Apple’s annual fall event, when the next iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 15 series, is expected to be announced, is less than a week away. Although we don’t anticipate Apple to release a foldable device anytime soon, the rumor mill is buzzing about the future iPhones breaking from their traditional design in a significant way. More hints can be found in Apple’s “Wonderlust” invitation, which appears to have a travel theme.
Some of the key questions are: Will the iPhone 15 include a USB-C port? Will the bezels on the iPhone 15 series be thinner? Will Apple raise the price of the iPhone in 2023? Will the Pro models receive further significant upgrades?
We won’t know for certain until Apple’s next iPhone announcement. However, here are some of the most significant and reliable rumors to give you a sense of what to expect from the iPhone 15 series.
iPhone 15 design: Hello USB-C, goodbye to Lightning
This one has been floating for years, but the changeover from a Lightning connector to a USB-C connector could eventually happen in 2023. This is most likely due to lobbying from the European Union, which has long advocated for a common charging norm. In 2022, the EU passed laws mandating Apple to equip its iPhones with USB-C connectors by 2024 if they are to be sold in the EU.
If this happens, the question is whether Apple will convert to USB-C for all iPhone models or simply those sold in the EU. Apple already alters iPhone models on a regional basis, as it did with the iPhone 14: The US version features an electronic SIM, although the other variations still have a SIM slot. According to Avi Greengart, analyst at Techsponential, there are compelling reasons to transition all iPhones to USB-C in the future.
“There are larger ecosystem, security, and accessory considerations with the power/data connector, so I think it is more likely that Apple moves all iPhones [globally] to USB-C in the iPhone 16 timeframe to comply with European regulations,” he said in an email to CNET.
Only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models will have USB-C connections this year, according to veteran Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman. With the iPhone 16, perhaps a complete changeover will occur next year.
iPhone 15 design: Dynamic Island expands to all models
With the iPhone 15 lineup, Apple is likely to keep selling four iPhone models. Rumors suggest that all models will have a largely identical appearance, with the exception of the iPhone 14 Pro’s shape-shifting cutout, known as Dynamic Island, which is expected to make its way across all models.
This speculation originates from display analyst Ross Young, who also stated in a September tweet that he does not expect base iPhone 15 models to have a higher refresh rate than Apple’s Pro iPhones since the supply chain cannot sustain it. Gurman remains optimistic, as seen by the June 30 edition of his Power On newsletter.
iPhone 15 design: Skinnier bezels
Apple is anticipated to use a new manufacturing method dubbed “low-injection pressure over-molding” to create the Pro iPhones, according to Gurman. This procedure is also utilized for various Apple Watch models. It will allow Apple to lower the size of the bezels by fractions of a millimeter, allowing for a small increase in screen real estate.
iPhone 15 design: Easier repairability
According to the latest edition of Gurman’s Power On newsletter, the interiors of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will also be redesigned to make them easier to fix. According to Gurman, the inside components have been updated to match those in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, which experienced internal upgrades last year.
“This is the iPhone 14 reborn as a beautiful butterfly — a midframe in the middle, accessible screen on the left, and removable rear glass on the right,” iFixit stated in a post following the iPhone event last September.
Interestingly, Apple did not mention this internal overhaul during its keynote, but the change was observed by iFixit repair specialists, who stated that it was clear that Apple went back to the drawing board to rebuild the internals and incorporate them smoothly into its iPhones.
iPhone 15: Upgraded ultra wideband
According to renowned Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 will be powered by an updated Ultra Wideband processor known as the U1 chip, which will allow it to better connect with the company’s new AR headset, the Vision Pro. UWB is a short-range wireless communication protocol that is frequently used to locate things. It can detect your Apple AirTag and unlock your car as you approach it with your phone. Kuo stated in a recent Twitter post that this is all part of Apple’s larger aim to “build a more competitive ecosystem for Vision Pro.”
iPhone 15: Wireless charging upgrade
According to a May report by ChargerLab, a reliable power specialist website, all iPhone 15 models will enable 15-watt wireless charging through the Qi2 open standard. If this is accurate, the iPhone 15 might usher in a new era of wireless charging solutions capable of replenishing the smartphone at full speed. Previously, Apple has limited open wireless charging standards to 7.5W, leaving the maximum 15W charge speed for Apple MagSafe approved accessories.
iPhone 15 camera: Periscope-style telephoto lens arrives
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst of TF International Securities, predicts that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will come with a periscope-style telephoto lens. This type of telephoto lens enables for greater optical zoom levels, giving the iPhone superior capabilities for photographing distant subjects. According to Kuo, the iPhone 15 Pro Max could include 6x optical zoom. For comparison, the optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is 3x, which falls short of rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 10x optical zoom. This idea was recently bolstered by Unknownz21, a well-known leak source and Twitter user, who indicated that the Pro Max model will include the unique lens.
Kuo anticipates that Apple will differentiate its base and Pro versions even further in the future years. He expects that will happen through the use of solid-state volume and power buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro versions rather than the regular keys used on today’s handsets.
The solid-state buttons, which Kuo claims will be identical to the home button featured on the iPhone SE and iPhone 7, use haptic feedback to simulate the physical experience of pushing a button. The obvious benefit of this style of button is that it protects against water entry.
iPhone 15 Power: Increased RAM for pro models
According to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, the iPhone 15 Pro lineup’s RAM would be increased to 8GB from 6GB to compliment the anticipated A17 Bionic CPU. According to TrendForce, base models will continue to receive 6GB RAM. According to a MacRumors story that cited Pu’s study, this claim is also supported by a research report from analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities.
iPhone 15 price: Up, up and away?
For the first time in years, iPhone 15 pricing are expected to rise in the United States. Apple previously raised prices in a few countries outside the US last year.
According to a MacRumors rumor citing Barclays analyst Tim Long, the iPhone 15 Pro may cost $100 more than the iPhone 14 Pro, while the iPhone Pro Max may cost $100 to $200 more. According to another MacRumors story, Jeff Pu of investment firm Haitong International Securities made a similar allegation, especially stating that the iPhone 15 Pro Max is set for a price increase. This is predicated on the premise that Apple will upgrade the Pro versions with new features and components, such as a new periscope camera, a titanium frame, and a 3nm A17 Bionic CPU.
Prices in the United States presently range from $829 for the entry-level iPhone 14 model (128GB) to $1,599 for the highest-end iPhone 14 Pro Max with 1TB of storage.
Another possibility is that the upper price ceiling will be raised if reports regarding a luxurious iPhone 15 Ultra are genuine. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the anticipated Ultra variant might potentially replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max next year. This is consistent with Kuo’s prediction that Apple will differentiate further between the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max models. However, Gurman made no mention of the iPhone 15 Ultra in his June 30 newsletter. According to some reports, the iPhone 15 Ultra will be a step up from the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
iPhone 15 Ultra camera: Variable zoom
According to Revengus, the iPhone 15 Ultra will have a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens, similar to the camera configuration anticipated for Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra. Variable optical zoom (continuous zoom) cameras aren’t widespread on smartphones for a variety of reasons, including the size and design of phone cameras, which limit the types of lenses that may be utilized.
iPhone 15 launch and release dates
Apple hosts its annual iPhone event in September virtually every year, so we’d expect the iPhone 15 to follow suit. New iPhones are usually released shortly after, on the Friday of the following week. Apple will sometimes stagger the release dates of specific models, especially when introducing a new style or size. As a result, the iPhone 15 lineup may have more than one release date.
Here’s what we know so far:
- Apple’s events are usually held on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Apple conducted its iPhone 14 event on Wednesday, September 7, while its iPhone 13 event was held on Tuesday, September 14.
- iPhone releases are usually scheduled a week and a half after Apple makes an announcement.
- New iPhones are typically released on a Friday during the third week of September. Preorders for the iPhone 13 began on September 17, and the phones went on sale on September 24.