Apple’s current flagship iPhone feature, the Dynamic Island, is set to trickle down to the standard iPhone 15 when the device launches in September this year – but now we’re almost certain that the company’s next vanilla iPhone will be getting a 48MP main camera, too.
We’ve actually been hearing this rumor for months, but it’s now been corroborated by a new report – seen by ITHome – which says that Sony has asked chipmaker TSMC to help it manage more demanding iPhone orders in light of every model in the upcoming iPhone 15 line featuring a 48MP main camera.
For reference, the standard iPhone 14 features a dual-camera setup comprising a 12MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide camera. This setup is essentially unchanged from the iPhone 13 – save for the upgraded imaging pipeline and larger aperture measurements inside the iPhone 14 – so it’s good to hear that Apple may be preparing to give vanilla iPhone fans a tangible reason to consider upgrading to the iPhone 15 this year.
Notably, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max were the first iPhones to get pixel-binning 48MP sensors. In other words, they’re capable of capturing 12MP images, with four pixels combined into one effective larger pixel, which results in better low-light performance and color fidelity.
By the sounds of things, though, these premium sensors won’t be remaining exclusive to Apple’s Pro-level iPhones for much longer, and the addition of a 48MP camera on the standard iPhone 15 seems likely to result in a camera bump redesign versus the iPhone 14, too.
That’s not to say the gap between the standard iPhone 15 and its Pro siblings will be any smaller than the usual vanilla/Pro divide, though. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max (which may yet arrive as the iPhone 15 Ultra) are set for some serious camera upgrades of their own come September, with one or both models expected to feature periscope cameras and the biggest iPhone camera sensors ever. The Pro Max/Ultra could even get a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens. Yikes.
The standard iPhone 15 may also still lack one of the iPhone 14 Pro’s biggest features. The latter boasts adaptive 1-120Hz refresh rate technology (dubbed ProMotion) that automatically adjusts the smoothness of its display to suit whatever’s happening on-screen, but the iPhone 15 will reportedly stick with its predecessor’s 60Hz refresh rate.
Apple’s always-on display functionality relies on ProMotion to function, so it looks like the standard iPhone 15 won’t be getting that feature, either.
That said, if you’re not fussed by the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display functionality but like the look of its Dynamic Island, better camera, and super-fast A16 Bionic processor, then the base iPhone 15 could be a cheaper alternative to Apple’s current flagship handset.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.