Yes, Apple in 2024 will be about all sorts of sequels, but it will also be the first time Tim Cook launches a device in a completely new category since the original Apple Watch in 2015. This time, it's the Apple Vision Pro that will make its debut, possibly as soon as February .
That will put a lot of pressure on Apple to justify this new $3,500 spatial computer. Will it be the game changer people have been waiting for, or an overambitious and overpriced taste of the future?
We've been following all of the biggest Apple rumors heading into 2024, and these are the most anticipated products, including the iPhone 16, the first iPads with OLED displays and the Apple Watch 10.
Apple Vision Pro
The Apple Vision Pro represents a leap forward for wearables. It has the potential to be the best VR headset but also the most advanced mixed reality headset. Apple is calling this category spatial computing, and the headset has been designed to be the ultimate work-and-play device.
You can use the Apple Vision Pro to watch movies on a giant screen, play back your photos and videos in 3D spatial video (including those recorded on an iPhone 15 Pro), as well as work across multiple desktops floating in front of you. You can also do FaceTime calls right in the headset using your own digital avatar.
I had a chance to go hands-on with the Apple Vision Pro during a demo, and I was blown away by the gesture-based interface, as the headset can track your eyes and hands. And the augmented reality experiences feel truly immersive. However, $3,500 is a lot to spend on a headset — even if it does beat everything else — and the EyeSight feature that lets other people see a digital replica of your eyes through the headset is creepy.
iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro
Apple is reportedly investing big in AI for 2024 and beyond, and has found a way to squeeze LLM (large language models) chatbots like ChatGPT onto a device instead of having to rely on the cloud. So get ready for AppleGPT.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 16 should get a 3nm processor, and all four iPhone 16 models could feature a new Capture button for making snapping photos and videos easier. The iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are tipped to get larger 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch displays, up from 6.1 and 6.7 inches.
On the camera front, the iPhone 16 could see a vertical camera arrangement to enable spatial video capture for the Apple Vision Pro. And both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max could boast a 5x tetraprism lens.
It looks like iPads in 2024 could be an eventful product category for Apple. The company is tipped to release the first OLED iPad Pros ever, which would up really the display quality on the iPad Pro 2024. We should also see the fast Apple M3 chip come to these slates and the largest iPad Pro go from 12.9 to 13 inches.
The next iPad Pro could also sport a new glass body, which would enable MagSafe wireless charging. We could also see a new Magic Keyboard with a sturdier aluminum frame and a revamped Apple Pencil.
Other rumored new iPads include an entry-level iPad 11 with a faster chip and support for the new Apple Pencil with USB-C and a new iPad Mini 7 with a larger 8.3-inch display.
AirPods 4 and AirPods Max 2
We could get not one but two new AirPods 4 models in 2024, with Bloomberg reporting that Apple is planning two new fourth-generation non-Pro models. They're tipped to feature updated designs, redesigned cases with USB-C charging, and active noise cancellation for the higher end model. So you won't have to buy the AirPods Pro 2 to get that feature.
While it doesn't sound like a major upgrade we could also finally see a new AirPods Max 2 with USB-C charging and new colors. Here's hoping we also get a cheaper starting price and a less ridiculous AirPods Max charging case.
Apple Watch 10
While Apple continues to fight a patent battle that temporarily halted sales of the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, it's also working on a new Apple Watch 10 model that should introduce major health upgrades.
The new Apple Watch will reportedly get not only a new design but also the ability to detect hypertension and sleep apnea. Users will get an alert and suggestions for follow-up testing. However, blood pressure reading from the wrist isn't expected for this year's model.
MacBook Air with M3
The M3 chip has already proven to be quite a beast for the MacBook Pro 14-inch with M3 and the MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Max. But Apple also has plans to bring the M3 chip to the MacBook Air series.
Apple is tipped to unveil a MacBook Air M3 in early 2024 alongside the new iPads. But it could be as late or spring or summer. So we would expect both 13- and 15-inch MacBook Airs with the more powerful M3 chip, which packs 10 GPU cores (up from 8).
In addition, Apple is reportedly exploring a cheaper MacBook option that would ostensibly replace the MacBook Air M1 and better compete against the best Chromebooks, though don't expect Chromebook-level prices from Apple.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.