iPhone 15 will feature a Dynamic Island upgrade, but no one knows why

Space Black iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

A new report from a top insider says that Apple's iPhone 15 will feature an upgraded Dynamic Island over the iPhone 14 Pro's version, by moving the proximity sensor inside the housing on all of its iPhones. 

Apple's Dynamic Island was introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro in September, bringing an end to the iPhone's infamous notch (for Pro devices at least) and replacing it with a funky pill-shaped configuration that uses Apple's iOS 16 software to seamlessly blend the cutout into your iPhone's user experience. 

The good news for prospective iPhone 15 customers is that Apple's next best iPhone will feature a Dynamic Island across the entire range, and a new report today says that Dynamic Island will also house the iPhone's proximity sensor, which is tucked under the display in the current models. 

iPhone 15 proximity sensor shift

Apple has included a proximity sensor in its iPhone since the very first model debuted all the way in 2007. The sensor detects when you're holding your phone near to your face during the course of a phone call, switching off your iPhone's display so you don't accidentally end the call or make any other accidental inputs with your face. 

Ming-Chi Kuo reports today that "while all iPhone 15 models adopt a similar Dynamic Island design as the iPhone 14 Pro, the difference lies in the placement of the proximity sensor." He notes that "in the iPhone 14 Pro, the proximity sensor is located under the display (outside the dynamic island). Conversely, in the iPhone 15 series, the proximity sensor is situated within the dynamic island, with almost no change to the Dynamic Island area." 

Kuo says that the proximity sensors will offer 940nm wavelength instead of 1380nm in the current model, but is decidedly coy on how exactly this could benefit users. In fact, he specifically states there will be "almost no change" to the Dynamic Island. The new components could entail a slightly reduced manufacturing cost, but really the impact of this change is anyone's best guess. 

Another day-zero iPhone feature getting the axe this year is the beloved mute switch. Apple is reportedly going to offer a mute button on the side instead, alongside fresh volume buttons that won't be separate like current models. As we've postulated, that could pave the way for Apple to offer an Apple Watch Ultra-esque action button on its iPhone, an upgrade we'd love to see. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9