iPhone 15: Release Date, Features, and Rumours

 iPhone 15: Release Date, Features, and Rumours

The 2023 iPhone 15

All the rumors about the iPhone 15, expected in 2023.

At a GlanceRumored Features
The 2023 iPhone 15 models are
expected to feature USB-C instead of
Lightning, faster modem chips, upgraded
camera technology, and more.
6.1 and 6.7-inch sizes
Dynamic Island for all models
Periscope zoom lens for Pro models
USB-C port
Qualcomm modem chip

The 2023 iPhone 15

Apple in September 2022 released the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models, but we’ve been hearing rumors about the iPhone 15 since well before the latest iPhones became available for purchase.

The iPhone 15 is a few months away, but it’s hard for Apple to keep secrets about the iPhone lineup because there are so many different suppliers involved, some of whom end up leaking information. We are expecting 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.

As with the iPhone 14 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.

Design

Rumors suggest the iPhone 15 models will 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. We got our first look at the USB-C port in a leaked image said to be of an iPhone 15 Pro.

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.

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.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Dynamic Island is expected to feature an updated design with an integrated proximity sensor, but this change will not result in notable changes to the look or functionality of the Dynamic Island. It will change component costs, and could be a move that Apple is making to lower device costs somewhat.

Color Options

The iPhone 15 models could be available in dark pink and light blue color options. Apple often offers the standard iPhone models in a range of bright colors, and this year is no exception.

The bright pink and blue shades are likely to be available alongside standard black, white, and PRODUCT(RED) color options.

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 look like the iPhone 14 models with flatter edges, an aluminum frame, and a glass front and back.

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.

Frosted Glass?

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.

Case Fit

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.

Small changes in the dimensions to the iPhone 15 lineup will prevent the cases from fitting for the most part, though the iPhone 15 Plus is able to fit inside an iPhone 14 Plus. The larger rear camera housing of the Pro models prevents iPhone 14 Pro cases from working properly, as does the more curved design and changes to the buttons.

Part Leaks and Renders

Leaked images of the iPhone 15 confirm 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. Leaked renders have, however, suggested that there could be a slight change to the display size.

Based on CAD drawings of the iPhone 15, the renders from 9to5Mac suggest a display size of 6.2 inches, up slightly from 6.1 inches. There are no other notable design updates, with Apple using the same body design and camera setup.

Renders of the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus suggest that it will feature some minor design updates compared to the iPhone 14 Plus, including the Dynamic Island, slimmer bezels, and slight tweaks to the size and thickness of the device.

It will feature a Dynamic Island instead of a notch, along with a USB-C port. The camera bump is expected to be thicker, and it could feature slightly rounded edges with a more curved design that allows for a smoother transition from front to back.

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 mute button that will replace the mute switch. Since it does not need to be gripped like a switch, it requires a smaller cutout.

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 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.

USB-C

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.

Reliable sources that include Bloomberg’s Mark GurmanApple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and others, have said that Apple is going to make the change, adopting a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port for charging purposes.

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.

USB-C Limitations

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.

Wireless Charging

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.

Camera Updates

Apple is expected to adopt Sony’s latest “state of the art” image sensors for the iPhone 15 models. Compared to standard sensors, Sony’s image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. The sensor will allow for improvements in portraits and other images even when strong backlighting is an issue.

Sony is using semiconductor architecture that puts photodiodes and transistors in separate layers, allowing for more photodiodes. It is not clear if all of the iPhone 15 models will use the new sensor technology, or if Apple will limit it to the higher-end “Pro” iPhone 15 models.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models could adopt the 48-megapixel camera that was introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro models, according to analyst Jeff Pu. The updated lens has a sensor that captures more light for improved image quality.

Periscope Zoom 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.

A-Series Chips

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 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.

RAM

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.

Release Date

The iPhone 15 models will likely be released in September 2023 if Apple follows its traditional September launch timeline.

Beyond the iPhone 15

Apple is planning to implement under-display Face ID technology in the 2024 iPhone 16 models, according to The Elec. The shift will provide more usable display area, and when not in use, the TrueDepth Camera for Face ID will not be visible as it will be under the display. Analyst Ross Young does not believe under-display Face ID will be introduced until 2025 with the iPhone 17 lineup.

The Dynamic Island is not likely to be eliminated because the iPhone will still need a front-facing camera. Periscope lens technology is expected to continue to be limited to the higher-end iPhone 16 Pro Max, and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says it will not come to the standard iPhone 16 Pro.

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon has said that he believes Apple could introduce a 5G modem chip for the iPhone as soon as 2024, which would see Apple including it in the 2024 iPhone models. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says it is “undetermined” whether Apple’s iPhone 16 models will include an Apple-designed modem chip.

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