iPhone 15: what to expect from Apple’s next iPhone

Even with the announcement of Apple’s new augmented reality headset, expectations (and rumours) haven’t abated for the fall release of Apple’s next iPhone, presumably called the iPhone 15. Those rumours, plus last year’s EU decision mandating USB-C charging on phones sold in Europe, it could mean a number of deviations from Apple’s traditional design. Will the iPhone 15 have a USB-C port? Apple will raise iPhone prices in 2023? Will it also be called “iPhone 15”? No one outside of Apple knows for sure, but these reports are sure to fuel our curiosity until Apple launches its next iPhone event (probably in September). Here are some of the biggest and most believable rumors we’ve seen so far, to paint a picture of what we might see from the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15: updated ultra-wideband

According to noted Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 will run on an updated Ultra Wideband (UWB) processor, which Apple calls the U1 chip, to better integrate with the company’s new AR headset, the Vision Pro. UWB is one short-range wireless communication standard often used to track the location of objects. It can locate your Apple AirTag or unlock your car as you reach out with your phone. In a Recent post on TwitterKuo said this is all part of Apple’s broader strategy to “build a more competitive ecosystem for Vision Pro.”

iPhone 15: wireless charging update

According to a May report from ChargerLab, a power specialist website with an ongoing track record, all iPhone 15 models will support 15W wireless charging using the Qi2 open standard. If this turns out to be true, it means that the iPhone 15 could open up a whole new world of wireless charging devices capable of charging the device at its maximum speed. Apple previously limited open wireless charging standards to 7.5W, leaving the full 15W charging speed for Apple-licensed MagSafe accessories.

iPhone 15 camera: the Periscope-style telephoto lens arrives

Well-known Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, predicts that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will receive a periscope-style telephoto lens. This type of telephoto lens allows for higher optical zoom levels, with Kuo predicting that a 6x optical zoom could come in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is limited to 3x, which lags behind rivals like the 10x optical zoom of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. This entry was recently strengthened by a known source of losses and Twitter user Unknownz21, who said the Pro Max model will come with the special lens.

to know more: The iPhone 14 Pro’s cameras are a major upgrade

iPhone 15 design: hello USB-C, goodbye Lightning

This has been around for years now, but in 2023, the switch from a Lightning port to a USB-C port could finally happen. This is probably due to pressure from the European Union, which has been pushing for a common pricing standard for years. In 2022, the bloc managed to pass legislation requiring Apple to equip its iPhones with USB-C ports by 2024 if it wants to sell them in the EU.

The question is whether Apple will switch all iPhone models to USB-C or only those sold in the EU. Apple already modifies iPhone models regionally, as it did with the iPhone 14: the US version has a Electronic SIM, while other variants keep the SIM slot. However, according to Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart, there are good reasons to move all iPhones to USB-C in the future.

“There are more ecosystem, security, and accessory considerations with the power/data connector, so I think Apple is more likely to move all iPhones [globally] to USB-C in the period of iPhone 16 to comply with European regulations,” he told CNET in an email.

To know more: Your next iPhone will likely need a different charging cable

iPhone 15 design: Dynamic Island expands to all models

Apple is likely to continue selling four iPhone models with the iPhone 15 lineup. Rumors point to a generally similar design across the board, except that the shape-shifting cutout of the iPhone 14 Pro, known as Dynamic Island, is intended to make its way onto all models.

That rumor comes from display analyst Ross Young, who also said in September tweets who doesn’t expect the base iPhone 15 models to have a higher refresh rate like Apple’s iPhone Pros because the supply chain can’t support it.

to know more: The most eye-catching feature of the iPhone 14 Pro seems to be a nod to something else

An iPhone 7 Plus with a Lightning port sits on top of a Google Pixel 2 XL with a USB-C port.

iPhones have had Lightning ports since the iPhone 5 in 2012. Android phones typically have the slightly larger USB-C.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

iPhone 15: Solid-state buttons arrive on the iPhone 15 pro models

Yet another prediction from Kuo has been making the rounds, but this time the analyst expects Apple to further distinguish between its base and Pro models in the coming years. One way he expects this to happen is to give iPhone 15 Pro models solid-state volume and power buttons instead of the standard keys found on today’s devices, he wrote in a tweets in October.

The solid-state buttons, which Kuo says will be similar to the home button found on the iPhone SE and iPhone 7, mimic the tactile sensation of pressing a button with the help of haptic feedback. The apparent advantage of this type of push button is that it also protects against water ingress.

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Watch this: No real buttons on iPhone 15 Pro? This rumor worried me

iPhone 15 power: more RAM for professional models

According to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, the Pro models in the iPhone 15 range will boost RAM from 6GB to 8GB to complement the anticipated A17 Bionic chipset. Base models will continue to receive 6GB of RAM, according to TrendForce. This rumor is also apparently supported by a research report by Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu, according to an article by MacRumors, which references Pu’s report.

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Watch this: iPhone 14 and 14 Pro 3-month review: More to offer

iPhone 15 price: up, up and away?

Prices have increased dramatically since the original iPhone arrived in 2007. And that could happen again in 2023 with the iPhone 15, but not in the way you might think. The price of the regular iPhone 15 is currently expected to remain the same, according to analysts who spoke to CNET earlier.

However, the upper end of the price range could be pushed higher if rumors of a luxury iPhone 15 Ultra turn out to be true. The alleged Ultra model could potentially replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max next year, writes Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. This is in line with Kuo’s predictions, who expects Apple to further differentiate the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max models. However, other rumors suggest that the iPhone 15 Ultra is a step up from the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Prices in the US currently range from $829 for the entry- level of iPhone 14 (128GB) up to $1,599 for the highest-end iPhone 14 Pro Max with 1TB of storage. According to tipster Revengus, the iPhone 15 Ultra will feature a telephoto lens with a variable zoom lens, which is the camera setup rumored to be featured on Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra.

to know more: What Apple could do with iPhone 15 prices in 2023

iPhone 15 Ultra camera: variable zoom

According to tipster Revengus, the iPhone 15 Ultra will feature a telephoto lens with a variable zoom lens, which is the camera setup rumored to be featured on Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra. Cameras with variable optical zoom (continuous zoom) are not commonly found on smartphones for a variety of reasons, including the size and design of phone cameras limiting the type of lenses that can be used.

iPhone 15: launch and release timeline

Apple holds its annual iPhone event in September nearly every year, so we’d expect the timeline to stay the same for the iPhone 15. New iPhones typically release shortly thereafter, usually on a Friday of the following week. Sometimes Apple staggers release dates for specific models, especially when introducing a new design or size. So it’s possible that the iPhone 15 range has more than one release date.

Here’s what we know:

  • Apple tends to hold its events on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Apple’s iPhone 14 event was held on Wednesday, September 7, while the iPhone 13 event was held on Tuesday, September 14.
  • iPhone release dates are usually a week and a half after Apple’s announcements.
  • In general, new iPhones are released on a Friday, around the third week of September. For the iPhone 13, pre-orders began on September 17 and the phones went on sale on September 24.

Looking for more iPhone tips? Check out our iPhone update guideour list of best iPhones and our roundup of the best cases for your iPhone 14 or 14 Pro.


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