Apple Fall Wonderlust Event Report

September 13, 2023 / Ben Bajarin / Carolina Milanesi

Apple held its annual iPhone event on September 13th, 2023, to announce the new iPhone 15 lineup, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2. This report provides an overview of the key announcements and new products revealed at the event, as well as analyst insights on what was significant from the event.


  • Apple has unveiled its first-ever carbon-neutral products in the new Apple Watch lineup.
  • The design and clean energy innovations have resulted in over 75 percent reduction in product emissions for each carbon-neutral Apple Watch.
  • This is a significant step towards Apple’s goal to make every product carbon neutral by 2030, including the global supply chain and the lifetime use of every device.
  • As part of their environmental efforts, Apple has also eliminated the use of leather across all product lines and introduced fiber-based packaging for the Apple Watch.
  • The carbon-neutral Apple Watch models meet strict criteria, including clean electricity for manufacturing and product use, use of recycled or renewable material, and reduced shipping emissions.

Silicon Improvements

Apple Watch Series 9 Chip

Features Apple’s new S9 System in Package (SIP) Apple did not disclose the manufacturing process node Claimed to be the most powerful Apple Watch chip Provides all-day battery life

Phone 15 Pro A17 Pro Chip

  • Built on the leading edge 3nm process node.
  • New CPU architecture
  • 16 billion transistors.
  • New custom GPU. Features 6-cores for 20% faster graphics and hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
  • Neural Engine expanded to 35 TOPS to take advantage of more on-device AI

iPhone 15 Lineup

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

  • Feature the new Dynamic Island interface
  • Powered by Apple’s A16 Bionic chip
  • Improved 48MP main camera
  • Come in new colors
  • Starting price of $799 and $899 respectively

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

  • Made from new titanium material
  • Powered by new Apple A17 Pro chip, claimed to be the fastest smartphone chip
  • Feature customizable action button
  • Improved camera systems
  • iPhone 15 Pro has 3x telephoto lens
  • Phone 15 Pro Max has new 5x telephoto lens for longest optical zoom
  • Starting prices remain the same at $999 and $1,199 respectively

Apple Watch Updates

Apple Watch Series 9

  • Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 9, featuring new capabilities and achieving an environmental milestone.
  • The watch is powered by the custom Apple S9 SiP chip, delivering improved performance and features.
  • A new double-tap gesture allows users to control the watch with one hand and without touching the display.
  • The display brightness has increased up to 2000 nits for better visibility in bright sunlight.
  • Siri requests can now be processed on the device, resulting in quicker and more reliable responses.
  • The watch includes the ability to find misplaced iPhones through Precision Finding and integrates with HomePod.
  • It runs on watchOS 10, which brings redesigned apps, new watch faces, and additional features for mental health and outdoor adventures.

Apple Watch Ultra 2

  • Performance updates, new double tap gesture, and carbon-neutral options
  • Comes with the powerful new S9 SiP
  • Brightest display ever at 3000 nits, great for harsh sunlight
  • Modular Ultra watch face for real-time data
  • Tested for use at extreme altitudes
  • On-device Siri with the ability to access and log health data
  • Precision Finding feature for locating misplaced iPhone
  • Runs watchOS 10 with redesigned apps and new watch faces

Other Key Announcements

  • Spatial video capture allows recording 3D videos on iPhone 15 Pro models
  • Faster USB 3 support and external storage on iPhone 15 Pro
  • New iCloud Plus plans up to 12TB of storage
  • iPhone 15 series will be available for preorder on September 15th and launch on September 22nd

What’s Significant

  • Apple’s continued innovation in cameras can not be understated.  The iPhone is the most social camera on the planet, and there is no smartphone franchise consumers use to share more photos on social media. This is why visual realism in photography remains the goal, and the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max come closer to this goal.  Consumers value capturing, preserving, and sharing memories and they will care that those pictures are captured as accurately as possible.
  • Apple Silicon leaps forward with A17 Pro made on TSMC cutting edge 3nm process technology. Apple continues to focus on hardware differentiation through more aggressively innovating on the underlying silicon. With A17 Pro, Apple has a new CPU architecture, rebuilt GPU architecture, and used its transistor budget to drastically increase the capabilities of the NPU with a 91% increase in TOPS YoY. This new silicon architecture sets the technological foundation of where Apple is headed over the next few years in hardware, software, and services.
  • The dedicated A17 Pro chip in the Pro line will likely help in the Chinese market, where consumers are much more driven by technology enhancement than form and design changes. Research has shown that Chinese consumers value top-of-the-line specs, and A17 Pro should cater to that specific market preference.
  • Adding Dynamic Island to the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus should generate interest and upgrades. Pro users strongly received the feature last year because of its usefulness and because it made the phone feel new/different.
  • Differentiating the iPhone Pro line is not about pushing consumers to the higher price point but more about making sure that mass market consumers are not offered much more than they want or can afford to facilitate their upgrade choice. That said, users will move from Pro to Pro Max because titanium makes that model much lighter now.
  • Apple continues to show how it thinks about cross-product design language, this time with the Action Button first seen on the Apple Watch Ultra. Now, on the iPhone 15 Pro, the Action Button becomes a shortcut not just to silence your phone but to some of our most common actions throughout the day, like taking a selfie.
  • Making sustainability entertaining was a smart move by Apple, especially if you consider the video created will be played way beyond the keynote. It allowed Apple to deliver some key numbers on their progress and underline the importance of sustainability and the need for transparency in a way that did not make the audience’s eyes glaze over.
  • With the goal of being Carbon Neutral across the entire product portfolio by 2030, Apple had to look at maximizing its efforts rather than creating a “sustainable” skew for Apple Watch, the first Carbon Neutral product. This also allows consumers to choose a sustainable Apple Watch no matter what model and price point they are considering. All it takes is to pick the right band.
  • We view this as a platform technology turning point as Apple is setting the stage for the underlying technology platform that will drive the iPhone the next few years.

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