Apple’s “Wonderlust” event invite features the Apple logo in a windswept, sandy visage. How could the artwork relate to the expected announcements of the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 coming during the Apple event on September 12?
Here is some off-the-wall speculation — the reasonable and the ridiculous.
What does Apple’s ‘Wonderlust’ event invite mean?
It’s possible the Wonderlust event invite, which Apple issued Tuesday morning, contains clues about the hardware it will unveil at the event. It’s also possible it does nothing of the sort.
However, in retrospect, there are usually one or two things you can glean from an Apple event invitation and its artwork. And that makes sense if you think about how it’s probably made: Some graphic designers at Apple receive a few pointers and guidelines from execs about what to draw up, without really knowing the full details.
There’s usually one thing to learn from Apple events
Some examples of clues hidden in past Apple event invites:
- The blurry lights in the background of the iPhone 7 event hinted at Portrait Mode.
- The brushstroke Apple logo for their September 2020 event offered a clue about the iPad Air 4 with support for Apple Pencil 2. Blue was also a big color that year for the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad alike.
- The use of all six colors in the April 2021 event hinted at the six colors of the redesigned iMac.
- 2020’s “Hi, Speed” event clearly name-checked Apple’s first 5G-capable iPhones.
Gray, gray, gray and blue-gray
The colors of the Apple logo in the Wonderlust event invite — gray and blue — immediately call to mind rumors regarding the iPhone 15 Pro lineup. Silver and Space Black reportedly will hold over from last year. And last year’s Deep Purple is being replaced by another shade of blue. Apple supposedly will drop gold in favor of a new medium gray, due to the titanium chassis that should make Pro models lighter than previous stainless steel versions.
That means the iPhone lineup will effectively be light gray, medium gray, dark gray and blue-gray. That’s reflected in the artwork for the event.
If that proves true, it looks like we’ll continue to wait for a truly vibrant iPhone Pro color option.
The sands of time, or possibly titanium dust
Going all Sherlock Holmes on the invitation is probably a waste, but that won’t stop me.
For its September events, Apple previously used metaphors about time. The event is when the company typically debuts new Apple Watch models. The aforementioned September 2020 event, for example, was called “Time Flies.”
I reached out to designer (and jokester) Sam Henri Gold for his insight. He had independently reached the same conclusion: “that before time’s relentless march, we all fade to whispered dust, our finale preordained. And also you’ll get a lot of dust in that new USB-C port.”
Titanium powder… pic.twitter.com/x9D5i3M3XX
— Ian Zelbo (@ianzelbo) August 29, 2023
Speaking of dust, Ian Zelbo points out that a pile of titanium dust — the rumored new material that will make up the metal frame on the iPhone 15 Pro — strongly resembles the dust in the invitation. In a cursory Google search, I learned that titanium dust is apparently highly explosive. I’m not sure what we can take from that, but that’s certainly interesting.
How about that name?
“Wonderlust” is a portmanteau of “wonder” and “wanderlust,” which is defined by Wikipedia (global arbiter of truth) as “a strong desire to wander or travel and explore the world.” (A portmanteau, by the way, is a snobby way of making a pun. Hey, you just learned two new words.)
Apple usually likes to fluff up its marketing with puns on phrases such as “By innovation only,” “Peek Performance,” “Hi, Speed” and “Spring Forward.” So, what could “Wonderlust” mean?
In hinting toward wanderlust, Apple might emphasize travel, exploration, longevity and hardiness in its marketing — qualities the company likes to associate with the Apple Watch Ultra, also due for an update this year.
According to Sam Henri Gold, “the ‘wonder-lust’ is simply Apple marketing being horny on main.”
Be sure to follow Cult of Mac for more coverage of the event as we see the products unveiled just two weeks from now: