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Apple Watch Series 9, Ultra 2, and iPhone 15: Everything to Know From Launch Day

Apple's sales have fallen for all three quarters this year. Now, the world's largest company will give customers a new reason to upgrade.

apple watch 9 heroApple has just released details about the Apple Watch 9 and other new devices out this month; (image/Apple)
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Less than a year after the release of the iPhone 14 in September 2022, Apple has announced the release of its latest tech: the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9.

The announcements came during a company event with the tagline “wonderlust,” in which Apple surprised tech junkies with a major redesign: USB-C charging for its iPhone line. This change, one of the most significant changes to the iPhone design in 10 years, is likely an attempt to reinvigorate consumer interest. Apple reported a third consecutive quarter of declining sales last month, according to CNN.

Now, the company’s reliable customer base has a new reason to upgrade their phones. And Apple has even offered an additional incentive: no price increases for the upcoming iPhone 15 models. There’s also the Series 9 Apple Watch, which has a few new notable features since the Apple Watch 8, and the pricier Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Apple Watch Series 9

Color options for the new Series 9 Apple Watch; (photo/Apple)

Apple’s latest Apple Watch, the Series 9, boasts a new processing chip called S9 SiP, claiming speedier performance compared to previous iterations. The new design appears mostly unchanged, with the exception of the new “double tap” gesture. This allows users to answer calls or execute actions in apps by tapping their index finger and thumb together twice. It will also come in new colors such as pink, starlight, and silver.

The Series 9 is $400 MSRP and will be available for sale on September 22, 2023. Though, you can preorder the Series 9 now on Apple’s website.

Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2; (photo/Apple)

With the Apple Watch Ultra 2, Apple aims to up the ante for both tech lovers and environmentally conscious consumers. In our GearJunkie review of the previous Apple Watch Ultra, we call it “a stunningly good piece of tech.”

The Ultra 2 comes with Apple’s most potent S9 SiP chip, the same “double tap” gesture as the Series 9, and the brightest display Apple has ever developed for a smartwatch. Other enhancements include an expanded altitude range, on-device Siri capabilities, Precision Finding for iPhone, and advanced features designed for water-based adventures.

Running on watchOS 10, the Ultra 2 includes redesigned apps, a new Smart Stack, enhanced cycling experiences, features for outdoor exploration, and a brand-new watch face that Apple calls “Modular Ultra.”

Perhaps most important, Apple claims that the Ultra 2 is available in a “carbon-neutral option.” The offering is meant to align with Apple’s 2030 plan to achieve carbon neutrality.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is now available for order and will drop on September 22. It carries the same MSRP as before at $799.

iPhone 15

Color options of the iPhone 15; (photo/Apple)

At the event, Apple also unveiled the standard iPhone 15 with a starting price of $800. The smartphone will feature a 6.1-inch display and a new A16 chip — the same as in the previous iPhone 14 Pro models.

Other features include the “Dynamic Island,” which was introduced on the iPhone 14, but now comes in a minimized notch design. Apple also improves the camera this time around, with a 48-megapixel main sensor that also allows for enhanced optical zoom.

The phone will come in five colors: black, blue, pink, white, and yellow. Preorders will begin on September 15, and the phone will be available in stores a week later on September 22.

A closeup of the iPhone 15 Plus; (photo/Apple)

iPhone 15 Plus

Apple’s larger offering, the iPhone 15 Plus, starts at $900 and comes with a 6.7-inch display. Similar to its smaller counterpart, the iPhone 15 Plus will feature the A16 chip and an updated camera.

The phone’s availability and preorder dates are identical to those of the iPhone 15. The pro models of the lineup — the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max — will include even more premium features, including an A17 chip and a titanium body.

With its announcement of the USB-C charging system, Apple is aligning with European Union regulations, which will require USB-C for many devices starting in 2024.

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