Everything you need to know about Apple’s iPhone 15
The iPhone 14 just came out but the rumors have already started for Apple’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, which will likely get USB-C and even better cameras.
If everything goes according to Apple’s plan, the iPhone 15 (and 15 Plus, 15 Pro, 15 Pro Max) should be on track for release in the fall of 2023.
You may be thinking it’s too early to start talking about the iPhone 15 when the iPhone 14s and iPhone 14 Pros just came out a few months ago, but the rumor mill keeps churning out the speculation. Maybe you didn’t upgrade to the latest iPhone 14s or you need to know what’s coming because you’re an early adopter. Wherever you stand, we’ve curated everything we know about the iPhone 15s.
Will the iPhone 15 replace Lightning with USB-C? Will the iPhone 15 Pro Max finally get a better 10x zoom lens? How much will the iPhone 15 cost? You have questions and we have answers. Let’s get informed.
How many iPhone 15 models are coming?
Since the iPhone 12, Apple has released four new models every year. The iPhone 12 and 13 came in regular, mini, Pro, and Pro Max models. The iPhone 14 dumped the mini and replaced it with an “iPhone 14 Plus” while keeping the others. We’re expecting Apple to release the iPhone 15 in the same models as the iPhone 14, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman expects Apple to rebrand the Pro Max version as “Ultra” like its latest smartwatch.
Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup should look like this:
- iPhone 15 (6.1 inches)
- iPhone 15 Plus (6.7 inches)
- iPhone 15 Pro (6.1 inches)
- iPhone 15 Pro Max (6.7 inches)
Which iPhone 15 models will have the Dynamic Island?
Often-accurate display Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young claims Apple will put the Dynamic Island, currently exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, on all iPhone 15 models.
“Yes, Dynamic Island expected on standard models on the 15,” Young wrote in a tweet. “Still not expecting 120Hz/LTPO on standard models as supply chain can’t support it.”
The second portion of Young’s tweet suggests that even if the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus get the Dynamic Island, they could be limited to a slower refresh rate. Currently, the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus have 60Hz refresh rates. Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max have 120Hz refresh rates with LTPO, which means they’re capable of dropping down to 1Hz — LTPO is essential for the always-on display mode. If Apple doesn’t add LTPO to the non-Pro iPhone 15 displays, they might not get an always-on display.
We got a better look at the iPhone 15 Plus in renders made by Ian Zelbo and shared on 9to5Mac, which shows that the non-Pro model will get the Dynamic Island.
What chip and how much RAM will the iPhone 15 have?
According to a TrendForce report, Apple will once again reserve its next-generation custom silicon — tentatively dubbed the “A17 Bionic” chip — for the pro versions of the iPhone 15. The regular non-pro iPhone 15s will reportedly get the A16 Bionic chip that’s in the current iPhone 14 Pros.
As for RAM, TrendForce predicts the iPhone 15s will come with 6GB of RAM and the iPhone 15 Pros will have 8GB of RAM. The additional RAM in the iPhone 15 Pros should give them more bandwidth for processing large ProRAW photo and ProRES video files, but that will also mean higher price tags.
Will the iPhone 15 Pro camera have better zoom?
Improvements to the cameras on new iPhones are practically a given now — even if they’re subtle changes via a “Photonic Engine” pipeline. While we’d love to see Apple make the ever-growing camera bumps on the iPhone 15s flush with the backside, that’s unlikely to happen next year. It does look like Apple is capable of reducing the bump, as evidenced by renders of the iPhone 15 Pro Max from reputable leaker Ice Universe.
It’s more likely Apple will improve the camera with a better sensor and upgrade the image quality. According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Apple will likely use Sony’s latest stacked CMOS image sensor. Sony’s sensor will be able to capture more light and reduce the chances of over- or underexposing images, like in the case where your subject is being backlit. Sony is planning on shipping its image sensors out to Apple and other smartphone makers sometime in 2023.
Per TrendForce’s report, the iPhone 15 could sport an extra eighth optical element (8P) for the main lens, which would help enhance image details. TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, however, doubts this “8P” upgrade will make it into the iPhone 15 Pros. “I think the rumored iPhone 15 Pro series's adoption of an 8P lens won't likely come true,” Kuo said in a tweet.
Additionally, the report claims the iPhone 15 Pro Max could come with a 10x optical zoom (a big leap from the 3x optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro Max). This 10x zoom would use a periscope lens design similar to what many Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, have been using for years. However, Apple may keep the optical zoom upgrade exclusive to its Pro Max model, according to Kuo.
Apple added autofocus to the selfie cameras in the iPhone 14s. Could it make the front-facing camera even better on the iPhone 15s? We hope so!
Will the iPhone 15 have a USB-C port?
All reports seem to agree that Apple will finally bring USB-C to the iPhone 15. It’s about damn time, but we should be thanking the European Union for pressuring Apple to adopt the universal standard.
More recently, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak said during a Wall Street Journal Tech Live talk that the company doesn’t have a choice but to comply with the EU’s ruling. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Apple only releases a USB-C iPhone for Europe, so just keep your expectations in check.
Joswiak’s “confirmation” left room for interpretation and created more questions than answers.
The bigger question is whether or not the USB-C port will support Thunderbolt. A USB-C port for charging is something everyone seems to want, but Thunderbolt compatibility could open the iPhone 15 to much faster data transfers and even external monitor support. It would be pretty big news if Apple brought Stage Manager to iPhone when hooked up to a display; it could work similarly to Samsung’s DeX mode.
There’s even more evidence that Apple is finally making an iPhone with a USB-C port with a leaked image of an early base model of the iPhone 15 from Unknownz21 on Twitter.
Will the iPhone 15 have ‘solid-state’ power and volume buttons?
This one is really new, but wouldn’t be surprising. If you know your iPhone history, you know that Apple replaced the mechanical home button with a “solid-state” one, starting with the iPhone 7 (and carried on in the iPhone 8/SE 2 and SE 3). Well, Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple may use the same technology to replace the power and volume buttons on “two high-end iPhone 15” — in other words, the iPhone 15 Pros.
“There will be Taptic Engines located on the internal left and right sides to provide force feedback to make users feel like they are pressing physical buttons,” Kuo tweeted. “Due to this design change, the number of Taptic Engines used in each iPhone will increase from the current one to three. As a result, the existing Taptic Engine suppliers, Luxshare ICT (1st supplier) and AAC Technologies (2nd supplier) will be significant beneficiaries.”
Kuo’s supply chain checks are often accurate. Apple plans new iPhones years in advance so noodling around in the supply chain is usually a telltale sign of what Apple is cooking up.
The latest renders from Zelbo and 9to5Mac also show a different look for the volume and mute buttons. Since these are only renders and not actual leaked images, they shouldn’t be taken as confirmation that Apple is set on capacitative buttons, but the design does match.
Will the iPhone 15 be made of titanium?
According to serial leaker @ShrimpApplePro, Apple may be finally shifting over to a titanium chassis for the iPhone 15, while keeping the glass back. That would mark the first time that Apple used titanium for iPhones, but we already see the more durable, more scratch-resistant metal in the Apple Watch Ultra.
The leak also claims that Apple will be rounding off the back edges of the iPhone 15, instead of the squared-off edge we see with the iPhone 14s. This design would match how Apple’s latest MacBook Pros look. It’s still too early to give any real credit to this rumor though, as noted by @ShrimpApplePro.
Going off of Unknownz12’s leaked image, we can actually see the brushed metal of the supposed iPhone 15, which looks consistent with the rumored titanium redesign. The latest renders also point to Apple rounding out the edges of its titanium chassis so it can feel a lot better in your hand.
How much will the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro cost?
Apple didn’t raise the price for any of the iPhone 14 models. That might change for the iPhone 15. Current starting prices for the iPhone 14 are below. Any increases could be between $100–200.
- iPhone 14: $799
- iPhone 14 Plus: $899
- iPhone 14 Pro: $999
- iPhone 14 Pro Max: $1,099
When will Apple release the iPhone 15?
Apple releases new iPhones in the fall. Assuming the supply chain isn’t backed up, we’re expecting Apple to announce the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro at an event in early to mid-September 2023 with a release date later in the month.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro were announced on September 7, 2022. Apple did a staggered release: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max launched on September 16, but the iPhone 14 Plus came later on October 7.
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