What the first rumors say

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineups are just a month old, but rumors are already abuzz about what to expect from the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro next year. Starting now, next year’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are shaping up to be significant upgrades: USB-C, Dynamic Island for everyone, and moreā€¦

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

Screen size

The iPhone 14 lineup has made a big change to the screen sizes available, ditching the 5.4-inch iPhone “mini” option in favor of a new iPhone 14 Plus with a 6.7-inch display. While the iPhone 14 Plus is apparently selling worse than Apple had anticipated, the company is said to plan to continue that strategy next year.

This means that we can expect the iPhone 15 with a 6.1-inch display alongside the iPhone 15 Plus with a 6.7-inch display.

Display characteristics

The most significant change to the displays will be the addition of Dynamic Island for iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. Currently, Dynamic Island is limited to iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Dynamic Island replaces the notch and instead opts for two cutouts of separate displays that are made to look like one using impressive software integration.

But while iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus want have Dynamic Island, they will not get other two unique display features of “Pro” and “Pro Max” models. First, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are rumored to lack Apple’s ProMotion display technology which offers refresh rates of 1Hz all the way up to 120Hz.

Therefore, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus also won’t add support for an always-on display, as this feature relies on ProMotion and LTPO display technology.

USB-C

Apple will almost certainly switch the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus to USB-C for connectivity, replacing the decade-old Lightning connector. The switch comes as the European Union implements a new requirement that all smartphones and other devices use a common charging port, which for now would be USB-C.

Camera

As of now, rumors are unclear about what kind of camera updates to expect from the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. The iPhone 14 added a handful of camera updates, including the Photonic Engine for better processing and a camera noticeably better front end.

We expect Apple to build on existing camera hardware next year, with either updated camera hardware or new software features. More rumors will emerge in the coming months.

Performance

Finally, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are expected to be powered by the A16 Bionic chip currently used in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This continues Apple’s strategy of forking iPhone performance between Pro and non-Pro models, a strategy started this year.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have the latest A16 chip, while the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are powered by the A15, although they get the 6-core variant from the iPhone 13 Pro.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Discover the first iPhone apps to support Live Activities and Dynamic Island with iOS 16.1

Screen size and display characteristics

What about iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max? Expect less change here in terms of screen size and display technology. In fact, as of right now, it looks like things will stay the same.

This makes sense as the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max featured stunning display updates with the addition of Dynamic Island and always-on display. Instead, it appears Apple’s focus will be on refining these features, while also bringing Dynamic Island down to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, as previously mentioned.

One minor design change that we could see is that Apple replaced the volume and power buttons with solid-state buttons, similar to when they replaced the physical Home button on the iPhone 7 with a solid-state button.

USB-C

Just like with iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are also expected to switch to USB-C. We’re still waiting for more details here, like data transfer speeds and charging speeds.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max adopting Thunderbolt connectivity alongside USB-C. This would match Apple’s strategy with the iPad lineup, where all the latest generation models have USB-C but the higher-end iPad Pro models also support Thunderbolt.

Use the 48MP iPhone 14 Pro camera

Camera

Initially, the iPhone 15 Pro models were rumored to feature a new “8P,” or eight-lens plastic, rear-facing camera. More recent reports say that may not be the case after all. “8P” here is a reference to the number of elements in the lens. When a manufacturer takes an existing lens design and adds elements, this is usually done to reduce distortion.

While it doesn’t look like the iPhone 15 Pro will get any major camera updates, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is a different story. The expectation is that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature a new periscope lens for the first time.

Periscope lenses rely on a prism that reflects light onto multiple internal lenses at 90 degrees to the camera sensor. This allows the length of the lens to be much longer than a telephoto lens, which results in a much better optical zoom. The telephoto lens on the iPhone 14 Pro models only offers a 3x optical zoom and a 15x digital zoom.

For comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra already has a periscope lens that allows for 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom. A rumor has said that Apple may opt for a 5x optical zoom. More specific details for Apple’s implementation of a periscope lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max are unclear, but it will ideally bring the iPhone closer to what’s already offered by Samsung’s flagships.

Performance

Global Smartphone Market |  iPhone 14

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will continue Apple’s march towards even more powerful Apple Silicon chips. It was first reported last year that Apple would be one of the first companies in the world to adopt a new 3nm process, and that we would see the first of these chips in 2023.

The latest iPhone 14 Pro models use an A16 chip, which some have referred to as 4nm, but it would be more accurate to say it’s a scaled down 5nm chip.

Next year’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to use the A17 Bionic processor, which will likely be based on the 3nm process. Reducing the size of the process brings about a major shift in performance and efficiency, which could lead to significant improvements in battery life next year.

Naming and strategy

iPhone-15-Ultra

In terms of naming and strategy, Apple reportedly has a few changes in store for next year’s iPhone lineup. The company is said to be planning to further differentiate the iPhone 15 Pro from the iPhone 15 Pro Max. This is most evident in the rumored camera upgrades, but there are definitely other ways the company could do this.

Furthermore, there has been speculation that Apple may rebrand the high-end iPhone as “iPhone 15 Ultra”. That would match what we’ve seen with the Apple Watch this year, with an Apple Watch SE, an Apple Watch Series 8, and an Apple Watch Ultra.

Ultimately, we’re still in the early days of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro rumors. We’ll have a lot more going on over the next year that will help further paint the picture of Apple’s plans.

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