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Four New iPhones, Two New Apple Watches & AirPods Pro Refresh

Brighter displays, better cameras, USB-Type C charging and a big green push. All you need to know about the new iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series launch

There was a key India story in Apple’s big annual iPhone refresh that was reported by Bloomberg. Even as Apple kept it’s date with the widely anticipated ‘Wonderlust’ event on September 12, 2023, the company hit a major global supply chain milestone this year. According to Bloomberg, Apple is set to make India-built iPhone 15 units available for purchase in India and other regions on the first day of sales. This is the first time India-made iPhones will arrive on the same day as iPhones manufactured in China. India is one of the few key global markets that will see the new iPhone 15 and 15 Pro models hit retail shelves on September 22.

The tipsters got most of the pre-launch leaks right and there were a few misses too. For one, the iPhone Ultra that was teased by a few tipsters never arrived. We saw the same quartet as last year but there are some key updates to both the iPhone line-up and the 2023 Apple watches:

Hello Dynamic Island, goodbye Lightning cable

This year, the iPhone 15 doesn’t just inherit the A16 bionic chip that was tried and tested in last year’s iPhone 14 Pro models but also Apple’s unique Dynamic Island. We’re relieved to see the notch make way for this fun display element that keeps getting more useful as more apps take advantage of interaction capabilities.  

The other big change is the camera. The new main camera is 48 megapixels and gets a low light performance boost thanks to pixel binning. We also dig the autodetect feature for Portrait mode when you have a subject in the frame. Apple has also enhanced the display – a recurring theme across all it’s products for 2023. Peak HDR brightness reaches 1600 nits while peak outdoor brightness hits 2000 nits – twice as bright as the iPhone 14. One of our favourite features is the new colour infused glass that creates a beautiful design aesthetic with an etched layer over it. But the biggest change was widely expected. The Lightning port makes way for a more universal USB Type-C port (across all iPhone 15 models) that makes it easier for those who own newer iPads and MacBooks that have all switched to USB Type-C. (Rs 79,900 onwards)  

Ready for ‘Action’ in a gorgeous titanium finish

We’re big fans of the Action button, that we experienced first in the 2022 Apple Watch Ultra.  This button comes to the new iPhone 15 Pro and can also be used for muting. But that’s not the biggest change to this year’s pro twins. The 15 Pro and Pro Max are now crafted in a titanium alloy case with an aluminium substructure that makes these the lightest Pro models we’ve seen in a while. They come in four new finishes including a stunning blue titanium version. Apple has shrunk the borders for a more immersive screen experience.  

One of the biggest updates is under the hood. The A17 Pro chip is the first 3-nanometer chip to power a smartphone. The pro-class GPU is up to 20% faster. Gamers can get ready for console titles (for the first time on a smartphone) like Resident Evil 4. The rear camera gets an upgrade. The 48MP primary lens comes with a larger sensor and coated lenses for fewer reflections. Also, expect better zoom photography. Apple has bumped up the internal storage – it now starts at 256GB, for the base variant (Rs 1,34,900 onwards)    

The Carbon neutral push

The new Apple Watch Series 9 (Rs 41,900 onwards) is a big part of Apple’s drive for Carbon neutrality by 2030. Apple claims that the Series 9 is net zero – the brand’s first carbon-neutral product. Apple’s leather bands have made way for their all-new ‘FineWoven’ bands as part of the brand’s go-green initiatives. The Series 9 also comes in a new pink aluminium case. The Series 9 is propelled by the all-new S9 chip that Apple claims can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the Apple Watch Series 8 and also offers enhanced battery life. The other big update is the display – the Watch Series 9 display peaks at 2000 nits (double that of the Series 8). 

The display update also comes the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 that goes up to 3000 nits making it one of the brightest displays on any wearable out there. The 2023 Ultra has also an improved environmental impact – it’s finished with 95% recycled titanium and comes with an all-new ‘Modular Ultra’ watch face (Rs 89,900)  

Apple also unveiled the second generation Air Pods Pro with USB-C charging capabilities (Rs 24,900) and additional dust resistance and Lossless Audio with Apple Vision Pro.