The WWDC 2023 conference is in the rearview mirror and despite a glimpse at the iOS 17 software running the show, we're no closer to getting a look at the iPhone 15 hardware. New phones aren't likely to show their head until September, of course.
But they'll be worth the wait. The new iPhone 15 is likely to bring a series of big changes: USB-C (at last!), a more rounded design, and upgrades to the cameras and chipsets featuring high on the list of rumors. And iOS 17 will bring new features as well, from updates to Messages and Facetime to a new app for journaling and glanceable information while your iPhone charges.
Just like last year, the iPhone 15 lineup is expected to feature four models in two sizes: two 6.1-inch models and two larger 6.7-inch devices, with a standard and Pro option in each size. While the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are shaping up to be major upgrades, what does Apple have in store for the regular, cheaper iPhones? Here's everything rumored and reported about the iPhone 15 to date.
iPhone 15: The headlines
- What is it? Apple's next mainstream iPhone.
- When can we expect it? September 2023
- Price? Likely the same price as iPhone 14, starting at $799
Stephen Warwick is iMore's News Editor and has six years of industry experience covering Apple, as well as a lifetime tracking developments in mobile technology. He is also a former Apple employee and one of the web's foremost authorities on iPhone rumors and news.
The Anticipated iPhone 15 Lineup
Here's our best guess as to what the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max will look like, including specs and new features.
iPhone 15 / 15 Plus The everyman iPhone, without the bells and whistles.
Screen: 6.1- or 6.7-inch
CPU: A16 Bionic, 4nm
Rear Camera: 12MP
Networking: Wi-Fi 6
iPhone 15 Pro Adds the faster A17 chip and a new design, with a titanium frame.
Screen: 6.1- or 6.7-inch
CPU: A17 Bionic, 3nm
Rear Camera: 48MP
Networking: Wi-Fi 6e
iPhone 15: Release date
Let's cut to the chase: We expect a big Apple unveiling event for the new iPhone 15 in early September, consistent with Apple events from the last few years. Such an event is is likely to take place on Tuesday the 5th or 12th, with a release date on either September 15 or September 22. All signs point to an early September window for the iPhone's release date this year.
Apple announced the iPhone 14 lineup on September 6 and made the phones available for pre-order on September 9. They then went on sale on September 16. Apple could also go for the following week, however, announcing the device on September 12 and bringing it to stores on the 22.
Bottom line, we've heard nothing to suggest the iPhone won't be unveiled in its usual September window this year. Fall, here we come.
iPhone 15: Specs
We've heard a few rumors about some of the iPhone 15 specs we might get to see with the new release this year. Below, we've lined up the iPhone 14's specs and rumored changes coming to give you a comparison idea, check it out! Just remember, some of these might not change year-to-year, and some rumored changes may not come to pass.
|Category||iPhone 14||iPhone 15 (RUMORED)|
|Operating System||iOS 16||iOS 17|
|Display||6.1 inches, 2532 x 1170 (460 ppi) resolution, Super Retina XDR OLED display (iPhone 14) | 6.7 inches, 2778 x 1284 (458 ppi) resolution, Super Retina XDR OLED display (iPhone 14 Plus)||6.1 inches, 2532 x 1170 (460 ppi) resolution, Super Retina XDR OLED display (iPhone 15) | 6.7 inches, 2778 x 1284 (458 ppi) resolution, Super Retina XDR OLED display (iPhone 15 Plus)|
|Processor||Apple A15 Bionic||Apple A16 Bionic|
|Storage||128 | 256 | 512GB||128 | 256 | 512GB|
|Rear Camera||12MP, 26mm ƒ/1.5, 1.9μm (wide) | 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.0μm (ultra-wide)||12MP camera with improved sensor|
|Front Camera||12MP, ƒ/1.9, Autofocus||No change rumored|
|Battery||3,279 mAh (iPhone 14) | 4,325 mAh (iPhone 14 Plus)||No change expected|
|Charging||Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W | MagSafe Wireless charging up to 15W | Fast wired charging over Lightning with 20W power adapter||USB-C wired charging, Qi wireless charging, MagSafe|
|Water Resistance||IP68||IP68 - improvements possible|
|Dimensions||146.7 x 71.5 x 7.80mm, 172g (iPhone 14) | 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.80mm, 203g (iPhone 14 Plus)||Expected to be identical|
|Colors||Starlight | Midnight | Blue | Purple | (PRODUCT)Red||Starlight | Midnight | Light Blue/Cyan | Pink | (PRODUCT)Red|
iPhone 15: Processor
If Apple follows the same path it set out on with iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro we can expect the iPhone 15 to use the same A16 Bionic as the iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 15 Pro, however, is likely to benefit from an all-new A17 chip, continuing the differentiation between Pro and non-Pro models.
Those A17 chips are expected to use new 3nm chips from long-time chip supplier TSMC, likely improving power consumption and reducing the amount of heat they generate during use. The 3nm process offers chips with speed boosts of up to 15% using the same amount of power, or power savings of 30% at the same speed as 5nm.
Alongside A17, reports have indicated the iPhone 15 Pro line could get a major upgrade with 8GB of RAM.
iPhone 15: Display & sizes
Rumors as of September 2022 have Apple bringing the Dynamic Island to all iPhone 15 models, not just the Pro as was the case with iPhone 14. That's according to DSCC analyst Ross Young, who has actually predicted previous details about the iPhone 13, iPhone 12, and other products including the Mac.
In leaked images that came out in February 2023, it appears that the base model iPhone 15 may get the feature. The report said that the phone is an "early iPhone 15," so things could change, but there is a chance!
Who needs half-baked renders when you have the real thing?Here’s an early base model iPhone 15.(More info exclusively via @MacRumors, for now 😊) pic.twitter.com/LKPzJ8YwfEFebruary 22, 2023
That doesn't mean that the base iPhone 15 models will get a 120Hz refresh rate or an Always-On Display, though. For that, you're going to want iPhone 15 Pro.
If Apple follows the precedent set with the iPhone 14 lineup, we can expect a 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro to be joined by a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Unless leaked CAD renders in February 2023 have anything to say about it! According to those renders, it appears that Apple might actually shrink the bezel on the iPhone 15 models, giving users even more screen real estate.
The iPhone 15's OLED display could also feature a new display driver that could make the display more power efficient. The report also notes that moving from the old 40nm process to what is expected to be 28nm process will also "improve performance," but it wouldn't say exactly what that will look like.
According to The Elec, Apple will use an upgraded M12 OLED process for all of its iPhones this year.
iPhone 15: Design
The iPhone 15 is expected to look very similar to the iPhone 14 in terms of size and shape. That means we can expect the same bezels and squared edges, as well as rounded corners. The only major design change touted for iPhone 15 is the new Dynamic Island, which Apple introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro last year.
Previous rumors of the return of Touch ID seem to be unfounded, at least in terms of iPhone 15. It might return in the future, but Face ID is expected to be the only biometric authentication system offered in 2023.
Another major change coming to iPhone is reportedly the end of physical buttons. A report claims that Apple will do away with buttons in favor of Taptic Engines like those on its current iPhone SE Home Button for both volume and power. However, this feature is likely to be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro.
Apple is also expected to move the proximity sensor from the iPhone into the Dynamic Island with iPhone 15.
With iPhone 14, Apple removed the SIM card tray in the U.S., making eSIM the only connectivity option on the iPhone. With iPhone 15 Apple may roll this change out to more territories, with one report suggesting that at least France (and likely other countries in Europe) could get the same design. CAD renders and leaks of the device do include a SIM tray, however, suggesting some countries will retain it.
A recent rumor claims the iPhone 15's rear glass will feature the same frosted premium finish as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, upgrading from this year's glossy back.
iPhone 15: Will it have USB-C?
In a huge development, Apple has confirmed it will have to comply with EU laws mandating USB-C chargers on its iPhone.
Both Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have suggested a switch is on the way, with the EU and potentially even Brazil set to mandate a common connector for all phones and similar accessories, including AirPods.
"Apple Inc. is testing future iPhone models that replace the current Lightning charging port with the more prevalent USB-C connector, according to people with knowledge of the situation, a move that could help the company conform with looming European regulations," Gurman says.
While USB-C will make charging easier, better data transfer speeds may be reserved for the Pro models. Ming-Chi Kuo reports that the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will get USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 for high-speed wired transfers. However, the iPhone 15 is expected to retain the same USB 2.0 speeds as the old models, despite the USB-C port. That rumor was echoed by leaked images in February 2023 that also show the iPhone 15 with a USB-C port.
Another rumored restriction of the iPhone 15's USB-C port will be Made for iPhone compatibility. We expect that you'll have to buy official MFi cables from Apple or third-party retailers in order to enjoy full compatibility, the best speeds, and the fastest charging.
Apple is reportedly preparing to sell some 70 million new chargers in 2023 when iPhone 15 drops as folks make the switch to USB-C. Apple will reportedly offer faster through its 20W charger, however, the company has not included chargers in its iPhone boxes for some time.
iPhone 15: 5G modem and Wi-Fi chip
We've been hearing for years that Apple would switch to 5G modems designed in-house around 2023, but that now seems unlikely to happen in time for iPhone 15. A new report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple's 5G modem "may have failed," meaning it will stick with Qualcomm in 2023. Further reports by analyst Jeff Pu back that up, with Qualcomm parts now expected to be used for iPhone 15 and iPhone 16.
Kuo goes on to say that Apple will continue to work on getting its own 5G modem ready with the aim of replacing Qualcomm eventually.
The iPhone 15 is also expected to upgrade from the Wi-Fi 6 chip that comes in the iPhone 14 lineup for Wi-Fi 6E. The latest generation of Wi-Fi, due to its ability to take advantage of the 6GHz band, is faster, more reliable, and able to cover greater distances than its predecessors. One recent report claims Apple will limit Wi-Fi 6E to just the iPhone 15 Pro models, keeping Wi-Fi 6 for the iPhone 14.
iPhone 15: Cameras
We don't yet know everything there is to know about the iPhone 15 cameras, but we're being told to expect Apple's first periscope camera in at least the Pro models — possibly just the iPhone 15 Pro Max. That comes via analyst Jeff Pu who claims that the switch would allow 5x optical zoom. It's possible that the technology could allow for even 10x zoom, however.
Companies like Samsung already use periscope cameras in their flagship phones to offer increased zoom capabilities. Periscope cameras work by increasing the distance between the camera's lens and sensor working in much the same way as a periscope in a submarine. Having the two components at such a distance in a traditional configuration would require the iPhone 15 to be significantly thicker, something Apple doesn't want, and a periscope design negates.
At least one sensor in the new iPhone 15 is expected to be a new state-of-the-art sensor from Sony that will double the saturation signal in each pixel, capturing more light and reducing underexposure and overexposure in certain settings. This will be particularly important for improved portrait photos and headshots.
iPhone 15: Colors
We don't know an awful lot about what the iPhone 15 colors will be, but we can use past iPhones as an idea of what to expect.
If Apple sticks to form, expect the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to be more sedate colors, like in some from of black or gray, with silver and gold in there as well. One additional color will likely join them — for iPhone 13 Pro, that was Sierra Blue. For iPhone 14 Pro, it was Deep Purple.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are likely to get the better colors, in some eyes. That means vibrant colors including a (Product) RED option that always looks great, no matter which iPhone it's on.
iPhone 15: Storage
Apple's storage plans will likely depend on various things, not least the cost of parts by the time we get closer to a release.
The real question is whether the lower-end option will change. Expect that to largely be controlled by any data-hungry camera features that are added to the new models, while a 2TB option at the top-end is a possibility.
iPhone 15: Price
We're still a long way from Apple making the iPhone 15 pricing public, but we can expect figures to be around that of previous high-end iPhones. That means a starting point of around $1,000 for the Pro models and a low end of approximately $800 for the standard models.
However, we'll know more as we get closer to release, with changing economic situations and inflation potentially impacting Apple's plans. The company didn't increase the price of the iPhone 14 over the iPhone 13, at least in the United States. But international markets saw a price hike due to local exchange rates against the dollar.
There are currently no reputable rumors suggesting the iPhone 15's price will increase over previous models.
|Storage||iPhone 14||iPhone 14 Plus||iPhone 15 (RUMORED)||iPhone 15 Plus (RUMORED)|
|128GB||$799||$899||$799 est.||$899 est.|
|256GB||$899||$999||$899 est.||$999 est.|
|512GB||$1,099||$1,199||$1,099 est.||$1,199 est.|
iPhone 15: Will there be a Flip?
We know Apple is working on a folding iPhone, and we know that the company seems to have settled on a clamshell design, as pictured above. According to Patently Apple, a patent was granted to Apple back in April 2022 for foldable iPhone displays that could feature transparent panels at the point where the display bends, giving the illusion that there are no hinges around this part of the display.
But don't expect a folding iPhone this year, whether you call it an iPhone Air or the iPhone Flip. Word on the street is that the foldable iPhone flip is still a few years away. A patent granted in Feb. 2023 suggests that a release date of September 2025 could be likely.
Apple unveiled iOS 17 at WWDC 2023 in June, teasing some of the software updates coming to iPhone 15 and the rest of Apple's lineup later this year. iOS 17 is bringing some cool updates to the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages apps, as well as AirDrop, and autocorrect. There's a fab new StandBy mode for landscape charging, a new Journal app to help you appreciate life, and changes to Safari.
iPhone 15: Questions and answers
Will there be an iPhone 16?
Absolutely, Apple has stuck to a yearly iPhone release cycle for a number of years now. Rumored early features of the iPhone 16 include under-display Face ID and improvements to the camera. Apple is also expected to make its own 5G chip for connectivity, rather than using a Qualcomm component.
Which iPhone should I buy in 2023?
The best iPhone you can buy right now is the iPhone 14 Pro, closely followed by the iPhone 14. The iPhone SE 3 is also a superb option for those on a budget or for people who like the old Touch ID/Home Button design.
When is the iPhone 15 coming out?
We can likely expect the new iPhone 15 to be unveiled in early September, likely Tuesday the 5th or 12th, with a release date on either September 15 or September 22. All signs point to an early September window for the iPhone's release date this year.
- Apple announced the iPhone 14 lineup on September 6 and made them available for pre-order on September 9. They then went on sale on September 16.
- An educated guess for 2023 would pin the iPhone 15 launch date on September 5, with a September 15 release date.
- Apple could also go for the following week, announcing the device on September 12 and bringing it to stores on the 22.
- We have no reason to believe the iPhone won't be unveiled in its usual September window this year.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9