Apple is a few weeks away from introducing the iPhone 15 to the public. Here’s what rumors and speculation claim Apple will release in the fall.
iPhone 15 Pro could come in blue
As usual, rumors have ramped up heading into Apple’s fall event cycle. It is expected to reveal new products like the iPhone 15 lineup, and rumors have only increased in frequency as it gets closer to event day.
Based on the speculation from analysts and claims of various leakers, here’s what everyone thinks Apple will be introducing for the iPhone this fall.
A regular September thing
One almost definite thing about the iPhone 15 is that it will undoubtedly launch sometime in September. We know this because Apple is exceptionally regular when it comes to launching the iPhone.
Year after year, Apple’s iPhone introductions habitually take place in September. While hardware releases to the public could be delayed into October instead of September, the actual unveiling to the public always happens in September itself.
Apple will announce new iPhones, new colors
The usual quartet
Much like the release timing, Apple’s actual iPhone releases have become somewhat habitual. In recent years, it has elected to use the same device tier structure and naming conventions across the range.
Once again, Apple is expected to be bringing out four iPhone 15 models, consisting of two iPhone 15 Pro variants and two standard editions. Just like the iPhone 14, Apple is anticipated to bring out handsets in pairs, consisting of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
There has been some speculation that the naming convention of the Apple Watch Ultra could be employed by the iPhone, turning the iPhone 15 Pro Max into the “iPhone 15 Ultra,” though there are also claims that Ultra models won’t arrive until the iPhone 16 in 2024.
While the names may be different, the general sizes and types of device being launched are likely to remain the same as before. CAD models, as well as 3D-printed mockups and metal versions all agree that the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen sizes will be used.
Though seemingly similar, the models also showed some slight variations compared to the existing iPhone 14 designs, including minor dimensional variances. In the case of turning the models into physical objects, this could just be small errors or distortions in their creation, but it’s also entirely plausible that Apple could make the models marginally different in width, length, and thickness.
Changes could be made to the Pro lineup at least, with claims of a slightly more rounded edge design and a body produced from titanium instead of steel. The move could help reduce the weight of the Pro models considerably.
Meanwhile, the lack of claims relating to the iPhone 15 indicates it should be made using the standard aluminum construction.
Apple does occasionally make changes to the display technology it uses in its hardware. For the iPhone 15 family, it probably won’t go to that effort.
In April, a report claimed the OLED displays in the iPhone 15 will use the same materials as the iPhone 14, with changes expected for the iPhone 16. The material, sourced from Samsung, consists of a variety known as M12 for the Pro models, while an earlier M11 will be put onto the standard editions.
Though the general size and dimensions should remain the same, Apple is seemingly going to make more practical use of the display space itself. In April, a leak claimed to show the bezels for the front glass of the iPhone 15 Pro Max to be extremely thin, which other rumor sharers have also alluded to.
Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro
One big change for the non-Pro models is the addition of the Dynamic Island, borrowing the feature from the Pro tier and replacing the contentious front notch. Multiple rumors have pointed to this change for a while, and it would be a reasonably low-effort design win for Apple to adopt it in the standard iPhone.
The Pro version may not be left alone, as there has been the claim the proximity sensor in the Pro model display will move to within the Dynamic Island area, instead of being underneath the display.
Despite gaining Dynamic Island, the iPhone 15 probably won’t get Pro features like ProMotion or Always-On capabilities. It is reckoned that they will remain exclusive to the Pro tier for the moment.
Apple tends to include a few special color options for each generation, making them effectively exclusive for that particular device range. Rumors have even spread about what they could be for 2023.
Rumors point to blue and red options
One forerunner is for Apple to include a deep red color option for the iPhone 15 Pro, which first spread in February but resurfaced in July. The exact shade is apparently a little lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro’s purple, a leaker claimed.
However, a later rumor said the iPhone 15 Pro would have a new shade of blue, with an alleged gray undertone to it.
For the iPhone 15, it is believed a mint green colorway will be introduced this fall.
Earlier reporting mentioned light blue and pink as potential color options, but they now seem fairly unlikely, given the more recent reports.
For the iPhone 14 generation, the A15 Bionic was used in the standard edition, while the newer A16 Bionic was brought in for the Pro models. It seems that Apple could end up doing the same thing for the iPhone 15.
While the A16 Bionic is pretty much a known quantity, the A17 will be a bit different in that it will use chip partner TSMC’s 3-nanometer manufacturing process rather than a 4-nanometer version. This should bring speed improvements and other benefits to the table.
Even so, Apple could end up making another change to A17 mid-run. There has been a claim that Apple could switch processes for the A17 in 2024 to a variant that’s more cost-efficient to produce.
Apple’s camera system is a key selling point for the iPhone, and for the iPhone 15, changes may make the range more attractive to photographers.
First, it is believed that the 48-megapixel sensor of the iPhone 14 Pro will be expanded to the entire iPhone 15 generation. All models will apparently get the upgrade for the sensor.
That said, the Pro models will still get some advantages over the standard iPhone here.
iPhone 14 Pro camera bump
The ever-criticized camera bump may be a bit bigger on the Pro Max model, and for good reason. The largest model is anticipated to include a periscope lens arrangement.
A periscope lens system uses several lenses as well as a prism or mirror to increase the available depth the system has to play with without excessively thickening the device or the camera bump. As a result, this can help considerably increase the optical zoom capabilities of the onboard camera.
It seems, based on rumors, that this will be limited just to the Pro Max model, though it may easily become available on others down the road.
Batteries, USB-C, and buttons
Apple’s battery improvements in the iPhone 14 range were relatively minor compared to what is rumored for the iPhone 15. A Weibo leaker believes that the gains for 2023 range between 3,50mAh and 600mAh across the board.
USB-C is coming to iPhone
This could result in an iPhone 15 Pro Max having a 4,852mAh battery versus the 4,323mAh in the iPhone 14 Pro Max and an iPhone 15 growing from 3,279mAh to 3,877mAh. The end result would be potential improvements to battery life.
As for recharging, there’s the usual MagSafe to consider, but also the port. After years of Lightning connections, Apple is thought to be finally embracing USB-C on the iPhone after slowly shifting the iPad range over to it.
The connection has allegedly appeared in images, though as probable renders rather than photographs. But even so, there’s enough noise elsewhere to point to it actually happening.
USB-C accessories like EarPods will be needed if Apple changes the iPhone’s port
For example, the Made For iPhone program is apparently going to continue despite moving away from Lightning. A Made for iPhone certification will allegedly be required for accessories to get full access to USB-C on the iPhone 15.
Apple has also apparently worked on making USB-C EarPods specifically for the iPhone 15.
The side buttons are reportedly going to have some changes, including a unified button for the volume control, and even discussion of a solid-state “Action button” on the side. However, a letter to shareholders from supplier Cirrus Logic has practically confirmed that there won’t be solid-state button changes.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be any side button changes for the new iPhone. Apple could introduce a new Action Button in place of the Mute Switch, which could be programmed with Shortcuts actions based on Focus modes and apps.
iPhone 15 Pro release and price
Some rumors point to a price increase, at least for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Updates, including the periscope camera and new chipset, may warrant the higher price.
Prices could go up for the iPhone 15 Pro
Apple tends to announce its new iPhone lineup during a September event. Customers will be able to preorder the devices with shipments beginning before the end of September.
Some release cycles have pushed certain models back a few weeks into October, though no rumors point to such a disruption in 2023. However, supplies will be constrained like any other iPhone launch, and the iPhone 15 will be back ordered for weeks.