iPhone 15: All the rumored features, prices, colors, and when it’s coming
- Apple’s ‘Wonderlust’ event on September 12 will unveil iPhone 15 models.
- They will feature USB-C, improved cameras, and upgraded chips.
- Pro versions will introduce Wi-Fi 6E, and prices are expected to be higher.
Last week, Apple sent out invites to its mysterious ‘Wonderlust’ live event, where it is expected that the iPhone 15 will be unveiled. The event will take place on September 12 at 10am PT (6pm BST) at Apple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, but it will also be livestreamed on the Apple website. The company has revealed almost every new smartphone lineup in mid-to-late September in over a decade, so it is unlikely this will change.
The rumor mill surrounding the new model has been swirling since before even the iPhone 14 was unveiled last year. But in recent months, trusted sources like Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo, a market analyst at TF International Securities, have been confirming what they believe to be true about the latest devices. TechHQ took a closer look at the all-but-confirmed details.
Like previous iterations, there are expected to be four models of the latest iPhone – the standard, the 15 Plus, the 15 15 Pro, and the 15 Pro Max, each getting increasingly expensive and offering better, more high-end features.
The handsets are expected to have the same screen sizes as the iPhone 14 series – 6.1 inches in diameter for the standard 15 and the 15 Pro, and 6.7 inches for the 15 Plus and the 15 Pro Max. There were some murmurings that the Pro Max might be rebranded as iPhone 15 ‘Ultra,’ but Mr Gurman has slated that for 2024.
While the expert has said that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will be very similar to the iPhone 14 Pro models, it is widely assumed that the entire range will have one new feature; a USB-C port.
Apple has been in a years-long battle with the European Parliament over doing away with the Lightning Port and associated cables, which only work with Apple devices. However, since legislation was passed to ban the sale of all smartphones that aren’t powered with USB-C cables in EU countries by the end of 2024, its hand has finally been forced.
The USB-C ports in the iPhone 15 Pro models will support faster data transfers with at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 technology (maximum 20Gb/s), while the base models will be powered by the standard USB 2.0 (maximum 480Mb/s). However, the faster speeds may be reserved for Apple ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFI) cables, which can be expected to come at a premium too.
As well as USB-C, all iPhone 15s will support Apple MagSafe chargers and Qi charging technology, meaning they can be magnetically charged at 15W speeds with third-party accessories that use Qi2.
The 15 Pro series is set to introduce a new 6x optical telephoto camera, doubling the zoom capabilities of the iPhone 14 Pro. According to Mr. Kuo, the 15 Pro Max is expected to feature a horizontally mounted periscope lens and camera module integrated into the phone’s design. All four iPhone 15 models will also have a 48-megapixel camera, unlike the iPhone 14 range, where the two base levels only feature 12-megapixel lenses.
Apple plans to utilize Qualcomm modem chips for its new devices due to delays in developing its own processors. The standard iPhone 15 models will receive an upgrade to the A16 chip from the iPhone 14 Pro models, while the 15 Pro models will feature faster and more efficient 3-nanometer A17 chips. This will enhance processing performance by 10 to 15 percent and reduce power consumption by up to 35 percent.
All iPhone 15 models may benefit from a more power-efficient OLED display driver chip, manufactured on a 28-nanometre process, potentially improving battery life. Furthermore, the lineup is expected to include a next-generation Ultra Wideband chip with a 7-nanometre processor for enhanced performance and energy efficiency. This will also integrate with the Vision Pro headset.
The most significant external change is that not one of the devices in the range will feature the dreaded ‘notch’. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus still had the screen cutout which houses the front-facing sensors and cameras, disrupting the otherwise seamless display experience. Both Pro versions, however, feature ‘Dynamic Island’ – a pill-shaped area in the screen that accommodates camera hardware with a ‘hole punch’ lens and displays certain alerts. Dynamic Island will be available on all four iPhone 15 models, according to Mr Gurman.
The analyst also suggests that the 15 Pro models will feature titanium frames to replace the stainless steel ones, aiming to reduce weight and provide durability. They will also have slimmer bezels and more curved edges, something that could be alluded to by the curved cutouts in the ‘Wonderlust’ logo.
Apple news website MacRumors discovered code in a beta version of iOS 17 that hints at the inclusion of an ‘Action Button’ on the upcoming iPhones. This could serve various functions, such as shortcuts or triggering the camera shutter, and is similar to that on the Apple Watch Ultra.
Strangely, last year’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus came with a desirable feature that the Pro versions did not – a chassis that makes it easier to open up the device and swap the back glass. This makes it much easier and cheaper to replace this glass if it gets smashed, so this design will be included on all four models in the new iteration.
To showcase the new titanium frames, the Pro versions of the iPhone 15 are rumored to come in Dark Blue, Silver-Gray, Space Black, and Titanium Gray finishes. Some even speculate that the dark blue and gray colors of the ‘Wonderlust’ logo hint at these aesthetics.
Leaked images also suggest that Apple will color-match the charging cables included with each device. The cables pictured come in Midnight Black, Starlight White, Yellow, Blue, and Coral Pink; these colors are expected to be available for the base iPhone 15 models.
Leaks suggest that the Pro and Pro Max versions of the iPhone 15 will feature Wi-Fi 6E, thanks to their A17 processors, while the standard versions will use Wi-Fi 6 like the previous iterations. Wi-Fi 6E, operating in the 6 GHz frequency band, provides 1.2GHz more spectrum that translates to faster speeds, lower latency, and improved performance in densely populated areas. This also means it has the bandwidth to support data-intensive AR and VR applications, like those supported by the Vision Pro headset.
Mr Gurman and other Apple analysts have said the iPhone 15 models will be more expensive than their iPhone 14 predecessors. The iPhone 15 Pro will likely start at $1,099 and the iPhone 15 Pro Max at $1,199, compared to $999 and $1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Barclays Analyst Tim Long told MacRumors that conversations he’d had with Asian suppliers suggested that starting prices for the Pro Max could be $200 higher than last year’s equivalent. He also indicated that the base model iPhone 15 will begin at $799 and iPhone 15 Plus at $899, the same as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.
Pre-orders will likely be accepted on the Friday following ’Wonderlust,’ and shipments to be sent out the week after if Apple follows its usual itinerary. Fans will have to wait until then to experience any upgrades and features for themselves.