In September 2023, one year after the release of the iPhone 14, the official launch of the iPhone 15 and all its variants will take place. What adjustments are coming? Will there be a new design? What new technical features are coming? Will the new camera sensors help the iPhone 15? And what will the prices of the iPhone 15 be? We’ve rounded up all the Apple iPhone 15 series details and rumors.
The launch of iPhones is an annual event that cannot be missed on the smartphone calendar. The release of the iPhone lays the groundwork for what many other manufacturers will be offering in the months or years to come, whether you use the Apple ecosystem or not and whether you love iOS or loathe it. Apple phones aren’t always the best in every category. They also don’t always use new technologies early on. But they regularly set new trends.
This is perfectly demonstrated by two cases. Many smartphones introduced a notch when Apple released the iPhone X. The launch of the iPhone 7 Plus increased the demand for dual camera sensors. And after Apple introduced the iPhone 12, several manufacturers brought similarly angular devices shortly thereafter. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 are no exception to the rule, even if the changes like cinematic mode or satellite connection are less visible.
Even though the release is months away, the iPhone 15 series is already getting a lot of attention. In this article, we go over all the rumors and changes that are known so far.
iPhone 15 Ultra as the new top model
The number of iPhone 15 models currently remains a mystery. While some research suggests interest in the iPhone 14 Plus is falling short of expectations, it may remain part of the series. The iPhone 15 Ultra will be a new addition as the highest quality iPhone of all time.
The name iPhone 15 Ultra has not yet been confirmed, but it is appearing more and more frequently at Apple. The M1 Ultra processor is available, as is the most expensive Apple smartwatch of all time, the Apple Watch Ultra. Will there still be an iPhone 15 Pro Max alongside the iPhone 15 Ultra? Well-known analyst Ming Chi Kuo does not assume and believes that the iPhone 15 Ultra will replace the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone Mini, on the other hand, could celebrate a comeback, possibly even as an iPhone SE replacement. Apple usually introduces the iPhone SE at the beginning of the year and only brings a new model every two years. The next one is planned for 2024.
iPhone 15 launch date
The exact release date of the iPhone 15 is also still unknown. Normally, however, the time has come in September, following a keynote speech in the first two weeks of September. The only exception to this rule was when Apple delayed the release of the iPhone 12 to October 2020 due to a health emergency.
The keynotes usually take place on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. The most likely dates in 2023 are therefore Tuesday 5th or 12th September or Wednesday 6th or 13th September. Pre-orders usually go live the following Friday, which would be either September 8th or 15th. Pre-orders usually take a week and a half, so we’re predicting sales will start on September 15th or 22nd.
However, this does not necessarily mean that all devices will be available on these dates. There were already delays with the Apple iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus. Therefore, one or two versions of the iPhone 15 could be delayed by several weeks, especially in view of the ongoing chip crises and production losses caused by Corona.
iPhone 15 prices
iPhone 15 series prices will most likely continue to rise. High energy, logistics and component costs contribute to this, as does inflation. After a period of very stable prices around the world, all signs now point to a price increase. Taking taxes into account, this increase should also be more pronounced in Europe.
According to Taiwanese media, the price increase of some iPhone 15 parts such as chipsets is partly attributed to rising component production costs. The chipsets have been produced by TSMC for several generations. It is speculated that some iPhone 15 processors will switch to a 3 Nm manufacturing process. According to the source of this leak, TSMC charges 25% more for the Bionic A17 processors in 3Nm compared to the previous 5Nm chips (A14, A15 and A16).
The potential successor to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 15 Ultra, would also position itself in the ultra-premium segment with 9 to 18% higher production costs. Prices in the USA should start between 1,199 and 1,299 US dollars, compare to $1,099 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 14 Pro Max.
Prices for the regular iPhone 14 in the US start at $799 for the 128GB model and go up to $1,499 for the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max model. The base model of the iPhone 15 could therefore start at $899.
iPhone 15 design
Apple is not expected to make any major design changes to the iPhone 15 in 2023. All smartphones are expected to have a metal body and a design mostly made of glass. The standard and plus versions should remain in aluminum as usual. The iPhone 15 Pro could be made of stainless steel. A potential iPhone 15 Ultra, on the other hand, could be made of titanium, just like the Apple Watch Ultra.
It has been discussed several times in the rumor mill that Apple could give up on the mechanical buttons of the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max / Ultra. Instead, tactile buttons would be used, which would be connected to two additional haptic motors. Apple took a similar approach when switching from the mechanical to the tactile version of Touch ID.
The same display sizes as the 14 generation should be used on the front: 6.1 inches for the basic iPhone and the Pro and 6.7 inches for the iPhone Plus and the Pro Max / Ultra. Face ID under the display is not planned, as Apple is rumored to not install under-display cameras until 2024.
USB-C or Lightning?
The European Union has finally announced the date by which all rechargeable electronic devices, including smartphones, must be equipped with a USB-C for charging or data transfer. The day in question is December 28, 2024. Manufacturers are not yet required to install a USB connector before this date and can choose a proprietary connector instead.
It was previously clear that Apple would try to delay the introduction of the USB connector as much as possible, since the company benefits greatly from the Lightning connector. In order to sell iPhone-compatible products, all accessories must be licensed before the exclusive technology can be used. Apple could benefit from this for another year.
According to Kuo, the iPhone 15 series could already have USB-C. The normally well-informed journalists from Bloomberg also assume an imminent switch to USB-C. Nevertheless, the models could differ by their USB standards, which would lead to price differences. The regular and Plus models would only have a USB 2.0 port, while the Pro variants would rely on USB 3.2. This increases both the possible transfer rates and the possible charging speeds.
iPhone 15 specifications
In addition to the design, there should also be some technical changes. A new A17 Bionic processor will likely take the place of the A16. The only iPhones using an A16 today are the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. The cheaper iPhones still use last year’s A15 Bionic. According to a Weibo report, the A17 chipset is reserved for the top-of-the-line iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra / Pro Max. The base models will adopt the A16 Bionic.
Instead of 5 Nm, the A17 is manufactured in 3 Nm, which increases effectiveness and performance at the same time. So the A17 models will have an additional 3 to 4 hours of runtime. The 5G modem of the iPhone 15 will continue to come from Qualcomm. That’s no surprise considering the two companies inked a multi-year deal. Therefore, according to Bloomberg, there will be no Apple modem in the iPhone 15. In addition, Apple has not yet achieved satisfactory results with its first modem prototypes since it bought Intel’s modem division.
According to Ross Young, a display industry insider, there was also a plan to include the Dynamic Island in every iPhone 15 model, rather than just the more expensive ones. Apparently, some features are still reserved for the Pro and Pro Max / Ultra models. This also includes higher refresh rates of 120 Hz. In addition, the Pro and Pro Max / Ultra models would get LTPO panels that can switch down to 1 Hz refresh rates.
iPhone 15 camera
Apple has always been one of the top companies when it comes to photo and video quality. The company has maintained its position at the top so far, although it has lost some of its shine in recent years, losing out to several companies like Samsung and Huawei. Therefore, it stands to reason that the iPhone 15 will get some improvements.
This includes switching to a periscope-style telephoto lens in the Pro models. This enables optical zoom ratios of 5x, 10x and more. The image quality of the photos also increases drastically. Apparently Apple has decided to opt for an eight-lens telephoto lens with 10x optical zoom. The disadvantage of such a system is the additional space required. Only the largest smartphones can accommodate a large battery, powerful heat dissipation system, and periscope telephoto. Therefore, the new periscope zoom will probably only be installed in the iPhone 15 Ultra / Pro Max.
On the other hand, according to analyst Ming Chi Kuo, there will be no major changes to the primary sensor, especially for the Pro and Pro Max/Ultra variants. The main camera will continue to have a resolution of 48 megapixels. It could be an updated model from Sony with better low-light performance. This sensor would also increase the dynamic range, which inevitably improves the overall image quality.
As usual, the next generation of camera sensors would not come to the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. It is unclear whether Apple can get even more performance out of the old 12 megapixel sensor. At this point, the lens would be in use for the seventh time with the same technical data (24 mm focal length, f/1.8 aperture). According to some reports, an eight-element lens that would collect more light and reduce aberrations would be good to go. But as far as we know, this lens will not come to next year’s base models.