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Apple Event Live Updates: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Ultra, AirPods Pro 2 Announced

The fall 2022 iPhone event is over. Here's our complete coverage as it happened.

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Ian Sherr

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Welcome to CNET's coverage of Apple's big iPhone event. We covered Wednesday's event, live from the Steve Jobs Theater at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. Apple announced the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, along with the Apple Watch Series 8, Watch SE and Watch Ultra. The company also unveiled the AirPods Pro 2 wireless earbuds.  

You'll find full coverage of all the breaking news below, as well as in-depth analysis and perspective you can only get here. 

Here's what was announced

  • Apple iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max: Available in 6.1-inch Pro and 6.7-inch Pro Max models. They'll have the first always-on lock screens. The notch is replaced with a Dynamic Island, which is still a notch but one that's actually useful. The main camera setup has a 48-megapixel camera with four zoom options, an ultrawide 12-megapixel camera, an action mode and cinematic 4K at 24 frames per second video. The iPhone 14 Pro will cost $999. The iPhone 14 Pro Max will cost $1,099. Preorder Sept. 9, available Sept. 16.
  • Apple iPhone 14 and 14 Plus: The new devices feature 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays, respectively. Each has a 12-megapixel main camera and a new front camera with autofocus. They'll also have crash detection and two years of a new emergency SOS service. Apple's iPhone 14 will cost $799, and the iPhone 14 Plus will be $899. Preorders start Sept. 9. The iPhone 14 comes out Sept. 16, and the iPhone 14 Plus comes out Oct. 7.
  • Apple Watch Series 8: The new Apple Watch Series 8 adds new cycle tracking features, including ovulation. A low-power mode is designed to increase battery life, and an updated gyroscope and accelerometer are designed to improve crash detection. International roaming will also now be available. Available Sept. 16 for $399 for GPS, $499 with cellular. 
  • Apple Watch SE: Aimed at kids, it supports WatchOS 9 with new workout and sleep tracking. it's priced at $249 with GPS and $299 with cellular and arrives in September.
  • Apple Watch Ultra: A more pro-level watch, with 60 hours of battery life, a titanium body, a new dedicated second button, an improved speaker and a ruggedized design. The Ultra is $799 and available Sept. 23. 
  • Apple AirPods Pro 2: Apple says the second-gen Pro totally wireless earbuds offer twice the active noise cancellation, up to six hours of listening time, new ear tips and precision finding to help you locate the case. Available on Sept. 23 for $249.

Wrapping up

By Ian Sherr

Now back to Tim Cook, who's wrapping up the event by going over all the announcements. "These incredible products each offer so many great capabilities," he says. "Making products that are so personal and indispensable is what drives us to continue innovating, improving on what are already best in class experiences."

And that's it.

iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 Pro pricing

By Ian Sherr

iPhone 14 Pro will cost $999. iPhone 14 Pro Max will cost $1099. Preorder Sept. 9, available Sept. 16.

iPhone 14 stats

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 Pro stats

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 Pro ultra wide camera

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple ProRAW

By Ian Sherr

Apple will also let people shoot at 48mp using a new "Apple ProRAW," which the company says allows for significantly more zoom.

iPhone 14 Pro also has a new ultra-wide camera, which has a 3x improvement in light capture and better macro photos too.

The flash also has a new array of LEDs that's brighter.

iPhone Pro cameras

By Ian Sherr

The iPhone 14 Pro will have a new 48MP camera, with a "quad-pixel sensor." Apple says it's 65% larger than the iPhone 13 Pro's, and features 24mm focal length. The picture will adapt to the type of photo you're taking. 

The result is that the main camera is 2x better at low-light photos. "You can capture stunning photos across all lighting conditions," Apple says.

The company says it also allows the phone to smartly choose to focus on capturing better colors, more light or additional details in high dynamic range.

There's a new 2X telephoto option for the photo too.

iPhone 14 Pro Camera

By James Martin
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A16 Bionic chip

By Ian Sherr

Apple also introduces a new A16 chip, which it says was built focused on power efficiency, display and camera. The chip has 16 billion transistors, Apple says, and is built on the 4nm process, which allows it to be faster while also eating less battery life.

It's a six-core CPU, including two high-performance cores. The high-efficiency cores use one-third the power of "the best efficiency cores from the competition."

A16 also uses the CPU, GPU, neural engine and ISP to perform 4 trillion processes per image.

iPhone 14 Pro display

By Ian Sherr

The iPhone 14 Pro will come in 6.1 inches, and the Pro Max will be 6.7 inches. It goes up to 1,600 nits, which Apple says is the same as the Pro Display XDR. And in bright days, it can push up to 2,000 nits.

The lock screen will also support always-on display. "This keeps essential information available for the moment when all you need is just a glance." 

iPhone 14, 14 Pro

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 Pro

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 Pro

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Now, iPhone 14 Pro

By Ian Sherr

The new iPhone 14 Pro tries to make the notch even more, by adding information around the corners of the black bar.

The new True Depth camera uses 30% less area, Apple says, and the proximity sensor is now behind the display. 

Apple calls it the Dynamic Island. It expands into different shapes while focusing on sharing info. 

"Each alert has its own personality, and has been designed with its own unique character," Apple says. It also displays background activity or a phone call.

iPhone 14 Pro

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 pricing

By Ian Sherr

Apple's iPhone 14 will cost $799, and the iPhone 14 Plus will be $899. Preorders start Sept. 9.

iPhone 14 releases Sept. 16 and iPhone 14 Plus releases Oct. 7.

Emergency SOS via satellite

By Ian Sherr

Where cell towers don't reach, Apple connects with satellites when you point directly at them in open skies. 

"That connection is only possible when a phone is pointing directly at a satellite," Apple says. The SOS software tells you where to point your phone and how to stay connected even when the satellite moves.

There's limited messaging capabilities. You're only able to send messages within 15 seconds at best, and minutes when in foliage. 

Apple will also ask questions ahead of time, like if you're injured, which will then be sent to emergency services.

If you're on a long hike, you can also share location through satellite. 

It's free for two years with iPhone 14, launching in November. Apple didn't say what it'll cost after.

Satellite connectivity

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 crash detection and satellite

By Ian Sherr

The iPhone 14 will include crash detection, just like the Apple Watch Series 8. 

The iPhone 14 will also have off-grid help through low-earth satellites. You point at a satellite and can send an emergency text message, which appears to only be an SOS type of request.

iPhone 14's eSIM

By Ian Sherr

Apple is pushing eSIM for easier cell plan management. "It's more secure," Apple says, and someone can't remove the SIM card if your phone is stolen.

Apple says all US models will no longer have a SIM tray. "eSIM offers a simpler way to activate and use iPhone."

iPhone 14 pictures

By Ian Sherr

Apple has a new software feature called Photonic Engine, which the company says has much better details and color in low light. And video has a new "action" mode, which is designed to keep video stable even when you're jogging. Apple says you won't need to carry a gimbal anymore, because it uses sensors to correct for fast movements.

Photonic Engine

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 camera

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 colors and chips

By Ian Sherr

The phone will come in five colors: Midnight, Starlight, blue, purple and Product (RED). 

Apple will also include the A15 chip that was in last year's pro models. Apple says it's 18% faster though, and "faster than the competition at any price."

Apple is also upgrading the camera. It has a 12MP main camera, with a larger sensor and faster sensor. "It takes stunning shots everywhere," Apple says. It also has a 49% improvement in low-light capture.

The other camera is an ultra-wide. And the front camera now has 38% better low light performance, and autofocus.

iPhone 14

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14

By James Martin
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iPhone 14

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Now, iPhone

By Ian Sherr

Apple announces its new iPhone. It's ditching the Mini and instead doing iPhone 14 (6.1 inch) and iPhone 14 Plus (6.7 inch).

AirPods Pro

By Ian Sherr

Preorder Sept. 9 for $249, arriving Sept. 23. And you can have Memoji engraving.

Adaptive transparency

By Ian Sherr

Apple is also introducing a new feature that understands outside sounds and will cut out sounds like street work while still allowing you to hear what's around you.

It'll last 30 hours, Apple says, and it has precision finding for the case (but not the headphones).

AirPods Pro

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Redesigned innards

By Ian Sherr

The AirPods Pro 2 have a new H2 chip, which Apple says allows for "high bandwidth connectivity," and a new feature called "personalized spatial audio." The iPhone camera will now be able to take a picture of your ears and create a personalized sound profile based on them.

The new AirPods Pro now have 2x better noise cancellation, "delivering even greater focus when you want to be immersed in the moment."

Apple is also introducing a new extra-small ear tip.

Air Pods Pro

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Now, AirPods Pro

By Ian Sherr

Just like Apple Watch, Tim Cook says AirPods have become "essential for so many people."

AirPods are the most popular headphones in the world, Cook adds. And the AirPods Pro are the most popular model.

Apple Watch Ultra stats

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch Ultra price

By Ian Sherr

Apple Watch Ultra will be $799 and automatically includes cellular. Preorder today, available Sept. 23.

Oceanic Plus app for Apple Watch Ultra

By Ian Sherr

Now the Apple Watch Ultra will have dive planners with information about tides and water temperature. The app will automatically know when you start a dive, and "unlike most dive computers," Apple says, the app is simple to use -- set a compass heading and use the digital crown to get more info. And it has excessive ascent rate warnings and safety stop guidance too. (These are big deals for divers.)

Diving with Apple Watch Ultra

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

More on Apple Watch Ultra

By Ian Sherr

Apple also designed three new bands, with features for divers and serious outside runners. 

Apple has also designed a new "precision dual-frequency" GPS, which uses L1 and L5 GPS. It'll also include new details like vertical oscillation and workout zones.

The Apple Watch Ultra also has an "action button," which will let you mark segments, start or stop runs, and other details. Most athletes can do a triathlon with battery to spare, Apple says. 

The device is also designed for extreme heat or cold. And it has a GPS that will help you remember where you were, and direct you back to camp. And it has a newly loud SOS sound.

The Ultra has been certified as a dive computer and gauge. It goes to a depth of 40 meters.

Apple Watch Ultra

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch Ultra

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch Ultra

By Ian Sherr

Now, Apple Watch for extreme athletes, including ultra marathoners, expert divers and others. "This has been years in the making," Apple says. 

It's an Apple Watch, but it's thicker, particularly at the screen. "Every detail has been engineered to create the most rugged and capable Apple Watch," the company says.

The case surrounds the front crystal in a way that protects it from impacts "that can occur during extreme activities."

The side buttons are designed to work when you're wearing gloves, and now there are two speakers and three microphones, to ensure quality calls even in windy conditions.

The battery gets up to 36 hours of life on a single charge. And there's a new "battery optimization setting" coming later this fall, that lasts up to 60 hours.

Apple Watch Ultra

By James Martin
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Apple Watch SE price

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch SE

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch SE

By Ian Sherr

Apple Watch SE "has been a huge hit," Apple says. And more than 80% of customers are new Apple Watch customers. 

This year, Apple says it's reduced the carbon footprint of the Apple Watch SE by 80%. Apple Watch SE will also have the same motion sensors to support crash detection.

The SE display has the same SOC as Series 8, meaning it's 20% faster than before. It also works for family setup, which means you can set up a kid's Watch separately.

"Family setup allows even more independence for kids, and more peace of mind for parents." 

It's also now more affordable: $249 for GPS, $299 for cellular. Order today, available Sept. 16

Apple Watch SE

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch Series 8 price

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Watch Series 8 release details

By Ian Sherr

$399 for GPS, $499 with cellular. You also get three months of Fitness Plus free.

Can preorder today, available Sept. 16.

Apple Watch Series 8

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Low-power mode

By Ian Sherr

Apple is also introducing a new feature, which will maintain important things like activity tracking and fault detection, while temporarily disabling other features like the always-on display and auto-workout detection.

This is available on Apple Watch Series 4 on, running WatchOS 9.

The Apple Watch with cellular will also now work with international roaming, if your carrier supports it.

Low power

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Crash detection

By Ian Sherr

Apple Watch Series 8 can also identify if you're in a car crash. In order to detect a car crash, the company added new sensors to the Series 8. It has a three-axis gyroscope and a high-G-force accelerometer, which is apparently capable of measuring up to 256 G's.

Apple focused on detecting three types of crashes: side impact, rear end collision and rollovers. It also pulls information from the microphone and barometer.

Crash detection runs only when you're driving, and processes data only around the time of a possible crash -- a note again on privacy, and potential concerns anyone might have about it tracking you while you drive.

Crash detection

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Privacy

By Ian Sherr

Apple takes a moment to note that health data is encrypted end-to-end and can be shared only "with your explicit permission."

"Your cycle tracking data is encrypted on your device and only accessible with your passcode Touch ID or Face ID," Apple adds.

Apple Watch Series 8

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch Series 8

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Women's health

By Ian Sherr

This year, Apple is introducing new cycle tracking features, including information about ovulation. "As always, we build our health features with two fundamental principles: First, they are developed using scientifically validated insights, and second, privacy is at the core, designed to keep your data secure and private."

There's a new temperature sensor that can give you a "retrospective estimate" of when you ovulated (so no alerts "you're ovulating!"). 

"In the health app, you'll be able to see nightly shifts from your baseline temperature, which can be caused by things like exercise jet lag, alcohol or illness."

Apple says its cycle tracking will also alert you on your iPhone and can help bring your attention to any other health issues that might come up.

New Apple Watch lineup

By Ian Sherr

Now, time for Apple Watch updates. Jeff Williams announces Apple Watch Series 8.

"It has all the things you love about Apple Watch, plus even more," he says. It has new watch faces, and it's bright even when your wrist is down.

Series 8

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

First, Apple Watch

By Ian Sherr

"Apple Watch has become an essential companion," Cook says. "It's always with you, allowing you to do so much, right from your wrist. It keeps you connected to the things you care about most, encourages you to stay active and monitors your health and gets help when you need it."

He introduces a video on the letters he's received about people whose lives have been impacted by the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

Now, Cook on video

By Ian Sherr

"Today, we're here to talk about three products that have become essential in our lives," he says. iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch.

"On their own, each is industry leading. Together, they provide a magical experience," he says.

3 years since an event

By Ian Sherr

Cook begins by saying that in 2020, Apple rethought its events in light of the pandemic. "However, we've missed the personal connections that come with spending time together at these events." And with that, we're watching a prerecorded film.

Tim Cook

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

And we've started

By Ian Sherr

Tim Cook comes on stage to standing applause from the front row. "Welcome back to the Steve Jobs Theater," he starts. "Today we have guests from all over the world, and it's so wonderful to see all of you here."

Inside Apple's event

By Lisa Eadicicco
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Outside Apple's event.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
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Apple badge with recycle logo.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Steve Jobs Theater

By James Martin
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James Martin/CNET

We are here

By Ian Sherr
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Inside Apple's auditorium.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

We're in the Steve Jobs Theater and getting settled. AC is on, probably full blast. They've got Honeypie by Jawny playing over the speakers.

We are in!

By Jared DiPane

Ian, Patrick, Lisa and the rest of the CNET crew who are live on-site from California are getting seated in the Steve Jobs Theater. 15 minutes until things get started!

15 years of the iPhone

By Ian Sherr
The iPhone 3G.

The iPhone 3G.

Angela Lang/CNET

One last thing Apple may, or may not, mention today is that the iPhone is marking its 15th year since release. That's right, there are teenagers learning to drive who weren't born when the iPhone launched.

Earlier this summer, CNET looked at what the iPhone has meant to Apple over this time, including how it's become the engine that's powered the tech giant's rocketlike rise to become the most highly valued company on the planet, at more than $2.5 trillion. That's a far cry from Apple's $60 billion market cap when co-founder Steve Jobs stepped onto the stage to show off the original iPhone.

It made me wonder: Will the tech industry experience another aha iPhone-like moment again any time soon? I spoke with attendees of Apple events, including people who were there for the original Macintosh unveiling in 1984. The conclusion is that these types of moments are exceedingly rare.

"There are definitely 'holy shit' things that are about to happen," Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson told me earlier this year. They just may not be in technology.

Catch up on all the rumors

By Jared DiPane
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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

With just under 30 minutes left until Apple officially kicks off today's big event, you may be a little excited. Be sure to check out all of the rumors you may have missed ahead of the event now to see which ones come to life during the presentation.

Apple Watch Pro?

By Jared DiPane
Apple Watch Series 7 in red displaying watch face
Apple

Could this be the year that Apple releases a "Pro" series Apple Watch? There are lots of rumors suggesting that it's coming alongside the Apple Watch Series 8. It's said to be more rugged, but what other secrets may Apple have up its sleeve? Longer battery life? Even more fitness features? We will find out in 30 minutes.

'Far Out' technology

By Ian Sherr
Apple Event with Tim Cook

Tim Cook during the iPhone 13 event in 2021.

Apple; screenshot by James Martin/CNET

The other possibility is that Apple is about to make an announcement for a new technology that's "far out" from when it'll be ready. And that's not an entirely crazy theory. After all, Apple introduced its iPhone in January 2007, nearly six months before its release on June 29, 2007. It also introduced the original iPad in January 2010, three months before that device was released to the public. And even its Apple Watch had a little more than half a year between announcement and release.

That said, there aren't too many signs Apple will pull a similar stunt, with its long-rumored goggles, for example. In that case, Apple is said to still be refining the technology.

But the company could always surprise.

Apple's 'Far Out' event invite

By Ian Sherr
The Apple logo outlined by specks of light, suggesting clusters of stars and galaxies
Apple

Apple loves to keep its fans wondering, and what better way to do that than with a cryptic event invite? This year, Apple's invite says "Far Out," and it's set against a backdrop of outer space.

First, it's worth noting that Apple is based in California. So, if CEO Tim Cook shows up on stage talking like a surfer, saying, "Far out, dude!" expect to hear an audible groan from me.

But the more likely guess is that the tease relates to long-rumored satellite-calling capabilities. After all, satellites are (mostly) floating in space.

There's also the possibility that Apple is going to introduce new camera capabilities that would let people take better photos of the night sky. This is something Google's Pixel phones have had for years, going back to 2019. Apple has introduced its own night photography features, but it hasn't gone for the wow factor demo of taking pictures of the starry skies.

Cardboard badges for attendees

By Jared DiPane
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Ian Sherr/CNET

For this event, Apple has handed out recyclable badges made out of cardboard. Could this be an indication that Apple will be talking about more environmental efforts during the event? We'll find out in just over an hour.

Trading in your current iPhone makes a new one more affordable

By Jared DiPane
All of the iPhone 13 models
CNET

While we don't have all the details of the iPhone 14 just yet, you might already know you're ready for an upgrade. If you're looking to get top dollar for your current iPhone, trading it in may be one of your best options. There are a lot of services available, so be sure to compare them all to help you get the best deal on your new iPhone.

The CNET team is arriving at Apple Park

By Jared DiPane

We're less than 2 hours away from the official start of the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 event. Our own Ian Sherr has just arrived on site and is excited to get things started.

And Patrick Holland is celebrating his CNET anniversary in style at his first Apple Event.

The future of USB-C

By Ian Sherr
USB-C cable
Amazon

Another common question around the iPhones these days surrounds the connection port at the bottom. The original iPhone in 2007 used the iPod music player's popular 30-pin connector, which Apple invented for the device and licensed to tons of accessory-makers who created everything from iPod dock stereos to specialized microphones and even memory card readers for digital cameras. (Remember those?)

In 2012, Apple switched from the 30-pin connector to a new cord it invented, called Lightning. Apple said there were many benefits to Lightning, including that it was easier to plug into the device, backward or forward.

Around the same time, though, the rest of the tech industry began adopting an oval-shaped plug called USB-C. That technology was similarly easy to plug in, and tech companies began adopting it since it wasn't tied to one company -- like Apple and its Lightning. USB-C has become so popular that regulators in Europe have begun setting standards telling device companies they must offer USB-C charging, so that people don't need to buy as many separate chargers for all their various devices.

Over the years, Apple has moved many of its own devices to USB-C plugs, including its Mac desktop and laptop computers and its iPads. So when rumors started to swirl the iPhone too would move to USB-C, it made sense. Still, the question is when that might happen.

There are also rumors Apple may ditch plugs all together. It introduced wireless charging in 2017 with the iPhone X, and added new magnetic chargers with MagSafe in 2020 with the iPhone 12. It's also made nearly everything about the iPhone wireless now, offering popular wireless headphones with the AirPods, wireless data synchronization through the internet and even creating ways to connect apps to cars using wireless radio signals as well.

It's unlikely we'll get a USB-C or all-wireless iPhone this year though.

Here's what we'd want from an Apple TV refresh

By Jared DiPane
Apple TV 4K with Siri Remote
Apple

A new Apple TV is unlikely to be announced at today's event, but that doesn't mean Apple can't surprise us. Our own Eli Blumenthal outlined his wish list for a 2022 Apple TV refresh back in June, saying it's time for Apple to offer a $99 Apple TV and get rid of the HD variant.

iPadOS 16 won't be available right away

By Jared DiPane
iPadOS using a secondary monitor
Screenshot by CNET

Normally, Apple releases iPadOS 16 alongside iOS 16, but this year that won't be happening. Apple has decided to skip iPadOS 16 and is working on iPadOS 16.1 instead. The new software will reportedly roll out this fall, but we don't yet know exactly when. It's unlikely Apple will give an exact date during today's event.

What else can we do about battery life?

By Ian Sherr
Battery life discussion during previous Apple event.

Will battery life get the spotlight at today's Apple event?

James Martin/CNET

Tech companies are racing to find answers to the battery problem while we wait for a breakthrough. The answers they've found so far have been to create more space for the battery, either by making the devices slightly thicker or even building batteries in odd shapes that fill as much of device's innards as possible. It's not uncommon to see a phone with an L-shaped battery these days, for example.

We've also benefited from another trend in tech land, and that's shrinking chips. Over the years, Intel, AMD, Samsung, Nvidia and other chipmakers have helped to create technology that manufactures ever-smaller chips. As the chips get tinier, they can typically do more computational work while using less energy. As a result, the batteries can last longer.

Unfortunately, the tech industry is starting to hit walls with shrinking chips too. Apple's latest chips, for example, are manufactured on what's called a 5-nanometer process, which makes transistors a fraction the width of a human hair. In theory, engineers may be able to shrink manufacturing processes down a bit more before having to find other ways to improve chip performance and capabilities.

iOS 16 is going to bring some neat new features

By Jared DiPane
iOS 16 logo on a yellow background
Nelson Aguilar/CNET

We know iOS 16 will be arriving with the iPhone 14 and coming to older phones as well. We've been testing iOS 16 for a few months now -- here's what our expert Patrick Holland thinks the coolest new features are. It's possible Apple will showcase one or two new iOS 16 features during the event, and if the rumors of an always-on display are true, we may see some more iPhone 14-specific features as well.

Expect a price drop on older iPhones

By John Falcone
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Angela Lang/CNET

Inflation notwithstanding, I'm assuming Apple will still drop the prices on its older iPhone models -- albeit maybe not the full $100 that we've seen in previous years. Before today, you could still get older iPhones through Apple at nearly every $100 increment starting at around $400:

  • iPhone SE (2022 model): $429
  • iPhone 11 (2019 model): $499
  • iPhone 12 Mini (2020 model): $599 ($629 unlocked)
  • iPhone 12 (2020 model): $699 ($729 unlocked)

If Apple follows its usual model, we could see something like: 

  • iPhone SE (2022 model): $429
  • iPhone 12 Mini (2020 model): $499 - $529
  • iPhone 12 (2020 model): $599 - $649
  • iPhone 13 (2021 model): $699 - $749

But that is strictly a guess on my part. Again, prices here will depend on where the new models start, and how many -- if any -- of the two existing Mini models Apple plans on keeping in the line. 

Will prices go up?

By John Falcone
Apple announcements September 14 2021: iPhone 13, new iPads, Apple Watch Series 7, and more
Apple; screenshot by John Falcone/CNET

The biggest economic story of 2022 is the record inflation that we're seeing across the board, and personal electronics are no different. One of the biggest unknown for the 2022 iPhone models is if Apple will raise prices -- and by how much. (The screenshot above shows the prices -- with a $30 carrier subsidy on the non-Pro models -- as they were announced in September last year.)

One thought is that Apple just raises the prices of some or all of the new models across the board -- by $30, $50 or even $100. That's what happened earlier this year, when the baseline 64GB model for the new iPhone SE jumped from $399 to $429. 

There is a wildcard, however: While the current iPhone line still starts around $699 (or $729, if you buy unlocked), that's for the Mini model, with a 5.4-inch screen. The longstanding rumor is that there will be no Mini model for 2022, meaning the entry-level iPhone 14 -- with a presumed 6.1-inch screen -- may just keep its $799 ($829 unlocked) baseline price tag, while the rumored 6.7-inch non-Pro iPhone could start at $899 or higher. (The current Pro models were prices at $999 for the 6.1-inch model and $1,099 for the 6.7-inch Pro Max.)

Apple could also adjust the "value" of the hardware by playing with the baseline storage configurations. Before today, the legacy (pre-2021) iPhone models started at 64GB, while the iPhone 13 line started at 128GB. 

Tim Cook is excited

By Jared DiPane

We're still several hours out from the event, but Tim Cook is already showing his excitement for the day with his latest tweet.

The Apple Store is down

By John Falcone
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Apple; screenshot by CNET

The Apple Store has gone down, with a "Be right back" splash screen now in place. That's standard operating procedure on iPhone announcement day, and further confirmation that we can expect new hardware later today.

Why no better battery?

By Ian Sherr
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James Martin/CNET

In what's likely to surprise no one, battery life is still one of the most important things people say they look for in a new phone. It's also typically one of the biggest complaints they have about their phones. And why wouldn't it be? Despite all our technological leaps, we still haven't been able to conquer battery life.

To the contrary, we may be stuck. Back in 2014, when I spoke with John Goodenough, a scientist who helped come up with one of the breakthroughs that made possible the current lithium ion batteries so many of our devices use, he said that the best advancement we can hope for in the near future is doubling our battery life. That's great, but it's also kinda disappointing. We're talking about going to the moon and Mars, and we can't figure out our batteries?

Goodenough and other experts told me that the problem is chemistry. We've just run out of elements on the periodic table with which to make new, better batteries. Of course, people are still trying, including large teams at every major tech company you can think of. And there's good incentive for them to figure this out, too. Whoever comes up with technology significantly better than lithium ion would easily make their way into the history books, and have a must-have device on their hands.

Rumors of a folding iPhone

By Ian Sherr
iphone

Could we see a folding iPhone at some point?

CNET

One thing that's increasingly separated Apple from its chief rival, Samsung, has been folding technology. Samsung introduced its first folding phone, appropriately named the Samsung Galaxy Fold, in 2019 and has been improving on it ever since. The first version had its problems to be sure, and in fact Samsung pulled it from sale just days before it was due on store shelves because reviewers were complaining the screens on units they'd been sent early were breaking.

The Fold and its svelter cousin, the Galaxy Flip -- a flip phone that folds a somewhat normal-sized smartphone screen in half -- have their fans, but they're by no means mainstream. Part of the reason is their price. The Fold first went on sale for nearly $2,000 two years ago. The Galaxy Fold 3, released in 2021, dropped that price to $1,800, where it remained this year.

"I do think it's a fair price for what you get in 2022, which is a premium phone made with parts that are unique, cutting-edge and expensive," CNET reviewer Patrick Holland wrote. "But so is a Ferrari SF90 Spider, and that costs over half a million dollars. Despite my crush, I won't be buying the Fold 4 or a Ferrari anytime soon. And we are still years away from a foldable phone being affordable to most people.

Amid all this, Apple's been rumored to be working on a folding phone, but it hasn't actually discussed the technology publicly at all. And considering the struggles Galaxy Fold users still have with the screen's fragile nonglass cover, as well as the prominent crease appearing in their screen, it's no wonder Apple's opted to keep its version in the development labs for now.

Still, nearly any sci-fi nerd will note that folding technology certainly has its place. Many futuristic ideas for computers have included being able to fold them up into easily portable devices. Some stories, such as Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica, go a step further by building a computer into a folded-up piece of paper. Unfold the paper, and suddenly you have a tablet or laptop-sized screen.

Unfortunately, technology hasn't caught up -- yet.

Taking the notch down a peg

By Ian Sherr
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Some slight differences between notches here.

CNET

Above, the notch comparisons between the iPhone 12 (above) and iPhone 13 (below).

Of course, Apple wasn't the only company that struggled with how to expand its screens across the top of its phones. Some of the other companies opted instead to create hole-punch cutouts on the screen where the selfie camera would go. Samsung even came up with fun wallpapers that incorporated the dot into the eyes of a robot, for example.

The Death Star from Star Wars

That's no moon!

CNET

Some companies have gone a step further, incorporating cutting-edge technology to place a camera behind the screen itself, effectively getting rid of the need for a notch or hole-punch of any sort. But, it turns out, while this idea sounds great in theory, it doesn't work as well in practice. It turns out that the screen interferes with the light coming through the front glass and to the camera, meaning you get lower quality images.

CNET's phone guru Patrick Holland wasn't impressed when Samsung introduced its first underscreen camera with the Z Fold 3 last year.

"The idea is to reduce visual distractions on and around the display," he wrote. "There isn't a notch. There isn't a hole punch. Instead, you either see nothing (yay!) or when bright colors are displayed, you see a tiny glittery octagon that I found to be more distracting than something like a hole-punch camera."

Ultimately, he added, "The benefit of having a screen free of visual interruptions isn't worth the tradeoffs from this under-display camera."

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A quick comparison shot.

CNET

A comparison of all three cameras.

What's the deal with that notch?

By Ian Sherr
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The legendary notch!

Josh Miller/CNET

When Apple redesigned the iPhone in 2017, ditching the home button and its fingerprint sensor in favor of new face unlock technology in the front of the phone, the tech giant did have to live with some compromises. Namely, the notch.

That black bar on the top of the screen didn't just house the infrared sensors that mapped your face for the unlock technology, it also became a calling card. That notch was so closely associated with the iPhone that when Samsung decided to lampoon the feature in its Galaxy phone ads the next year, it portrayed Apple faithful as so supportive of the notch that they even got haircuts to match.

Apple has slowly shrunk the notch down, of course, and it's even designed some wallpaper to help obscure it -- at least in advertisements. But that black bar is still there, stuck in the middle at the top of the screen.

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Pretty hard to see the notch here!

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

See, what notch?

Will the iPhone 14 end the SIM card?

By Mike Sorrentino
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The iPhone 14 is rumored to leave physical SIM cards behind in favor of eSIM.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

The iPhone 14 is also rumored to leave the SIM card slot behind, in favor of exclusively using the eSIM format to enable iPhones to connect to a wireless carrier. This would be a big move, as it would make Apple the most prominent phone maker to no longer require a physical SIM card. 

Here is what CNET Senior Editor Eli Blumenthal says about this rumor: Apple is rumored to be putting a particular focus on eSIM, or embedded SIM cards, with this new iPhone line. The company has long supported the technology, which has been in iPhones dating back to the iPhone XS as well as in recent cellular iPads. 

Functionally, compared to physical SIM cards that have been in use in iPhones since the beginning, the decision should not change the experience for users or limit their ability to connect to 4G or 5G networks.

All three major US carriers support eSIM and all allow for current iPhones to use the technology to connect to their respective networks.

It's unclear if Apple will completely remove the physical SIM card slot on the iPhone 14, though the company seems poised to make that transition in the not-too-distant future and free up some precious physical real estate.

iPhone 14 wish-list features

By Mike Sorrentino

In addition to collecting iPhone 14 rumors, we have also collected our wish-list features for what we hope Apple includes in the iPhone 14. Here's what CNET Managing Editor Patrick Holland says about his hope for a better camera in the iPhone 14:

Over the past few years, Apple has increased the focal length of the telephoto lens on Pro models. We've gone from a 2x optical zoom on the 11 Pro to a 2.5x zoom on the 12 Pro, to a 3x zoom on the 13 Pro. But on the Android side of things, we have Samsung and its S22 Ultra which has dual-telephoto cameras: one with a 3x optical zoom lens and the other with 10x.
Then there's the upcoming Sony Xperia 1 IV that has a telephoto camera with lens elements that actually move giving you optical zoom anywhere between 3.5x and 5.2x magnification.
While the 3x optical zoom on the 13 Pro is great for portraits, I can only imagine what Apple could do with a longer telephoto lens or one like the Sony's that adjusts. And maybe that's what the "Far Out" in the Apple Event invite is a reference to?

Apple Watch Pro rumors

By Mike Sorrentino
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Emergency SOS is activation screen on Apple Watch.

Richard Peterson/CNET

Apple is rumored to be unveiling a new Apple Watch Pro edition in a larger size than the regular Apple Watch. Here's CNET Principal Video Producer Lexy Savvides on what this could mean: 

More and more manufacturers are releasing "Pro" smartwatches with comprehensive workout tracking, taking aim at companies like Garmin, which dominate the segment. 

Not just for athletes, these watches also appeal to anyone who wants a tougher, bigger watch on their wrist. The big question: Will the Apple Watch Pro have better battery life than the 18 hours you get with the regular Apple Watch? Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro packed a huge battery in its 45mm case that lasts 2.5 days or more, but Garmin's watches can go a week or more between charges.

Final iPhone 14 rumors

By Mike Sorrentino
The battery icon as seen on an iPhone running iOS 16 beta
Patrick Holland/CNET

Several iPhone 14 rumors are still gathering steam as we get closer to Apple's event on Wednesday. We've collected them in our iPhone 14 rumor roundup, and updates will continue until the Apple event begins.

One rumored addition to the new iPhone 14 is the ability to transmit data to and from satellites. Here's CNET Head of News Roger Cheng on what this means: Don't expect to be able to stream Netflix anywhere in the world. T-Mobile and SpaceX announced a deal ahead of this launch to provide satellite coverage using Starlink satellites, and the early usage revolves around augmenting coverage for text messages -- and it wouldn't happen until the end of next year. But it's a valuable capability that could yield more benefits down the line.

Apple Watch may get a big refresh

By Mike Sorrentino

The Apple Watch line may get a big shakeup at Wednesday's event. Rumors are pointing to the Apple Watch Series 8 debuting as expected, but alongside of that, Apple may be launching a higher-end Apple Watch Pro and a refreshed Apple Watch SE.

Should the Apple Watch Pro become official, the watch is said to feature a larger screen along with a more rugged design. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Series 8 is rumored to be getting a temperature sensor. 

There are not many rumors regarding a refreshed Apple Watch SE apart from a mention in Bloomberg, but Apple appears to be about to discontinue the $199 Apple Watch Series 3 as it currently does not support WatchOS 9. The current Apple Watch SE is also nearing its second year on the market, and longstanding Apple Watch features like the always-on display could potentially make their way down to the SE.

How to watch Apple's 'Far Out' event

By Mike Sorrentino

We're getting ready to cover Apple's next event, and you can watch all of the reveals live with us on Wednesday. Apple will be streaming the company's "Far Out" event on Apple's website and on YouTube starting at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST). Apple is expected to reveal the iPhone 14 line and a new line of Apple Watch Series 8 models. 

In addition to the livestream, CNET will be providing live coverage and commentary on this live blog alongside a watch party hosted by Bridget Carey and Justin Tech. That live watch party will kick off at 9 a.m. PT (12 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. BST), and will include a breakdown of what we expect from Apple's event, live reactions during the event and analysis all of the reveals afterward.