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iPhone 15: release date and price predictions, leaks, rumors, and more

As great as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are, they’re both already a few months old at this point, and the rumors about the iPhone 15 are well underway. We still have several months before the iPhone 15 models drop, though, as Apple usually makes iPhone announcements in the fall. In other words, there’s still a lot of time for rumors to circulate around the internet.

We’re keeping all of the reports and rumors of the iPhone 15 here in a single place for your convenience, but do remember to keep in mind that these are all still just speculation. Nothing is final until Apple confirms it during an official announcement. Still, a lot of the rumors give us an idea of what to expect each year, which is unfortunate if you like surprises. Here’s everything we know of the iPhone 15 so far!

iPhone 15: models

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render side by side

Though Apple debuted the iPhone mini with the iPhone 12 lineup and kept it with the iPhone 13 series, the mini was retired once the iPhone 14 came out. It was replaced with the larger iPhone 14 Plus, going from a 5.4-inch screen to a massive 6.7-inch display (same as the iPhone 14 Pro Max), with the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro staying at the 6.1-inch size from previous generations.

It is expected that Apple will continue this with the iPhone 15 lineup featuring an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. This time, the standard iPhone 15 is expected to have a 6.2-inch display, a slight change from the iPhone’s 14’s 6.1-inch display. Other phones, including the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, are expected to keep the same screen sizes as last year. This means a 6.1-inch screen for the 15 Pro and 6.7 inches for the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The name for the iPhone 15 Pro Max may be different, however. There are rumors circulating that “Pro Max” may be replaced with the “Ultra” moniker, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra.

iPhone 15: design and sizes

iPhone 15 render by 4RMD

Apple fans who are waiting for the iPhone to go through a drastic redesign may end up disappointed, as the iPhone 15 might look mostly similar to the iPhone 14. But there is a rumor from a leaker named ShrimpApplePro claiming that the iPhone 15 Pro design may be slightly different, with thinner bezels and curved edges, though the display will remain flat.

That prospect of thinner bezels was reinforced by ShrimpApplePro in early March, with the leaker tweeting a short video clip described as “the real-life video of the front glass panel of the iPhone 15 series.”

Goôd morning! Here’s is the real life video of the front glass panel of the iPhone 15 series, i was able to confirm its authenticity with my source. It’s real!

— ShrimpApplePro 🍤 (@VNchocoTaco) March 5, 2023

The leftmost panel and middle panel are likely for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, respectively. Both appear to have noticeably thinner bezels than their iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max predecessors. Meanwhile, the rightmost panel has a slightly thicker bezel and is most likely the display panel for the regular iPhone 15. Furthermore, the video shows that all models of the iPhone 15 will be getting the Dynamic Island.

While the Dynamic Island pill-and-hole cutout was exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models, Apple looks to be expanding that to all iPhone 15 models. A render from 9to5Mac shows how the upcoming iPhone 15 would look with a Dynamic Island.

A render of the iPhone 15 from 9to5Mac showing off the dynamic island, bigger display.

If that’s the case, then the iPhone 15 will be the first iPhone lineup to completely eliminate the notch. As mentioned earlier, we should expect four models of iPhone 15: a 6.2-inch iPhone 15, a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus, a 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra).

Another report suggests that the iPhone 15 may replace the physical buttons with haptic, solid-state power and volume buttons instead. This would work similarly to the iPhone 7 Home button. Essentially, instead of physically depressing when pressed, it would use haptic feedback to mimic how it would feel if you pressed a button.

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render

If the report about solid-state buttons is true, then it would require two Taptic Engines on the left and right sides of the iPhone 15. Such a change would also affect case compatibility — even if the iPhone 15 models were the same size and thickness as the iPhone 14 (including the camera bump), you would need a case that has open access to these haptic buttons at all times.

9to5Mac backed up that report in early March, with the publication saying it “heard from a source that iPhone 15 Pro will have new unified volume buttons.” Instead of two separate buttons for volume up and volume down controls, the iPhone 15 Pro will reportedly use “a new single button that works both ways depending on where the user presses it.”

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render back

Another report from 9to5Mac gave us an exclusive first look at what the iPhone 15 Pro could look like via a render based on a CAD model from a reliable case manufacturer. With these renderings, it does seem like the Lightning port will be replaced with USB-C, which wouldn’t be surprising considering the recent EU regulations. Other design changes include slightly more curved glass around the edges, which means thinner bezels. This could mean that the same 6.1-inch display will be housed in a smaller chassis, similar to the transition from the iPhone XS to the iPhone 11. And again, the rendering seems to show that Apple is indeed moving away from physical buttons and going to solid-state buttons instead.

But the biggest shocker from the iPhone 15 Pro rendering is the gigantic camera bump — it’s almost as thick as the device itself!

iPhone 15: colors

A render of the iPhone 15 Pro, shown in a reported dark red color.

Deciding which color to get is a crucial part of the iPhone buying process, and for the iPhone 15 series, it looks like we’ll have some stunning finishes to choose from.

On February 23, 9to5Mac reported that the flagship color for the iPhone 15 Pro will be a beautiful dark red color, and a mock-up of it is seen in the render above. This would mark the first time Apple’s offered a red hue for a Pro model iPhone, and if it looks anything like it does in 9to5Mac’s render, it’ll be quite stunning.

The regular iPhone 15 is reported to come in light pink and light blue colors.

iPhone 15: mute switch

An iPhone 14 Pro Max with the display turned on. We see the Home Screen and Pixel Pals running in the Dynamic Island.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The physical mute switch has been one of the most iconic iPhone features since the original model debuted in 2007 — and it hasn’t changed much at all since then. But the iPhone 15 Pro could shake things up.

According to 9to5Mac, a source familiar with the iPhone 15 Pro says that the mute switch is being replaced with a “pressing type button.” Instead of flicking a physical switch to control your notification volume, the new button may be a solid-state one that you press.

The functionality sounds like it’ll be identical, but even so, it’s a big change for one of the iPhone’s most consistent design elements. Will it be better? Will it be worse? We’ll have to wait and see to know for sure, but it sure does look like big changes are coming.

iPhone 15: processor and specs

Apple A16 Bionic.

The standard iPhone 15 may use the A16 that is currently featured in the iPhone 14 Pro, and the new A17 chip might be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. This appears to be the new way that Apple is differentiating between the standard and Pro models of the iPhone, which began with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineup.

TSMC, the longtime supplier of chips for the iPhone, is supposedly going to use a 3nm process for the A17 chips. This would make the A17 more efficient at power consumption and reduce the heat that is generated during use. The 3nm A17 chip will also have a 15% boost in speed and power and 30% more power savings over the current 5nm chips.

Another report indicates that the iPhone 15 Pro could also get a boost in RAM, going from 6GB to 8GB. However, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus may remain at the current 6GB RAM, though this may be the faster LPDDR5 RAM that is found in the iPhone 14 Pro models.

Storage capacity could be different, though the baseline storage may depend on what features the iPhone 15 offers. The current top-tier storage is 1TB for the iPhone 14 Pro, but the iPhone 15 Pro could be bumped to 2TB.

And while there were rumors circulating that Apple could be building its own in-house modem chips, the efforts so far have not bared any results. Apple will likely still be using Qualcomm for modem chips in the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15: cameras

iPhone 15 render by 4RMD

On the camera front, the only things that we know are that Apple has been working on periscope lens technology, which may only end up on the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max model. Also, the base iPhone 15 is expected to keep the dual-camera layout, with lidar remaining Pro-exclusive.

With a periscope lens, you could get optical zoom that goes beyond what is currently offered, such as 5x or 10x optical zoom. The current iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max only go up to 3x optical zoom, so having a periscope lens would be a significant improvement. Again, though, it appears that only the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max may get that periscope functionality.

I think the rumored iPhone 15 Pro series's adoption of an 8P lens won't likely come true.

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) October 30, 2022

There were previous reports that the iPhone 15 would be getting an 8P camera, which refers to the number of elements within the lens material. Theoretically, having another element in the lens could help with having less image distortion in the final image. However, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this does not appear to be happening — at least, not with the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15: battery, charging, and USB-C

iPhone 14 Pro and a Lightning cable.
Nadeem Sarwar / DigitalTrends

European regulations are mandating a common charger for all electronics, including the iPhone, in an attempt to reduce e-waste. The deadline for Apple to switch over to USB-C and eliminate Lightning is happening in 2024, but Apple could also get a head start on that by transitioning the iPhone 15 over to USB-C in 2023. It’s highly likely, given the regulation, but Apple could hold off until 2024 as well.

With the switch to USB-C on the iPhone, it would bring Apple’s smartphone closer in line with the iPad and MacBook lineups, which have mostly been using USB-C for a while. The iPad 10th Gen (2022) switched over to USB-C last year, which was the last iPad model still using Apple’s proprietary Lightning charger.

In addition to the EU’s ruling, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also seems confident in the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C, saying in mid-November that his “latest survey indicates all 2H23 new iPhones will abandon Lightning and change to USB-C.”

I predict that 15 Pro & 15 Pro Max will support at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3. This spec upgrade means the wired transfer and video output user experience will significantly improve.

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) November 17, 2022

What’s interesting, though, is Kuo’s claim that only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will benefit from faster data transfer speeds with this change. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will have a USB-C port, but they’ll still be limited to the slower USB 2.0 transfer speeds currently available with Lightning.

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render camera bump

Though we should expect USB-C with the iPhone 15, Apple may be doing an MFi program similar to the Lightning cables. This means that Apple may want USB-C cables that are “optimized” for iPhone for the best data transfer and charging speeds. Though disappointing, this wouldn’t be at all surprising.

iPhone 15 Ultra rumors

Alleged render of iPhone 15 Ultra.
This is supposedly what the iPhone 15 Ultra looks like with dual selfie cameras. Apple Insider

There have been several rumors so far that suggest Apple is dropping the “Pro Max” moniker for the iPhone 15 series and will instead introduce a new “iPhone 15 Ultra” instead. But there’s more to this rumored iPhone 15 Ultra than just a name.

According to reports, the iPhone 15 Ultra would have a titanium frame instead of stainless steel, which would make it pricier. Rumors suggest a $1,200 starting price for the iPhone 15 Ultra, which would not be out of line if the frame was made of titanium. For example, Apple does charge more for a titanium Apple Watch versus a stainless steel one, and it’s a significant upcharge from the regular aluminum. The titanium material would also be more lightweight than stainless steel, sturdier, and more resistant to corrosion. The below concept render shows what an iPhone 15 Ultra could look like, and it really is something.

A concept of an iPhone 15 Ultra by Jonas Daehnert on Twitter.
iPhone 15 Ultra concept render Jonas Daehnert/Twitter

The iPhone 15 Ultra is also rumored to get a periscope-style telephoto camera, which would not be available on the regular iPhone 15 Pro. Having a periscope camera allows for higher optical zoom range, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. It might even have dual selfie cameras to help create an improved bokeh effect on self-portraits. Another rumor is that the iPhone 15 Ultra could be completely without ports, while the rest of the iPhone 15 lineup uses USB-C.

If the iPhone 15 Ultra is actually a thing that comes out this fall, all of these rumors look to be pointing toward a massive upgrade that may be worthy of the high price tag.

iPhone 15: release date and price

iPhone 15 render by 4RMD

We should expect the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro to be announced sometime in September 2023, as long as Apple follows its usual iPhone launch schedule. We can likely expect that prices will be similar to what we currently have with the iPhone 14 lineup, which starts at $799 for the iPhone 14, $899 for the iPhone 14 Plus, $999 for the iPhone 14 Pro, and $1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Or if Apple goes with an iPhone 15 Ultra, then that may start at $1,200.

While we’re hopeful that prices stay the same, a leak from Forbes claims that the iPhone 15 Ultra will be around $200 more expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, assuming that one is sticking around in the first place. This would be a pretty drastic change — nearly a 20% increase — so the upgrades better make the device worth that extra cost.

It’s worth pointing out that there were some very convincing-looking rumors last year that the iPhone 14 Pro would be getting a $100 price increase, and that ultimately proved to be false. That’s all to say that it’s certainly possible that the iPhone 15 could be seeing an increase, but take that rumor with a grain of salt.

Though many were expecting Apple to raise prices with the iPhone 14 models, that did not happen, at least in the U.S. So if all goes well, we should have the same prices for the iPhone 15, unless there are big changes in the economy between now and next year.

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