– A titanium-framed Ultra model could be replacing the iPhone 15 Pro Max
– Premium models could have A17 chips, periscope cameras and super-thin display bezels
– Every phone could have a Dynamic Island and 48MP primary camera, but no ProMotion technology for non-Pro models
– A17 chip could outperform A16 by 20%
– Expect Apple to finally switch to USB-C
– eSIMs to return in the US, with France and possibly more of Europe following suit
Seven months have passed since the launch of the iPhone 14 line, so we're now looking ahead to what the iPhone 15 and its siblings might bring to the mobile table in 2023.
Indeed, the iPhone 15 leaks are now coming thick and fast, with rumors concerning everything from the phones' display and camera credentials to their price and availability. We're also hearing that an iPhone 15 Ultra could be arriving in place of a Pro Max iPhone this year, which could really shake things up.
So, to give you an early idea of what to expect from Apple's next iPhone line, we've put together this one-stop-shop guide to all the latest news, rumors and predictions, which we'll be updating throughout the year.
Despite multiple sources previously claiming that the iPhone 15 Pro will arrive bearing solid-state (i.e. non-physical) volume buttons, two seasoned Apple analysts have since counterclaimed that Apple’s next flagship handset will instead stick with traditional button designs.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple's 2023 generation of smartphones
- When is it out? Likely September 2023
- How much will it cost? Possible price increase over iPhone 14
iPhone 15 release date
- Likely to launch in the first half of September
- The shipping date will probably be a week or so later
We haven't heard any iPhone 15 release date or launch date rumors yet, but that's to be expected – they rarely occur more than a month before the launch event itself.
For the iPhone 14, that event fell on September 7, with three of the four phones going on sale over a week later, on September 16 (and the iPhone 14 Plus on October 7). Apple generally picks the first or second week of September for its launches, and usually opts for a Tuesday, though occasionally goes for a Wednesday event.
In 2023, that means September 5 or 12 are quite likely (both are Tuesdays), though September 6 and 13 are possibilities, too.
iPhone 15 price
- Pricing could be similar to last year
- If anything, prices may rise rather than fall for everything except the Plus
With regards to the price, again, we haven't heard many leaks or rumors, but the iPhone 14 range presented a slight price increase over the iPhone 13 equivalents. This could be repeated in 2023 for the iPhone 15.
For context, while there are four members of the iPhone 14 family, here are the prices for the cheapest, and most expensive, options:
- iPhone 14 128GB: $799 / £849 / AU$1,399
- iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB: $1,599 / £1,749 / AU$2,769
So, that's the full scope of the current range's pricing, though obviously there are many devices and storage choices between those points.
As for the iPhone 15 line, one price rumor points to the iPhone 15 Ultra – a new phone that could land in place of an iPhone 15 Pro Max – starting at $1,199 (likely around £1,309 / AU$2,099 based on Apple's typical pricing) at best.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899, so, if accurate, the next model would be at least $100 more expensive.
That's believable, especially as Apple has suggested that people are willing to spend enormous amounts on new iPhones.
However, the iPhone 15 Plus might be cheaper than the iPhone 14 Plus, according to one leak. This change would be because the iPhone 14 Plus isn't selling brilliantly. For reference, the iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899 / £949 / AU$1,579.
iPhone 15 design and display
- Every model might have a Dynamic Island
- Pro models could get thinner bezels
- One or more models might have a titanium frame
A big iPhone 14 Pro feature is the 'Dynamic Island', a fancy marketing name for the 'punch-hole' front-facing camera that Apple is using, and a leak suggests that the non-Pro iPhone 15 models could get the Dynamic Island, too.
We've also heard more recently from multiple sources that every iPhone 15 model will get the Dynamic Island. Evidence for this claim has emerged, too, with leaked videos – one of which you can see below – showing the front glass for reportedly three iPhone 15 models. They all include Dynamic Islands along with slightly curved bezels, with the Pro models having smaller bezels than the standard ones.
We're not expecting the iPhone 15 line's Dynamic Islands to be identical to the ones currently featured on Apple’s flagship devices, though. According to a recent tweet (opens in new tab) from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15’s proximity sensor will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island itself, rather than positioned below it (as on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max).
As Kuo notes, the new sensor arrangement is unlikely to result in any material difference to the appearance or functionality of the iPhone 15 versus the iPhone 14 Pro, but the former's Dynamic Island will technically be more advanced than the latter's given the inclusion of a previously isolated sensor.
Less exciting news is the rumor that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus won't inherit the iPhone 14 Pro's ProMotion technology and always-on display functionality.
For those not in the know, both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max boast adaptive 1-120Hz refresh rate technology (dubbed ProMotion) that automatically adjusts the smoothness of their displays to suit whatever’s happening on-screen. Apple’s always-on display functionality relies on ProMotion to function, so it looks like both of those high-end features will again be reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro and much-rumored iPhone 15 Ultra.
As for the design, one source claims that at least some iPhone 15 models might have titanium sides. They added that the sides might curve towards the back of the phone on the iPhone 15 line, rather than being positioned at a right angle as with the iPhone 14. These curved sides are still being decided on by Apple, though, according to another source, so there's a chance they won't happen.
That said, a leaked photo has now emerged showing those curved sides, along with a brushed metal (likely titanium) finish, on what's reportedly an iPhone 15 Pro. There's also a USB-C port – more on this further down.
Another rumor suggests that all four iPhone 15 models are going to get slightly curved edges – so we might be heading back to the iPhone 11 look – while the Pro and Pro Max (or Ultra) phones will have thinner bezels, too.
In fact, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might have the thinnest bezels of any smartphone, at 1.55mm. For reference, the current record holder is the Xiaomi 13 at 1.61mm, while the iPhone 14 Pro has 2.17mm bezels.
Why do I want you to believe this is true? Because the evidence comes not only from CAD renderings, but also from physical objects: the glass cover of the iPhone, is part of the phone, not a protective film. So its bezel is equal to the bezel of the phone.bezel：15=14P＞15P pic.twitter.com/FRkLi2b4zRApril 8, 2023
Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are apparently getting a new camera bump, which is a rumor that's been further corroborated by unofficial iPhone renders based on case specifications.
Also on the design front, the iPhone 15 Pro was widely rumored to get solid-state volume and power buttons. Leaks had suggested that these buttons would use vibrations to simulate the sensation of being touched despite not actually moving (think the iPhone 7’s haptic Home button), but analysts Jeff Pu and Ming-Chi Kuo recently poured water on those claims.
According to Pu, Apple needs more time to develop the haptic engines required to power these new buttons, with Kuo adding that their removal from the iPhone 15 Pro “will simplify the development and testing process.”
Two iPhone 15 Pro models’ removal of solid-state button design negatively affects Cirrus Logic and AAC / 兩款iPhone 15 Pro取消固態按鍵設計不利Cirrus Logic與瑞聲科技https://t.co/Ot81sCQzgkApril 12, 2023
Given the technical intricacy of capacitive buttons, though, Apple’s supposed decision to kick the can down the road is understandable.
On top of the haptic engines cited by Pu, another leaker had previously claimed that a dedicated microprocessor would support the iPhone 15 Pro’s solid-state buttons, rendering them capable of detecting touches even when the device is switched off. The microprocessor in question was purported to replace the Super Low Energy Mode currently used in the iPhone 14 Pro, which allows apps like Find My and Apple Pay to function with next to no power.
In other words: solid-state power buttons are complex beasts – but we’ll hopefully see them introduced in 2024 with the iPhone 16 line, if not this year’s iPhone 15 range.
Further renders of the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max emerged in February 2023, showing more of those aforementioned design changes: USB-C, more rounded edges, and the addition of the Dynamic Island on the less expensive models.
It looks as though the dimensions of the iPhone 15 handsets are going to be more or less the same as their iPhone 14 equivalents – although, as mentioned, there are reportedly going to be some slight variations in the size of the camera bumps.
A even-more-recent leaked iPhone 15 Pro dummy model (below) adds further weight to all of the above design claims, with a USB-C port, slightly curved edges and a unified rocker-style volume button all visible on the plastic mock-up.
It's also worth noting that Apple may be preparing to move to eSIM in countries outside the US for the iPhone 15, with eSIMs reportedly coming to the next generation of Apple’s best iPhones in France.
This is big news for all prospective iPhone 15 buyers outside of the US. Apple typically sells the same iPhone models across most of Europe, meaning SIM card-less iPhone 15s could also be coming to the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and many other countries.
Given the scale of integration with mobile carriers needed to support the implementation of eSIMs in countries that don’t already use them widely, it’s unlikely that Apple will be able to flick a switch and ditch the SIM card tray for every iPhone 15 model sold in Europe come September – but major Apple markets like the UK seem ready to join France in its adoption of eSIMs.
iPhone 15 camera and battery
- The top model could have a periscope camera
- We might see all four phones equipped with a 48MP main sensor
On the camera front, we've heard that iPhone 15 Pro models might come with periscope cameras that should improve their telephoto zoom capabilities.
That said, a big leaker suggests that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will actually be called the iPhone 15 Ultra – following on from Apple's adoption of this suffix elsewhere – and will bring extra features over the iPhone 15 Pro.
A key example listed is in the camera department, as while the iPhone 15 Pro is apparently expected to retain the telephoto zoom lens of the 14 Pro, the iPhone 15 Ultra is rumored to get a periscope lens for even further zooming, likely around 5x. So we might only see the very top phone get a periscope snapper.
We've actually heard this rumor several times now. Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested the iPhone 15 could get a periscope lens, as has analyst Jeff Pu, making it sound very likely – though it's less clear whether this phone will be called iPhone 15 Ultra or Pro Max.
That's not the only possible camera upgrade, though, with another source saying a new Sony sensor will be used by the iPhone 15 line, one that's state-of-the-art, captures more light than current sensors, and avoids overexposing or underexposing shots.
Plus, all four models might have a 48MP main sensor, according to analyst Jeff Pu (via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)), which would be an upgrade for the cheapest two.
We haven't heard anything about the battery yet, but in terms of charging, one report suggests Apple is working a reverse wireless charging feature for the iPhone 15 line, which could let you use your iPhone to wirelessly charge other gadgets, such as an Apple Watch.
Leaks surrounding this feature have existed for years, so don't get your hopes up, but it's a possible inclusion.
iPhone 15 specs and features
- An A17 Bionic chipset for the Pro models and an A16 Bionic for the others
- A17 Bionic chipset could outperform its predecessor by 20%
- All four phones might get USB-C
When it comes to the core specs of the iPhone 15, there's some things we're almost certain of. For example, one report says that Apple is working on the 3nm A17 Bionic chip for the iPhone 15. Given that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max use the A16 Bionic, and that 17 is one higher than 16, we could have guessed this anyway.
More reports go into further detail, saying that the A17 Bionic should be more efficient than the A16 Bionic, which would likely lead to improved battery life. What's more, according to Chinese outlet DCInside (opens in new tab), the A17 Bionic will boast a 20% more powerful CPU than its predecessor, the A16 Bionic, meaning the iPhone 15 Pro should enjoy sizeable speed gains over the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Crunching the numbers, DCInside reports that the A17 Bionic earns a single-core score of 3019 and a multi-core score of 7860 on Geekbench 6, where the A16 Bionic scores 2504 and 6314, respectively. Naturally, we’d suggest taking these rumored figures with a pinch of salt, but it’s exciting to think that the Pro-grade iPhone 15s might sport benchmark scores to rival Apple’s M1 MacBooks.
However, we expect the standard iPhone 15 to inherit the latter’s A16 Bionic, just as the standard iPhone 14 inherited the iPhone 13 Pro's A15 Bionic. We've heard this multiple times now, so it'll be a surprise if Apple bucks its own trend come September.
Sticking with chipsets, it seems likely that Qualcomm will be supplying the 5G modem again. The Snapdragon X70 looks certain to get picked for the iPhone 15, offering improved performance from the Snapdragon X65 in the iPhone 14.
As for the other specs, we've heard predictions that the Pro models are going to make the jump to 8GB of RAM with the iPhone 15. Another difference between the Pro and non-Pro models could be support for Wi-Fi 6E in the case of the Pro models.
We might also see a USB-C port on every iPhone 15 model. The EU has told Apple that it has to add USB-C charging ports to iPhones from 2024, but lots of fans believe that Apple will adopt the charging standard earlier, in 2023 instead – and at least one leak points in that direction.
More recently, we've heard another reputable source say the entire iPhone 15 line will get USB-C, but they added that only the Pro models will offer upgraded data transfer speeds. This has now been stated by multiple sources.
These two phones could apparently have data transfer speeds of either 20Gbps or 40Gbps, while the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Max would reportedly be stuck with the same 480Mbps speeds as the current models.
We've also now seen a photo, which you'll find in the design section of this article, showing an iPhone with a USB-C port, so the addition of one is looking ever more likely. Apple has actually confirmed that it will soon switch to USB-C – at least in Europe – though the company hasn't said whether it will make the change globally. Nor has it said which model will be the first iPhone to get USB-C, so it might not be the iPhone 15.
That said, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that that the company’s proprietary USB-C chargers will offer faster iPhone 15 charging speeds than accessories produced by other manufacturers. That sounds like good news, but since Apple no longer includes chargers in the box with iPhone purchases, you’ll almost certainly have to fork out extra cash for one of the company’s proprietary charging accessories if you want to get the most from your iPhone 15.