Apple is unveiling its latest iPhone lineup today at the company’s annual launch event in Cupertino, California, where the tech giant is also expected to introduce new Apple Watches, Airpods and other gear.
The event is an important showcase for Apple, which wants to encourage consumers to upgrade their older iPhones in favor of their latest devices. This year is especially important given that the company is struggling to break out of a crisis that has seen sales decline for three consecutive quarters.
Here’s what you need to know about today’s event.
What time is Apple’s main event today?
The Apple event starts at 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern.
Where can you see the announcement?
When can the iPhone 15 be purchased?
The Apple iPhone 15 should be available for sale from September 22, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.
What will the iPhone 15 cost?
Apple is expected to raise the prices of the high-end iPhones, Pro and Pro Max.
The current top model, the iPhone 14 Pro, starts at $1,000, while the Pro Max starts at $1,100. The iPhone 15 versions of those models could cost an additional $100 to $200, analysts said.
The question for Apple is whether consumers will pay $1,200 or more for an iPhone, although Ives said the extra features of top-shelf iPhones “justify this strategic price shift by Apple.”
What’s new about iPhone 15?
All models of the iPhone 15 will feature the “Dynamic Island” for app notifications — a look that was introduced with last year’s Pro and Pro Max devices.
The Pro model is expected to have some major changes, including an upgrade to an A17 bionic chip that will improve the speed and performance of that phone, Ives said in a report. The Pro model should also have titanium on the edges instead of stainless steel.
“We think the star at launch will be the iPhone 15 Pro Max with a periscope telephoto lens that significantly increases optical zoom capabilities,” Ives wrote. “This allows for 5x-6x optical zoom vs. 3x with the iPhone 14 Pro.”
Does the iPhone charger move from Lightning?
Analysts expect Apple to phase out its Lightning port cables, which were rolled out in 2012 with the iPhone 5, due to a mandate from European regulators that all phones use the USB-C charging port starting in late 2024.
However, it is unclear whether Apple will initially limit the switch to USB-C to models made specifically for the European market or make the change in markets worldwide.
If Apple decides it’s time to move away from Lightning port cables across the globe, the transition may not be too inconvenient for most consumers. That’s because USB-C cables are already so prevalent on a variety of computers, smartphones, and other devices that many people may already own them.
The switch to USB-C cables may even prove popular, as this standard typically charges devices faster and also offers faster speeds for data transfers.
What else is Apple announcing?
In addition to its new iPhones, Apple also typically uses the annual showcase to unveil its next-generation smartwatches — a product that made its debut nearly a decade ago. The arrival of the new iPhones also sets the stage for the next version of the software that powers the device.
This operating system, iOS 17, will be available as a free download for previous generations later this month and will include new features such as the ability to read a transcript of a message left on a missed call in real time, with the ability to decide to speak with the person on the line before the answering machine is finished.
Should I upgrade my iPhone?
About 25% of Apple’s 1.2 billion iPhone users haven’t upgraded their phones in four years, according to Ives. Some of the 300 million people with older iPhones may be wondering if it’s time to open their wallets and get a new device this year.
Still, it can be difficult to decide when it’s time to retire your old phone and switch to the latest iPhone, especially when prices rise. Much of that decision may depend on the type of handset you currently use, with owners of newer models having less reason to upgrade, Olivier Blanchard, director of research at technology research firm The Futurum Group, told CBS MoneyWatch
“I’m not hearing about any amazing new features,” he said. “We’re not going to see anything super crazy interesting or different, unfortunately.”
But if you have a smartphone older than the iPhone 12, the iPhone 15’s new chip, improved camera capabilities and USB-C port could be a big step up.
—With reporting from the Associated Press.