iPhone 15: Everything YOU Need To Know [UPDATED]
All the latest iPhone 15 release date news, specs, leaks, and more ahead of its 2023 release date. What will the iPhone 15 be like? Let’s find out by looking at all the latest news and leaks…
The iPhone 15 is now well into its final development phase. Apple works on new models way in advance of them getting released, so by the time the iPhone 14 series went on sale Apple will have more or less finalized many aspects of its 2023 iPhone series, the iPhone 15.
In this article, we’ll take a look at all the latest iPhone 15 news, leaks, and conjecture to piece together a broader and fuller picture of what the iPhone 15 will be like ahead of its release during the back end of 2023.
As ever, there will be multiple models including a potentially brand new, ultra-premium model, as well as the usual base model variants and Pro and Pro Max versions. There will also be a new chipset, potential changes to how Dynamic Island works, and perhaps even some design changes too.
iPhone 15 Models – How Many Will There Be?
For the last couple of years, Apple has released several models inside each of its new iPhone generations. We had four iPhone 12 models, four iPhone 13 models, and four iPhone 14 models. The iPhone 15 shouldn’t be any different with four models inside the range which, if things follow a similar route to 2022, should look like this:
iPhone 15 Overview
- iPhone 15 – The iPhone 15 will be Apple’s base model for 2023. It’ll be the cheapest phone in the range and will likely follow a similar design-style to the iPhone 14, meaning a 6.1in display. Expect things like Dynamic Island and potentially a third camera sensor to trickle down from the Pro models.
- iPhone 15 Plus – The iPhone 15 Plus might not even happen; Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus has not been popular with consumers – demand is weak apparently. If the iPhone 15 Plus does make an appearance in 2023, it’ll be the same deal, specs-wise, as the iPhone 15 just with a bigger display and larger battery
- iPhone 15 Pro – The iPhone 15 Pro will be Apple’s mid-range flagship model. It will pack in all the usual Pro features, stuff like Apple’s LiDAR sensor and Dynamic Island, as well as a host of new features and Apple’s latest A17 CPU.
- iPhone 15 Pro Max – The iPhone 15 Pro Max might be replaced by the iPhone 15 Ultra. If it isn’t, expect the iPhone 15 Pro Max to be much the same deal as the iPhone 15 Pro, just with a larger display, a bigger battery, potentially new storage options (up to 2TB) and more advanced camera/video abilities.
- iPhone 15 Ultra (Rumored) – The iPhone 15 Ultra is poised to be the most expensive, high-end iPhone ever produced. It could get a souped-up version of the A17, a more advanced camera module with 8K video, and it could very well be the first iPhone to ship with USB-C as standard. If it’ll do 8K video, you’ll definitely need USB-C, as Apple’s Lightning port simply does not cut it.
- iPhone 15 Flip (Highly Unlikely) – The iPhone 15 Flip is the wildcard, the phone that has been rumored for years. As it stands, Apple doesn’t appear to have any plans on releasing a foldable and/or flexible iPhone model. Why? Simple: Samsung’s been banging its head against this wall for years and it doesn’t have much to show for it. Bottomline? This phone is almost certainly not going to happen in 2023.
Where things get a little more nuanced, however, is that there is talk about a couple of new models in the form of the iPhone 15 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Flip, with the former being an even more premium version of the Pro Max model and the latter being Apple’s first flip and/or foldable iPhone model.
There are currently multiple reports online discussing both of these “new” iPhone models, complete with official patent documents and leaks from apparent Apple insiders. Of course, whenever you’re talking about brand new, completely “different” iPhone models, you have to take things with a pinch of salt. But what is the deal with Apple’s iPhone 15 Ultra and iPhone 15 Flip?
Let’s take a look at each model in more detail and see what’s actually going on…
The iPhone 15 Ultra
Nothing is currently officially known about the iPhone 15 Ultra, save for the fact it will be kind of like the iPhone 15 Pro Max just with more bells and whistles – and a higher price tag too.
As of right now, there are differing views on where the iPhone 15 Ultra will sit inside Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup. One source, Mark Gurman, believes the iPhone 15 Ultra will replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and this sentiment is backed up by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who claims the Ultra model switcharoo is a “natural extension” of what Apple is already doing.
What is currently unclear, however, is what would make the iPhone 15 Ultra earn its new “Ultra” branding. More specifically, it is currently unclear how will Apple make it different enough from the iPhone 15 Pro to warrant the name change – Ultra sounds more impressive than Pro Max, but it’ll have to have core, new features to be taken seriously.
Reports suggest it could be the first iPhone to carry Apple’s custom modem which could unlock faster more efficient 5G speeds; that it will feature a periscope lens in its camera module; and, finally, that it could be the first iPhone to get a major design change in the last several years.
It is also possible that it could run a tweaked version of Apple’s A17 CPU, a more powerful processor design for ultra-high-end tasks. Again, this is more me spit-balling ideas than actual fact. But when you look at what Apple is doing with its Macs and the iPhone 14 series, CPU differences could be how it makes the case for the iPhone 15 Ultra.
- iPhone 15 Ultra: What Will It Be Like?
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- iPhone 15 Ultra Price – It’s Gonna Be HELLA Expensive…
iPhone 15 Flip
The idea of a foldable or flexible iPhone is not new. People have been claiming Apple will release a foldable iPhone for several years now. And while there is plenty of evidence to back this up, Apple has filed multiple patents for foldable iPhones, we’ve yet to see any inkling that the company views foldable phones as a profitable enterprise.
Apple isn’t stupid. It knows that Samsung has plowed billions into its foldable phones and has, despite many attempts, failed to capture any sort of meaningful market share with its phones. For 99.9% of people, the current range of foldable phones on offer are just too expensive.
Whether there is an appetite for a foldable iPhone remains to be seen, but one interesting avenue Apple could explore is effectively merging its iPhone and its iPad mini into a sort of hybrid device. But again, Apple is well aware of how poorly Samsung’s foldable devices have sold to date.
Again, there are patents for a foldable iPhone but, as most tech writers know, Apple and other tech companies file patents all the time. They’re in a never-end state of product evolution and development. But the sad fact is that most of these patents, regardless of how exciting they appear, never amount to anything meaningful.
Apple likely began hedging its bets on a foldable iPhone when it caught word that Samsung was working on one. If Samsung had sold tens of millions of its foldable devices, and continued to do every quarter, Apple likely would have fast-tracked its R&D on a foldable iPhone and got one to market a year or two ago. The fact that none of this happened is very telling about the current state of foldable phones.
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iPhone 15 Design
For the last few years, the design of Apple’s base model iPhones has remained pretty consistent which is a nice way of saying they all looked more or less the same. In 2023, this could all change, however, with significant physical changes to how the iPhone 15 looks.
The biggest new addition to the iPhone 15 base models, meaning Apple’s cheapest iPhones, will be Dynamic Island. Currently, an exclusive feature of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, Dynamic Island will almost certainly make its way to all iPhone 15 models in 2023, giving the phones a completely new look from the preceding iPhone 14 models.
Another big change will likely relate to the iPhone 15’s ports, specifically its lightning charging port. Thanks to new regulation from the EU, all phones sold in the region from 2024 onwards will have to use USB Type C charging ports. Apple is a powerful force, but it has no way to get around this law if it wants to sell iPhones and iPads in Europe.
Of course, Apple could give the EU the finger and remove ALL ports from the iPhone, forcing users to use wireless charging exclusively on the iPhone 15. But given Apple’s current wireless charging speeds (it’ll do 20W max) and the fact that photo and video professionals need some kind of cable access for fast transfers, this doesn’t seem too likely.
As it stands, there are two potential options here: 1) Apple fits all of its EU-bound iPhones with USB Type C ports and keeps its Lightning in place for everywhere else, or 2) Apple switches the entire iPhone 15 range over to USB Type C and its Lightning port is relegated to the trash can.
As of right now, how this pans out is anyone’s guess. There are good arguments for both scenarios. But USB Type C, given all of the above, seems most likely.
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iPhone 15 Camera
As with most things related to the iPhone 15, the order of the day will be trickle-down features – stuff that was once exclusive to Pro models appearing on Apple’s non-Pro iPhones.
With the iPhone 15 camera module, we could see some Pro features make an appearance, stuff like its larger aperture sensors and improved video abilities –although Apple will almost certainly keep its LiDAR sensor exclusive to its iPhone 15 Pro models.
iPhone 15 Periscope Lens
There is talk of Apple finally bringing a periscope lens with 5x or 6x optical zoom but, again, if this does happen it will almost certainly only be available on Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro, Pro Max and/or Ultra variants.
Kuo released another report in December 2021, restating that the “iPhone 15” may have a periscope lens system. It is still unclear if this is an upgrade to the existing telephoto lens or if it will be included as a new fourth lens.
According to supply chain reports released in April 2022, multiple manufacturers have been tapped to produce components needed for a periscope camera system. The components are allegedly on order for use in the “iPhone 15.”Source
Given Apple’s track record with camera updates, however, the best iPhone 15 users can probably hope for with respect to the phone’s camera module is some trickle-down features from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, as well as some software tweaks to improve image quality.
Not that this should be too much of a concern. Apple has systematically improved the imaging performance on all of its models significantly over the past few years. Each new generation brings with it improvements and tweaks. But the best new stuff is always saved for its Pro and Pro Max models.
- iPhone 15 Ultra Camera: Huge Camera Updates & First With USB-C?
- The iPhone 15 Ultra 8K Video: Why It’ll Probably Happen
- iPhone 15 Pro Max Periscope Lens w/ 10x Optical Zoom
iPhone 15 Dynamic Island – Will It Be Updated?
Most sources seem to agree that ALL iPhones inside Apple’s iPhone 15 line-up will run Dynamic Island and Always On displays. This trickle-down of Pro features to standard models in the iPhone 15 range is great news for anyone running an iPhone 13. But will there be any changes to how Dynamic Works or functions?
Given how much emphasis Apple placed on Dynamic Island during the iPhone 14’s launch, I don’t see the company messing with the formula too much in 2023. Dynamic Island, like FACE ID before it, will become a de facto iPhone feature, of course, but its functionality and what it does will likely remain the same on the iPhone 15 as it was on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Where Dynamic Island gets more interesting is that, once developers get access to its SDK and APIs, it has the potential to become a lot more useful. App developers will be able to make use of Dynamic Island, using it as an extension of their applications, and in this context there is huge scope for lots of new uses for Dynamic Island in 2023 and beyond.
And if Dynamic Island does come to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus in 2023, there will be a lot more people using it which, in turn, will make it a lot more of a priority for developers. As for new abilities and features, I don’t think Dynamic Island’s physical design will change but, with increased developer input, it will get a lot more useful aboard the iPhone 15 series.
iPhone 15 Colors
Nothing is currently known about Apple’s plans for the color of its iPhone 15 phones. There will be all the usual suspects, of course, in the form of the following colors:
- Product Red
But there could be additional new colors. Me? I’d love to see a cyan iPhone 15 and maybe even an iridescent one. That’d be super cool. There is also a massive demand for a properly pink iPhone 15 too, so, perhaps, we could see the inclusion of a hot pink iPhone 15 in 2023?
iPhone 15 CPU – The A17
Apple started a new and rather bizarre trend with the release of the iPhone 14 – it split up its CPU access. The Pro models got Apple’s new A16 CPU, while the base model iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus got the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s A15 CPU. Given Apple’s penchant for being a stickler to trends it establishes for itself, I’d expect this to continue with the iPhone 15 range.
If it does, it will mean the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will run the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s CPU and the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will run Apple’s new A17 CPU. If there is an Ultra model, it could run a tweaked version of the A17, one with an additional GPU core for example.
Sources claim Apple’s A17 CPU will be a 3nm chipset, the smallest ever fitted inside an iPhone. This will make the A17 not only significantly more power-efficient than the A16 but also more powerful too. How much more powerful will the A17 be over the A16? Again, nothing is known right now but given its smaller size, we could be looking at some pretty serious performance boosts.
As with all so-called “node strides,” moving from 5nm to 3nm brings with it some major benefits for Apple. TSMC is claiming up to a 70% logic density gain, 15% speed improvement, and 30% power reduction. For iPhone 15, that means a faster phone, with longer battery life, and a bit more space inside the case for new technology.Source
If all of the above is true, the iPhone 15 Pro’s CPU will represent a massive shift in performance over its predecessor. It would also make the case for its use inside the iPhone 15 Ultra as well – especially if Apple adds in an additional GPU for improved graphical performance.
iPhone 15 Storage
With storage options for the iPhone 15, I don’t think we’ll see 1TB drop down to the base models. As per usual, Apple’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will almost certainly stick to the same storage options as the iPhone 14: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB – these amounts are just about perfect for most users, so I don’t expect Apple to shake anything up in this context.
With the iPhone 15 Ultra, however, we could see a new storage variant added. Apple likes to court photographers and videographers with its high-end Pro models, so it is possible that Apple could introduce 2TB of storage on its iPhone 15 Ultra model. I say, possible, but in all likelihood Apple will keep the storage much the same as before, topping out at 1TB.
If there were ever a case for 2TB of storage inside an iPhone, though, it would be the iPhone 15 Ultra. But to warrant that kind of storage, it’d need to have some pretty serious video-recording chops – stuff like 8K and 4K at significantly higher frames per second than current-gen iPhones. And then there’s the price, a 2TB iPhone 15 Ultra would be extraordinarily expensive, likely getting close to the $2000 mark.
iPhone 15 Price
When it comes to the price of Apple’s iPhone 15, again, nothing is ever official until Apple debuts them on stage during its annual keynote address. But given the company’s pricing structure in recent years, and the fact that millions of people are currently feeling the pinch, I don’t think there will be too many surprises with regard to the iPhone 15’s price.
If I were a betting man, which I am, I’d wager the iPhone 15 will start from $799, with the iPhone 15 Plus at $899. The iPhone 15 Pro will start at $1099 and the Pro Max/Ultra at $1299. Again, this is for the base-level storage options. If you want more storage, like 1TB on the Pro models, you’ll be looking at considerably more money.
The only real question about Apple’s iPhone 15 price structure is whether there will be an iPhone 15 Ultra and how it will fit inside the line-up. Will the iPhone 15 Ultra replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max or be a separate entity that joins Apple’s other iPhones in the iPhone 15 range? As of right now, it is too early to tell.
But given what Apple did with its Apple Watch Ultra, there is certainly form in this regard. Should Apple launch the iPhone 15 Ultra and keep it in a similar vein to its Apple Watch Ultra – meaning it’ll be a super expensive, super niche phone – then the price will almost certainly reflect that, meaning it could start from as high as $1500/$1600.
Again, though, this elevated price tag would ALL be contingent on the iPhone 15 Ultra having enough bells and whistles and new abilities to justify the increased price tag…
iPhone 15 Release Date
Apple’s release date schedules for its new iPhones is pretty predictable. New iPhones are launched in and around September with release dates following shortly thereafter. If Apple follows the same path with the iPhone 15, and it almost certainly will, the iPhone 15 will be announced in and around September 2023 with a release date following later on in the month or inside early October 2023.
As always, iPhone 15 pre-orders will ship first in order to give early adopters first dibs on the phone, and then, following this brief period of exclusivity, the iPhone 15 range will go on sale across the entire market from B&M stores to online retailers, networks, and carriers.
Richard GoodwinRichard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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