Even though Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro series only recently launched, there are still plenty of rumors about the next iteration: the iPhone 15. It’s still early, as we don’t expect these devices to drop until fall 2023, but the rumor mill will never stop.
Of course, keep in mind that everything we know so far is just speculation from rumors and other media reports — nothing has been finalized, and likely won’t be until we get closer to the typical new iPhone season in September. While you might be (rightly) skeptical of some things, these rumors help indicate the direction Apple might take for the next iPhone.
iPhone 15 models
Although Apple introduced the iPhone mini with the iPhone 12 series and kept it with the iPhone 13 series, the mini was retired after the launch of the iPhone 14. It was replaced by the larger iPhone 14 Plus, which changed from a 5.4-inch screen to a large 6.7-inch display (same as the iPhone 14 Pro Max), and the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro kept the 6.1-inch size from previous generations.
Apple is expected to continue this with the iPhone 15 series with the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Likewise, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro should have a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max have a 6.7-inch display.
However, the name of the iPhone 15 Pro Max may be different. There are rumors that the “Pro Max” may be replaced with the “Ultra” moniker, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra.
iPhone 15 design and sizes
Those waiting for a complete redesign of the iPhone may end up disappointed, as the iPhone 15 may look similar to the iPhone 14. However, while the dynamic island pill hole cutout is exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models, Apple may extend it to all iPhone 15 models. If so, the iPhone 15 will be the first iPhone lineup to eliminate bangs entirely.
As mentioned, we should expect four iPhone 15s: the 6.1-inch iPhone 15, the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus, the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra).
A recent report suggests that the iPhone 15 may replace physical buttons with haptic, solid-state power and volume buttons. This will be similar to the iPhone 7’s home button. Essentially, it doesn’t feel physically oppressive when pressed, but uses haptic feedback to mimic the feeling of pressing a button.
If reports of solid-state buttons are true, the iPhone 15 will require two Taptic Engines on the left and right sides. Such a change would also affect case compatibility — even though the iPhone 15 model is the same size and thickness as the iPhone 14 (including the camera bump), you need a case that has access to those tactile buttons at all times.
iPhone 15 processor and specification
The standard iPhone 15 will likely use the A16 currently featured on the iPhone 14 Pro, while the new A17 chip may be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. This appears to be Apple’s new way of distinguishing between the standard and Pro models of the iPhone, starting with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro series.
TSMC, a long-term chip supplier for the iPhone, is said to use a 3nm process for the A17 chip. This will make the A17 more efficient in terms of power consumption and reduce the amount of heat generated during use. Compared with the current 5nm chip, the 3nm A17 chip will also increase the speed and power consumption by 15% and save energy by 30%.
Another report suggests that the iPhone 15 Pro’s RAM could also be boosted, from 6GB to 8GB. Storage capacity may also vary, but baseline storage may depend on what the iPhone 15 offers. While the iPhone 14 Pro currently tops out at 1TB of storage, the iPhone 15 Pro could increase to 2TB.
Despite rumors that Apple might build its own in-house modem chip, so far those efforts have not come to fruition. Apple may still use Qualcomm as a modem chip in the iPhone 15.
iPhone 15 cameras
On the camera front, the only thing we know is that Apple has been working on periscope lens technology that will likely only come to the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max models.
With a periscope lens, you can get optical zoom beyond what is currently offered, such as 5x or 10x optical zoom. The current iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max can only achieve 3x optical zoom, so having a periscope lens would be a significant improvement. It appears that only the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max will get this periscope feature, though.
It was previously reported that the iPhone 15 will feature an 8P camera, which refers to the number of elements in the lens material. In theory, adding another element to the shot helps reduce image distortion in the final image. However, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, that doesn’t appear to be happening — at least not on the iPhone 15.
iPhone 15 battery and charging
Recent European regulations require universal chargers for all electronic products, including iPhones, to reduce e-waste. Apple’s deadline to switch to USB-C and phase out Lightning is 2024, but Apple could also get a head start by transitioning the iPhone 15 to USB-C in 2023. Given the regulations, that’s quite possible, but Apple could also delay until 2024.
With the iPhone’s switch to USB-C, it will bring Apple’s smartphones closer to the iPad and MacBook lines, which have mostly used USB-C for some time. The latest iPad (2022) just switched to USB-C, the last iPad model still using Apple’s proprietary Lightning charger.
iPhone 15 release date and price
As long as Apple follows its usual iPhone release schedule, we should expect the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro to be released sometime in September 2023. Prices should be similar to our current iPhone 14 lineup, which starts at $799 for the iPhone 14, $899 for the iPhone 14 Plus, $999 for the iPhone 14 Pro, and $1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
While many expected Apple to raise prices on the iPhone 14 models, that hasn’t happened, at least in the US. So if all goes well, we should be offering the iPhone 15 the same price, barring a major economic shift between now and next year.
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