New iPhone 15 leak all but confirms its biggest change

iPhone 14 Pro Max review Dynamic Island Maps small
(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

It’s looking increasingly likely that Apple will roll out the Dynamic Island to the entire iPhone 15 range, when the phones launch (we’re expecting to see them in September), with the latest evidence in the form of a new leak from China. 

Images shared by Ice Universe – who has a decent track record with iPhone leaks – on Twitter, show what appear to be front glass panels and screen protectors for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the position of the cut-outs in question on the front match the design of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, both of which already have the Dynamic Island.  

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Several rumors have already suggested that every iPhone 15 model will have the Dynamic Island this year, and it wouldn’t be a surprise, given that new features that Apple debuts on its Pro iPhones tend to trickle down to the non-Pro models a generation or two later.

Some Pro features have remained Pro exclusives for longer – examples include LIDAR and a telephoto camera, which were introduced on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and have yet to appear on non-Pro iPhones – but others, like OLED screen technology (which came to the regular iPhones with the iPhone 12) have tricked down.

As such, we’re fairly confident that the Dynamic Island will appear on all this year’s iPhone models and this, in turn, could have significance for the development of Apple’s ‘digital notch’ and how many third-parties look to embrace a feature that's seemingly sticking around.

A big boost for the Dynamic Island

While the Dynamic Island mostly impressed reviewers and iPhone fans when it appeared last year, in our iPhone 14 Pro review we said “We consider the new Dynamic Island to be the biggest innovation. It’s a clever way of retiring the TrueDepth module notch, introduced with iPhone X, while retaining most of the technology that’s made Face ID, selfies, and front-facing AR operations so effective” –the innovative feature has suffered for being exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

While some features, such as timers and apps like Uber and Deliveroo, make good use of the Dynamic Island, developers have overall been slow to take advantage of it, and it’s only a nice-to-have feature rather than a must-have – but this could change if greater numbers of iPhones users have access to the feature.

If Apple does indeed bring the Dynamic Island to all of the iPhone 15 slate, then it makes it more likely for developers to build in features that are important and genuinely useful; and Apple is also said to be making improvements to the Dynamic Island, which suggests it’s committed to it for the long term. It won't be immediate, but a year or two from now, we could see the conversation around Dynamic Island shift in a big way.

Michael Allison
Staff Writer, Phones

A UK-based tech journalist for TechRadar, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a primary focus on mobile phones, tablets, and wearables.

When not writing on TechRadar, I can often be found reading fiction, writing for fun, or working out.