The iPhone 14 Pro Max gives us many clues as to what’s to come in the iPhone 15. Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo
The conveyors aren’t even done getting 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 iPhone 14/14 Pro was launched, and they have only gotten louder and more persistent in the last few 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 on what works with the current flagship. The camera system and the Apple-made processor that powers the phone from the inside are likely to take a hit. The dynamic island is also likely to remain, although the buttons on the iPhone 15 may be different than what you’re used to. Oh, and start stashing those Lightning cables in your personal museum; If you decide to upgrade later this year, swap them out for USB-C cables: Apple-certified ones.
The iPhone 15 will be available in four models
We’re still determining exactly when the new iPhone family will debut, or if any of the leaks doing the rounds will be confirmed. According to Bloomberg, there will be at least four models to choose from. To sell a new “Ultra” moniker for its high-end model, Apple may take a slightly different approach to classifying each model this year. The 6.1-inch iPhone 15 will also reportedly come in a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus variant, while the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro is rumored to have a 6.7-inch ‘Pro Ultra” variant should accompany. The Ultra will reportedly be packed with premium upgrades, like a titanium-coated case similar to the Apple Watch Ultra.
Although Apple doesn’t typically share memory configurations, there can be a difference in RAM between the four models. In a recent report, Taiwanese supply chain research firm TrendForce claims that Apple has increased the RAM order for 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 it. The design language that Apple has released over the past few generations has remained largely unchanged. And there definitely won’t be a notch: every model of the iPhone 15 is expected to have a dynamic island, which is believable considering Apple has already housed that part of the design on the high-end iPhone 14s. At least it puts all those little Dynamic Island apps and skills to good use.
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The iPhone 15 may have solid-state buttons on the side instead of mechanical buttons. Each button would act as a mini trackpad, like the home button on the current iPhone SE. The iPhone 15 could use the Taptic Engines, which provide haptic feedback when you touch 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 is talking about it: The iPhone 15 will have USB-C. Apple is following EU law, which says the company must adopt USB-C on its iPhone line by 2024. Several leaks since the October ruling suggested this is inevitable.
Of course, this situation has a caveat. We’ve also heard that Apple will be encouraging USB-C cables to go through the MFi program, which was originally so named to indicate that an accessory was “Made for iPod.” That’s not to say you can’t share USB-C cables with your Android-loving friends and family, but because of this certification program, there will likely be a cap on charging and data transfer speeds on non-MFi cables.
As with the iPad, expect the iPhone 15 with USB-C. Photo: Caitlin McGarry / Gizmodo
Special colors for the iPhone 15
Let’s talk about colors for a moment. 9to5Mac takes the lead in the iPhone 15 color palette – you can see rendered color swatches at the link. Apple could be planning a darker red option for the iPhone 15 Pro/Ultra to join the deep purple iPhone 14 Pro Max. It could also go super pastel, taking on baby blue and pink variants, much like the periwinkle blue version of the iPhone 14.
9to5Mac’s source warned that these particular colors could change as the iPhone 15 goes into full manufacturing mode. But it’s easy to spot the pattern based on the color offerings of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series.
A periscope camera for the iPhone 15
Do you want to take better pictures even though your hand is shaking? The iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra?) could help by adding a periscope-style rear camera, according to MacRumors. That rumor has been quiet since last summer, when well-known leaker Ming-Chi Kuo wrote about the possibility of a periscope lens coming to the largest variants of the iPhone 15, while the smaller ones were stuck with a regular optical zoom telephoto lens.
The periscope camera system is slightly more forgiving of physical movement, but also lets you zoom in further, resulting in less “digital noise” in the final product. Samsung’s Galaxy S22/S23 Ultra has similar hardware in its 10MP tertiary camera lens with 10x zoom to stabilize distant 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 instead of focusing on increasing performance – the A16 Bionic still performs better than the latest Android chips in synthetic benchmarks – Apple will likely optimize battery life and power efficiency.
The iPhone 15 Pro’s processor could be Apple’s first 3nm processor, which Bloomberg reported went into production right after Christmas last year. If this turns out to be correct, it means that Apple will have beaten Android’s chipmakers at 3nm.