Apple’s ‘Wanderlust’ September 12 event is almost here and it’s no secret that it’ll bring the new iPhones. In fact, very little is a secret anymore when it comes to smartphones, iPhone or otherwise, so we already have a good idea of what Apple has in store.
Expect four new iPhones – the vanilla iPhone 15 and 15 Plus (here’s what to expect of them), and the two Pros – the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, and the Pro Max.
The Pros are usually equally capable but different in size. This year, however, the Pro Max is undoubtedly the more advanced phone thanks to its periscope zoom lens.
You can thank the European Union, but Apple is finally getting with the times and will put the universal USB-C port on the iPhone.
It makes sense – most devices are now using USB-C ports, even Apple’s own MacBooks and iPad Pros. At this point, even iPhone owners likely have more USB-C cables lying around than they do Lightning ones.
However, the iPhone 15 Pros could get access to faster USB speeds than the vanilla models. Rumor has it that the 15 Pro and Pro Max could get USB 3.2 speeds and possibly even Thunderbolt support.
That would mean that the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will have USB 2.0 speeds that top out at 480Mbps, while the Pros will USB 3.2’s 20Gbps or even possibly Thunderbolt’s 40Gbps.
New titanium frames:
The Pro iPhones will use a new titanium alloy for their chassis, instead of the stainless steel they’ve used so far. Titanium has a few benefits over stainless steel – it’s much stronger and crucially, it’s much lighter. However, steel is harder to scratch.
The new titanium-clad iPhone Pro models could have a brushed metal finish instead of the mirrored one of the current Pros.
Expect a new dark blue colorway, as well as a lighter silver-grey, a space black, and a natural titanium. It’s possible that we’re not getting a Gold model this year.
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will retain their respective 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays, but the screen could be brighter, have more efficient LTPO controllers, and thinner bezels.
Rumor has it the bezels will shrink from 2.17mm to 1.55mm, which would make the iPhone 15 Pros the phones with the thinnest bezels.
A17 chip, 8GB of RAM:
While the vanilla iPhone 15 models will get last year’s A16 SoC, the Pros will move to the revolutionary A17. It’s the first chipset to be built on a 3nm process and will supply a 10% to 15% bump in processing performance and up to 30% better efficiency.
The A17 will have a 6-core processor and a 6-core GPU, 1 more core than the graphics in the A16 chip. Apple will likely pair the new chip with 8GB of RAM – up from the 14 Pro’s 6GB.
New ultrawide camera:
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are expected to keep the 48MP IMX803 main camera but get a new 13.4MP f/2.2 ultrawide with a superior 7p lens.
The iPhone 15 Pro is expected to keep the 12.7MP f/2.8 3x zoom from last year but bump the image quality through software tweaks.
A periscope zoom for the Pro Max
The key difference between the two phones will be the new periscope zoom, exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The biggest iPhone is the only one that can accommodate the larger periscope chamber.
It will be a 5x or 6x zoom camera and Apple could go beyond that through digital zoom, similar to Samsung and others. Some reports suggest the sensor could measure 1/2.9″ and the lens will be a relatively bright at f/2.8.
Because of the zoom’s size, Apple may rearrange some lenses to achieve the best fit of components on the inside.
Price hike, but 256GB as the base option:
Reports suggest that Apple might increase the prices of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max to combat the sales decline. Expect a price increase of around $100 per model and certainly more than that in markets outside the US.
On the upside, the Pro models could ditch the stingy 128GB base option for 256GB, which would actually mean equivalent prices at equal storage, at least in the US.