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Rumors Roundup – M3, USB-C, Watch X, AirTag 2

Apple’s big iPhone launch is expected to land in exactly one month, so as usual the rumor mill is in overdrive. Strangely, it’s not just iPhones that are dominating the newsfeeds, with spicy leaks regarding Mac, Apple Watch, AirTags in addition to the iPhone 15 range. Let’s take a dive into the best rumors of the week – just remember to keep a pinch of salt in hand.

Apple Watch X special edition

There are rumors that Apple is working on a huge revamp for Apple Watch, though we’re not likely to see it for a while with Apple Watch 9 confirmed to be on the cards for 2023. A hypothetical Apple Watch X could see changes such as a magnetic band attachment, a blood pressure sensor, a thinner case, and a microLED display. Design changes could also make way for a larger battery. Bloomberg reports that such an overhaul could be saved for the tenth anniversary of Apple Watch in 2025, though if ‘X’ means ten we might see it next year instead.

USB-C for iPhone 15

This isn’t exactly big news, as EU regulations look to force Apple’s hand when it comes to upgrading the 11-year-old Lightning connector to the superior and universal USB-C standard. But there’s still slight question marks over when Apple will make the change, with the laws not kicking in until 2024. Leaker Majin Bu provides the latest of several previews of a new Apple-designed USB-C connector, hinting that it will indeed be packaged up with the iPhone 15 series next month.

M3 chips in next-gen Macs

Apple’s in-house silicon processing chips have impressed hugely since the launch of M1 a few years back, with each subsequent iteration smashing performance records. According to Mark Gurman, the specifications of next year’s M3 chips have already leaked. The entry-level M3 doesn’t look to be much of an upgrade over M2, but the high-end M3 Ultra is a huge leap forward, boasting a ridiculous 32 CPU cores and up to 80 GPU cores. That will make for an exceptionally fast and powerful computer, although Apple’s Ultra chips are only available in the pricy Mac Studio and Mac Pro configurations.

AirTag 2 coming in 2024?

Trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – via MacRumors – is reporting that a follow-up to 2021’s AirTag tracker is on the cards next year. It doesn’t look likely that Apple would make any show-stopping changes to the design or functionality, but it’s certainly due for some iterative changes to address issues and complains. AirTag 2 could make it harder to remove the battery (to make it safer for small kids) and harder to remove the speaker (to make it less effective for stalkers). It’s also expected that AirTag 2 would feature an improved Ultra Wideband chip for more effective tracking, and compatibility with the upcoming Vision Pro headset.