Apple has confirmed that USB-C is coming to the iPhone, but when? Will the phone arrive in time for the iPhone 15 next year, or will the company wait until 2024? And what else will we see with the Apple iPhone 15 -- if that's even what Apple calls it?
Sure, Apple's iPhone 14 might be just a few weeks old, but it's time to get excited for the next one. And yes, we're still around a year out, but here's everything we already know about iPhone 15.
iPhone 15 processor
If Apple follows the same path it set out on with iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro we can expect the iPhone 15 to use the same A16 Bionic as the iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 15 Pro, however, is likely to benefit from an all-new A17 chip, continuing the differentiation between Pro and non-Pro models.
Those A17 chips are expected to use new 3nm chips from long-time chip supplier TSMC, likely improving power consumption and reducing the amount of heat they generate during use. The 3nm process offers chips with speed boosts of up to 15% using the same amount of power, or power savings of 30% at the same speed as 5nm.
Alongside A17, reports have indicated the iPhone 15 Pro line could get a major upgrade with 8GB of RAM.
iPhone 15 display & sizes
Rumors as of September 2022 have Apple bringing the Dynamic Island to all iPhone 15 models, not just the Pro as was the case with iPhone 14 Pro. That's according to DSCC analyst Ross Young who normally has a good track record with these things.
That doesn't mean that the base iPhone 15 models will get a 120Hz refresh rate or an Always-On Display, though. For that, you're going to want iPhone 15 Pro.
If Apple follows the precedent set with the iPhone 14 lineup, we can expect a 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro to be joined by 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Based on the technical challenges remaining for under panel cameras to meet discerning brands quality requirements as well as panel manufacturers' cost requirements, I still believe this roadmap makes sense for the iPhone. pic.twitter.com/3ck5X3sVcLMay 10, 2022
iPhone 15 design and USB-C
In a huge development, Apple has confirmed it will have to comply with EU laws mandating USB-C chargers on its iPhone. The question is, will that take place next year, or in 2024 when the regulations come in?
We already covered Apple's expected move away from the notch entirely, but perhaps the biggest change will come in the way we charge our iPhone 15 models.
Both Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have suggested a switch is in the offing, with the EU and potentially even Brazil set to mandate a common connector for all phones and similar accessories, including AirPods.
"Apple Inc. is testing future iPhone models that replace the current Lightning charging port with the more prevalent USB-C connector, according to people with knowledge of the situation, a move that could help the company conform with looming European regulations," Gurman says.
Previous rumors of the return of Touch ID seem to be unfounded, at least in terms of iPhone 14. It might make a return in the future, but Face ID is expected to be the only biometric authentication system offered in 2023.
Another major change coming to iPhone is reportedly the end of physical buttons. A report claims that Apple will do away with buttons in favor of Taptic Engines like those on its current iPhone SE Home Button for both volume and power.
iPhone 15 Ultra?
While Apple has so far used the Pro Max name for its high-end model, new rumors have that changing in 2023.
Following on from the launch of Apple Watch Ultra, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes Apple could rename iPhone 15 Pro Max to iPhone 15 Ultra. It isn't clear what other changes we could expect, but there are suggestions the high-end iPhone 15 will feature a new camera system — one using a periscope as outlined below.
iPhone 15 5G modem
We've been hearing for years that Apple would switch to 5G modems designed in-house around 2023, but that now seems unlikely to happen in time for iPhone 15. A new report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple's 5G modem "may have failed," meaning it will stick with Qualcomm in 2023. Further reports by analyst Jeff Pu back that up, with Qualcomm parts now expected to be used for iPhone 15 and iPhone 16.
Kuo goes on to say that Apple will continue to work on getting its own 5G modem ready with the aim of replacing Qualcomm eventually.
iPhone 15 cameras
We don't yet know everything there is to know about the iPhone 15 cameras, but we're being told to expect Apple's first periscope camera in at least the Pro models — possibly just the iPhone 15 Pro Max. That comes via analyst Jeff Pu who claims that the switch would allow 5x optical zoom. It's possible that the technology could allow for even 10x zoom, however.
Companies like Samsung already use periscope cameras in their flagship phones to offer increased zoom capabilities. Periscope cameras work by increasing the distance between the camera's lens and sensor by working in much the same way as a periscope in a submarine. Having the two components at such a distance in a traditional configuration would require the iPhone 15 itself to be significantly thicker, something Apple doesn't want, and a periscope design negates.
iPhone 15 colors
We don't know an awful lot about what the iPhone 15 colors will be, but we can use past iPhones as an idea of what to expect.
If Apple sticks to form, expect the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to be more sedate colors, like in some from of black or gray, with silver and gold in there as well. One additional color will likely join them — for iPhone 13 Pro, that was Sierra Blue. For iPhone 14 Pro, it was Deep Purple.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are likely to get the better colors, in some eyes. That means vibrant colors including a (Product) RED option that always looks great, no matter which iPhone it's on.
iPhone 15 storage
Apple's storage plans will likely depend on various things, not least the cost of parts by the time we get closer to a release.
The real question is whether the lower-end option will change. Expect that to largely be controlled by any data-hungry camera features that are added to the new models, while a 2TB option at the top-end is a possibility.
iPhone 15 price
We're still a long way from Apple making the iPhone 15 pricing public, but we can expect figures to be around that of previous high-end iPhones. That means a starting point of around $1,000 for the Pro models and a low end of around $800 for the standard models.
We'll know more as we get closer to release, however, with changing economic situations and inflation potentially impacting Apple's plans. The company didn't increase the price of iPhone 14 over iPhone 13, at least in the United States. But international markets did see a price hike due to local exchange rates against the dollar.
iPhone 15 release date
If Apple keeps to tradition, we can expect the iPhone 15 lineup to be announced in the first week or so of September with pre-orders beginning a few days later. Then the new iPhones should go on sale the following Friday.
For reference, Apple announced the iPhone 14 lineup on September 6 and make them available for pre-order on September 9. They then went on sale on September 16.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
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