The iPhone 14 is a capable smartphone, but there’s always room for improvement, and the iPhone 15 rumours are in full swing. Here’s everything there is to know about the next-gen iPhone so far.
Apple’s newest phone never fails to generate huge levels of excitement from the tech community. With a rigid annual launch cycle, it’s just natural that no sooner than the latest iPhone hits the shop shelves, we’re already smacking our lips in anticipation of what could come next.
While the iPhone 14 series delivered some exciting new features and much-awaited upgrades, few of us would describe the clutch of new devices as perfect; there’s always room for improvement, and so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll see some of these positive changes kick in for the iPhone 15.
In this article, we’ve collected all the rumours and speculation we’ve come across so far regarding the next-gen iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
When will the iPhone 15 be released?
iPhones follow a fairly predictable launch schedule, with the new one appearing every year in the early autumn. Don’t just take my word for it; the list below shows the announcement dates for all recent mainline iPhones:
Disregarding the later launch in 2020 – likely due to Covid manufacturing complications – it seems that Apple favours a mid- to late-September launch, though there’s nothing certain just yet.
The good news is that all seems to be going well for this year’s range with a report from mid-January 2023 claiming that the iPhone 15 is already in trial production at Foxconn and China, giving Apple and manufacturers plenty of time to iron out any issues before release later this year.
How much will the iPhone 15 cost?
While the iPhone 14’s price remained the same in its home market of the US ($799 for the base model, rising to as much as $1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max), we weren’t quite so lucky here in the UK. British customers got hit with a £70 price increase from the iPhone 13, with the iPhone 14 starting from £849.
The bad news is that the same may happen with the iPhone 15, though the price hike may be exclusive to the allegedly rebranded iPhone 15 Ultra with one leaker suggesting that the phone could start at a boosted $1,299 in the US, which translates to around £1,429 in the UK, though nothing is set in stone just yet.
What’s more concerning is that Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that fans may be willing to pay even more for premium models during a recent earnings call. “I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category,” Cook said while discussing the average iPhone sale price.
Let’s just hope that doesn’t include the entry-level flagship models, right?
With all that in mind, prepare yourselves for a possible price hike when the iPhone 15 makes an appearance later this year.
What to expect from the iPhone 15
The design of the iPhone has practically stayed the same since the release of the iPhone 12. As a fan of the angular, industrial design, I’m personally not too disappointed by that, but there are plenty of fans that do want something new.
Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. The iPhone 15 is expected to look just like other recent entries in the iPhone series, BUT, with a tweaked design that should make it a little curvier.
The rumour originated via leaker ShrimpApplePro who claimed on Twitter that the back edges of the iPhone 15 will be rounded, allowing the frame to curve into the rear of the phone that “will create a really beautiful edge transition from the back to the camera bump”.
Even the leaker admitted it was early days and to “take it as it is”, though leaked CAD renders that did the rounds in early 2023 seem to point towards a slightly more curved rear. If anything, it’ll make the iPhone 15 sit more comfortably in the hands than previous models.
Interestingly, the CAD renders also depict a slight increase in screen size from 6.1 inches to 6.2 inches, though there hasn’t been much else said on that front so far.
While the new Dynamic Island tech is currently exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, that’s set to change with the release of the iPhone 15.
According to display industry insider Ross Young – who has an impressive track record with display-related predictions – Apple intends to bring the Dynamic Island tech to the entire iPhone 15 range later this year. Replying to a tweet in September 2022, Young states that “Dynamic Island expected on standard models on the 15,”.
It’s worth noting that notable Apple leaker Mark Gurman has agreed with Young’s prediction in a January 2023 edition of his Power Up! Newsletter, and the Dynamic Island made an appearance on the leaked CAD renders too, all but confirming the upgrade to the iPhone 15’s display tech later this year.
See you later, notch!
The long-awaited switch to USB-C
This one has been a long time coming, and it seems like Apple is finally about to transition from Lightning to USB-C with the iPhone 15 – though not through its own choice.
It all comes down to a new EU law that requires smartphone makers to switch to USB-C by 27 December 2024, and while that could mean Apple could squeeze out an additional year out of Lightning connectivity, all leaks and renders thus far all point towards it happening with the iPhone 15.
That’s great news for consumers as USB-C provides not only faster charge speeds but faster data transfer than the ageing Lightning standard, though online whispers do suggest that Apple could do the typical Apple thing and limit the fastest data transfer speeds to the Pro models, while the standard iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will have artificially stunted USB 2.0 speeds – the same as Lightning.
Hey, at least you’ll be able to charge your iPhone with the widely used USB-C cable, right?
This one is a bit of a given as every single generation of iPhone has boasted a new processor in a bid to keep its lead compared to the Android competition, and we expect the iPhone 15 to offer the same – however, it won’t be available on all models.
With the release of the iPhone 14 Apple changed processor tactics; rather than adding the new A16 Bionic chipset to the entire range, it was exclusive to the top-end Pro models while the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus got the year-old A15 Bionic chipset, though admittedly the boosted variant available in the 13 Pro models.
With that in mind, it’s highly likely that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will boast the (still exceptional) A16 Bionic chipset used in the current iPhone 14 Pro models, while the next-gen A17 Bionic will likely be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max/Ultra models.
The upgrade to the faster Wi-Fi 6E for improved connectivity on Wi-Fi 6E networks is also said to be in the works for the iPhone 15, though sources are yet to confirm whether it’ll be exclusive to the Pro models.
Improved camera technology
While there are rumours circulating about the possibility of a periscope lens on an iPhone, the rumours are focused on the Pro (or even Ultra) models of the iPhone 15.
Not much has been said about camera improvements for the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. I’m sure many are hoping that it’ll get the same upgrade to a 48MP main camera as last year’s Pro models, but I’m not sure that’ll happen – Apple wants the ‘pro’ photographers to opt for the more expensive models, after all.
That’s not to say that the iPhone 15 won’t boast any camera improvements though. In fact, rumours suggest that Apple could be working with Sony in a bid to finally eliminate the over- and under-exposure of images taken on smartphones.
Nikkei sources have detailed information on the new sensor, which will also allegedly offer better portrait photography, even with strong light in the background. The report says this is largely down to a new architecture that allows the sensor to essentially double the saturation signal level within each pixel and capture more light.