Big things are brewing at Apple Park, and we expect to find out what they are this spring. In this article we explain when Apple is likely to hold a launch event for spring 2023 (assuming it holds one at all), how to watch it live, and what products you can expect to be unveiled.
Apple’s spring event is one of the three or four big events in Apple’s yearly cycle of announcements. We get the big software announcements at WWDC in the summer, the iPhone launch in September, some times we see Apple make Mac and iPad announcements in October or November, and (most years) we get some hardware reveals at a spring event on March or April. Apple executives will hit the stage–whether real or virtual–and boast about some recent successes, before revealing what new products are about to launch. For more detail on Apple’s calendar of events, read When is the next Apple event?
Apple has held lots of spring events, but they don’t happen absolutely every year and it’s not guaranteed that Apple will hold a spring event in 2023. However, there are rumors that Apple may have something big to announce at an event this spring. Read on to find out more.
Will there be a spring Apple event in 2023?
Sources have indicated that Apple plans to hold an event this spring, however, those rumors seemed to hinge on whether the company would have made adequate progress with its AR/VR headset in order to hold an event to publicise it. If the Reality Pro device is ready for a March/April reveal, Apple may organise an event to publicise it. However, the latest rumors (via Mark Gurman at Bloomberg) are suggesting it won’t be ready until the summer, so it is likely that we won’t hear from Apple (at least in an official, stage-managed capacity) until WWDC in the summer.
Apple hasn’t announced the dates yet, but based on previous years it’s likely to be a Monday or Tuesday in mid to late March. In 2022 the event took place on March 8, but that was earlier than the norm. The 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th of March 2023 are all decent bets.
Here are the dates of the past seven Apple spring events.
2022: Tuesday March 8
2021: Tuesday April 20
2020: no event
2019: Monday March 25
2018: Tuesday March 27
2017: no event
2016: Monday March 21
2015: Monday March 9
2014: no event
2013: no event
2012: Wednesday March 7
What time will the spring 2023 event start?
Apple’s events generally start at 10 a.m. in local (California) time, and once we’ve got the date we can use that to translate to other timezones. The slight hiccup is that some timezones switch to summertime or daylight saving time during the spring while others don’t, so timings would work out differently depending on when exactly Apple holds the event.
Here’s how it would work out in various territories, assuming the event happens on 6 March, realistically the earliest it could take place:
Australia: next day at 1am (AWST), 2.30am (ACST), 3am (AEST)
New Zealand: next day at 5am (NZST)
Apple events generally last between one and two hours.
What will Apple choose as the event tagline?
Something vague to create as much speculation as possible. Expect a weak pun, along these lines. “Spring Into Action,” maybe. Or “Let’s Get Real.”
What will Apple announce at the spring event?
Apple cleared the decks with a pair of announcements in January, launching new M2-based models of the MacBook Pro and Mac mini, and a second-gen HomePod. Which gives the company the luxury, if it so desires, of devoting the entire spring event to the year’s main event.
Apple’s mixed-reality headset
Assuming it’s ready for the limelight, we could see Apple unveil its first venture into the world of dedicated virtual-reality (VR) hardware. The headset is expected to also offer augmented-reality (AR) features, reportedly switching between the two modes at the twist of an Apple Watch-style Digital Crown.
The headset will completely cover the user’s eyes and fit over the top of their head. When in VR mode, high-res screens close to the face will show 3D imagery, while pass-through cameras will allow imagery to be superimposed over real-world views for the AR mode.
According to leaks, the headset will probably be called Reality Pro and cost roughly $3,000; it may launch only in the US at first.
However, Apple may wait until WWDC in June before revealing the headset.
If there is no new headset to unveil in the spring Apple could still hold an event to unveil a new Mac. There are rumors of a larger MacBook Air that is thought to be ready to launch.
As for other Macs, we’re hoping for an M2 iMac or iMac Pro at some point this year, although that seems more suited to WWDC in the summer. Similarly, Apple still owes us a Mac Pro based on Apple silicon, an M2 Max Mac Studio must be in the pipeline, but WWDC seems more suited to those announcements.
New Apple TV
Sources say Apple is working on a faster version of the Apple TV as part of its new smart-home strategy. Could that be announced this spring? It’s possible.
New HomePod with screen
Apple’s only just launched a new version of the original HomePod, but there might be more coming in that category. Apple could be preparing to launch a HomePod with screen. Alternatively, other rumors point to a product that combines a HomePod and an Apple TV.
The seventh-gen iPad mini is slated for a 2023 release and it could make an appearance this spring, but is more likely to appear in the fall; the same applies to the rumored 14-inch iPad Pro. But in either case, Apple could potentially ‘spring’ a surprise.
Will the event be live (in person), or virtual?
Probably Apple will hold a live event with a studio audience, but with a high-production value video presentation rather than on-stage presenters. The iPhone launch last September was an in-person event, and Apple is very keen on the magic that happens when you can get in a room with someone. (This has caused some ructions with employees who’d like to spend more time working from home.) Assuming COVID cases in the U.S. don’t spike between now and April, expect another in-person gathering.
How to watch Apple’s spring 2023 event live
The best way to watch would be to get an invite to attend in person, but most of us won’t be so lucky. Fortunately, Apple will also livestream the presentation so everyone can watch along.
The first place to try is Apple’s events page, which currently lets you rewatch old events but will have the livestream on the night. Indeed, the main Apple.com home page should have plenty of coverage while the presentation is happening.
If you’ve got an iPhone, an iPad, an Apple TV or a Mac–assuming the device has sufficiently up-to-date software–you can watch the stream on the TV app. PC owners can also watch, but will need to visit Apple’s site as mentioned above.
After the event is finished, it will also be available to rewatch in the Podcasts and TV apps, and on Apple’s website.
You should also be able to watch the announcements live on Apple’s YouTube channel, and the company has occasionally experimented with streaming announcements on its Twitter page, although we don’t expect it to repeat the strategy this year.
Finally, Apple has for certain events in the past held broadcast events in Apple Stores, so it may be worth contacting your nearest outlet to see if they have anything planned.
What has Apple launched in past spring events?
Studying past behavior can help us predict what Apple will do in the future. Here’s what Apple has announced at previous spring events.
2022 (“Peek Performance,” virtual): New iPhone SE, new iPad Air, Mac Studio and Studio Display, and new iPhone color options
2021 (“Spring Loaded,” virtual): New iPad Pro and iMac, Apple TV 4K, AirTags, new iPhone color options and iOS 14.7
2020: no event
2019 (“It’s show time”): Apple Card, and the News+, TV+, and Arcade subscription services
2018 (“Let’s take a field trip”): New iPad and education announcements
2017: no event
2016 (“Let us loop you in”): iPad Pro, iPhone SE, and software updates
2015 (“Spring Forward”): Apple Watch, a new MacBook, and iOS 8.2
2014: no event
2013: no event
2012 (“We have something you really have to see. And touch”): 3rd-gen Apple TV and 3rd-gen iPad
What happens at an Apple event?
Like most tech-company launch events, it will feature both fluff and substance. Expect some tedious bragging at the beginning; this may cover such topics as operating system adoption rates, hardware customer reviews, and eco-friendly manufacturing policies. But Apple wouldn’t hold an event if there wasn’t something worth hearing, and we should get into proper announcements within 10 minutes or so.
Generally speaking you can expect multiple separate announcements at an Apple event, but this year we think the company will focus hard on a single product (or ecosystem of products).