– Could inherit the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and 48MP primary camera
– ProMotion (i.e. adaptive refresh rate) technology for non-Pro models seems unlikely, though
– Dimensions will likely remain the same as the iPhone 14
– Expected to use the A16 Bionic chipset
– Expect Apple to finally switch to USB-C, with faster data transfer speeds for Pro models
– eSIMs to return in the US, with France and possibly more of Europe following suit
Several months have passed since the launch of Apple's iPhone 14 line, so it's high time we looked ahead to what the iPhone 15 might bring to the mobile table in 2023.
Indeed, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro leaks are now appearing in earnest, with rumors concerning everything from the phones' display and camera credentials to their price and availability. We're also hearing that an iPhone 15 Ultra could be arriving in place of a Pro Max iPhone this year, which could really shake things up.
So, to give you an early idea of what to expect from Apple's next vanilla iPhone, we've put together this one-stop-shop guide to all the latest news, rumors and predictions, which we'll be updating with new information throughout the year. For a rundown of how the iPhone 15 might compare to the iPhone 14, read our iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 comparison piece.
We've seen dummy units of the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus make an appearance, and it looks like not much is changing from a design perspective – except the switch to USB-C.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple's 2023 base-level smartphone
- When is it out? Likely September 2023
- How much will it cost? Possible price increase over iPhone 14
iPhone 15 release date
- Likely to launch in the first half of September
- The shipping date will probably be a week or so later
We haven't heard any iPhone 15 release date or launch date rumors yet, but that's to be expected – they rarely occur more than a month before the launch event itself.
For the iPhone 14, that event fell on September 7, with three of the four phones going on sale over a week later, on September 16 (and the iPhone 14 Plus on October 7). Apple generally picks the first or second week of September for its launches, and usually opts for a Tuesday, though occasionally goes for a Wednesday event.
In 2023, that means September 5 or 12 are quite likely launch days for the iPhone 15 (both are Tuesdays), though September 6 and 13 are possibilities, too.
iPhone 15 price
- Pricing expected to be similar to last year
Naturally, we don’t yet know the price of the iPhone 15, but we can make an educated guess at the figure using the launch prices of the iPhone 14:
- 128GB: $799 / £849 / AU$1,339
- 256GB: $899 / £959 / AU$1,579
- 512GB: $1,099 / £1,179 / AU$1,899
We expect the iPhone 15 to match the iPhone 14, so a starting price of $799 / £849 / AU$1,339 seems likely. That said, other manufacturers – including Samsung and Oppo – have opted to forgo 128GB storage options with their respective 2023 flagships, so the iPhone 15 could start at $899 / £959 / AU$1,579 (for the 256GB model), instead.
Of course, there's always the possibility that Apple opts to hike the price of the iPhone 15 over the iPhone 14, but we wouldn't expect such an increase to be sizeable.
iPhone 15 design and display
- Every model expected to get the Dynamic Island
- Will likely use the same 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED display
When it comes to the phone’s displays, we’re expecting the iPhone 15 to deliver one major improvement over the iPhone 14.
The latter sports a 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED display that offers a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution, and rumors suggest the iPhone 15 will follow suit. However, the iPhone 15 is all but certain to inherit the Dynamic Island – Apple’s fancy screen cutout – from the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, which should give the phone a more premium feel.
Potential evidence for this claim has emerged, too, with leaked videos showing the front glass for reportedly three iPhone 15 models. They all include Dynamic Islands along with slightly curved bezels, with the Pro models having smaller bezels than the standard ones.
Goôd morning! Here’s is the real life video of the front glass panel of the iPhone 15 series, i was able to confirm its authenticity with my source. It’s real! pic.twitter.com/5BkI0OFgz9March 5, 2023
We're not expecting the iPhone 15 line's Dynamic Islands to be identical to the ones currently featured on Apple’s flagship devices, though. According to a recent tweet from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15’s proximity sensor will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island itself, rather than positioned below it (as on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max).
As Kuo notes, the new sensor arrangement is unlikely to result in any material difference to the appearance or functionality of the iPhone 15 versus the iPhone 14 Pro, but the former's Dynamic Island will technically be more advanced than the latter's given the inclusion of a previously isolated sensor.
Beyond the Dynamic Island, though, the iPhone 15’s display is expected to remain identical to its predecessor’s. Both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max boast adaptive 1-120Hz refresh rate technology (dubbed ProMotion) that automatically adjusts the smoothness of their displays to suit whatever’s happening on-screen, but it looks like the iPhone 15 will again be sticking with the iPhone 14’s static 60Hz refresh rate.
Rumors surrounding the iPhone 15’s design are a little more interesting, not least because they hint at some noticeable differences between Apple’s next vanilla iPhone and the base iPhone 14.
Chief among the design rumors is the suggestion that all four iPhone 15 models are going to get slightly curved edges, meaning the iPhone 15 could look more like the iPhone 11 (where the iPhone 14 rocks a straight-sided aesthetic akin to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13).
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are apparently getting a new camera bump, too, which is a rumor that's been further corroborated by unofficial iPhone renders based on case specifications.
The iPhone 15 is also expected to get a USB-C charging port instead of the iPhone 14’s Lightning port (which has remained a fixture of every iPhone since the iPhone 5). The EU has told Apple that it has to add USB-C charging ports to iPhones from 2024, but all the signs point towards the company adopting the new charging standard in 2023.
Some (but not all) of those rumors are backed up by dummy units that MacRumors has been able to source. You can see from the video below how the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max (or is that the iPhone 15 Ultra) are likely to look.
Further renders of the iPhone 15 Plus emerged in February 2023, showing more of those aforementioned design changes: USB-C, more rounded edges, and the addition of the Dynamic Island on the less expensive models.
It looks as though the dimensions of the iPhone 15 handsets are going to be more or less the same as their iPhone 14 equivalents – although, as mentioned, there are reportedly going to be some slight variations in the size of the camera bumps.
Annoyingly, however, it looks like the remainder of the design differences between the iPhone 14 series and iPhone 15 series – titanium sides, thinner bezels and so on – will be reserved for the latter’s Pro models. But that’s just what we’ve come to expect from Apple in recent years.
It's also worth noting that Apple may be preparing to move to eSIM in countries outside the US for the iPhone 15, with eSIMs reportedly coming to the next generation of Apple’s best iPhones in France.
This is big news for all prospective iPhone 15 buyers outside of the US. Apple typically sells the same iPhone models across most of Europe, meaning SIM card-less iPhone 15s could also be coming to the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and many other countries.
Given the scale of integration with mobile carriers needed to support the implementation of eSIMs in countries that don’t already use them widely, it’s unlikely that Apple will be able to flick a switch and ditch the SIM card tray for every iPhone 15 model sold in Europe come September – but major Apple markets like the UK seem ready to join France in its adoption of eSIMs.
iPhone 15 camera and battery
- Will likely ship with a 48MP main sensor
The iPhone 14’s rear camera boasts the following dual-sensor setup:
- 12MP main (26mm, f/1.5)
- 12MP ultra-wide (13mm, f/2.4)
The iPhone 15 is likewise expected to get a dual-sensor camera setup, though rumors indicate that the phone will inherit the 48MP main sensor boasted by the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, rather than the 12MP main sensor used by the vanilla iPhone 14.
While the iPhone 14’s cameras are adequate enough for general photography tasks, they’re essentially unchanged from the iPhone 13 (save for the upgraded imaging pipeline powering them), so it’s good to hear that Apple will be giving vanilla iPhone fans a tangible reason to consider upgrading to the iPhone 15 this year.
That’s not to say the gap between the iPhone 15 and its Pro siblings will be any smaller than the usual vanilla/Pro divide, mind. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra are set for some serious camera upgrades come September, with one or both models expected to feature periscope cameras and the biggest iPhone camera sensors ever. The Ultra could even get a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens, too.
On the selfie-snapping front, the iPhone 14’s 12MP selfie camera is expected to remain in place on the vanilla iPhone 15.
Judging by Apple’s history when it comes to updating (or not updating) battery sizes with each iPhone iteration, we’re expecting the vanilla iPhone 15 to boast a similarly-sized power pack to the iPhone 14 (3,279mAh). The iPhone 13, for instance, uses a 3,227mAh battery, which is almost identical to that of the iPhone 14 – so don’t expect a significantly larger brick under the hood of the iPhone 15.
One interesting battery rumor surrounding the iPhone 15 line is the potential addition of reverse wireless charging, which would see the vanilla iPhone 15 capable of wirelessly charging other Apple gadgets, where its predecessor can’t. We’re less certain about this particular feature prediction, though, as leaks surrounding wireless charging on iPhones have existed for years.
iPhone 15 specs and features
- Expected to inherit the iPhone 14 Pro's A16 Bionic chipset
- All four phones might get USB-C, but faster transfer speeds for Pro models
When it comes to the core specs of the iPhone 15, there's some things we're almost certain of. For example, we expect the standard iPhone 15 to inherit the iPhone 14 Pro's A16 Bionic, just as the standard iPhone 14 inherited the iPhone 13 Pro's A15 Bionic. We've heard this multiple times now, so it'll be a surprise if Apple bucks its own trend come September.
The inclusion of an A16 Bionic in the iPhone 15 should technically make the device feel snappier than the iPhone 14 (though the latter is certainly no slouch when it comes to performance). The bad news is that we’re also expecting to see an A17 Bionic come September, which – you guessed it – seems destined for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra, exclusively.
That said, the iPhone 14 is plenty fast enough for most users, and the iPhone 15 – by offering even more power under the hood – will likewise meet the demands of streaming, swiping, snapping and gaming with ease.
Sticking with chipsets, it seems likely that Qualcomm will be supplying the 5G modem again. The Snapdragon X70 looks certain to get picked for the iPhone 15, offering improved performance from the Snapdragon X65 in the iPhone 14.
As for the other specs, we've heard predictions that the Pro models are going to make the jump to 8GB of RAM with the iPhone 15. Another difference between the Pro and non-Pro models could be support for Wi-Fi 6E in the case of the Pro models.
As mentioned, we might also see a USB-C port included on every iPhone 15 model, though reports suggest that only the Pro models will offer upgraded data transfer speeds. This has now been stated by multiple sources.
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra could apparently have data transfer speeds of either 20Gbps or 40Gbps, while the standard iPhone 15 will reportedly be stuck with the same 480Mbps speeds as the current models.
We've also now seen a photo, which you'll find in the design section of this article, showing an iPhone with a USB-C port, so the addition of one is looking ever more likely. Apple has actually confirmed that it will soon switch to USB-C – at least in Europe – though the company hasn't said whether it will make the change globally. Nor has it said which model will be the first iPhone to get USB-C, so it might not be the iPhone 15.
That said, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that that the company’s proprietary USB-C chargers will offer faster iPhone 15 charging speeds than accessories produced by other manufacturers, however the EU recently warned Apple against making such a move.