ultra Wide. The Main camera is a 26 mm lens, with an ƒ/1.6 aperture. It also has a sensor‑shift optical image stabilization, and 100% Focus Pixels.

The 12MP Ultra Wide camera has a 13 mm lens with an ƒ/2.4 aperture, and 120° field of view. You are able to take a 2x telephoto picture using the center of the 48 megapixel lens. When you do this it has a 52 mm equivalent with an ƒ/1.6 aperture.

The iPhone 15 line comes in one of five colors, Black, Blue, Green, Pink, or Yellow and the pricing remains the same as last year. This means that for the iPhone 15 it is $799, $899, and $1099 for 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, respectively. For the iPhone 15 Plus the prices are $899, $999, and $1199.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are available for pre-ordering on Friday, September 15th, at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time and they will be available starting on September 22nd.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are designed to be the most advanced iPhones and often have the newest features that will eventually come to other devices. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max continue this trend. The Pro and Pro Max have a brand new material, Titanium in place of the previous stainless steel bands. Titanium will allow the Pro and Pro Max to be lighter. Since it is a new material, there are new colors. These are Black, White, Blue, and Natural.

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max support USB-C at USB 3 speeds. This means that it can support up to 10 gigabits per second. Along with this much higher transfer speeds there is a new video output mode that allows up to 4K at 60 fps HDR. All of this is made possible with a new processor, the A17 Pro.

A17 Pro

The A17 Pro is a 3-nanometer chip that brings a lot to the iPhone. It starts with efficiencies that allows the CPU to be 10% faster, the Neural Engine to be twice as fast as the previous model. The GPU is an Apple-designed 6-core GPU that is 20% faster. The A17 Pro includes a dedicated AV1 decoder, which enables more efficient, high-quality video experiences for streaming services.


The camera is a big draw and the iPhone. The two Pro models have some slight differences between them, but they do have some commonalities. The two models have a 48MP Main 24 mm, a ƒ/1.78 aperture, a second‑generation sensor‑shift optical image stabilization, and support for super‑high‑resolution photos (24MP and 48MP).

The Ultra Wide camera is a 13 mm, with an ƒ/2.2 aperture sensor, with 120° field of view.

You can use the center of the 48MP Main camera to take a 12MP 2x Telephoto image. This has an 48 mm equivalent, and ƒ/1.78 aperture, and second‑generation sensor‑shift optical image stabilization.

iPhone 15 Pro Camera

The iPhone 15 Pro has a 3x optical telephoto lens that supports 77mm with an ƒ/2.8 aperture, 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 6x optical zoom range, and Digital zoom up to 15x.

iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a different camera than the 15 Pro. The Pro Max has a 5x Telephoto that is an equivalent of a 120 mm lens with an ƒ/2.8 aperture, 3D sensor‑shift optical image stabilization and autofocus, tetraprism design. There is a 5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, and 10x optical zoom range.You can use digital zoom up to 25x.

Action Button

Since the original iPhone there has been volume buttons, a power button, and a silent/ring switch. This latter button has been removed and has been replaced with an Action button. By default the Action button will continue to be the silent/ringer but you will be able to configure what the Action button does. You can configure it for Silent mode, Focus, Camera, Flashlight, Voice Memo, Translate, Magnifier, Shortcut, or an Accessibility.


The iPhone 15 Pro comes in four storage sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The prices for these remain the same as last year at $999, $1099, $1299, and $1399 respectively.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes in three storage sizes, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The pricing for these remains the same as last year, at the same storage sizes. Therefore it is $1199, $1399, and $1599 respectively.

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are available for pre-order starting on Friday, September 15th, at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time and they will be available starting on September 22nd.


For a while now Apple has been committed to reducing their carbon footprint for all of their products and actions. Ways that they have managed this is by using renewable energy for their offices, reducing packaging size, and shipping via ship as opposed to by plane.

Apple is now removing leather from all of their products, starting this year with the iPhone case and Apple Watch band. These are now replaced with different materials. Leather has been replaced with a material called FineWoven. These are made from durable microtwill, the material has a soft, suedelike feel.

Apple emphasized their commitment to renewable products through the use of renewable materials through the elimination of leather and replacing it with FineWoven materials. The Apple Watch is the first carbon neutral Apple product and many of the watch bands are now using recycled products, including the Nike Sport Band which has flecks of recycled rubber within the band, which creates a unique band for each one.

Other Tidbits

AirPods Pro 2nd generation with USB-C connection

If you buy a new pair of AirPods Pro 2 they will come with a USB-C charging case instead of lightning. You can now charge this case directly from a USB-C-enabled iPhone.

iCloud+ is getting some new storage tiers of 6GB and 12TB. These are in addition to the 50GB, 200GB, 2TB. The 6TB plan is $30 per month, and the 12TB will cost $60 per month. These are designed for those who really need the amount of storage.

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 both require watchOS 10, which will be available Monday, September 18.

The last thing to mention is iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and tvOS 17 will be available Monday, September 18th. macOS Sonoma will be available on Tuesday, September 26th.

Closing Thoughts

The changes with the iPhones may seem incremental, but they do seem to have some big updates. You can view additional details using any of the sources below.

If you want to read about the new features in macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10, be sure to check out my book macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 for Users and Developers, which is available on Apple.

Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple Watch Series 9
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
AirPods Pro with USB-C