Five Unexpected Announcements from Apple’s Wonderlust Event

Originally published at: Five Unexpected Announcements from Apple’s Wonderlust Event - TidBITS

Sure, Apple announced the iPhone 15, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2 at its Wonderlust event on 12 September 2023. But we weren’t expecting these additional announcements.

Pricing for 6 and 12 TB of iCloud has been confirmed in the press release and indeed it is respectively $29 and $59.

I’m curious about the removal of leather. Yes, I know that the tanning process can be environmentally unfriendly (but hasn’t that been addressed in recent years?). And the animal cruelty people will certainly weigh in that it’s a good thing that Apple discontinued leather.

However, it remains to be seen if the synthetic FineWoven will be as durable and aesthetically pleasing as real leather.

It just seems like pandering and cost reduction to me.


Raising cattle in general is climate change unfriendly, right? As was said during the event, the cumulative amount of leather Apple has produced for cases, watch bands, and other accessories is a lot of leather.

There will surely be plenty of third party accessories made with leather.


Very glad of the iCloud bumps. We’ve had all sorts of issues with the 2tb limit.

I hope so. I have allergies to some “non-natural” materials and a wristband (if not metal or real hide) isn’t a simple choice. Nothing like finding out you have a rash from synthetic band. I’ll stick with leather.

Anyone else have opinion on the marketing speak in the presentation all about carbon neutral but missing that most of the products will ship out via jetplane… and packaging uses inks, some metallic. Just saying…

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I’m hoping Roadside Assist makes its way to Australia. We have vast isolated regions in the back country where sat phone is the only available communication. It’s not uncommon for people to break down and die. This would be a massive safety feature.

The iCloud storage bump is welcome. As an Apple One Premier subscriber I’ll be interested to see if we get a small boost or if the price will go up.

I’ve never bought a leather band or a leather case but maybe lots of people do? What I’d like is for Apple bands to have a price drop. Apple band in Aus. around $70 vs ebay about $4.

The USB charging is nice, I guess.

The environmental push is welcome. Anything we can do to reduce emissions and waste has to be positive.


Although you might not be able to get what you want from Apple (at least not for a reasonable price) there are literally hundreds of companies selling Apple Watch bands.

You can also get spring-bar adapters that will let you use generic bands designed for generic watches.

I seem to recall that they said that more than half of their products by weight would ship by ocean or land rather than air.

See Apple unveils its first carbon neutral products - Apple - footnote 4 in particular.


I’m curious if older AirPod Pro cases with a Lightning port can charge using a USB-C to Lightning cable. This will be one more thing to try after getting an iPhone 15.

Concerning Roadside Assistance via Sattelite, since the service will be provided through the American Automobile Association (AAA) roadside assistance program, it looks like it will only be available where that program is active. According to the AAA, that is the United States and Canada.

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Clearly that’s the case for now but it would be reasonable to assume they’ll be working with local associations in various countries to expand the program. I’m sure it will trickle down, just as many services Apple do, starting in US and then expanding to the rest of the world.


I think they are focused on bulk shipments (hence the emphasis on “products by weight”), presumably from Asian manufacturers and suppliers, to distribution facilities in the US and elsewhere. So instead of loading up some 747s, they’ll send containers by ship. Or in the US, they might ship products from California to warehouses further east, using rail. This will add some time to getting the product into customer hands, but once they have the pipeline full, no one will really notice.

But they won’t be using ocean shipping for individual products. Or at least they better not - I live in Hawaii, and if I order a new iPhone, I’d hate to be quoted a delivery date two months out because they’re going to be waiting for enough Hawaii orders to fill a container, which will then be shipped from Long Beach. :astonished:

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It’s usually a lot cheaper to ship via boat and land rather than by air, especially when goods are traveling to many markets across the globe. Air is a lot faster, and a lot more expensive and is also a big consideration. And without ink and packaging materials, Apple wouldn’t be able sell anything anywhere. And if Apple wasn’t shipping across the globe, they wouldn’t be one of the world’s largest companies.

With all the talk regarding the iPhone’s shift to USB-C ports as well as the new USB-C AirPods Pro model — and the pros and cons of having USB-C vs. Lightning — it’s worth remembering that these devices can also be charged wirelessly. Personally, I haven’t used any cable to charge my iPhone or AirPods in well over a year. In fact, about the only time I connect a cable to my iPhone is in a car (and if I get a new car with wireless CarPlay, that wired connection will end as well).

Do you have some reason to think they wouldn’t? It’s USB at the one end of any Lightning cable.

I once used a car that only had wireless CarPlay and it was very annoying. There’s a noticeable delay when pausing/play or skipping tracks. Far, far more irritating than having to plug in a cable!


Are cows raised and slaughtered for leather alone?

Or do dairy and meat cows that get slaughtered find their hides used for leather?

Seems like an important distinction to me because if it’s the latter giving up leather just means we throw away parts of an animal instead of putting them to good use.


They should. Apple has advertised charging from an iPhone 15. And that’s a regular Lightning charging cable you have there after all.

That’s true. However, the new iPhone 15 still only supports 7.5 W over standard Qi chargers. Barely more than the old tiny brick they used to sell with the iPhone. MagSafe will do more (15 W) but of course that’s a much more expensive charger. And I’m afraid it’s no better on the Pro models.

Interesting. I only used wireless CarPlay once — in a rental car on a vacation. But I loved it. I didn’t notice any significant delays. But what I really appreciated was the “instant connection” — I get in the car, turn it on and CarPlay is there ready-to-go. No need to take my phone out of my pocket, no need to fumble with a wired connection (assuming you have a cable in the car) or figure out where to place the phone. It becomes like the CarPlay interface is a built-in feature of the car itself. Definitely worth it for me.