Apple iPhone 15 and 15 Pro „Ultra“ – everything we know so far
All the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro rumors and leaks in one place. The iPhone 15 isn’t expected to debut until September 2023, but there’s already been a fair number of rumors and leaks for the next iPhones.
For example, it looks as though Apple will finally embrace USB-C charging and ditch the Lightning port. And we may see an entirely new model dubbed the iPhone 15 Ultra, which could take the iPhone Pro series to the next level with a super durable titanium design. Of course, we shouldn’t forget about the iPhone 15 Pro, either.
It also looks as though Apple will keep a very large divide between the regular and Pro models, as only the iPhone 15 Pro series is tipped to get a new periscope zoom lens.
iPhone 15 Possible release date
This is the early iPhone 15 rumor that has the most concrete details. Apple has only ever revealed its new flagship smartphones outside of September once in the past ten years: in October 2020, in the midst of a pandemic that required orders to be placed at home and interrupted tech supply chains.
As a result, the release of the iPhone 15 in September 2023 is very likely. Pre-orders typically go live a week before the phone’s official release date, with Apple typically announcing new phones roughly ten days beforehand.
iPhone 15 Price
There was a lot of talk that the iPhone 14 would come with a 15% price rise, but if you reside in the US, this proved out to be false. While prices in other places significantly increased, in the US the cheapest „small“ model was eliminated.
Thus, the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max is currently priced at $1,599, while the entry-level 128GB iPhone 14 costs $799. This time around, we would anticipate something similar, but it’s also likely that the iPhone 15 may experience the price increase that the US missed in 2022. If so, expect an increase of $100 or so.
At least one leaker expects Apple’s high-end iPhone to see a potentially big price hike over its iPhone 14 predecessor. LeaksApplePro says an increase of $100 to $200 could happen for the iPhone 15 Ultra, which could place that model’s range between $1,199 and $1,299
iPhone 15 possible models
Apple discontinued the iPhone small this year and instead unveiled the iPhone 14 Plus. That made the decision easier: whether you went Pro or not, you could choose between a 6.1- or 6.7-inch screen.
It’s very likely that this will go on into the following year. The iPhone 12 mini’s poor sales were evident within a few months, but Apple was forced to continue with the iPhone 13 mini because the plans were set in stone and could not be modified.
In the unlikely event that the iPhone 14 Plus fails, the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max will most likely still be part of the lineup for the following year.
But there could be one addition to this list — an iPhone 15 Ultra. Reliable tipster, Mark Gurman recently tweeted(opens in new tab) that after the Apple Watch Ultra that was launched this year, we could „expect“ the variant for iPhones in the future — something he later reiterated in his newsletter. Could this mean a completely new iPhone 15 Ultra? Or will the Pro Max simply get rebranded as the Ultra? We will have to see.
iPhone 15 design rumors 2022
The biggest rumor surrounding the design of the iPhone 15 is that Apple will eventually stop using the Lightning connection on its devices in 2023. Not only has the corporation adopted the connection for its laptops and tablets, but the European Union has also formally demanded that all phones utilize USB-C by the year 2024, so this isn’t entirely unexpected.
Apple may continue to use the Lightning port in other countries, but doing so would add complexity and cost with little to show for it.
While rumors of a portless iPhone persist, the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons that it’s USB-C for at least some of Apple’s handsets. If a portless one does come next year, our guess is it could be a Pro feature. Mark Gurman also reported that the iPhone 15 will have UCB-C, and that a portless model will arrive at some point — he just didn’t specify when.
LeaksApplePro, a reasonably trustworthy tipster, asserted that USB-C ports and the Dynamic Island might be seen on every iPhone 15 model, adding credence to this USB-C rumor for the iPhone 15. The latter is a good advice because we’d be a little miffed if Apple only provided USB-C connections for iPhone 15 Pro models. And now that the EU has said all phones need to be USB-C by 2024, we’re pretty sure the iPhone 15 will be USB-C.
The type of USB-C used could differ between Pro and non-Pro models though, says Ming-Chi Kuo. He says that the regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus could still have the same data transfer speeds as current Lightning iPhones, while only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max would get faster speeds as a result of their USB-C ports.
According to a note from analysts at Nomura, the basic iPhone 15 could get three significant upgrades including the Dynamic Island.
Despite rumors that Touch ID will return, Mark Gurman asserts that Apple has no immediate plans to reinstate fingerprint scanning in flagship iPhones. The company reportedly tested in-display Touch ID and even considered putting it on the power button, but it appears like Face ID will be the only choice starting in 2019 and onward.
Actually, it’s a shame because this feature has been absent from top-tier Apple phones since the iPhone 8. Choice is important, and Touch ID would have come in useful during the pandemic months when everyone was donning masks and Face ID was having trouble keeping up.
A new rumor from Ming-Chi Kuo claims that „two high-end iPhone 15s“ will feature solid-state buttons, similar to the home button found in the likes of the iPhone SE. This was lent more weight by another claim by Barclays analysts, who have the iPhone 15 Pro tipped to get solid-state buttons.
The benefit here would be fewer moving parts exposed external elements, potentially making for a more durable iPhone, while still delivering a tactile button feel via haptics. This has been used to great effect with the Force Touch trackpad on the MacBook range. So Apple could ape that with the next iPhone, if such rumors prove to be legitimate.
Elsewhere, ShrimpApplePro thinks that Apple could be changing up the look of the iPhone 15‘s back panel. They claim it’ll be getting curved edges like the old iPhone 5C, which could make for a more comfortable iPhone to hold than the current models. However, the latest rumors from LeaksApplePro suggest that the iPhone 15 lineup may not get a rounded design after all. Supply chain issues and design constraints related to wireless charging may have Apple sticking with its current flat-back design.
Even though it’s only based on speculations, an iPhone 15 Pro render from 4RMD took these prospective design changes and created an idea that looks fantastic. This most recent render reveals the haptic power and volume buttons, a thinner Ceramic Shield back panel to enable a curved-edge design, and a titanium body. Although the final design of the iPhone 15 Pro will undoubtedly differ slightly from the concept, we are nevertheless thrilled about what may be in store.
iPhone 15 camera info
One of the earliest rumors of the iPhone 15 includes a likely upgrade to a new camera. After raising the megapixels bar to 48MP on the iPhone 14 Pro models, word is that the iPhone 15 could finally get a periscope camera for better long-range photography and zoom capabilities, supposedly along with improved lenses for better quality photos. This is something that Android handsets in our best camera phones list have done for some time, and it would be great to see Apple finally offering this. Though, as ever, we’d be very surprised if this wasn’t initially Pro only — if it arrives in 2023 at all.
Analysts at Nomura believe that the basic iPhone 15 will get a Pro-like camera this time. In a note, they mention, “They will have main cameras (wide) upgraded to 48MP with image sensor size at 1/1.5” (slightly smaller than the i14 Pro’s 48MP sensor size, but much better than i14’s 12MP one)“.
Speaking of ‘Pro’ differentiation, the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks that Apple will give its ‘Pro’ models some unique features and could be looking to upsell its larger 6.7-inch handsets with exclusive features over the smaller models. What these could be was left open to speculation at this point, but it’s possible that a periscoping camera could be an iPhone 15 Pro Max-only feature in an effort to upsell.
However, Kuo has said not to expect a new ‘8P’ or an eight element lens for the iPhone 15 Pro’s main camera(opens in new tab), which was previously rumored. It will allegedly stick with a 7P lens. More elements in a lens could result in more light being absorbed into the lens and less distortion in images, which could be essential for wide-angle lenses.
According to a Nikkei rumor, Apple will collaborate with Sony on the iPhone 15‘s primary camera, supposedly choosing Sony’s brand-new „state-of-the-art“ sensor. The iPhone 15 might have far better exposure controls because to this new component, which can allegedly double pixel saturation. It would be excellent to see Apple address this as it has historically been one of the iPhones’ weaknesses. The report did not say if this will be a Pro/Ultra exclusive or not.
iPhone 15 specifications
It’s early days, but two rumors have emerged. One feels extremely likely, while the other could yet be wishful thinking.
Starting with the ‘likely’, adoption of the A17 chipset would once have felt like a certainty, but this year only the iPhone 14 Pro benefited from an all-new chipset, while the regular model used a slightly souped-up version of the A15. We would assume this is the new normal, so the iPhone 15 Pro handsets could get the A17, while the regular iPhone 15 might get an enhanced version of the A16. The latest report from TrendForce also suggests that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will keep the A16 Bionic CPU and only the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max (or Ultra) will get upgraded to the rumored A17 chipset.
Obviously, that doesn’t tell us much about performance, but the A17 is expected to be the first chip to be made with the 3nm manufacturing process which could mean big things for both speed and efficiency.
An early iPhone rumor that suggested Apple might be ready to start building its own modems, starting with its 2023 phones. Indeed, signs suggest that Apple is ramping up to eventually build its own modems. But current supplier Qualcomm says it expects to supply the „vast majority“ of modems for the 2023 iPhones. That means the iPhone 15 is likely to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X70 modem.
iPhone 15 Ultra
There has been some speculation in recent weeks that Apple may release an iPhone 15 Ultra, instead of the usual Pro Max model. There had been rumors of an iPhone 15 Ultra before, but it was speculated that this would be a fifth iPhone. Now it seems this may not be the case.
We’ve also heard some suggestions that Apple wants to better differentiate the iPhone 15 Ultra from the iPhone 15 Pro — rather than the screen size being the main point of difference. But so far we haven’t had any word on what those changes might actually be.
Originally it was suggested that Apple would reserve USB-C connectivity for the most expensive iPhone 15 model. However more recent rumors suggest that this change will come to all iPhone 15s, ahead of EU legislation that would mandate USB-C charging on electronics by December of 2024. So even if only one or none of the iPhone 15 range gets USB-C, future iPhones will have no choice.
Of course there are long-standing rumors that a portless iPhone is in the works. It could be that the iPhone 15 Ultra skips over USB-C entirely, going straight for a port-free design that doesn’t need a physical connector. This could also improve durability, especially if Apple includes the titanium alloy design that debuted on the new Apple Watch Ultra.
Other potential upgrades could include the long-rumored periscope camera. While a staple features on other flagships, Apple could benefit greatly from optical zoom capabilities greater than the current 3x limit.
iPhone 15 look
It’s early days for iPhone 15 rumors, but nobody ever went broke by betting on Apple. The expected introduction of USB-C could tempt those yet to fall for the charms of iOS, while the anticipated gains of the 3nm A17 chip could cement the already commanding lead Apple has over the best Android phones in terms of raw speed.
We are concerned about a potential price hike and would like to hear more concrete rumors concerning camera upgrades, but with the iPhone 15‘s release date still several months away, there is still plenty of opportunity for more intriguing speculations to surface.