2022 was a pretty good year for iPhone and a pretty good year for iOS too.
Apple has given us the stunning new iPhone 14 Pro with a slew of excellent new features, making it one of the most exciting upgrades in recent years. On the software side, we got iOS 16 and a level of customization we could only dream of a few years ago – customization options that our Android friends have been taunting us with for over a decade.
But it wasn’t a perfect year. The iPhone 14 was a really mediocre upgrade from last year’s iPhone 13, and reports suggest the iPhone 14 Plus is still battered like the iPhone “mini” it has supplanted in years past.
With that in mind, what can we expect from Apple in 2023 when it comes to everything iPhone-related, both hardware and software? It might surprise you to learn that the most exciting iPhone of 2023 might not be the iPhone 15 or even the iPhone 15 Pro. Read on for our iPhone 2023 predictions, dreams and wishes.
iPhone and iOS in 2023: iPhone SE, iPhone 15, iOS 17
When it comes to hardware and 2023, all eyes will be on Apple’s next line of smartphones, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. But before all that excitement, there’s a chance Apple could release a brand new iPhone SE. It’s rumored to be one of the most exciting upgrades to Apple’s budget line thanks to the revival of the excellent iPhone XR design. According to insider Jon Prosser, the next iPhone SE will be based on the iPhone XR (opens in new tab) with an improved interior. That would mean the end of the old, trusty home button and the outdated brow and chin design that has been a hallmark of the iPhone SE since its birth.
We have a good idea of what the iPhone SE might look like, but we can’t know for sure if Apple will unveil one next year. In fact, Apple released an iPhone SE in 2022 and before that in 2020, suggesting it might be aiming for a two-year release cycle. There are also rumors that Apple could unveil a larger Plus-sized iPhone SE, and the upcoming redesign seems like the perfect opportunity for that. 2023 isn’t a lock on the iPhone SE, but a design said to be iPhone XR-inspired could make it one of the best budget phones out there.
Besides the iPhone SE, the main event should be the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. There are many rumors suggesting that some of the big iPhone 14 Pro upgrades could be coming to the regular iPhone lineup next year, namely the new Dynamic Island to replace the notch. In addition, the iPhone 15 could get a new design with a more curved and rounded back.
Without a doubt, the biggest rumored design change to the iPhone 15 could be the advent of USB-C. It feels like we’ve been waiting ten years for USB-C, and at one point it looked like Apple might skip the standard altogether in favor of a wireless, portless iPhone. However, with new EU legislation (other countries are following suit), there are now reports and rumors that Apple is already testing USB-C, and the company has publicly confirmed that it must comply with the new rules. A USB-C iPhone is confirmed, we just don’t know when it’s coming.
What does iMore want to see from iPhone 2023?
To me, the key to iPhone success in 2023 has to be a better upgrade for the iPhone 15, ideally in line with the current iPhone 14 Pro. The regular iPhone 14 has been a real disappointment this year in terms of new features, so I’d like to see Apple really push the boat across the lineup. I would also like Apple to find a more innovative solution for its “problem child” iPhone: last year it was the Mini, this year it’s the Plus. None seem innovative enough or popular enough to justify their existence. Maybe Apple should just focus on making three great phones instead?
what about the rest of us Our Deals Writer Tammy says, “It might seem like a throwback, but I’d love to see a return to the iPhone 11 Pro’s design language. It was sleek, sleek and absolutely gorgeous. With the new display technology and dynamic island, it could be the best-looking iPhone ever released — and I’d buy one in a heartbeat.” With rumors of a curved back in the iPhone’s future, Tammy may have her wish granted. .
EIC Gerald Lynch is excited about the prospect of integration with VR and more AR. Is that something we could see in 2023? Tim Cook says he believes AR and VR are the future, but Apple has openly eschewed the concept of the “metaverse,” so what will Apple’s vision for virtual reality be and how might the iPhone complement that?
iOS 16 ushered in quite a major overhaul thanks to the fantastic customization experience of the new lock screen, which works great with the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display. So what could Apple do in 2023 to take its iPhone software to the next level? While we’ve gotten a pretty bold redesign, many of the elements of iOS 16 are looking pretty dated, and I’m just desperate for a major overhaul. You know, the kind that got a standing ovation at the WWDC keynote like iOS 7 did.
Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, remains a poor voice-activated companion, sometimes a broken one and all but useless in my opinion. Apple has to solve Siris’ terrible speech recognition problems and miscommunication at times, and also normalize processing on the device. It’s criminal that in 2022, simple commands like pausing and playing music, turning off light switches, and more can be hung up by a bad internet connection. Siri is miles behind the competition’s services, and Apple risks being forgotten if it doesn’t pull itself together soon.
iOS 16 and the introduction of new lock screen themes show that there is a real hunger for customization on the iPhone, and Apple needs to continue to push that with more customization. There are some really cool new elements, fonts, and colors that can now be added to the iPhone’s lock screen, but there’s no continuity on the rest of the device, so maybe Apple could find a way to bring some of these designs and colors to the rest your device. I would also like to see more options with the home screen. Despite widgets, we’re still stuck in the same grid of icons running left-to-right, top-to-bottom. We need to turn this around next year, Apple.
What would iMore like to see in iOS 17?
iMore author Bryan says, “Dynamic Island is one of the best things that has happened to the iPhone in a long time. Live events make an already impressive feature even better (think real-time sports scores and weather reports). It will be interesting to see where the feature goes from here when it arrives on more devices in 2023.”
Sometimes when it comes to iOS, the little things make a big difference. Tshaka Armstrong lovingly writes:
“Dear Apple Software Engineers: Now that we can schedule email sending, for the love of bast, PLEASE give us an iMessage schedule.
A guy who wakes up HOURS before his wife and goes to work and would like to send her messages without waking her or having to type them and then thinks about coming back to it later or uses some wonky Shortcuts workaround.”
Other small items on Tshaka’s Christmas list include a “Reset” option in the Power/SOS menu, which I feel is much needed, and a document scanning feature built right into the iPhone’s camera for quick sharing.
Like Siri, other aspects of iOS need to work better, for iMore contributor Karen Freeman that’s syncing between devices, especially for contacts and calendars.
While new features are always a bonus, for me iOS 17 needs to deliver a really solid execution with so many syncing and cross-device features that still feels like a minor flaw in the ecosystem.
Take podcasts for example. Apple’s podcast syncing is really terrible via the native app. It can never remember where you left off or what episode is next in your lineup. Some devices play podcasts chronologically, while others play them backwards, from newest to oldest. It’s one of only many similar inconsistencies when switching from the iPhone to other Apple products.
What happened to “It just works”? Because most of the time it feels like it’s not.
Another exciting expansion area will be the smart home. With the advent of Matter in late 2022, your smart home will be smarter than ever, with even more devices than before available to pair with Apple’s ecosystem. How will Apple unlock this new wealth of possibilities?
With any luck, we should see iOS 17 at WWDC in June 2023 – enough time to fill our wish list, right Apple?