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The backstory: Apple, the tech giant famous for its iPhones and MacBooks, had been flying under the radar in terms of innovation for a while. But the winds of change blew in June at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference. The star of the show? The Apple Vision Pro, a top-notch mixed-reality headset slated for release next year.
Alongside this headset, Apple introduced something called visionOS, a cutting-edge spatial computing operating system tailor-made exclusively for this futuristic gadget. It comes with a premium price tag of US$3,499, but Apple is convinced that the Vision Pro will redefine our perception of both reality and virtuality.
The development: Apple just wrapped up its annual launch event at its Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday and brought some big announcements into the limelight. Let’s break down what the company revealed at this highly-anticipated launch
First off, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus made their debut with new ultra-light titanium borders. These smartphones feature USB-C charging (a first for Apple) and start at US$799. Apple also rolled out the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, starting at US$999. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have a Dynamic Island feature, which was first introduced in the 14 Plus.
Another key highlight was the introduction of the all-new Apple Watch Ultra 2, which is made almost entirely from titanium and it can go 72 hours on a single charge. It runs on the S9 chip, an upgraded ultra-wideband architecture for precision finding and a display capable of a 3,000-nit display. On the tech front, Apple's calling the S9 chip the most powerful in any watch to date. Apple also revealed updated AirPods, now compatible with USB-C.
Other notable announcements include satellite roadside assistance for iPhone 15 users and an improved camera experience for the iPhone 15 Pro series. The iPhone is now replacing the mute button with an “action button” capable of doing more. Plus, a lot of people are eager to say goodbye to lightning cables forever, as the iPhone is finally incorporating standard charging after the EU issued it an ultimatum.
“USB-C has become a universally accepted standard, so we’re bringing it to iPhone,” said an Apple presenter at the event.
“We strive to make the world a better place in all things we do, and today’s event advances that mission in a number of ways,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook when he kicked off the event.
“The Apple Team is making great progress with Vision Pro, and we look forward to shipping early next year,” said Cook.