Apple’s rumored iPhone 15 lineup — expected to ship in fall 2023 — already has an active rumor mill touting a variety of new features. Those rumors, plus the recent ones EU ruling obliges charging via USB-C on phones sold within Europe may involve some deviations from Apple’s traditional design. Will the iPhone 15 have a USB-C port? Will Apple raise iPhone prices in 2023?? Is it even called the “iPhone 15”? No one outside of Apple knows for sure, but these reports will certainly fuel our curiosity until Apple hosts the next iPhone event. Here are some of the biggest and most believable rumors we’ve seen so far, to paint a picture of what we can see from the iPhone 15.
iPhone 15 design: Hello USB-C, goodbye Lightning
This one has been in the rumor mill for years, but in 2023 the switch from a Lightning port to a USB-C port could finally happen. This may be due to pressure from the European Union, which has been pushing for a common charging standard for years. In 2022, the bloc succeeded in passing legislation requiring Apple to equip its iPhones with USB-C ports by 2024 if it wants to sell them in the EU.
The question is whether Apple will switch all iPhone models to USB-C or just those sold in the EU. Apple is already customizing iPhone models regionally, as it has done with the iPhone 14: the US version has a electronic SIM card, while other variants retain the SIM slot. However, according to Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart, there are good reasons to move all iPhones to USB-C in the future.
“…There are bigger ecosystem, security and accessory considerations with the power/data connector, so I think it’s more likely that Apple will move all iPhones [globally] to USB-C in the iPhone 16 timeframe to comply with European regulations,” he told CNET in an email.
Read more: Your next iPhone will probably need a different charging cable
iPhone 15 design: Dynamic Island expands to all models
Apple will likely continue to sell four iPhone models with the iPhone 15 series. Rumors point to a generally similar design, except that the iPhone 14 Pro’s shape-shifting cutout, known as Dynamic Island, will be making its way to all models.
That rumor comes from display analyst Ross Young, who also said in September tweet that he doesn’t expect base iPhone 15 models to have a higher refresh rate like Apple’s Pro iPhones because the supply chain can’t support it.
read more: The most eye-catching feature of iPhone 14 Pro feels like it’s a nod to something else
iPhone 15: Solid-state buttons coming to pro iPhone 15 models
Noted Apple observer Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, expects Apple to further differentiate between its base and Pro models in the coming years. One way he expects this to happen is by giving the iPhone 15 Pro models solid-state volume and power buttons instead of the standard keys present on today’s devices, he wrote in a tweet in October.
The solid-state buttons, which Kuo says will be similar to the home button on the iPhone SE and iPhone 7, mimic the feel of pressing a button using haptic feedback. The apparent advantage of this type of button is that it also protects against water ingress.
iPhone 15 Power: More RAM for pro models
According to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, the Pro models of the iPhone 15 series will receive an increase in RAM from 6 GB to 8 GB in addition to the expected A17 Bionic chipset. Base models will continue to receive 6 GB of RAM, according to TrendForce. This rumor is apparently also supported by an investigative report by analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities, according to a MacRumors article, which references Pu’s report.
iPhone 15 Camera: Periscope-style telephoto lens arrives
Another Kuo prediction is doing the rounds, but this time it’s about the camera of the iPhone 15. The analyst predicts that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will get a periscope-style telephoto lens. This sort of telephoto lens will enable higher levels of optical zoom, with Kuo predicting a 6x optical zoom could arrive in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is limited to 3x, which falls short of rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 10x optical zoom.
read more: The iPhone 14 Pro’s camera upgrade is bigger than you think
iPhone 15 Price: Up, Up and Gone?
Prices have skyrocketed since the original iPhone arrived in 2007. And that could happen again in 2023 with the iPhone 15, except not in the way you might think. The price of the regular iPhone 15 is currently expected to remain the same, according to analysts who previously spoke to CNET.
However, the upper limit of the price range could be pushed higher if rumors of a luxury iPhone 15 Ultra turn out to be true. The rumored Ultra model could potentially replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman writes. This is consistent with Kuo’s predictions, who expects Apple to further differentiate between the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max models. Prices in the US currently range from $829 for the entry-level iPhone 14 (128GB) to $1,599 for the most expensive iPhone 14 Pro Max with 1TB of storage.
read more: What Apple could do with iPhone 15 prices in 2023
iPhone 15: Launch and Release Timeline
Apple holds its annual iPhone event in September almost every year, so we expect the timeline for the iPhone 15 to remain the same. New iPhones are usually released soon after, usually the Friday of the following week. Sometimes Apple will stagger release dates for specific models, especially when a new design or format is introduced. So it’s possible that the iPhone 15 lineup has more than one release date.
Here’s what we know:
- Apple tends to hold its events on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Apple’s iPhone 14 event took place on Wednesday, September 7, while the iPhone 13 event took place on Tuesday, September 14.
- iPhone release dates are typically a week and a half after Apple’s announcements.
- In general, new iPhones come out on a Friday, around the third week of September. For the iPhone 13, pre-orders began on September 17 and the phones went on sale on September 24.
Looking for more iPhone advice? Check out our iPhone upgrade guideour list of the best iPhones and our collection of the best cases for your iPhone 14 or 14 Pro.