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With WWDC now behind us, the next thing on Apple’s schedule for the year is the announcement and release of the iPhone 15 lineup. As of right now, the expectation is that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups will come out around the same time as iPhones do every year…
When will the iPhone 15 come out?
Apple is expected to have an all-new lineup of iPhones this year, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. As you can see below, the iPhone release schedule over the past seven years has been incredibly consistent. The iPhone X is a notable outlier in 2017, as is the iPhone 12 lineup, which was impacted by COVID-19 delays.
Here is a timeline of the latest iPhone release dates:
- iPhone 14 Plus: October 7, 2022
- iPhone 14: September 16, 2022
- iPhone 13: September 23, 2021
- iPhone 12: October 23, 2020
- iPhone 11: September 20, 2019
- iPhone XS: September 21, 2018
- iPhone X: November 3, 2017
- iPhone 8: September 22, 2017
- iPhone 7: September 16, 2016
As we’ve seen in past years, the iPhone is Apple’s most important product release every year. This means the company will prioritize iPhone 15 production over all of its other products. If any supply chain challenges or hiccups were to emerge, Apple would delay other products before it would delay the iPhone 15 release date.
What’s new with iPhone 15?
As a quick refresher, we’re expecting a number of different changes with the iPhone 15 lineup this year. Here’s a brief rundown:
- USB-C for charging on all models.
- Slimmer bezels across the entire lineup.
- The Dynamic Island will expand to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
- A new titanium finish on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
- The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to use a new A17 Bionic chip made using the 3nm production process. This will be the first time Apple has used 3nm production for chips, resulting in improved performance and improved efficiency.
- iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature a periscope lens for improved optical zoom for the rear-facing camera.
iPhone 15 is coming, and these features will be worth the wait
Summer can be an awkward time to buy a new iPhone. Apple will release a new iPhone in the fall, but you’re ready to upgrade now. There’s really no bad time to buy an iPhone, but anyone who cares about having the best camera should consider what’s coming this year.
Apple usually unveils new iPhones in early September. There’s nothing wrong with buying in June through August, but try to take advantage of a good carrier promotion if you can.
Another thing to consider is how much of an early adopter you are. If you like iPhone 14 Pro features but prefer the iPhone 14 price, you could get the best of both worlds with the iPhone 15.
Apple is expected to bring Dynamic Island to non-Pro phones this year. iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus might even see the 48 MP camera upgrade that the main camera on the iPhone 14 Pro picked up last fall.
If you care about having the best camera in your pocket, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, in particular, might be especially appealing. After years of rumors, Apple’s most expensive iPhone is expected to adopt a periscope-style lens system for greater optical zoom. I can never get enough optical zoom on my iPhone, so this rumor is my favorite.
Last year, Apple released its most affordable big-screen phone, the iPhone 14 Plus, which also happens to be the lightest big-screen iPhone.
But iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max could see a reduction in weight thanks to a change in materials. Apple’s Pro line is expected to switch from stainless steel bands to titanium ones. The lighter material could make Pro phones more appealing to people who care most about the iPhone not feeling heavy.
This year’s key feature for the Pro line is expected to be a change to the mute switch, which could be quite interesting. We expect the existing mute toggle to be replaced with a button that will probably be customizable.
I care a lot about using my iPhone as a camera, so the potential to have a button that can launch the Camera app is high on my list of things to optimistically expect.
There’s one difference that might affect your decision to buy now or hold out. That’s the port situation. The iPhone has used Apple’s Lightning port since 2012. The iPhone 15 line is expected to replace the Lightning port with a USB-C port. That’s great news if you’re already charging every other device with USB-C, but it could be a factor in your buying decision if you prefer Lightning.
And one last thing to note: there’s a chance the iPhone 15 Pro will cost more than the iPhone 14 Pro. This gets rumored every year, but it could happen. Apple will likely discontinue the iPhone 14 Pro once the iPhone 15 Pro is announced, so that’s one more thing to consider. Bang for the buck.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 15 lineup in early September.
USB-C iPhone 15: The latest rumors and what to expect
A USB-C iPhone may have once seemed impossible, but the latest rumors suggest it’s actually coming sooner than you may think. Amid regulatory pushback and limitations of the Lightning connector, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are expected to switch to USB-C this fall. Head below for the latest details on what we know so far.
Regulatory pressure forces Apple’s hand
There are a number of reasons why Apple seems to have shifted its tune on releasing a USB-C iPhone. One thing that’s hard to overlook, however, is looming legislation around the world.
After multiple years of back and forth, the European Union officially reached an agreement for a “common charging port” standard. Starting in 2024, all smartphones sold within the 27 countries of the EU will be required to use USB-C for charging. This includes the iPhone and even peripheral accessories like AirPods.
Apple has pushed back against legislation that would make a USB-C iPhone mandatory. The company argues that such laws stifle innovation and actually lead to more environmental waste.
After the EU agreed on its legislation, lawmakers in the United States voiced their support. Many called on the US to pass something similar. Senator Elizabeth Warren has echoed this call in a post on Twitter, saying:
Consumers shouldn’t have to keep buying new chargers all the time for different devices. We can clear things up with uniform standards—for less expense, less hassle, and less waste.
Consumers shouldn’t have to keep buying new chargers all the time for different devices. We can clear things up with uniform standards—for less expense, less hassle, and less waste.https://t.co/rbxLleahIj
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 7, 2022
In early October, the legislation in the EU was formally adopted following a full vote of the European Parliament. The law was passed with an overwhelming majority, with 602 votes in favor, 13 against, and 8 abstentions. Under the law, there are exemptions for products that are too small to offer a USB-C port.
Finally, to complete the process, the USB-C law was officially recorded and went into effect on December 27, 2022. Under the law, companies have until December 28, 2024, to comply with the mandate with new smart introductions.
This could technically give Apple until 2025 to formally comply with the USB-C regulations, but the expectation is that it will do so earlier than that.
Will the iPhone 15 use USB-C?
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first predicted in 2019 that Apple would release a port-less iPhone as soon as 2021, but that didn’t come to fruition. It’s easy to see why – wireless technologies simply aren’t reliable or powerful enough to completely replace a connector like Lightning or USB-C. Charging speeds aren’t as fast, data transfer is slow and unreliable, and consumer adoption just isn’t there yet.
A port-less iPhone is still in the works and is something being internally tested at Apple, but we wouldn’t expect to see it launch to the public this year or next year.
The Lightning connector is also starting to show its age. When it was first unveiled in 2012 with the iPhone 5, Apple’s Phil Schiller touted that it would be the “modern connector for the next decade.” It’s been a decade since that announcement, and it’s clear that Lightning is falling behind USB-C in things like charging speeds and data transfer speeds.
So that leads us to where we are today. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last May that the iPhone 15, coming this year, will feature a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. This report was eventually corroborated by Bloomberg, which also said that the iPhone 15 may switch to a USB-C port next year.
In an interview, Apple marketing exec Greg Joswiak even went as far as to say Apple will have no choice but to comply with the EU legislation, effectively confirming that iPhone with USB-C is coming sooner rather than later.
Finally, 9to5Mac has exclusively obtained CAD files of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, confirming that the devices do have a USB-C port instead of Lightning. This has also been corroborated by other iPhone 15 images leaked on Twitter.
Interestingly, several reports have said that Apple is looking into ways it could still retain some amount of control over the iPhone’s accessory ecosystem. One report suggested the iPhone 15’s USB-C port could have certain features limited to Apple-certified cables.
In March, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the switch to USB-C will enable faster charging speeds for the iPhone 15. These faster charging speeds, however, will reportedly limited to USB-C cables certified by Apple. Currently, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 support up to 20W of maximum charging speed, while Pro models support up to 27W.
The European Union, however, is already pushing back at Apple’s rumored plans to limit the iPhone 15’s USB-C port for non-MFi cables. In response to the rumors, EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton wrote a warning to Apple saying that it would be “inadmissible to restrict the interaction with chargers.”
When will the USB-C iPhone 15 be available?
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 15 with USB-C later this fall. As of right now, Apple’s release plans seem to be on schedule. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups are expected to be announced and released in September.
USB-C iPhone 15: Wrap up
A USB-C iPhone is sure to make many consumers happy, particularly those who already own an iPad or Mac that also uses USB-C. That being said, with the sheer number of iPhone users, Apple will undoubtedly face criticism for changing the iPhone’s charging connector — even if a switch to USB-C is ultimately the right decision and is long overdue.