Apple in 2023: Here's what we're expecting this year

Tim Cook with iPhone in front of Apple logo
(Image credit: Apple)

Despite ongoing supply chain issues, the previous year was a successful one for Apple. The iPhone 14 Pro, Apple Watch 8 and AirPods Pro 2 all reviewed well and are selling brilliantly.

But with 2023 now here, we could see some of the biggest changes for Apple in years. That includes the launch of a whole new product line — something Apple hasn’t done since 2018 with the HomePod

So, what products does Apple have up its sleeve in 2023? Read on for what we expect from the iPhone 15, Apple VR headset, new MacBook Pro M2 and more, especially as more rumors about Apple's product plans come into focus. 

Apple in 2023: iPhone 15

iPhone 15 Ultra render with rounded edges

(Image credit: @jonjuhan/Twitter)

Current rumors suggest that the iPhone 15 will inherit several features from this year’s Pro model, including a 48MP camera, Dynamic Island and the 4nm A16 chip that was a Pro-only feature this year.

Of course, that means that the iPhone 15 Pro will need a few upgrades of its own. As well as the move to the A17 chip — which could be built to the 3nm fabrication process for performance and efficiency enhancements — rumors suggest we could see 8GB RAM (opens in new tab), haptic feedback buttons and a periscope camera upgrade (though the latter of these is disputed.)

Finally, there could be something more pro than Pro. Apple is rumored to be planning an iPhone 15 Ultra, possibly instead of the Pro Max to differentiate the top-of-the-range model further. So far, it's not really clear what will be so Ultra about it, though it could sport a titanium frame in addition to a periscope zoom. 

The iPhone 15 Ultra could be one pricey device. One rumor has the iPhone 15 Ultra costing $100 to $200 more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max (opens in new tab). So we could see a price as high as $1,299. 

All of the 2023 iPhones should finally call time on the Lightning cable, too, with Apple reportedly ditching the proprietary connection before the EU forces it to in 2024. That would be a big move for iPhone users and Apple alike.

We've got plenty of time for more iPhone 15 rumors to emerge. The iPhone 15 release date isn't likely to happen until September at the earliest.

Apple in 2023: Apple Mixed Reality

Apple in 2023: Apple mixed reality headset 

apple mixed reality headset render

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

The most exciting development for 2023 is Apple’s first foray into mixed reality, which was expected early in the year. At this point, though, rumors suggest the launch will happen in the second half of the year

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman offers the most detailed rollout forecast, with Apple likely to show off the headset in the spring at a rumored March product event ahead of its fall launch. According to Gurman, the headset — possibly called the Apple Reality Pro — will be the major focus of Apple's product efforts this year.

We’re expecting Apple’s mixed reality headset to run both virtual and augmented reality applications, with a reported 12 cameras to track both your movements and the surroundings. It’s supposedly set to be powered by the Apple M2 chip with 16GB RAM, with a Sony-made 4K display for each eye, so it should be one of the most powerful VR headsets yet. 

Unfortunately, these cutting-edge specs may come with a hefty price tag. We’re fully expecting Apple’s first AR headset to cost between $2,000 and $3,000 — and some estimates even peg it as high as $3,000.

Apple in 2023: Apple Watch 9

Apple in 2023: Apple Watch 9

Apple Watch Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Intriguingly, there have been no rumors or leaks concerning the follow-up to the Apple Watch 8 just yet. That’s not to say there won’t be one — Apple has released a new wearable every September since the Series 1 first appeared in 2015 (except for 2021, when it was in October), so we fully expect an Apple Watch 9 before the year is out.

With no leaks to go on, we’d suggest that the Apple Watch 9 could inherit some hand-me-downs from this year’s Apple Watch Ultra (pictured above), given Apple’s penchant for passing Pro features down to cheaper models over time. Fingers crossed the Action Button makes the leap.

Apple is reportedly working on blood sugar and blood pressure sensors for the Apple Watch, but there's no definitive timetable for these features to appear. Researchers have also suggested that the tools for tracking stress are already in place on the Apple Watch, and Apple would merely need to fine-tune some things to support a capability found on rival wearables.

Apple in 2023: iPads

Apple in 2023: iPads

iPad Pro 2022

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Although Apple has only just refreshed the iPad Pro lineup for 2022, the earliest whispers on the tablet front suggest it may do so again at some point in 2023. That would be to introduce larger slates, which blur the line between iPad and MacBook.

We’ve heard talk of both 14.1-inch and 16-inch iPad models in the works, and The Information (opens in new tab) says that the latter is currently scheduled for Q4 2023. More recent rumors, though, suggest the new sizes have either been cancelled or delayed.

Sadly, one of the more exciting iPad rumors — the introduction of OLED screens — doesn't sound like it will happen this year. Display expert Ross Young currently predicts we'll see slightly larger 11.1- and 13-inch iPad Pros with OLED panels in 2024.

Other iPads may get new versions too, of course. We’d keep a close eye on the iPad mini, which hasn’t been refreshed since September 2021. 

Finally, there could be an iPad speaker dock on the way — something that turns an iPad into a surrogate smart screen, like the Echo Show or Google Nest Hub. That’s according to Bloomberg’s well-connected reporter Mark Gurman, who says such a device could arrive as early as 2023.

Apple in 2023: Macs

Apple in 2023: MacBook Pro M2 Pro, new Mac mini and more

A concept for the M2 iMac

(Image credit: Parker Ortolani / Twitter)

The first thing to expect in 2023 on the Mac front are MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. These were originally planned for the end of this year, but have now slipped into early 2023 according to Bloomberg's Gurman. 

As with the previous generation, these laptops will reportedly come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, and may well appear around Spring.

The only substantial change to the MacBook Pro lineup could be the chipsets and nothing else. But given the already-impressive power of the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2, the boost to power and efficiency from Pro and Max versions will likely be very notable indeed. We've already seen some impressive M2 Max benchmarks leaked. 

At the same time, we’ll likely see a refreshed version of the Mac mini, also featuring the M2 — or maybe even M2 Pro — chipset. The leaker Jon Prosser has stated that the newer version could be smaller with more ports, which would both be welcome additions. It could look like this:

New Mac mini just leaked — what you need to know

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)

Speaking of desktop Macs, speculation continues to swell that we may see an iMac Pro in 2023. This would essentially be a bigger version of the 24-inch iMac, and would replace the 27-inch iMac that’s still powered by Intel chips with one led by M2. 

Finally, there’s talk of a Mac Pro unleashing unprecedented Apple M-chip power. The current model, powered by Intel Xeon W, is still available on the Apple store (opens in new tab), starting at a ridiculous $5,999, even though Apple’s own chips are proving a good match for it

Rumor has it that for this top-of-the-line workhorse desktop, Apple plans M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme chips, which will feature up to 48 CPU cores and 152 GPU cores. For reference, the current M2 chip is 8-core.  One report claims the new Mac Pro won't feature user-upgradable RAM, which seems like a potential misstep for Apple.

Apple in 2023: HomePod

Apple in 2023: HomePod

HomePod mini at Apple event

(Image credit: Apple via YouTube)

The original HomePod has been discontinued, but that doesn’t mean Apple isn’t planning a successor to sit alongside its colorful HomePod minis. Back in May, the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted we’d see a HomePod 2 between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. As the former is almost over, all eyes are on the latter.

This might not be the only HomePod branded product we see in the near future, with Mark Gurman predicting a device that combines HomePod, FaceTime and Apple TV. It's an intriguing proposition, but one that may not come in 2023.

Apple in 2023: AirPods

Apple in 2023: AirPods

AirPods Max in blue

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Very little has been said on the prospect of new AirPods in 2023. All we have so far is a prediction from Ming-Chi Kuo, who reckons that Apple will launch a USB-C charging case for all models next year

Given AirPods Pro 2 have only just arrived, the only models plausibly in line for a refresh in 2023 are the basic AirPods (last updated in October 2023) and AirPods Max, which arrived on the scene in December 2020. But to date, there’s been nothing in the way of leaks to point to a 2023 update for either definitively.

Our money is on at least an AirPods Max 2 with improved noise cancellation, USB-C charging and even better spatial audio. 

2024 or later

While there could be a few surprises in the mix not covered above, there are a few things that we’re definitely not expecting in 2023.

Later Apple devices: iPhone Flip

iPhone Flip render

(Image credit: 4RMD)

Don’t expect the iPhone Flip any time soon. Display analyst Ross Young thinks that 2024 is a more likely date, while Ming-Chi Kuo says not to expect a foldable phone until 2025

Before any foldable iPhone, the analyst Ben Wood believes we’ll see a foldable iPad, but that won’t be here before 2024 either. This information was backed up by Samsung, of all companies.

Later Apple devices: Apple Glasses 

Apple Glasses Render

(Image credit: Martin Hajek/iDropnews)

While Apple Glasses and the mixed reality headset may wind up sharing a lot of the same tech — the AR glasses are said to be much further away from being something you can wear. 

Although original estimates suggested 2020 before switching to 2023, even that feels like wishful thinking now. The analyst Jeff Pu originally stated 2024, but has since pushed this back to 2026. Either way, we’re a long way from their release.

Later Apple devices: Apple Car 

Apple Car concept

(Image credit: YouTube/AutoEvolution)

The long-rumored Apple Car is another product that definitely won’t be arriving next year. Indeed, the most recent report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests it’s been pushed back to 2026.

There was some good news in the report, though. It’s likely to cost consumers ‘just’ $100,000 rather than the original estimate of $120,000 plus. And while the car will reportedly offer self-driving features, it will have a steering wheel and pedals. Best start saving now. 

Later Apple devices: The iPhone SE 4

Unofficial renders of the iPhone SE 4

(Image credit: Jon Prosser/Ian Zelbo)

While display analyst Ross Young originally said (opens in new tab) that the iPhone SE 4 might arrive in 2023, that doesn’t fit with the biennial release date of past SE iPhones, so this feels optimistic. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also suggested a 2023 iPhone SE update has been postponed.

Indeed, Young himself has since amended the prediction to 2024, and reiterated rumors that it’ll be a big-screen device, possibly packing a 6.1-inch screen and being modeled on the iPhone XR.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.