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The Biggest Apple Rumors You Need to Know About

The lowdown on the latest Apple rumors surrounding the upcoming iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods (and AR/VR headset?) —here's what you need to know.

two iphones with the camera side facing up on desk
Tucker Bowe

Apple kicked off 2023 like a house on fire. In January, it announced a new full-sized HomePod, an M2 Mac mini, and new MacBook Pros decked out with its also-new M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets. It's slowed down a bit since, with Apple merely introducing a yellow color of its iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus in early March, but it's expected to heat up again real soon.

Of course, this is the time of year when Apple rumors are flying thick and fast. We are still over a half a year away from the inevitable iPhone 15, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from churning. Apple is also expected to have several big events — including WWDC, which was just revealed to be taking place on June 5th — so there's a very good chance we could a lot of new hardware before then.

Below, we've rounded up the latest rumors of all the new Apple gadgets could release before the end of the year.

What Will Apple Announce Next?

The iPhone 15 Ultra

two iphones next to each other
A photo of the iPhone 14 (left) and the iPhone 14 Pro (right).
Tucker Bowe

Apple is expected to announce four different new iPhone models just like in previous years. The difference with the iPhone 15 lineup is that instead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which would've essentially just been a big-screen version of the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple is expect to replace it with the iPhone 15 Ultra. In addition to a bigger screen and a larger battery, the Ultra is expected have an even better camera system, a nicer display and a few more even higher-end features. This means that instead of two tiers of iPhone 15 models, there will be three.

You can expect the iPhone 15 Ultra to be announced in September.

The iPhone 15/15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro

A photo of the current iPhone 14 Plus (left) and the iPhone 14 Pro Max (right).
Tucker Bowe

The rest of the iPhone 15 lineup is obviously going to be upgraded, too. All models — meaning both Pro and no-Pro (and Ultra) models — are rumored to be getting Dynamic Island, the floating notch with special animations, which was previously only on the Pro models of the iPhone 14. And the big news is that because of recent EU regulations, Apple is expected to move all iPhone 15 models over to USB-C charging instead of Lightning.

As for the differences between the iPhone 15/15 Plus and the iPhone 15 Pro, you can expect the Pro (and Ultra) to have an upgraded chipset. The Pro (and Ultra) will likely get a new A17 chip, which will no doubt give them a big bump in performance over the non-Pro models, which will likely have the A16 chips that were in last year's iPhone 14 Pros. The big camera upgrade with the iPhone 15 Pro is that it's supposedly getting an improved telephoto camera with a periscope lens. The Pro will also support ProMotion while the non-Pro line will not.

You can expect the iPhone 15/15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro to be announced in September.

Apple Watch Ultra 2

apple watch ultra with orange strap
A photo of the current Apple Watch Ultra.
Tucker Bowe

Apple's most premium Apple Watch, the Ultra, was one of the standout new products from this past fall. And, naturally, a lot of people are wondering what the next-generation model could look like and what new features it could have. The good news is that Apple is almost definitely working on a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra. The bad news, well, you might have to wait longer than this fall for it.

According to display analyst Ross Young, the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra will feature a microLED display, which would help with increased brightness, color and contrast. The downside is that no wearable currently has a microLED display and the Ultra 2 is still in early development — there's a chance that the next-gen Apple Watch Ultra won't be released until 2025.

Apple Watch Series 9

apple watch series 8
A photo of the current Apple Watch Series 8.
Tucker Bowe

Aside from the Ultra, each Apple Watch has looked pretty much the same for the last several years — and it's unknown if that is going to change with the Series 9. There is some speculation that the Series 9 could adopt some features of the Ultra, like an Action button and a more rectangular design, but I'm guessing that Apple will want to keep the design language of its two smartwatches notably different.

If the Series 9 doesn't gain an Action button or a squared-off design, you can expect some internal upgrades. It'll most definitely have an improved processor (likely the S9 chip). The other big upgrade could be dual-frequency L1 and L5 GPS, which was previously only available on the Ultra and would give the Series 9 more accurate GPS tracking abilities for workouts.

M2 iMac

A photo of the current M1 iMac.

It's been nearly two years since Apple announced its colorful iMac, which was completely redesigned around the M1 chip, and it's rumored that Apple is working a new and improved version of its all-in-one desktop. The new version will likely look very similar to the 2021-released iMac (Apple rarely gives two big design overhauls in a row), but with an updated chipset. Whether it'll pack the M2 or a future M3 chip — that's the real question.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple isn't expected to release a new 24-inch iMac until 2024. At that time, Apple will have likely unveiled its M3 chipsets, which the new iMac will likely sport. So if you're holding out on a new colorful desktop from Apple, there's a good chance you'll be waiting a good deal longer.

Apple's first AR/VR Headset

apple wwdc 2023
Apple is expected to reveal more about its long-anticipated mixed reality headset at this year’s WWDC.

This could be the year that Apple finally announces its long-await mixed reality headset. In fact, many people very much expect it. The mixed reality headset is expected to show a virtual reality (a digital screen and graphics) and overlay it over the real world. In truth, not a ton else is known about this — but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes we could learn more about this headset as soon as WWDC, which was just revealed to be taking place on June 5. It's official announcement may come well ahead of actual release, however, in order to give developers plenty of time to start building software for it.

AirPods Max 2

craighill headphone stand on a desk
A photo of the current AirPods Max.
Tucker Bowe

It's been a few years since Apple released its first over-over headphones, the AirPods Max, and naturally, there's been quite a bit of speculation regarding when new models could be announced and what upgrades they could have. Unfortunately, the rumor isn't exactly turning quickly for second-generation AirPods Max. The one bit of information we do have is that, as first spotted by Patently Apple, Apple filed a patent that could bring haptic controls to the next AirPods Max; this means you'd be able to tap or swipe the earpads for playback control, which may mean that Apple could remove the digital crown that's on the current AirPods Max.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on next-generation AirPods Max but they aren't expected to be announced until late 2024 or even early 2025.

HomePod mini 2

multi speaker audio
A photo of two HomePod mini smart speakers.
Tucker Bowe

Just like the second-generation AirPods Max, don't expect an imminent release of a second-generation HomePod mini. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, you can expect the next iteration of the HomePod mini to get announced in 2024. It's likely that new smart speaker will keep its $99 price point, but gain a few of the latest full-sized HomePod's features, including its ability to spatial audio and Dolby Atmos.

AirPods Pro (with USB-C charging)

airpods pro
A photo of the current AirPods Pro (second-generation).
Tucker Bowe

Apple only just released the second-generation versions of its AirPods Pro this past fall, but according to Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst and leaker, we could be getting new models that charge via USB-C instead of Lightning as soon as this summer. This rumor comes as a result of the recent EU regulations that will require all Apple gadgets to make the jump to USB-C by the end of 2024.

According to Kuo, this leak is only for the second-generation AirPods Pro. Apple's entry-level AirPods and midrange AirPods 3 will have to make the switch to USB-C as well, but there have been no leaks about when that will happen.

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