As we look forward to another year, the internet is buzzing with details about the upcoming iPhone 15 series. Apple usually releases a new iPhone in September, and the same is expected this year as well. Though the iPhone 15 launch date is a good nine months away, the rumor mill is already hot and heavy with leaks and rumors of what to expect from the upcoming lineup. The latest reports suggest that the iPhone 15 will come with an all-new design, a USB-C port, and a range of other cool features. If you are planning to upgrade to iPhone 15 this year, we have compiled the most recent rumors about features, variants, design, and the expected price of the iPhone 15 series. So let’s not waste any time and dive right in!
iPhone 15 Series: Everything We Know So Far (2023)
2023 is set to be a big year for iPhones as Apple has officially confirmed that it will finally include a USB-C charging port in iPhones. Let’s see what other big changes are coming to the iPhone series in 2023.
Note: This post was last updated on 26th January (11:30 PM PST) to include the latest information on iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Wi-Fi 6E upgrades, price leaks, the latest rumors, and more.
iPhone 15: Variants
Notable Apple analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman have confirmed that Apple will not change the number of iPhones in its upcoming lineup. Like last year, the company will continue to launch four different iPhone variants in 2023 with different screen sizes.
However, in his newsletter Power On, Gurman hinted that Apple could follow the latest naming convention of the Apple Watch lineup and rename the top-end iPhone 15 from Pro Max to Ultra. This change can be attributed to the success of the Apple Watch Ultra. If this stands to be true, we could possibly see the following iPhone models this year:
- iPhone 15 (6.1-inch display)
- iPhone 15 Plus (6.7-inch display)
- iPhone 15 Pro (6.1-inch display)
- iPhone 15 Ultra (6.7-inch display)
Like last year, we will not see any iPhone mini model in 2023, as Apple has shelved it altogether because of unsatisfactory response from users.
iPhone 15: Price (Expected)
Before we delve into the features, here comes the most interesting part — the pricing of the iPhone 15 series! As per leaker LeaksApplePro (via HowToiSolve) and a recent Weibo post, Apple is expected to increase the prices of the iPhone 15 Pro models to have a clear distinction between vanilla and Pro lineups.
Last year, with the launch of the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series, Apple kept the pricing the same across the lineup. However, the unfavorable demand for iPhone 15 Plus and global economic conditions might push Apple to bump the pricing of the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max (or Ultra). This means we might see a $300 price difference between the standard and Pro models. And my colleague, Vanshika rightly said, “iPhone 15 series price leak might worry those wanting the Pro models!” this year.
Here’s how much the iPhone 15 series might cost at launch in the United States:
- iPhone 15 – $799 (same as last year)
- iPhone 15 Plus – $899 (same as last year)
- iPhone 15 Pro – $1,099 (increased by $100)
- iPhone 15 Ultra – $1,199 (increased by $100)
Well, the rumors of a price increase surfaced before the launch of the iPhone 14 series too, but they didn’t turn out to be true. Since 2017, Apple has capped the price of its base model flagship iPhones at $999, and it could follow the trend this year as well. It is early to predict the final prices of this year’s iPhone models.
iPhone 15: Release Date
It is no surprise that Apple follows a trend while releasing new iPhones. Usually, the ‘fall event’ where Apple unveiled the new iPhones is scheduled for September, with the iPhone 12 series being the only exception (October launch) due to the pandemic. And if history is any indication, the iPhone 15 will likely release in the second week of September 2023. There have been no leaks for the release date just yet, but we will update this article if we learn anything.
iPhone 15: Design Leaks
Dynamic Island on All iPhones
If you are expecting a radical design shift from the iPhone 14 series, you are in for a disappointment as Apple is likely to continue with the same form factor and design as iPhone 14 series. One huge change that we could possibly see this year is the extension of the new pill-shaped Dynamic Island to all iPhone 15 variants. In his newsletter, Gurman mentioned that Apple’s new take on the iPhone notch (aka Dynamic Island) will be available on all four iPhone models this year.
It is basically confirmed that TouchID is not making a return to iPhones any time soon, and it will take a few years until we see Apple add a fingerprint sensor on iPhones again.
A major disappointment would result from standard iPhone 15 models still sporting 60Hz displays, as there are no rumors about Apple adding a 120Hz display to the non-Pro iPhone models. While Android counterparts are making displays with a 120Hz refresh rate a standard, even on phones priced as low as $250 (Rs 20,000), the least Apple can do is bump the refresh rate to 90Hz on iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. But, our wishful thinking won’t seem to materialize at the end.
Another design change that’s rumored for the iPhone 15 series is a titanium frame for Pro models. Tech analyst Jeff Pu and Ming-Chi Kuo have weighed in that Apple will switch to a titanium frame on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max (or iPhone 15 Ultra) models from the stainless steel frame they currently use. This will help the company reduce the weight of its high-end iPhone models.
As Apple pushes to widen the gap between the standard and Pro iPhone models, reports have emerged that iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will come with solid state power and volume buttons, similar to the home button of the iPhone 8. Apple will reportedly also include two additional Taptic engines to support the haptic feedback from these solid state buttons.
For those wondering, why Apple might want to remove the mechanical buttons in favor of haptic buttons? Well, solid state buttons would result in less mechanical parts, which would lead to increased durability in the long run. The iPhone 15 Pro models will have improved protection against water and dust.
Curved Edges are Back!
Apple adopted flatter edges with the release of the iPhone 12 series back in 2020, and the design has remained pretty much the same with last year’s iPhone 14 series as well. But, a rumor dating back to November last year suggested that we could see rounded edges return with the iPhone 15 series. And recently we have seen even more coverage about the curved edges on the Apple iPhone 15.
Back in November 2022, leakster ShrimpApplePro tweeted that Apple could introduce the iPhone 15 series with rounded edges similar to iPhone 5c. However, they asked the anticipators to exercise ‘caution’ on the design rumor. Recently though, the leakster shared an update (see tweet below) saying that the upcoming iPhone series will boast a refreshing design with curved edges instead of the flat ones.
Moreover, ShrimpApplePro mentions that the flat display will remain the same, with the iPhone 15 series featuring the same display sizes as its predecessor. But there will be one minor change that smartphone enthusiasts will appreciate — thinner bezels. That said, we suggest your take all leaks and rumors with a grain of salt right now. We will update this guide as more concrete evidence for the curved design as well as the display bezels leaks on the internet.
USB-C Charging Port
A rather forced change that Apple has to mandatorily bring to the iPhone 15 this year is the USB-C port instead of its proprietary lightning charging port. This will not bring a major design change but will be one of the highlight features of the iPhones this year.
While Apple has officially confirmed that it will bring USB-C to iPhones, it did not mention when this change will happen. But, it is widely believed that iPhone 15 series will be the first iPhone models to get USB-C port. Moreover, reports have highlighted that Apple will also launch new USB-C accessories, including USB-C Airpods, to go along with the new iPhones.
iPhone 15: Specifications
While iPhone 15’s design changes don’t seem to be much substantial, let’s take a look at the rumored specifications of the upcoming iPhone lineup.
A17 Bionic Chip (3nm)
Apple will likely follow last year’s trend to clearly differentiate between the Pro and non-Pro iPhone models. That means iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will be powered by last year’s flagship chipset, i.e. Apple A16 Bionic. Whereas the Pro variants, iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, will be fitted with the new Apple A17 Bionic chip.
Trendforce has revealed that iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will not receive the upcoming A17 chip, instead they will include an upgraded version of the A16 Bionic in the 14 Pro series. On the other hand, Apple’s A17 Bionic chipset will be a big breakthrough as it’s expected to be based on TSMC’s 3nm architecture, which promises considerable performance gains and improved power efficiency.
A Bloomberg’s report from December 2022 said that TSMC’s 3nm chips for iPhones will deliver better performance while consuming 35% less power. So we can expect Apple’s next crop of Pro iPhones to boast extended battery life than current ones.
Pro Models: 8GB RAM
As per Trendforce’s press release, Apple will bump up the amount of RAM on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. The upcoming top-end iPhones will feature 8GB RAM to compliment the 3nm A17 chip, as compared to 6GB RAM in iPhone 14 Pro models. Standard iPhone variants will continue to include 6GB RAM, as per leaks.
Contrary to earlier leaks, it is now rumored that Apple will not include LPDDRX5 RAM and is likely to continue with LPDDR5 RAM for iPhone 15 models. As per leakster ShrimpApplePro, Apple will reserve the faster memory for next year’s iPhone 16 series.
Qualcomm 5G Modem, Wi-Fi 6E
Also, the Cupertino giant will not be able to produce its long-rumored in-house 5G modem chips in time for iPhone 15 series, and this year’s models will likely feature the Qualcomm X70 5G modem (same as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset). Earlier, it was reported that Apple is planning to start mass production of its custom 5G modems in 2023, but Bloomberg reports that the company’s modem team is currently facing overheating issues, which has led to a snag.
[UPDATE | 26th January 2023, 11:30 PM PST]: In an official Medium post, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared another new feature coming to the iPhone 15 series – Wi-Fi 6E. Yeah, the upcoming iPhones will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard, which has been available on the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro since last year. Also, the new Mac mini and MacBook Pro models also support this wireless standard.
Kuo further reports that Apple will likely rely on Broadcom to source the Wi-Fi 6E chips for the iPhone 15 lineup. This report is in line with a research note from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley. However, it’s currently unknown if the Wi-Fi upgrade will come to all iPhone 15 models or just the Pro ones.
In addition to the USB-C port, the biggest upgrade in this year’s lineup could be the cameras on Pro models. In 2022, Apple included a new 48MP sensor in the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. This year, the company is expected to take a step further in the camera department with a telephoto periscope lens. The new lens will bring improved optical zoom to iPhones.
As per Ming-Chi Kuo, the periscope lens will be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro models, as Apple wants to make Pro variants more lucrative options with exclusive features. If this rumor comes out to be true, we could see optical zoom up to 10x as compared to iPhone 14 Pro’s 3x optical zoom capability.
It is noteworthy that Samsung has already beaten Apple to the punch. Flagship smartphones from Samsung (including the S22 Ultra) have a periscope lens to deliver 100x digital zoom and 10x optical zoom. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will likely gain the 48MP lens included in current-gen iPhone 14 Pro models, as per rumors.
An earlier rumor also indicated that the iPhone 15 Pro camera will include an 8P lens. Here, 8 refers to the number of elements in a lens. It is commonly believed that more number of elements results in better, distortion free images. However, Ming-Chi Kuo has recently clarified that Pro models might not arrive with an 8P lens after all.
Finally, a paywalled report by Nikkei Asia stated that Apple will adopt new Sony image sensors for better low light photography. However, it is not clear whether these sensors will be present only on Pro models or across the lineup. Stay tuned for more clarification.
Faster Data Transfer
Another major feature that has been rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro series is faster wired data transfer, which will be facilitated by the new USB-C port with USB 3.2 support. As per Ming-Chi Kuo (via tweet), Apple will replace its proprietary lightning port on 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max (or Ultra) with USB-C port with USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 support.
Standard iPhone models will also get a USB-C port but with USB 2.0 support. With USB 3.2 support, iPhone Pro models will be able to transfer data at up to 20Gb/s (or 40Gb/s if Apple decides to bring Thunderbolt 3 support). While not many people use wired mode of data transfer, it will be a valuable addition for moving massive-sized photos clicked via the new periscope lens and 48MP sensor in Pro iPhones.
iPhone 15 Series: Comparison
As per current rumors, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 15 series is shaping out to be a good upgrade over the current generation iPhones. With a new USB-C port, new periscope telephoto lens, increased RAM and performance oriented 3nm A-series chips, Apple is on course to deliver another set of successful devices that will attract masses. To sum up, here’s all you need to know about the upcoming iPhone models.
Tech Specs iPhone 15 iPhone 15 Plus iPhone 15 Pro iPhone 15 Ultra Display 6.1-inch display with 60Hz refresh rate 6.7-inch display with 60Hz refresh rate 6.1-inch display with ProMotion technology, 120Hz refresh rate 6.7-inch display with ProMotion technology, 120Hz refresh rate Processor A16 Bionic A16 Bionic A17 Bionic (3nm) A17 Bionic (3nm) RAM 6GB 6GB 8GB 8GB Camera 48MP primary
12MP periscope (up to 10x optical zoom)
12MP periscope (up to 10x optical zoom)
Charging Port USB-C port (USB 2.0 support) USB-C port (USB 2.0 support) USB-C port (USB 3.2 support) USB-C port (USB 3.2 support) Additional Features Dynamic Island Dynamic Island Dynamic Island, titanium frame, solid state buttons, Dynamic Island, titanium frame, solid state buttons Price $799 $899 $1,099 $1,199
iPhone 15 Series: What Are Your Expectations?
While these rumors have been sourced from credible industry source, nothing is set in stone yet. We will see several new leaks and rumors until the new iPhone 15 series becomes official in September later this year. Therefore, we suggest you to take the leaks with a pinch of salt. If the aforementioned iPhone 15 specs turn out to be true, do you think it’s worth purchasing the iPhone 15 in 2023? Or, would you opt for the iPhone 15 Pro with its new curved design, solid state buttons, and telephoto camera? Whatever be the case, we are bound to see design upgrades along with performance improvements with this year’s iPhone lineup.