Every year at Apple’s presentations, fans jokingly count the number of times the word amazing is used on stage to describe certain features of new products. At the same time, even despite sometimes very small changes, the new products manage to break new sales records and only increase the fan base.
The next presentation will be held in a few days – September 12. In the fall, the main product of such events is traditionally the iPhone. Although it is not yet possible to say exactly what the new lineup will look like, some analysts and insiders have begun to express an opinion on which of this year’s models will be the most successful (spoiler alert: it’s the iPhone 15 Pro Max).
As you prepare for the presentation, we’d like to summarize most of the insider rumors in one place and give you an idea of what you can expect from the company this time.
Goodbye Lightning, hello USB-C
The iPhone has always had its own charging and synchronization port among its signature features. At first, it was a bulky 30-pin connector, which was eventually replaced by Lightning. The latter has been in place since the iPhone 5 and hasn’t changed much until now.
During this time, Android smartphones managed to switch from microUSB to USB-C, which became the standard. Moreover, such a connector will become mandatory for all gadgets sold in Europe a little later, which forced Apple to make certain changes.
While this was happening, insiders talked about Apple’s plans to abandon any ports in the iPhone. But EU legislative initiatives interfered with this plan, and the company had to revise the roadmap.
Thus, USB-C will be one of the updates to this year’s iPhone 15 lineup, forcing power users to upgrade the cables they use at home, at work, in the car, etc. But over time, it will really make life easier, because many other gadgets and even laptops (including MacBooks) support this format for charging. And at the same time, the iPhone can speed up data transfer (those users who have transferred large files from iPhone to computer should feel the difference).
As for the charging speed, according to the available data, we can hardly expect a dramatic acceleration. For the most part, Apple tries not to overheat batteries with super-fast charging (as BBK and Xiaomi are currently experimenting, for example), so it is not a given that the maximum power will be increased in any way. However, it’s worth noting that even with this conservative approach, users have already complained about the current iPhone 14 models, as battery degradation in less than a year of use in some cases reaches more than 10-15%, which is quite a lot by iPhone standards.
We’re also saying goodbye to the call mode switcher and hello to the Action Button
Another classic iPhone element that is still present on all models is the call mode switch. This is a small toggle switch next to the volume keys that turns notifications on/off and switches them to vibration mode. In any “iPhone vs. Android” debate, there should be a mention of this feature of Apple smartphones, which should add to the list of advantages of these particular devices.
And it seems that this year, this control will (finally?) change both its shape and capabilities. It will be replaced by the Action Button, a small button whose role will be chosen by each user according to their own requirements (as in the Apple Watch Ultra). So, the usual transfer of calls to vibration mode will remain in the list. But there will also be alternatives.
Since this list will be driven exclusively by the software part, you can come up with a huge number of options for using the Action Button. But, again, knowing Apple’s approach to such things, developers understand better than the user what functions can be useful for this button, so the list will be quite limited (but I would personally be happy to be wrong about this statement).
As for the keys in general, there was talk that the iPhone should abandon the classic mechanisms in favor of touch. To do this, they were looking for additional space in the case for several Taptic Engines that would simulate the usual “click”. However, the company failed to implement such an update this year, so for now, buyers of new models will only get used to the Action Button.
Before the release of the iPhone X, Apple’s smartphones offered aluminum bodies at best. But then the company made an interesting update, and starting in 2017, the flagship iPhone models have a steel frame. By the way, this is a feature that competitors have not widely copied. Nevertheless, the company plans to replace this material as well.
Insiders have long talked about Apple’s experiments with titanium, which is already used, for example, in the case of the aforementioned Apple Watch Ultra. But not yet in the iPhone. With the top models of the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, titanium may become the basis of the case. The pleasant-to-the-touch frosted glass will remain, of course, but the frame may become stronger, lighter, and not glare (and scratch) as it does now.
In addition, such rumors were accompanied by a possible change in the shape of the case. Thus, the iPhone 15 Pro may get rounder side edges. Theoretically, this would increase the comfort of using the device, given the slight weight reduction with the new material. But we will find out whether Apple will really make such changes in a few days.
In fact, this will not play a fundamental role in the appearance of the iPhone 15 anyway, because the new models will be mostly similar to the previous ones. Only the “junior” versions of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus should receive a new notch for the front camera and Face ID sensors, which will expand the functionality of Dynamic Island to the entire new iPhone lineup, and not leave it exclusively to the Pro versions.
But the iPhone 15 Pro also has something to improve, right? There was room for maneuver here, too. This year’s pro versions can reduce the bezels around the display. This story generally tells the company’s dreams of a bezel-less display, but realization still requires gradual steps. And another one may happen this year, reducing the bezel width from 2.2 to 1.5 mm.
Along with this, the iPhone 15 may update its color palette. It’s unlikely that this is a very fundamental point for anyone, so it makes no sense to analyze all the options that insiders have offered (especially since there were many versions). But the most interesting option that I personally would have liked to see was the new red, which is most often called PRODUCT(RED) in the company. The Pro version of the iPhone 15 can get this.
A cooler version of telephoto
The iPhone 15 Pro Max, according to many rumors, will also be able to offer a really interesting camera upgrade. The very fact of telephoto among the cameras of such smartphones is not something new, but the type of lens that is planned for the new model may indeed play a bigger role.
Thus, iPhone 15 Pro Max will have a periscopic lens. This will allow you to get a greater zoom than you have now. That is, the largest of the iPhones will have a zoom of ×6 rather than ×3 without digital assistance. But the smaller iPhone 15 Pro will remain with the usual optical zoom.
It’s worth noting that periscopic cameras are nothing new for Android competitors. For example, in Samsung’s Galaxy S line of flagships, the Ultra model has been using a periscopic lens as one of its telephoto cameras for several years in a row. You can also find them in other smartphones from Sony, Huawei, Xiaomi, and others.
But not only the camera units of the Pro versions will be updated. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will have new main sensors. Well, conditionally new, because these will be 48-megapixel cameras that got into the iPhone 14 Pro last year.
One of the mandatory parts of the updates is also the next performance improvements and software enhancements. Of course, the new smartphones will be released together with iOS 17, which the company has already announced at WWDC in the summer.
Pro models will also traditionally receive newer chips, which will make the new iPhones “the most powerful in history.” The situation is different with the “junior” versions, which, although they can update the chips, will receive last year’s samples from the iPhone 14 Pro. In this regard, the company differentiates smartphones in the new lines a bit more, encouraging buyers to spend more money on the more powerful Pro.
However, even bigger changes are possible this time. Along with the 3-nanometer A17 Bionic chip, the Pro versions may also increase the RAM capacity, which will reach 8 GB. And this will be another incentive to purchase the Pro version, because in the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, this figure is likely to remain at 6 GB. Although Apple usually does not announce the capacity of RAM and does not put pressure on this indicator in any way.
Pro models may also add to the initial storage capacity, which may be increased from 128 to 256 GB. This version was suggested by insiders. But it will most likely be confirmed (or denied) during the actual announcement of the new smartphones.
Heavy Pro-price tag
Analysts have repeatedly raised the issue of increasing the cost of new smartphones. This concerned the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Given the new body material, updated cameras, and increased storage capacity, it is quite possible that the price tag will also increase.
According to analysts, the initial price of the iPhone 15 Pro will be $1,099, which is $100 more than the current price. In turn, the iPhone 15 Pro Max may rise in price by $200, meaning it will cost from $1,299. It’s also worth noting that similar rumors were circulating last year, for example. Therefore, there is still room for optimism.
As for those buyers who are planning to purchase an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus, analysts did not make them nervous, noting the initial price tags of such smartphones at the usual level – $799 and $899, respectively.