The iPhone 15 is still a year away. So nothing is certain, but USB-C, periscope camera technology, and a Qualcomm modem chip have all been mentioned. This roundup covers everything we’ve heard so far about the new iPhone and iPhone Pro. But keep in mind that it’s still early in the development cycle and Apple’s plans may change.
iPhone 15 Ultra
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple may replace the iPhone 15’s “Pro Max” model with a new “Ultra” model. Apple introduced the Apple Watch Ultra in 2022, and the highest-end version of the M1 was also dubbed “Ultra.”
It stands to reason that the most expensive iPhone is often referred to as the “Pro Max”. But it could be renamed the iPhone 15 Ultra.
Design of iPhone 15
According to rumors, the iPhone 15 models will resemble the iPhone 14 models. But the pill-and-hole cutout will be extended to the entire lineup. That means that all new iPhone models will lack a notch, instead relying on the Dynamic Island first seen in iPhone 14 Pro models.
Because no major design changes are expected, Apple will most likely stick with four models: the 6.1-inch iPhone 15, the 6.1-inch 15 Pro, the 6.7-inch 15 Max, and the 6.7-inch 15 Pro Max. The “pro” models will have more advanced features and be more expensive, while the standard iPhone models will be less expensive.
Titanium Chassis and Curved Edges
Twitter leaker ShrimpApplePro has speculated that the 2023 iPhone will feature a titanium chassis with curved rear edges, replacing the current squared-off design.
The device’s back edges will allegedly be rounded, similar to the casing on the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.
Solid-State Volume and Power Buttons
The iPhone 15 Pro models may include solid-state volume and power buttons similar to the iPhone 7’s Home button. The iPhone currently has a mechanical button that physically depresses. But the solid-state button would use haptic feedback to simulate the feel of a button press.
If Apple does include solid-state buttons, the iPhone Pro models may include two additional Taptic Engines on the device’s left and right sides. The two new Taptic Engines would be added to the current Taptic Engine.
A solid-state design could possibly protect against water ingress. But it would almost certainly necessitate new iPhone case designs that provide constant physical access to the volume and power buttons.
No Touch ID
Despite persistent rumors that Apple is considering bringing Touch ID back to its flagship iPhones via an under-display solution, the iPhone 15 models are not expected to include Touch ID and will instead rely on Face ID.
Apple is developing an under-display Face ID feature, but it will not be available until 2025. Instead, the iPhone will continue to use Dynamic Island in 2023, which Apple may expand to all models rather than just the Pro models.
USB-C on iPhone 15
Apple is considering to replace the Lightning port on the iPhone 15 with a USB-C port in order to comply with European regulations that are in the works. These regulations would require the production of iPhones with USB-C ports in Europe. And that would necessitate either a global design change or the development of special iPhones for sale in Europe.
Reliable sources like Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, have stated that Apple will make the switch, making this a strong possibility at the moment. And Apple’s plans are subject to change.
Data Transfer Speeds
The new iPhone Pro models with USB-C ports will support faster data transfer speeds. But the standard iPhone 15 models will retain USB 2.0 speeds, similar to Lightning. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, the iPhone Pro models will support “at least” USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3.
The upgrade would allow iPhone Pro models to transfer video and other file types at much faster speeds. USB 2.0 transfer speeds are limited to 480Mb/s, whereas USB 3.2 speeds can reach 20Gb/s. Data transfer speeds of up to 40Gb/s are achieved if Apple adds Thunderbolt 3 support to the iPhone Pro models.
Periscope Camera Lens Technology on iPhone 15
There have been numerous rumors about Apple’s work on “periscope” telephoto lens technology. It may be introduced in 2023 iPhones, most likely in iPhone 15 Pro models. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the periscope camera lens will be available only on the larger iPhone Pro Max. It suggests that it will remain limited to the most expensive model.
It provides optical zoom capabilities that outperform standard telephoto lens capabilities. And allows 5x or even 10x optical zoom. The iPhone’s zoom capabilities will significantly improve with the use of a periscope lens.
Samsung has released smartphones with periscope lens technology. And it allows their devices for 4x to 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom.
Chip on iPhone 15
Qualcomm Modem Chips
Apple will use Qualcomm’s 5G modem chips for the 2023 iPhone lineup, as it has done since the introduction of 5G iPhones. They may use their own in-house modem chips as early as 2023, but the technology is not yet ready.
They are working to overcome heat-related issues with the modem chips it is developing. And the modem chips designed by Apple will not be ready for use in iPhones until at least 2024.
The iPhone 15 models may be the first to use an A-series chip made by Apple supplier TSMC on its next-generation 3-nanometer node. 3nm chip technology is expected to boost processing performance by 15% while lowering power consumption by up to 30%.
After losing an order from Intel, TSMC is rumored to scale back plans for 3-nanometer chips. It is unclear whether the disruption will have an effect on Apple’s 3nm chip production. But TSMC is producing the 3nm A17 chips that will be used in the models of iPhone 15.
RAM on iPhone 15
According to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, the iPhone 15 Pro models could have an increased 8GB RAM. The current iPhone 14 Pro models have 6GB of RAM.
Release Date of iPhone 15
If Apple sticks to its traditional September release schedule, the iPhone 15 models will most likely be available in September 2023.