New Apple leak reveals iPhone 15 Design Shock

02/12 update below. This post was originally published on February 9th

iPhone 15 leaks claim Apple will make significant design changes to its upcoming line of smartphones. Now respected leaker ShrimpApplePro has revealed details of a potentially stunning new display.

The industry insider says the iPhone 15 Pro Max may come with a next-gen Samsung panel capable of a staggering 2,500 nits of brightness. This would blow away everything else in the industry, including Samsung’s newly released Galaxy S23 range.

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For comparison: All Galaxy S23 models deliver a maximum brightness of 1,750 nits. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max can reach 2,000 nits in a restricted outdoor mode, but are capped at 1,000 nits indoors and 1,600 nits for HDR content. Even the QD OLED panels in Samsung’s 2023 flagship TVs max out at 2,000 nits, a number that already doubles what the panels were able to achieve last year.

For the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, I suspect the 2,500 nits level will again be reserved for an outdoor peak brightness mode. Despite this, the panel’s performance still exceeds anything we’ve seen on the market, in any consumer product category, by at least 25%.

It’s worth noting that ShrimpApplePro is downplaying its reference to the “iPhone 15 Pro Max” after Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman leaked last week claiming the much-rumored “Ultra” moniker is being saved for a brand new flagship iPhone to rise above the Pro Max sits in 2024. “The biggest 2023 Pro iPhone should still be called the Pro Max,” agrees ShrimpApplePro.

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Update 2/11: ShrimpApplePro has provided more information on the iPhone 15 range and warned of a “new camera bump”. Perhaps more revealing, however, is the meme the leaker added alongside this information, suggesting it will be significantly larger than the bumps we have on current models. Whether this is at an uncomfortable level, as the meme amusingly suggests, remains to be seen.

The leaker doesn’t provide context as to whether this enlarged camera hump will be seen on standard models or is limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. However, multiple sources have already stated that the standard models will use the primary and wide-angle cameras of the iPhone 14 Pro models, so it looks like the upgrade will be Pro-focused as Apple again builds points of differentiation between them.

Another possibility is that any camera upgrade is limited to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. But the odds of that dimmed last week when Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that Apple won’t release the widely popular “iPhone Ultra” that sits atop the Pro Max until 2024. Consequently, I expect Apple to keep iPhone Pro and Pro Max features on par not just in 2023, but beyond.

Update 2/12: Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman added further context on the iPhone 15 launch. Gurman used his Power On newsletter to reveal that Apple is working on an iPhone hardware subscription. He explains that the service has been in development for several years, with Apple originally hoping to launch it alongside the iPhone 14 in 2022.

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Gurman first leaked the subscription plan in September 2022, saying it would integrate with the company’s Apple One bundles and likely come with AppleCare.

The program would differ from an installment program in that the monthly fee is not equal to the price of the device, which is split over 12 or 24 months. Rather, it would be a monthly fee to be determined, which depends on which device the user chooses. The company has talked about allowing users of the program to swap out their devices for new models as new hardware comes out.

Gurman said in September that a desire to “reduce the complexity of launch day” was the reason the service didn’t launch alongside the iPhone 14 lineup: “Eventually, there’s going to be a whole new way to have an iPhone buy.”

Whether Apple’s supply chain issues were a factor in the later delay remains to be seen. In any case, anything that can help customers deal with the cost of ever-increasing iPhone prices would be appreciated.

Apple iPhone 15 Ultra concept based on early leaks


This isn’t the only display change iPhone 15 buyers can expect. Last month, ShrimpApplePro announced that all iPhone 15 models will move to a dynamic island and have curved screen edges, similar to the Apple Watch. Additionally, the leaker states that Pro models will use solid-state volume and power buttons.

Despite a fancy nickname, ShrimpApplePro has built an impressive track record and was the first leaker to reveal the new pill-shaped cutout in iPhone 14 Pro models last year. The pill cutout eventually replaced the notch and led to the Dynamic Island.

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Apple is expected to make other significant changes to the iPhone 15 lineup after underperforming sales of standard iPhone 14 models. However, this can be bought with higher prices.

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MORE FROM FORBESNew Apple leak adds iPhone 15 price fearsBy Gordon Kelly

I am an experienced freelance technical journalist. In addition to Forbes, I have written for Wired, The Next Web, TrustedReviews, The Guardian and the BBC. I started in B2B print journalism, covering tech companies at the height of the dot-com boom and transitioned to covering consumer tech when the iPod was starting to catch on. A career highlight for me was being a founding member of TrustedReviews. It started in 2003 and we were repeatedly told that websites couldn’t compete with print! Within four years, we were acquired by IPC Media (Time Warner’s publishing division) to become their flagship tech title. What fascinates me are the machinations of the biggest technology companies. Got a pitch, tip or leak? Contact me on my professional Facebook page. I do not bite.

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