The conveyor belts haven’t even finished delivering components to the right hands, and we’re already talking about what to expect from Apple’s iPhone 15. Rumors started circulating right after the launch of the iPhone 14/14 Pro, and they’ve only gotten louder and more persistent in recent months.
What’s next for the iPhone? A little more of the same, but with a new charging standard. The iPhone 14/14 Pro was a solid release, so Apple will likely improve upon what works with the current flagship. The camera system and the Apple-made processor fueling the phone from the inside will probably get a bump up. The Dynamic Island is also likely to stay, though the buttons on the iPhone 15 might be different than what you’re used to. Oh, and start putting those Lightning cables in your personal museum; if you decide to upgrade later this year, you’re swapping them out for USB-C cords: Apple-certified ones.
The iPhone 15 will come in four models
We are still determining when exactly the new iPhone family will debut or if any of the leaks making the rounds are confirmed. But according to Bloomberg, there will be at least four models to choose from. To sell a new “Ultra” moniker for its highest end model, Apple may do things a bit differently this year with the classification of each model. The 6.1-inch iPhone 15 will supposedly also come in a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus variant, while the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro is rumored to accompany a 6.7-inch “Pro Ultra” variant. The Ultra will supposedly come chock full of premium enhancements, like a Titanium-covered chassis akin to the Apple Watch Ultra.
Although Apple doesn’t typically share memory configurations, there may be a difference in RAM between the four models. In a recent report, Taiwanese supply chain research firm, TrendForce, claims that Apple has upped the RAM order on the iPhone 15 Pro. Apple could increase RAM from 6GB to 8GB on the Pro/Ultra model. The iPhone 15/15 Plus will likely stick with 6GB.
What will the iPhone 15 look like?
Expect more of the same. The design language Apple’s put out for the last few generations has remained unchanged for the most part. And there definitely won’t be a notch: each model of the iPhone 15 is expected to have a Dynamic Island, which is believable considering Apple’s already accommodated this part of the design on the higher end iPhone 14s. At the very least, it will put all those little Dynamic Island apps and abilities available to good use.
The iPhone 15 may have solid-state buttons on the side rather than mechanical ones. Each button would function as a mini trackpad, like the Home button on the current iPhone SE. The iPhone 15 could employ the Taptic Engines that offer haptic feedback when touching the power and volume buttons. It would also help Apple market the iPhone 15 as more durable than its predecessors.
The iPhone 15 will have USB-C
Everyone’s talking about it: the iPhone 15 will have USB-C. Apple is following EU law, which stated that the company needed to adopt USB-C on its iPhone line by 2024. Multiple leaks since the October ruling pointed to this as an inevitability.
Of course, this situation has a caveat. We’ve also heard that Apple will encourage USB-C cables to go through the MFi program, originally named that way to indicate accessories were “Made for iPod.” That’s not to say you wouldn’t be able to share USB-C cables with your Android-loving friends and family, but there will likely be a limit on charging and data transfer speeds on non-MFi cables due to this certification program.
Special colors for the iPhone 15
Let’s take a beat to talk about colors. 9to5Mac has the lead on the color palette of the iPhone 15—you can check out rendered color swatches at the link. Apple could plan a darker red option for the iPhone 15 Pro/Ultra to join the deep purple iPhone 14 Pro Max. It might also go super pastel and adopt baby blue and pink variants, not unlike the periwinkle blue version of the iPhone 14.
9to5Mac’s source cautioned that these particular colors could change when the iPhone 15 goes into full manufacturing mode. But it’s easy to see the pattern based on the color offerings of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series.
A periscope camera for the iPhone 15
Want to take better pictures even though your hand is shaky? The iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra?) might help by adding a periscope-style rear camera, according to MacRumors. This rumor’s been quiet since last summer, when noted leaker Ming-Chi Kuo wrote about the possibility of a periscope lens coming to the largest variants of the iPhone 15, with the smaller ones stuck with a regular telephoto lens for optical zoom.
The periscope camera system is a little more forgiving to physical movement, though it also lets you zoom in further, producing less of the “digital noise” in the final product. Samsung’s Galaxy S22/S23 Ultra has similar hardware in its tertiary 10-MP camera lens with 10x zoom to help it stabilize faraway shots.
Apple’s A17 Bionic Chip is next—right?
We expect Apple to grace us with the A17 Bionic in the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Ultra/Pro Max (Seriously, I don’t know what to call it). But rather than focus on increasing performance—the A16 Bionic still performs better in synthetic benchmarks than the latest Android chips—Apple will likely tune battery life and power efficiency.
The iPhone 15 Pro’s processor could be Apple’s first 3nm processor, which Bloomberg reported headed into production right after Christmas of last year. If this turns out to be accurate, it means Apple will have beat Android’s chip makers to the punch on 3nm.