iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are Apple’s latest non-pro smartphones that come with a number of new features. But are they worth the upgrade if you have an iPhone 13? Follow along for an in-depth look at the iPhone 13 vs 15 for everything that’s changed.
Screen sizes and design
The screen sizes between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 15 remain the same at 6.1 inches. However, the 15 Plus offers a 6.7-inch option that wasn’t available with the iPhone 13 lineup without stepping up to the 13 Pro Max.
New with the iPhone 15 displays is the Dynamic Island and an outdoor brightness of up to 2000 nits.
Here’s the full look at the display specs for iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15:
The bezels on the iPhone 15 are also slimmer than the 13, which is what allows the very slight increase in pixels.
Size, weight, design
Overall, the physical design of the iPhone 15 remains very similar to the 13, but Apple has given the 15 more rounded edges for a more comfortable feel.
And as mentioned above, you’ve now got the larger iPhone 15 Plus option.
For size, weight, and materials, here’s iPhone 13 vs 15:
Of course, the new iPhones also come in new colors.
Performance – A16 vs A15 Bionic
Here’s a breakdown of the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15 chip specs:
Both the A15 and A16 Bionic are powerful enough for almost everyone. But GeekBench offers a look at the performance difference between the A15 and A16 Bionic.
16% faster single-core score
21% faster multi-core score
29% faster GPU
When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 15 has one hour longer battery for video playback than the 13 and 5 hours longer for audio playback.
The iPhone 15 Plus offers 7 hours longer video use and 25 hours more audio than iPhone 13.
iPhone 13 vs 15 cameras
iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come with a 48MP main rear camera, next-gen portrait with Focus and Depth Control, Smart HDR 5, and more.
The iPhone 15/Plus main camera also has more powerful sensors and supports shooting both 24 and 48MP “super-high-resolution photos.”
The main new feature for video recording with the iPhone 15/Plus compared to iPhone 13 is Action mode.
The other new video features this year are reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.
Apple’s TrueDepth front camera on the iPhone 15 gets a mix of upgrades found on the main rear camera.
iPhone 13 vs 15 I/O
The major change for iPhone 15 I/O is the switch from Lightning to USB-C.
Unfortunately, it’s only the 15 Pro and Pro Max that offer much faster transfer speeds with USB 3 support at up to 10Gbps. The 15 and 15 Plus have USB 2 speeds up to 480Mbps.
Two more differences between the iPhone 15 vs 13 include Bluetooth and UWB upgrades.
Whether the new iPhone 15 devices will support Qi2, Apple is saying yes but it’s a bit confusing.
So it’s also unclear if iPhone 13 will support Qi2.
iPhone 15 has two more advanced safety features than iPhone 13 Pro:
iPhone 15 colors
iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come in these five colors:
Storage and pricing
iPhone 15/Plus comes in these storage options:
128GB – $799 / $899
256GB – $899 / $999
512GB – $1,099 / $1,199
What’s in the box?
iPhone 15/Plus comes with the iPhone and a USB-C cable in the box.
If you need a power adapter, go with at least a 20W so you get fast charging for your iPhone.
iPhone 13 vs 15: Is it worth upgrading?
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are fantastic smartphones, but whether upgrading from the 13 is worth it for you will depend on how you want to use your iPhone and what features you find important.
Reasons to consider upgrading to iPhone 15 or 15 Plus:
More powerful and capable cameras
Faster chip and more powerful GPU for mobile gaming
Crash Detection and Roadside assistance via satellite
On the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, Apple finally got rid of the Lightning port and replaced it with USB-C. This opens up a whole new world of convenience of connecting accessories and peripherals. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max go one step further, as the USB-C port on the pro models supports USB-3 speeds, enabling up to 10 Gbps data transfer speeds.
USB-C makes it easy to connect displays, external storage, cameras, and charge using the same cable as all your other devices. Here’s what you can do with your new iPhone and its shiny new port.
Why did Apple change from Lightning?
Apple was fully invested in Lightning port ecosystem on the iPhone. However, it began adopting USB-C across Mac and iPad models since 2015 as a way to modernize PC connectivity. USB-C is versatile, carrying power and data with the same connector. And USB-4 / Thunderbolt offers even higher data transfer speeds.
At the same time, USB-C was becoming increasingly popular on the Android side of the smartphone market. But Apple stuck with Lightning on iPhone, partly because they were still stung from the backlash of 30-pin -> Lightning transition that happened more than a decade ago.
The forcing factor for Apple was the EU commission, who have passed legislation to reduce e-waste by enforcing USB-C as the universal connector for phones. That would mean Apple would at least have to make a special model of iPhone for the European market. That brings its own complications. Instead, Apple chose to just adopt USB-C across the board … and apart from the frustration of customers having to change out all their existing now-defunct Lightning cables, that brings a lot of benefits.
Universal USB-C Charging
Now that you have an iPhone 15, you are probably close to being able to use the same single cable to charge all of your devices. Almost all iPads have a USB-C port, and all Macs have been sporting USB-C for a decade. The newest Macs come with Apple’s MagSafe charger, but they can also be charged by plugging in to one of their USB-C ports too. The latest-generation Apple TV comes with a USB-C remote, and Apple just released new AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case.
Apple sells its own USB-C charge cables, and the iPhone comes with a nice quality woven cable in the box itself. Unlike Lightning, USB-C is not proprietary. To charge your Apple gear, you can use any USB-C charging cable or accessory on the market. That includes cheaper USB-C cables, and USB-C cables of different styles and lengths. Anker has a very convenient dual 47 watt USB-C power adapter, for example.
To charge your iPhone at full speed, you want to use a 20-watt or 30-watt power adapter. You can safely use a higher wattage power adapter like the one that comes with your MacBook; the phone will automatically manage the power. Learn more about fast-charging iPhone 15 here.
Charge other devices with your iPhone 15 battery
Another cool angle of the USB-C charging story is that you can now use the iPhone to charge other accessories. The iPhone 15 can accept up to 27 watts through the USB-C port, but itself can also output about 4.5 watts. (Lightning could only manage a measly 0.3watts.)
This means you can actually use your spare iPhone battery to power and charge connected accessories. If your AirPods are running low, in a pinch, you can plug them into your phone and your phone will top up the juice in your AirPods case. You could even top up the battery of another person’s iPhone — but just be aware it will take a while.
Easily connect to external displays
With Lightning, you could only connect to external displays via a clunky dongle. With USB-C on iPhone 15, you can output to a screen directly. Use a USB-C to HDMI cable and show your iPhone screen on a 4K TV or monitor, with screen mirroring. If you are watching a movie in a video streaming service app, the film will automatically fill the TV dimensions with playback controls on the touch screen. Easily show off your photo library or conduct a presentation with Keynote by just plugging your phone directly into a projector.
One of the use cases Apple is pushing is positioning iPhone as a portable games console. Using the power of the A17 Pro chip inside, iPhone 15 Pro can run some top-end games with high graphical fidelity. Pair an Xbox or PlayStation game controller, connect your phone to a TV, and start gaming. The Apple USB-C Digital AV adapter is a good choice for this use case, as it allows for HDMI, power output for continuous charging and passthrough USB-C in one convenient dongle.
Expand your local storage with portable USB-C hard drives and SD cards
Connect a USB-C hard drive or SD card reader and browse files directly using the Files app on iPhone. If you go on holiday and take a dedicated camera with you, you can import photos directly from the SD card into your iPhone’s photo library. Then, empty the SD card and keep shooting while you edit and upload the pictures you’ve taken on your phone’s big touchscreen.
The iPhone 15 Pro Camera app allows you to record ProRes 4K at 60 FPS video directly to USB-3 storage. ProRes is uncompressed and the file sizes are huge, consuming gigabytes per minute of recording. But pairing your iPhone with a 1 TB portable SSD, you can record for a while before running out of space. This requires a USB-3 cable (not simply charge cable) to take advantage of the fast 10Gbps transfer speeds possible through the iPhone 15 Pro’s port.
Connect hardware keyboards and wired internet
Sometimes, wireless doesn’t cut it — and you just need to plug in. USB-C on iPhone supports almost any basic accessory you can think of, without the need for special drivers or additional configuration. It’s all plug and play. That means you can connect a hardware keyboard will just work.
Or if you are podcasting on the road, you can record using a mini USB-C microphone. Another possibility is wired internet, using a USB-C to Ethernet adapter. And if you have a MIDI keyboard, you can make a song on the go with an app like GarageBand.
Wired headphones that work with your phone and computer
Since Apple dropped the headphone jack, much of the world has moved on to using Bluetooth wireless headphones like AirPods. But if you still prefer to plug in with a wire, using wired headphones with iPhone has been an inconvenient affair. Lightning earbuds worked with your phone, but nothing else.
Now, it’s all much simpler. iPhone 15 works with any USB-C headphones, including Apple’s new USB-C EarPods. These headphones will work with any computer with a USB-C port, so you can finally use the same wired headphones across your phone, iPad and Mac. An increasing number of high-end headphones and speakers also rely on USB-C connectivity these days.
Connect multi-port hubs
USB-C is very flexible and allows for data and power to travel over the same port. This means you can carry a single dongle, which is a multi-port hub comprising all sorts of IO. These are super convenient as iPad and Mac accessories, and now work with the iPhone too.
For example, this Anker 5-in-1 hub will work with the USB-3 USB-C port on iPhone 15 Pro and enable you to connect to external displays, connect to power, plug in USB accessories and an external display all at the same time.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that the iPhone can output power to the hub at 4.5 watts. iPad and Mac can offer much higher bus-powered wattage, so if you are using them with the iPhone, you may need to also plug in an external power source.
Some of these capabilities were previously possible with Lightning but necessitated large, clunky, and special purpose adapters for each use case. USB-C is standards-based which means anything you buy will also work with other devices too. You don’t need to carry a special Lightning SD card reader anymore; the same USB-C peripheral will work just as well with your iPhone, iPad, Mac and any Windows PC or Android devices in the family as well. The universal connector life is finally here.
Over the last week, a number of iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users have complained of their new devices overheating and running at abnormally high temperatures. In response to those complaints, Apple has announced that a software update is on the way to remedy the problems.
Notably, Apple confirmed to 9to5Mac that the new titanium design of the iPhone 15 Pro is not the cause of any overheating problems.
The company also says that the software update coming to iOS 17 does not in any way reduce performance to address iPhone temperature concerns.
iPhone 15 overheating fix coming soon
In a statement first sent to Forbes and also shared with 9to5Mac, Apple pointed out that it’s normal for an iPhone to run hotter than usual during the first several days. As we’ve explained in the past, this is due to iOS indexing photos, searches, and more in the background.
Apple also says that it’s identified a bug in iOS 17 that makes the overheating problem worse for iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users. This problem will be “addressed in a software update,” the company says.
Furthermore, Apple tells 9to5Mac that recent updates to certain third-party apps are causing them to overload the system. The company says it’s working directly with those developers to fix the issues. According to Apple, some of the apps overloading the iPhone CPU and causing devices to overheat are Asphalt 9, Instagram, and Uber. Instagram issued a fix for the problem on September 27, Apple says.
We have identified a few conditions which can cause iPhone to run warmer than expected. The device may feel warmer during the first few days after setting up or restoring the device because of increased background activity.
We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that is impacting some users and will be addressed in a software update. Another issue involves some recent updates to third-party apps that are causing them to overload the system. We’re working with these app developers on fixes that are in the process of rolling out.
Apple also confirmed to 9to5Mac that the titanium design of the iPhone 15 Pro is not to blame for any overheating problems, contrary to what some reports stated earlier this week. The company says the new design actually leads to better heat dissipation than previous iPhones with stainless steel. This is likely because of the new internal aluminium sub structure.
iPhone 15 Pro design once again blamed for causing some units to overheat
The iPhone 15 Pro is now in the hands of many consumers around the world, and since then, we’ve seen multiple complaints about overheating problems. Earlier this week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that these problems may be caused by design compromises, and new reports from Bloomberg and WSJ reveal that the problem may be worse than it seems.
iPhone 15 Pro overheating
As we previously reported, there are many iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max users complaining about how the new devices get extremely hot after using them for a while, even with basic things like web browsing. Although a number of people claim not to be affected by the problem, it’s easy to find posts on social media about iPhone 15 Pro models overheating.
A test run with an iPhone 15 Pro Max shared on a Chinese video platform revealed that downloading the popular game Genshin Impact on a 5G network caused the phone to heat up to 122ºF. The iPhone remained at a similar temperature while running the game in high-resolution mode.
A few days ago, YouTube channel TheRelaxingEnd shared a video showing how the iPhone 15 Pro suddenly started freezing and slowing down while running Genshin Impact, which could be a result of overheating. Of course, this is quite intriguing given that Apple has been marketing the new iPhone as the first capable of running AAA games thanks to the A17 Pro chip.
Apple suggests it’s a normal condition caused by software
Officially, Apple has refused to comment on the matter. But Bloomberg has heard from sources that Apple technicians have been dealing with a lot of customers complaining about iPhone 15 Pro overheating issues. Technicians are telling users to follow the instructions from an old support article found on Apple’s website about what to do when the iPhone gets too hot.
The article doesn’t include any specific instructions for the iPhone 15 Pro. Instead, it only suggests that the iPhone may get hotter than normal after the first setup, being restored from a backup, being wirelessly recharged, or when running graphics-intensive or processor-intensive apps.
While this is true, there’s a group of users who believe that the iPhone 15 Pro is heating up more than usual even under normal conditions, days after being set up or without running 3D games. And they may be right.
It could be caused by a design flaw
The Wall Street Journal heard from “people familiar with the iPhone’s design” that the overheating problems are being caused by design flaws in the iPhone 15 Pro. For instance, Apple removed the SIM tray from iPhone 14 models sold in the US, but every other country still relies on a physical SIM-compatible version of the iPhone.
Because of this, the US version of the iPhone 14 has a plastic piece to fill the gap where the SIM tray is located in the global version of the phone. With the iPhone 15, Apple has redesigned the logic board to remove this gap. But since the eSIM-only iPhone remains exclusive to the US, the rest of the world relies on an iPhone with a different logic board.
“Adding a slot to the phone’s already-cramped interior creates additional challenges for heat dissipation,” the WSJ sources reported.
But that’s not all. Similar to what Kuo said earlier this week, the sources who spoke to the WSJ mentioned that titanium also contributes to overheating, since the material has “less mass to absorb the heat” compared to stainless steel. These two factors combined with a more powerful chip make the iPhone 15 Pro overheat.
Will Apple address the iPhone 15 Pro overheating problems?
It’s unclear at this point whether Apple will do anything to address these problems. The easiest solution would probably be releasing a software update that reduces CPU and GPU performance in certain situations in order to keep the device’s internal temperature under control.
Another alternative would be to change the engineering design of the iPhone 15 Pro, which sounds more unlikely as this would require announcing a recall program for affected customers.
iPhone 15 Pro Max back glass cracks within seconds in new durability test
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max feature an all-new chassis design made out of what Apple says is grade 5 titanium. A drop test video yesterday raised early concerns about the durability of this new design, particularly as related to the new curved edges.
Throughout the durability test, we can see the new grade 5 titanium put through scratch testing, heating testing, sandpaper, and more. As expected, the titanium does indeed scratch when you take a knife to it. The matte back glass, however, is far more scratch resistant.
The display also fares quite well during the scratch testing as well, as do the three camera covers on the back of the iPhone 15 Pro. But things get more interesting pretty quickly.
“It’s time to see if the new blended aluminum titanium grafted hybrid structure compromises the structural integrity of the iPhone 15 Pro Max,” JerryRigEverything says as he starts to put pressure on the device. Within just a few seconds, you hear a snap and the back glass has completely shattered.
“I did not see that one coming,” he says. “You’ve been watching me durability test smartphones for about 11 years now, and most phones do not break. iPhones especially do not break, like ever. And [the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s] snap was abnormally quick.”
Internally, the iPhone 15 Pro Max survives the test. The screen and frame of the device are also both unscathed. It’s just the back glass that succumbs to the pressure.
JerryRigEverything speculates that this could be due to the titanium having five times the amount of tensile strength as aluminum, leading to the glass back not being able to withstand even small amounts pressure and flex. On the bright side, Apple has made it far cheaper to replace the iPhone 15 Pro’s back glass this year.
You can check out the video below for the full details. It’s a fascinating look at the iPhone 15 Pro’s new design, but also with some interesting tidbits about titanium itself.
In David Guetta’s hit song “Titanium” from 2011, Sia sang: “You shoot me down, but I won’t fall. I am titanium.” It looks like the same can’t be said for Apple’s version of titanium in the iPhone 15 Pro.
iPhone 15 Plus takes the crown in battery life test, beating all previous iPhone models
Following the iPhone 15 release on Friday, the first battery test results are coming in. Apple touted the efficiency of the 3nm A17 Pro chip, so anticipation was high for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max to take the top spot.
Indeed, the Pro Max outlasted all previous iPhones in Mrwhosetheboss’s test. But it was actually bested by the 15 Plus, which racked up more than 13 hours screen on time, and now holds the title of longest iPhone battery life on record.
Apple’s own tech specs page reports battery life in terms of longevity for continuous audio playback and video playback sessions. According to Apple’s numbers, the iPhone 15 Pro Max lasts the longest on streaming video playback with 25 hours compared to 20 hours for iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Plus.
However, on audio playback, the Max is rated for 95 hours while the Plus hits triple digits at 100 hours. Apple’s numbers give a decent benchmark to compare across models, but it’s hard to deduce real-world battery life times from them, as day-to-day phone usage is usually more taxing than just watching video or playing music.
Mrwhosetheboss attempts to simulate a more realistic daily usage pattern, cycling through power draining activities like watching TikTok videos, Zoom video chat, recording video in the camera, and playing games. The phone screen stays on the entire time until the battery is depleted and it turns off.
The previous title holder was the iPhone 13 Pro Max, as battery life dipped a little with the 14 series. As seen in the video, all iPhone 15 models beat out their previous-generation counterpart.
Of the newest generation phones, the iPhone 15 Pro died first, followed by the iPhone 15. The 15 Pro lasted for 9 hours and 20 minutes. The base iPhone 15 endured another half an hour, clocking in at just under 10 hours of runtime.
The 15 Pro Max easily lapped the field, staying alive for another hour and a half of battery life, hitting 11 hours and 41 minutes. The 15 Plus almost beat the Max by the same margin though, achieving a staggering 13 hours and 19 minutes in the test.
The previous best performer, the 13 Pro Max, managed 11 hours and 19 minutes in contrast.
Apple has identified an iOS 17 bug which may affect the iPhone 15 upgrade experience today. During iPhone setup, the Transfer from another iPhone option may fail and leave your new iPhone in a state where it is stuck booting on the Apple logo black screen. Here’s what to do if that happens to you.
The bug affects iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro as these phones ship with iOS 17 preinstalled. However, it may also affect anyone switching phones that are running iOS 17 and use the transfer data option.
If you encounter the bug, during the transfer of apps and data, the new iPhone will get stuck in a boot loop on the Apple logo screen.
To resolve the issue, Apple says that you need to put the device into DFU mode and restore it using a computer.
To do this, connect your iPhone to a PC or Mac using a cable. Press the volume up, press the volume down, and then press and hold the side button. Keep holding the side button while iPhone reboots until it displays an icon on the screen that represents a computer and cable. It will look similar to this:
After you get the iPhone into DFU state, it will then show on your computer through the Finder, or through iTunes if you are connecting to a Windows PC (or older version of macOS). In Finder/iTunes, you will be able to Restore or Update; press the Restore button to reset the phone.
After the phone has been restored, you can start the setup process again. There may be an additional software update available.
Finally, you can try again. If you are upgrading to an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro, you can set up using transfer data or iCloud backup. The aforementioned software update will have fixed the iOS 17 bug, so you can safely transfer data again and finish new iPhone setup.
However, if you are upgrading to an iPhone model earlier than the 15 series, a fix for the transfer data glitch is not yet available.
So, Apple recommends that you update using iCloud Backup instead. Make sure your previous iPhone has a recent iCloud backup complete (you can force this by going to Settings -> [your name] -> iCloud -> iCloud Backup -> Back Up Now). Then, on your new iPhone, start iPhone set up and choose the ‘From iCloud Backup’ option when it asks how you want to transfer your data to your new phone. Your iPhone should then finish setup successfully.
These steps are described in an Apple support document, which first revealed the existence of this iOS 17 glitch.
iPhone 15 Pro’s new design, Action button, and more
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are now official, and I had the chance to go hands-on with them inside Steve Jobs Theater. The flagship iPhone 15 Pro models pack a new titanium design, upgraded camera hardware, and more. Here are some quick first impressions…
Right off the bat, I was struck by how light the iPhone 15 Pro Max feels due to its new titanium chassis. Here’s how the numbers breakdown on paper:
iPhone 15 Pro – 187 grams (down from 206 grams)
iPhone 15 Pro Max – 221 grams (down from 240 grams)
That’s a pretty big difference on paper, and it’s an even bigger difference in real life. I’ve been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max for the last year, so I’ve grown pretty familiar with its weight. I found the iPhone 15 Pro Max to be significantly lighter and more comfortable to hold. I think this is due to both the reduction in weight as well as the new contoured edges.
The titanium design also means that the iPhone 15 Pro models have a texturized matte finish rather than the previous glossy stainless steel finish. I only spent around 15 minutes with the iPhone 15 Pro today, but I have a feeling this is going to be a very nice change in terms of durability.
The Action button is another standout feature of the iPhone 15 Pro. The interface to customize what the Action button is linked to is in the Settings app, and it’s beautifully designed. The button can be assigned to the following things:
Accessibility features like Magnifier
One thing that I didn’t realize until I tried the Action button is that a press and hold is required to trigger the action. You can’t just quickly press the button. This is likely an effort to prevent false triggers, so it makes sense, but it does mean there’s an added step required each time.
I think my primary use of the Action button will be for the camera. You can press and hold to open the Camera app, then press the Action Button again to use it as a shutter in the Camera app. You can see that demoed in my video above.
Speaking of the camera, the iPhone 15 Pro Max also features an upgraded Telephoto lens with up to 5x optical zoom. I’ll have to reserve full judgment on this until I get my hands on an iPhone 15 Pro Max for an extended period of time, but the quick demos I got at Steve Jobs Theater today align with my expectations. The new telephoto lens also enables 25x digital zoom as well.
Yes, there’s a USB-C port. Apple wasn’t lying.
The colors look much better than I expected, but they are still pretty boring and there’s not a whole lot of variety.
The smaller bezels are noticeable, but not as noticeable as I thought they would be. At a certain point I suppose you just get used to the black border being there, regardless of its size.
I only got a brief minute with the new FineWoven cases for the iPhone 15 Pro, but I really liked the material and how it felt in my hands. I’m 100% in support of Apple’s move away from leather.
I’ll have much more to say about the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max once I get to spend some more time with them. My first impressions are pretty positive, especially when it comes to the new titanium design and the benefits provided by that change.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus in every color
In addition to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple also unveiled the entry-level iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus during its “Wonderlust” event today. I got to check them out at Steve Jobs Theater after the keynote today, and I honestly wish I had more to say…
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are great phones. They take the iPhone 14 and do exactly what Apple does: gradually trickle down what were once Pro-exclusive features to the non-Pro phones. The other big change here, of course, is the USB-C port.
The camera changes shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly the new 48MP Main camera that’s moved downstream to the non-Pro phones after first being introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro last year. What’s most notable about this, in my opinion, is that it enables a 2x zoom option in the Camera app. This is done by Apple cropping the 48MP camera down to 24MP, enabling a 2x zoom without having a dedicated Telephoto lens.
The Dynamic Island also now finds itself on the non-Pro models of the iPhone 15 this year. It’s the same Dynamic Island we’ve come to know, just inside a more affordable product.
Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot to say about the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. The design is about the same as before, aside from the slightly contoured edges. The backs of the phones now feature a matte finish instead of glossy. They are available in five new colors: pink, yellow, blue, green, and black.
I think the pink iPhone 15 is going to sell like hotcakes. And it looks fantastic in real life. It stands out among what are otherwise relatively mundane colors.
Apple has officially set a date for its annual iPhone special event. This year, the festivities commence on September 12 and the iPhone 15 is expected to be the star of the show. Head below as we round up all of the announcements we expect at the Apple event, including new software and hardware.
Apple September event details
This year’s Apple event will be held on September 12 at 10 a.m. PT and 1 p.m. ET. Apple’s invite for the event teases the tagline “Wonderlust,” and some people have speculated the blue and gray color scheme could be a hint at Apple’s color choices for the iPhone 15.
The “Wonderlust” event is once again a hybrid-style event. This means it will include pre-recorded keynote that the majority of us watch from home. Members of the press, however, will watch from Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park and subsequently get hands-on time with the iPhone 15 and other new hardware.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are on track for an announcement at Apple’s September event this year. Here’s a rundown of the features and changes that have been rumored for the entry-level iPhone 15 models:
The Dynamic Island, which first came to the iPhone 14 Pro last year, will expand to the non-Pro versions of the iPhone 15.
The iPhone 15 will have a USB-C port that replaces Lightning for charging and data transfer.
Rumors have suggested the iPhone 15 will include a colour-matched braided USB-C cable in the box. That cable might also be 1.5 meters long, an increase from the current 1-meter Lightning cable included in the iPhone box.
Improved efficiency and performance with an upgrade from the A15 Bionic chip to the A16 Bionic chip.
Support for the new Qi2 wireless charging standard, which will allow for 15W wireless charging on a greater number of accessories.
iPhone 15 colours: black, green, blue, yellow, and pink.
As you can see, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus won’t be radically different than their iPhone 14 counterparts. The biggest changes are the switch to USB-C and the addition of the Dynamic Island.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will likely start at the same prices as their predecessors, coming in at $799 and $899 respectively. With an announcement on September 12, iPhone 15 pre-orders will likely begin on September 15, and the first shipments will arrive to customers on September 22.
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to get their own share of big changes this year, with design updates, dramatically better performance, and camera upgrades. Here’s a rundown:
The iPhone 15 Pro lineup will have noticeably smaller bezels around the display. The iPhone 14 Pro features a bezel that measures in a 2.17mm thick, while the iPhone 15 Pro will reportedly cut that down to 1.5mm.
Like the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Pro models will also switch to USB-C for charging and data transfer. The iPhone 15 Pro, however, could offer faster charging speeds at up to 35W, compared to the iPhone 14 Pro at 27W. iPhone 15 Pro might also support Thunderbolt speeds for data transfers at rates of up to 40 Gbps.
Support for the new Qi2 wireless charging standard, which will allow for 15W wireless charging on a greater number of accessories.
The chassis of the iPhone 15 Pro will be made from titanium, replacing the current stainless steel edges. This means the devices will be lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro and also feature a matte texture rather than a glossy finish.
A new A17 Bionic chip built with a 3nm fabrication process, which is expected to offer dramatic improvements in performance and efficiency. This will be Apple’s first-ever 3nm chip.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max (but not the iPhone 15 Pro) will include an upgraded camera system with periscope lens technology. The new periscope lens will offer increased optical zoom, up to 5x or 6x. Currently, the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s optical zoom is limited to 3x.
The mute switch will reportedly be replaced with a new programmable Action button, similar to what was first debuted on the Apple Watch Ultra last year. iPhone 15 Pro users will be able to assign this Action button to a number of different tasks.
iPhone 15 Pro colours: space black, silver, blue, and grey.
These new features, however, will reportedly come at a cost. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are both expected to be more expensive than their predecessors. At least one analyst has suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro could start at $1,099 (an increase of $100) and the iPhone 15 Pro Max could start at $1,299 (an increase of $200).The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to go up for pre-order on September 15th, but a recent analyst report indicated that the iPhone 15 Pro Max could face shipping delays of two to three weeks due to supply issues affecting the new camera hardware.
Apple Watch Series 9
In addition to the new iPhone 15 hardware, Apple is also planning a new Apple Watch Series 9 update. The new Apple Watch Series 9, however, is expected to be an iterative update without many major changes.
The one change for the new Apple Watch that’s been rumoured is a new processor inside. The Apple Watch Series 9 will reportedly be powered by a new S9 processor that offers performance and battery life improvements. This will mark the first change to the Apple Watch’s performance since the Apple Watch Series 6.
For context’s sake, the Apple Watch Series 8 is powered by the S8 processor, which is identical to the S7 chip used in the Apple Watch Series 7, which was identical to the S6 chip used in the Apple Watch Series 6.
The Apple Watch Series 9 will also be available in a new pink colour option, according to one leaker. This new colour would coexist alongside midnight, starlight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED. Apple is also reportedly planning to debut a new band design with woven fabric materials and magnetic buckle.
That’s about all we know in regards to the Apple Watch Series 9. Apple, however, is reportedly working on a dramatic “Apple Watch X” update that could debut as soon as next year. The Apple Watch X has been described as the “biggest redesign of the Watch ever.”
Apple Watch Ultra 2
The Apple Watch Ultra is also expected to get an update this year, but details here are just as sparse as details about the Apple Watch Series 9. Presumably, the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 will use the same S9 processor with improved performance and battery life.
Bloombergreported that Apple tested a black titanium color for the Apple Watch Ultra last year but scrapped those plans. Bloomberg suggested the black titanium color could resurface this year with the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra, which leaker ShrimpApplePro has also echoed. “I can confirm this year we will have the black titanium this year along with the current standard titanium,” they posted on Twitter.
– Apple Watch Ultra 2 Same design. And I can confirm this year we will have the black titanium this year along with the current standard titanium. (MKBHD Edition) 🗿 pic.twitter.com/zxsVu0TYKX
In line with the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C, Apple will also reportedly unveil a new version of AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case at its September event. The change from Lightning to USB-C is expected to be the only change for the new version of AirPods Pro. Apple will also likely sell a standalone version of the AirPods Pro charging case with USB-C, so existing users don’t have to buy a completely new pair.
Apple may also have USB-C versions of its other accessories in the works, such as the MagSafe Battery Pack, the MagSafe Duo, and its various peripherals for the Mac; whether or not those announcements are set for the September event remains to be seen.
iOS 17 release date and more updates
Looking beyond new hardware, Apple will also announce more details about iOS 17 and its other new software updates during the September event. This includes iOS 17, watchOS 10, tvOS 17, and iPadOS 17. These updates were first announced at WWDC in June and have been in beta testing since then.
During its September special event, Apple will announce a release date for these software updates. It will also likely give another rundown of the new features included in these updates.
One thing to note is that macOS Sonoma won’t be released in September, despite being announced alongside the other updates at WWDC in June. macOS Sonoma will be released sometime in October – which is when Apple will also reportedly unveil its first M3-powered Macs.
Apple September event wrap-up
Based on what we know now, Apple’s September 12 “Wonderlust” event is expected to be relatively to true to the precedent set in previous years. That is, the focus will be on the new iPhones with the Apple Watch updates being relatively minor.
One thing I’m particularly interested in seeing is the general public’s reaction to the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C. While those of us in the tech community have been calling for Apple to replace Lightning for several years, there’s always the possibility that the broader iPhone user base will feel different.
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
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.