Apple in September 2022 released the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, but we’ve been hearing rumors about the iPhone 15 since well before the latest iPhones became available for purchase. Now that launch is approaching, rumors are picking up and we know a good deal about what to expect this year.
Apple is planning to release a total of four iPhone 15 models in the same sizes as the iPhone 14 models, including two 6.1-inch iPhones and two 6.7-inch iPhones. One of the 6.1-inch iPhones will be the standard iPhone 15, while one of the 6.7-inch models will be an iPhone 15 “Plus.” The other 6.1 and 6.7-inch iPhones will be higher-end and more expensive “Pro” models, and they could be even pricier this year.
As with the iPhone 14/14 Pro lineup, the best features will be reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro models to make the extra cost worth it.
Rumors so far suggest we can expect a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port on all of the iPhone 15 models, and the Dynamic Island is going to be available for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus in addition to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. That means Apple will be doing away with the notch that it has used since the iPhone X for the flagship iPhone lineup for a sleeker, less intrusive design.
Apple plans to use Qualcomm modem chips for the new devices as its own modem chips that are in development aren’t quite ready, plus we are expecting new UWB chips for integration with the Vision Pro headset. The standard iPhone 15 models will get an upgrade to the A16 chip that was in the iPhone 14 Pro models, while the iPhone 15 Pro models will use faster and more efficient 3-nanometer A17 chips. Pro models are also expected to see an upgrade to titanium frames, slimmer bezels, and some minor design changes with more curved device edges, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is also expected to get periscope lens technology for enhanced zoom capabilities.
Pricing on the iPhone 15 models is expected to remain the same, with the standard entry-level 6.1-inch device starting at $799 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus starting at $899.
This roundup covers everything that we’ve heard about the iPhone 15, and full overview of the higher-end iPhone 15 Pro models can be found in our separate iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max roundup.
The iPhone 15 models are expected to look similar to the iPhone 14 models, but the pill-and-hole cutout will expand to the entire lineup. That means all iPhone 15 models will have no notch, instead adopting the Dynamic Island introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro models.
As there are no major design changes in store, Apple will continue to offer four models: The 6.1-inch iPhone 15, the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro, the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Max, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max. The “pro” models will have higher-end features and will be more expensive, while the standard iPhone 15 models will be cheaper.
For the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, design differences will include the USB-C port instead of a Lightning port and the transition from the notch to the Dynamic Island. The USB-C port will be new to all iPhone models, while the Dynamic Island was first introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Along with the Dynamic Island, all iPhone 15 models could be equipped with a more power-efficient OLED display driver chip that’s manufactured on a 28nm process, allowing for reduced power consumption that could ultimately lead to improved battery life across the board.
The standard iPhone 15 models will not include ProMotion technology or always on display technology, despite the swap to the Dynamic Island. Apple will continue to reserve these features for the Pro devices.
Current rumors suggest the iPhone 15 models will be available in blue, a coral shade that’s a cross between pink and orange, white, black and green/yellow. Blue and coral will be the new shades for this year, with yellow/green, black, and white returning as standard colors in the lineup.
There has been some confusion over the colors of the devices colors because of the muted tone. A recent dummy model leak said to feature the exact colors that will be used suggests the information about green and yellow has been because Apple is using a light greenish yellow shade, and the same goes for pink.
iPhone 15 Pro Exclusive Design
While all iPhone 15 models are going to adopt the USB-C port, there are some design changes that are exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.
Rumors suggest the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature thinner, more curved bezels than the iPhone 14 Pro models, which can be seen in renders of the device created based on circulating details. These deeper curves will be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro models, and the iPhone 15 models will continue to look like the iPhone 14 models with flatter edges, an aluminum frame, and a glass front and back. We are not expecting the same slimmer bezels for the standard iPhone 15 models.
Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro lineup is expected to feature more curved front glass that better disappears into the frame, and Apple is expected to use titanium instead of stainless steel for the chassis. The iPhone 15 Pro models will also feature an “Action” button that will replace the mute switch, and that will be able to do different things like activate Shortcuts, turn on the camera, turn on the flashlight, enable silent mode, and more.
An unconfirmed rumor from Weibo has suggested that the iPhone 15 models could feature a frosted glass back, which has previously been a design detail that Apple has limited to the Pro models. Standard models typically have a glossy black, while the frosted glass is reserved for the more expensive models.
If accurate, both the standard iPhone 15 models and the iPhone 15 Pro models will use frosted glass for the back of the device.
A set of 3D printed iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models offers some insight into how prior-generation iPhone 14 cases will fit, and it appears that older cases will not be able to be used with the new iPhones.
Multiple rumors have suggested that Apple will not make leather cases for the iPhone 15 lineup, instead offering a new leather alternative case to go along with the Silicone cases. Apple is making this choice as it is more environmentally friendly.
Several rumors have suggested that Apple’s new cases will be called “FineWoven” and will feature a sort of suede-like fabric, with one rumor claiming the new cases will be available in 10 colors and the material will also be used in a new Apple Watch band. It is not yet clear, however, if these claims are accurate.
Part Leaks and Renders
Leaked images of the iPhone 15 have confirmed many of the rumors that we’ve heard about the device, including the Dynamic Island and the USB-C port.
The leaked photos depict the Dynamic Island, which will expand to all iPhone 15 models in 2023, and they also confirm that the iPhone 15 will have a design that is similar to the iPhone 14 with few changes. Major updates include the transition to USB-C and the addition of the Dynamic Island instead of the notch that’s on the iPhone 14. Other design changes like a deeper curve at the edges and a titanium frame will be limited to iPhone 15 Pro models.
iPhone 15 Pro case leaks confirm that the new models will feature slightly repositioned power and volume buttons, with the buttons just a bit lower than they are on the iPhone 14 Pro models. The cases feature a larger cutout at the bottom to accommodate the USB-C port.
The cases have a cutout for the Action button that will replace the mute switch. Since it does not need to be gripped like a switch, it requires a smaller cutout.
Images of the USB-C connector parts designed for the next-generation iPhone models leaked in August, further confirming Apple’s transition to USB-C charging technology.
No Touch ID
Though there have been ongoing rumors suggesting Apple has considered bringing Touch ID back to its flagship iPhones using an under-display solution, the iPhone 15 models are not expected to include Touch ID and will continue to use Face ID.
Apple is working on an under-display Face ID feature, but it won’t be ready until at least 2025. Instead, in 2023, the iPhone 15 will continue to use the Dynamic Island, which Apple is expected to expand to all models instead of just the Pro models.
Apple is swapping the Lightning port on the iPhone 15 devices for a USB-C port, which will allow it to comply with new regulations implemented in Europe. These regulations require Apple to produce iPhones with USB-C ports in Europe, so Apple either needs to make a worldwide design swap or develop special iPhones for sale in Europe.
With this transition, the Mac, iPhone, and iPad will all charge using USB-C, allowing Apple customers to charge their devices with one charging standard.
USB-C Data Transfer Speeds
The iPhone 15 Pro models with USB-C ports will support higher-speed data transfers, while the standard iPhone 15 models will continue to feature USB 2.0 speeds, the same as Lightning, giving the Pro models an edge.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 Pro models will support “at least” USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3. With the upgrade, iPhone 15 Pro models would be able to transfer video and other file types at much quicker speeds. USB 2.0 transfer speeds are limited to 480Mb/s, while USB 3.2 supports speeds up to 20Gb/s. If Apple offers Thunderbolt 3 support for the iPhone 15 Pro models, data transfer speeds could be up to 40Gb/s.
The cable that ships with the iPhone 15 models could be limited to USB 2.0 transfer speeds, according to a leaker with a track record for getting some Apple details correct. He claims the cables have USB 2.0 data transfer speeds that max out at 480 MB/s, the same as Lightning. The iPhone 15 Pro models may be able to support faster Thunderbolt transfer speeds with a separately purchased Thunderbolt cable.
At least some of the iPhone 15 models could support charging speeds up to 35W, which would allow for quicker charging with an appropriate power adapter. It is not clear if this is a feature that will be available for all of the iPhone 15 models or just the iPhone 15 Pro models.
Leaker ShrimpApplePro has said that iPhone 15 models will only officially support USB-C accessories certified by the Apple Made for iPhone (MFi) program. Apple supplier Foxconn is allegedly producing accessories like EarPods and cables with USB-C connectors that are MFi certified.
The MFi USB-C certification could be used to limit features like fast charging and high-speed data transfers to Apple-approved accessories. ShrimpApplePro says that cables with no MFi certification will be limited in data and charging speed. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also suggested that Apple will require Made for iPhone certification for USB-C chargers that are able to fast charge the iPhone.
The iPhone 15 models will support both MagSafe charging and the new Qi2 standard, allowing for 15W charging from non-MagSafe third-party accessories. That will allow for faster wireless charging even from accessories that do not officially support MagSafe, as long as those accessories use Qi2.
Color-Matched USB-C Cables
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus may ship with a color-matched braided USB-C to USB-C cable rather than a plain white cable. Apple currently sells the iPhone with a white USB-C to Lightning cable, but it has used braided color cables for devices like the iMac. Rumors suggest that each cable would be available in a color that would match with the shade of the iPhone 15 model.
The USB-C cable that’s included with the iPhone 15 models could be 50 percent longer. Rumors suggest that it will measure in at 1.5 meters instead of one meter. With the braided design, it is also expected to be more durable.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will feature a 48-megapixel Main camera with an f/1.6 aperture and a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera with an f/2.4 aperture. The Main camera will feature an all-new Sony image sensor that is an improvement over the sensor used in the iPhone 14 Pro models, but there are no improvements expected for the Ultra Wide lens.
Periscope Lens Technology for iPhone 15 Pro Max
You’ve probably heard rumors about Apple’s plan to adopt a periscope zoom lens for the iPhone 15, but it will be limited to the larger-sized iPhone 15 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 Pro will get a standard zoom lens, and the iPhone 15 models will be limited to the Wide and Ultra Wide lenses.
Periscope lens technology offers optical zoom capabilities that exceed those possible with a standard telephoto lens, allowing for 5x or even 10x optical zoom. With a periscope lens, the iPhone’s zoom capabilities would be significantly enhanced as the current Pro models are limited to 3x zoom.
With a periscope lens, light is reflected by an angled mirror toward the image sensor in the camera. The directional shift allows for a “folded” telephoto lens system for improved optical zoom capabilities without the blurriness that comes with digital zoom.
Apple competitor Samsung has come out with smartphones that use periscope lens technology that enables 4x to 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will implement 6x optical zoom technology when it adopts the periscope lens.
Qualcomm Modem Chips
Apple will use Qualcomm’s 5G modem chips for the 2023 iPhone 15 lineup, as it has done since 5G iPhones were introduced. There were rumors suggesting that Apple could use its own in-house modem chips as soon as 2023, but the technology won’t be ready until 2024 at the earliest.
All iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models will use the same Qualcomm modem chip, likely the X70. Qualcomm’s X70 chip offers improved AI for faster processing speeds, a better coverage range, improved signal, lower latency, and up to 60 percent improved power efficiency.
SIM Card Tray
Apple with the launch of the iPhone 14 models removed the SIM card tray in devices sold in the United States. With the launch of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models, the SIM tray could be removed in additional countries.
Rumors right now suggest that it will be eliminated in France, and if that’s the case, it could be removed in iPhones sold in other countries sold in Europe like Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the UK.
Wi-Fi 6E and UWB
Leaked iPhone 15 Wi-Fi chip diagrams confirm that Apple is upgrading to Wi-Fi 6E, but it is a feature that will be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro models. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature Wi-Fi 6E, but the standard iPhone 15 models will continue to use Wi-Fi 6.
Compared to Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E offers more bandwidth, providing faster connectivity speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity. Wi-Fi 6E provides 1.2GHz more spectrum in the 6GHz band, and it can support whole home gigabit coverage, multi-gigabit connectivity for venues, and it has the bandwidth for higher data streams like those used for AR and VR experiences.
The iPhone 15 models are expected to include a next-generation Ultra Wideband chip that will integrate with the Vision Pro headset. The processor used for the chip will be upgraded to 7nm, a change that will allow for improved performance and/or reduced energy consumption.
The iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to be the first to feature an A-series chip built on Apple supplier TSMC’s next-generation 3-nanometer node. 3nm chip technology is expected to increase processing performance by 10 to 15 percent, while also reducing power consumption by up to 35 percent.
The faster A17 chips will be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, while the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will adopt the 4-nanometer A16 chip that was first used in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Code found in tvOS 17 has confirmed that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will get the A16 chip rather than the A17 chip.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are expected to feature 6GB RAM, which is the same amount of RAM that is in the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus.
Both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models will be easier to repair this year. With the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, Apple added a chassis redesign that makes them easier to open for swapping the back glass.
This change will persist in the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, and rumors suggest Apple will use the new chassis design for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, all of the iPhone models will be able to be opened from the front and back sides, resulting in lower repair fees for damaged back glass.
Right now, for example, it costs $169 to repair the back glass of an iPhone 14, but $499 to repair the back glass of a 14 Pro because of the need to pull out the display to get to the back glass. The simpler repairs will bring lower repair fees even for Pro models.
Apple might raise the price for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. Price increases have also been suggested by analyst Jeff Pu, who believes Apple could price the iPhone 15 Pro starting at $1,099, up from the $999 of the iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 15 Pro Max would be priced starting at $1,199 if Pu’s prediction is accurate. Another analyst has suggested the iPhone 15 Pro Max could have a starting price that is up to $200 more expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
No pricing increase is expected for the standard iPhone 15 models, and the entry level iPhone 15 model should be priced starting at $799.
Apple plans to introduce the iPhone 15 models at the “Wonderlust” event that is set to be held on Tuesday, September 12. Preorders will likely be accepted starting on Friday, September 15, with a launch to follow on Friday, September 22.
Manufacturing and Availability
The standard iPhone 15 models are expected to be readily available when the devices go up for pre-order, but based on the rumors we’re hearing, supplies of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max could be could potentially be constrained. There were issues with display manufacturing, but at least one source says those problems have been overcome.
Samsung has started mass producing OLED displays for use in all four iPhone 15 models. LG Display and BOE also plan to produce display panels for the devices, with LG creating iPhone 15 Pro displays and BOE manufacturing iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus displays.
Beyond the iPhone 15
Apple is already working on the iPhone 16 lineup, expected to come out in 2024. As with the iPhone 15 lineup, many of the changes will be aimed primarily at the iPhone 16 Pro models. We could see larger display sizes, a faster A18 chip, Wi-Fi 7 support, and a new 48-megapixel Ultra Wide camera.
The standard iPhone 16 models could see camera improvements, the A17 chip, and a new button design. Apple designed modem chips are also a possibility across the board.