The iPhone 15 is tipped to bring some big changes in terms of design and features, and we're tracking all the rumors and leaks for the new iPhones.
For example, it looks as though Apple will finally embrace USB-C charging and ditch the Lightning port. We could also see the iPhone 15 feature a rounded design to make it more comfortable to hold, as well as upgrades to the cameras, chipset and more.
It also looks as though Apple will keep a very large divide between the regular and Pro models, as only the iPhone 15 Pro series is tipped to get a new periscope zoom lens. There's even a rumor we could see a totally new iPhone 15 Ultra, which could take the iPhone Pro series to the next level with a super durable titanium design. But we've also heard the iPhone Ultra not happen until 2024.
Here’s a deep dive into everything we know about the iPhone 15 so far.
iPhone 15 news (Updated March 28)
- The iPhone 14 is eSIM only in the U.S., and the iPhone 15 could do the same in other regions.
- One leaker has reiterated that we shouldn't expect Touch ID to return alongside the iPhone 15
- Apple may offer a new Dynamic Island on the iPhone 15.
- Another analyst says Apple is going require USB-C accessories to be certified if they're to charge at full speed.
iPhone 15 release date predictions
Of all the early iPhone 15 rumors, this one is the easiest to predict. The iPhone 14 launched Wednesday, September 7 and the release date was Friday September 16. If Apple stuck to a similar pattern, we could see the iPhone 14 launch September 6 with a release date of September 15.
In the last decade, Apple has only announced its new flagship smartphones outside of September once: October 2020, amid a once-in-a-generation pandemic that necessitated stay-at-home orders and disrupted tech supply chains.
As such, it is highly likely that the iPhone 15 will arrive in September 2023. Typically Apple announces its phones about ten days before they’re released, with pre-orders opening a week ahead of go-time. One source claims it could be September 22/23 specifically we see the iPhone 15 go on sale.
There is a slight wrinkle now, however. Trial production reportedly began for the iPhone 15 lineup and that January start date is a month earlier than it has been in the past. This seems to be due to Apple's mass-production plans in India and China rather than an indication that we will see an iPhone earlier than usual, but we cannot rule it out for sure. Still, we expect a September unveiling for the iPhone 15 until someone convinces us otherwise.
Read more on iPhone 15 release date rumors.
iPhone 15 price speculation
With the iPhone 14, there was strong speculation that we would see a 15% price increase, but this turned out to be incorrect — if you live in the United States. Other regions saw a substantial increase, but in the US the only change in pricing was the elimination of the cheapest ‘mini’ model.
That means that prices currently go from $799 / £849 / AU$1,399 for the 128GB entry-level iPhone 14 all the way up to $$1,599 / £1,749 / AU$2,769 for the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max. We would expect something similar this time around, but it’s entirely possible that the iPhone 15 will see the price rise that the U.S. missed out on in 2022.
As it happens, a $100 price hike has been tipped for the iPhone 15 Pro. This could be down to more advanced features coming to the next-gen iPhone, which is why analyst Jeff Pu believes an iPhone 15 Pro price increase is likely. If the $100 figure is accurate, the iPhone 15 Pro would top $1,000, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max would cost as much as an $1,1999 Galaxy S23 Ultra. It's not clear if this price hike will apply to the U.K., Australia or other regions.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Korean blog Naver raises the possibility that Apple could lower costs for the iPhone 15 in response to soft iPhone 14 Plus sales. The idea is that Apple might adjust pricing to make its lower-cost iPhones more attractive to shoppers looking for value.
iPhone 15 possible models
For its 2022 releases, Apple killed the iPhone mini, and introduced the iPhone 14 Plus instead. That simplified the choice: whether you wanted to go Pro or not, you could get either a 6.1- or 6.7-inch screen.
It’s extremely likely that this will continue into 2023. It was obvious within months that the iPhone 12 mini was not selling well, but Apple had to persist with the iPhone 13 mini because plans were fixed and couldn’t be changed.
That means that even in the event that the iPhone 14 Plus bombs (although it looks like it's performed okay according to recent analysis), we will probably still see next year’s lineup mimicking this year’s: the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. A recent TrendForce report used these names to highlight expected iPhone 15 features, so keeping the same naming conventions seems like a real possibility.
But there could be one addition to this list — an iPhone 15 Ultra. Reliable tipster, Mark Gurman recently tweeted (opens in new tab) that after the Apple Watch Ultra that was launched this year, we could "expect" the variant for iPhones in the future — something he later reiterated in his newsletter.
Could this mean a completely new iPhone 15 Ultra? Or will the Pro Max simply get rebranded as the Ultra? Gurman has recently claimed otherwise, saying that we'll be seeing the iPhone 16 Ultra next year, with the expectation that such a phone would launch alongside the iPhone 16 Pro Max. Evidentially the iPhone 16 Plus may be the one getting the boot. But we may be getting ahead of ourselves, talking about 2024 when 2023's phones have yet to arrive.
For a breakdown of what to expect from Apple's highest-end model, check out our iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max comparison for the biggest upgrades.
iPhone 15 design rumors
Several design leaks for the iPhone 15 suggests that it could bring the curved design of the iPhone 11 Pro Max back. Apple has a flat-edge design on its latest iPhones, but now leakers say that while the display will remain flat, all three devices could have thinner, curved bezels (opens in new tab). The last iPhone to sport a curved-edge display was the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Similarly, the camera bump on the back of the iPhone 15 could have a new design. The rumors have yet to tell us how though, beyond it being larger and thicker than before.
The display itself may also have a slight slant to it to work with the new design. As a result, it could be hard to apply after-market screen protectors.
In another report, Gurman claims all iPhone 15 models will get the Dynamic Island, which got backed up by alleged real-life photos of the standard iPhone 15. This could see more developers get spurred on to making apps that adapt to the morphing camera cutout/display feature, further adding to its capabilities.
It may well be a new type of Dynamic Island too, as Apple's rearranging some of the sensors inside, leaks say.
Renders reportedly based on CAD files for the iPhone 15 Plus show off the above changes, with a Dynamic Island replacing the notch found on the iPhone 14 Plus, and the Lightning port getting replaced by USB-C.
Do take these renders with a pinch of skepticism, as it's early days for iPhone 15 rumors and there's scope for this design to change or get shelved completely given the iPhone 14 Plus hasn't sold particularly well compared to its stablemates.
The same applies to some fresh CAD-based renders for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which apparently show off the phone's dimensions; it has slightly thicker sides but a smaller overall camera module.
We've seen these designs in genuine 3D now thanks to dummy units of all four expected models. They're not too different looking from the iPhone 14 series, but they're still different enough to require new cases.
It's not clear whether Apple will introduce reverse wireless charging in the iPhone 15. The iPhone 11 Pro Max was the first model to have the right hardware for reverse wireless charging, albeit deactivated. A report from 9to5Mac claims that development of the feature is still happening, but it's not entirely clear if and when it might arrive.
Despite rumours that Touch ID will make a return, Gurman claims Apple has no plans to bring fingerprint scanning back to flagship iPhones for the foreseeable future. This was recently reiterated by Twitter leaker Unknownz21, who says we'd have heard about Apple testing the feature if it was going to launch with iPhone 15
Apparently the company has been testing in-display Touch ID, and even discussed adding it to the power button, but instead it looks like Face ID will be the only option in 2023 and beyond.
A rumor from Ming-Chi Kuo claims that "two high-end iPhone 15s" will feature solid-state buttons, similar to the home button found in the likes of the iPhone SE. This was lent more weight by another claim by Barclays analysts, who have the iPhone 15 Pro tipped to get solid-state buttons, and analyst Jeff Pu, who adds that Apple will use extra Taptic Engine vibration motors to give feedback for these buttons.
The benefit here would be fewer moving parts exposed to external elements, potentially making for a more durable iPhone, while still delivering a tactile button feel via haptics. This has been used to great effect with the Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook range. So Apple could ape that with the next iPhone, if such rumors prove to be legitimate.
An iPhone 15 Pro render from 4RMD has taken these potential design changes and spun them into a concept that looks great — even though it's just based on rumors. It shows off the haptic power and volume buttons, a smaller Ceramic Shield back panel to allow for a curved-edge design and a titanium body all make their way into this latest render. While ultimately the real iPhone 15 Pro will probably look a bit different, the concept definitely has us excited for what could be coming.
We have a breakdown of why an iPhone 15 Pro with titanium (opens in new tab) would be a big deal, and it's not just because it's lighter than aluminum. We may also see the phone launch without a SIM tray outside the U.S. as well.
iPhone 15 and USB-C
The biggest iPhone 15 design rumor so far is that 2023 is the year when Apple finally abandons the Lightning port on its phones. This isn’t wholly surprising: not only has the company adopted the connection for its laptops and tablets, but the European Union has officially mandated that all phones will have to use USB-C by 2024.
Really, it's a question of when, not if, for USB-C iPhones. Apple has already confirmed the change is coming, and all that's left to decide is if it's included in the iPhone 15 to get ahead of the 2024 deadline or if Apple puts off the move to next year's phones.
This seems to have been further confirmed by leaked images of a test iPhone 15 unit. There's no mistaking the port in these images for the Lightning port of previous iPhones.
The type of USB-C used could differ between Pro and non-Pro models though, says Ming-Chi Kuo. He says that the regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus could still have the same data transfer speeds as current Lightning iPhones, while only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max would get faster speeds as a result of their USB-C ports.
In another potential wrinkle, a report on Chinese site Weibo claims that Apple could restrict come USB-C functions to accessories that it approves, an extension of the Made For iPhone program it has for Lightning accessories. The speculation is that faster data transfer speeds would be restricted to only accessories certified by Apple. We're not sure how much weight to put into that rumor.
The leaker ShrimpApplePro (opens in new tab) has backed up these claims, saying that USB-C with MFi is happening (opens in new tab) and that Foxconn is in mass production with accessories like EarPods and cables. For his part, Kuo also thinks Apple will require certification for USB-C accessories. This sounds like Apple would be attempting to co-opt an open standard in order to ensure the best performance — and of course make more revenue.
This may actually be illegal according to EU law though, so we'll have to wait and see if this plan actually comes through. Regardless of what happens with individual models, the iPhone 15's embrace of USB-C is a big deal for iPhone users.
iPhone 15 camera
One of the earliest rumors of the iPhone 15 includes a likely upgrade to a new camera. After raising the megapixels bar to 48MP on the iPhone 14 Pro models, word is that the iPhone 15 could finally get a periscope camera for better long-range photography and zoom capabilities, supposedly along with improved lenses for better quality photos. This is something that Android handsets in our best camera phones list have done for some time, and it would be great to see Apple finally offering this. Though, as ever, we’d be very surprised if this wasn’t initially Pro only — if it arrives in 2023 at all.
Analysts at Nomura believe that the basic iPhone 15 will get a Pro-like camera this time. In a note, they mention, “They will have main cameras (wide) upgraded to 48MP with image sensor size at 1/1.5” (slightly smaller than the iPhone 14 Pro’s 48MP sensor size, but much better than i14’s 12MP one)".
Speaking of ‘Pro’ differentiation, the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks that Apple will give its Pro models some unique features and could be looking to upsell its larger 6.7-inch handsets with exclusive features over the smaller models. What these could be was left open to speculation at this point, but it’s possible that a periscoping camera could be an iPhone 15 Pro Max-only feature in an effort to upsell.
However, Kuo has said not to expect a new 8P, or eight element lens, for the iPhone 15 Pro's main camera (opens in new tab), which was previously rumored. Instead, the iPhone 15 Pro will allegedly stick with a 7P lens. More elements in a lens would result in more light being absorbed into the lens and less distortion in images, which could be essential for wide-angle lenses.
A report from Nikkei claims that Apple will work with Sony on the iPhone 15's main camera, with the Cupertino phone maker allegedly opting for Sony's new "state-of-the-art" sensor. This new part can supposedly double the pixel saturation, which means that the iPhone 15 might have much better exposure controls. This has been a relative weakness of the iPhones thus far, so it would be good to see Apple tackle it. The report did not say if this will be a Pro/Ultra exclusive or not.
One upgrade could be on the way for the iPhone 15 Pro's LiDAR sensor too. Apple's apparently moving suppliers for the AR/portrait mode auxiliary sensor, which will apparently mean enhanced efficiency or better performance for those specific camera modes.
iPhone 15 displays
We had assumed Apple would stick to form and come out with four models that match the current iPhone offerings, with 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro OLED panels, and 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max screens.
There could be a slight change to that though, as the iPhone 15 could be a 6.2-inch phone. Also, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will get Dynamic Islands instead of notches, and all four models in the family will get slightly curved bezels, say new leaks.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has been tipped for a 2,500-nit display. This would be well above the rated 2,000 nits the iPhone 14 Pro Max and possibly the brightest panel ever on a phone. This tidbit comes form ShrimpApple Pro (opens in new tab) and OreXda (opens in new tab) on Twitter.
Another source has claimed Apple will be upgrading the iPhone 15 series' display driver chip to one on a much smaller (and more efficient) process. That could mean better battery life across the board without having to increase the battery capacity.
In worse news, Apple will apparently keep using 60Hz displays for the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. This isn't too surprising but is a big strike against these models given nearly every other smartphone sold today has a 90Hz refresh rate or higher.
iPhone 15 expected specs
It’s early days, but two rumors have emerged. One feels extremely likely, while the other could yet be wishful thinking.
Starting with the "likely," adoption of the A17 chipset would once have felt like a certainty, but only the iPhone 14 Pro models benefited from an all-new chipset, while the regular iPhone used a slightly souped-up version of the A15. We would assume this is the new normal, so the iPhone 15 Pro handsets could get the A17, while the regular iPhone 15 might get an enhanced version of the A16.
A report from TrendForce also suggests that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will keep the A16 Bionic CPU and only the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max (or Ultra) will get upgraded to the rumored A17 chipset.
Yet another TrendForce report claims that Apple plans to bump the capacity and specification of the iPhone 15's RAM. For the Pro models, that could equal 8GB total. For the iPhone 15, that might means LPDDR5. The report doesn't specify, so we have to speculate.
Obviously, that doesn’t tell us much about performance, but the A17 is expected to be the first chip to be made with the 3nm manufacturing process which could mean big things for both speed and efficiency. Specifically, chip manufacturer TSMC predicts a 35% improvement in power efficiency, which bodes well for iPhone 15 Pro battery life.
This speed increase seems to be bourne out in alleged Geekbench benchmarks for the A17. The results are much more impressive than even the existing iPhone 14 Pro or rival Android phones.
A Digitimes report (opens in new tab) suggests other chipmakers are undecided about making 3nm chips of their own this year. If that's true, it could mean a big advantage for devices like the iPhone 15 Pro in terms of performance and power efficiency. In fact, suppliers are now tipping the A17 Bionic to drive a lot of interest among people upgrading their phone, suggesting the iPhone 15 Pro models could be the most popular of Apple's upcoming releases.
An early iPhone rumor that suggested Apple might be ready to start building its own modems, starting with its 2023 phones. Indeed, signs suggest that Apple is ramping up to eventually build its own modems. But current supplier Qualcomm says it expects to supply the "vast majority" of modems for the 2023 iPhones, and Apple's apparently just put in a big 5G modem order with Qualcomm too, says one source. That means the iPhone 15 is likely to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon X70 modem.
The Apple modem itself is now tipped to arrive alongside the iPhone 16. Or, at least, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon isn't expecting the company will provide Apple any modems in 2024.
iPhone 15 Ultra
There has been some speculation that Apple may release an iPhone 15 Ultra, instead of the usual Pro Max model. There had been rumors of an iPhone 15 Ultra before, but it was speculated that this would be a fifth iPhone. Now it seems this may not be the case.
We've also heard some suggestions that Apple wants to better differentiate the iPhone 15 Ultra from the iPhone 15 Pro — rather than the screen size being the main point of difference. But so far we haven't had any word on what those changes might actually be, especially with features like USB-C bound for all iPhon 15 models.
Such speculation could be moot anyhow if Apple is doing what Gurman claims and waiting until 2024 to launch a high-end Ultra phone.
iPhone 15 software
You'd expect the iPhone 15 to ship at the same time iOS 17 comes out. If Apple follows its well-established pattern of software updates, we'll get a preview at June's Worldwide Developer Conference that shows off what's new in iOS 17. A public beta will take place during the summer, leading up to a full release in the fall.
Details about iOS 17 changes are sparse at the moment. The biggest rumors suggest an overhaul to IMessage (opens in new tab) as Apple also opens up the IPhone to third-party app stores. One report claims iOS 17 may look more scaled-back than recent iOS updates, as Apple puts resources into its efforts to release a VR/AR headset this year.
iPhone 15 outlook
It’s still early days for iPhone 15 rumors, but nobody ever went broke by betting on Apple. The expected introduction of USB-C could tempt those yet to fall for the charms of iOS, while the anticipated gains of the 3nm A17 chip could cement the already commanding lead Apple has over the best Android phones in terms of raw speed.
A possible increase in price is a big worry, and we would like to hear more firm rumors about improvements to the cameras, but considering we’re several months away from the iPhone 15’s release date at this point, there’s plenty of time for more exciting speculation to emerge.