Apple kicked off its iPhone 15 launch event on Tuesday, with analyst expecting new charging ports, titanium cases and better cameras – and possibly higher prices for top models.
The event at Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters comes amid a global smartphone slump and lingering economic uncertainty, especially in China, Apple’s third-largest market where it faces challenges from expanded restrictions on using its iPhones in government offices and the first new flagship phone in several years from Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL).
Apple is also expected to debut new Apple Watch and AirPods models at the event, but the star of the show will be the iPhone, which still made up more than half of Apple’s $394.3 billion in sales last year.
By far the biggest change for most Apple customers will be a switch from Apple’s propriety “Lightning” charging cables to USB-C, a standard that Apple already uses on its laptops and some high-end iPads.
Apple was forced into the change by European regulations, but analysts believe that the company will position the change as an upgrade, taking advantage of faster data speeds that can transfer high-quality videos made with iPhones.
Analysts are also expecting a new “periscope” camera technology that could give phones better zoom capabilities and titanium cases, as well as upgraded chips. Such “periscope” lenses can use mirrors or prisms to get a longer lens without having to make the camera module much larger.