Every rumor about the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which are expected in September 2023.
At a Glance
- The 2023 iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to feature USB-C instead of Lightning, solid-state volume and power buttons, new periscope camera technology, A17 chips, and more.
What else is new?
- USB-C port instead of the proprietary Lightning port
- Haptic power and volume buttons instead of physical ones
- New Apple A17 Bionic chip
- 8GB RAM (vs 6GB RAM on older models)
- Thinner bezels
- Titanium frame, lighter weight
The 2023 iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
Apple in 2023 will continue on with its four iPhone lineup, debuting an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. As with the iPhone 14 Pro models, the iPhone 15 Pro models will have features that are not available in the more affordable iPhone 15 devices.
This roundup highlights everything that we know about the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max based on circulating rumors. The iPhone 15 Pro is expected to measure in at 6.1 inches, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be 6.7 inches, identical to the iPhone 14 Pro models.
So far, it looks like the iPhone 15 Pro models will have an updated design, with Apple introducing thinner, curved bezels and a new titanium chassis. Apple is also expected to add solid state buttons that will use haptic feedback to mimic a button press.
The 3-nanometer A17 chip will be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, with the iPhone 15 models using the same A16 chip that’s in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. All iPhone 15 models will feature the Dynamic Island and will also transition from Lightning to USB-C, but the iPhone 15 Pro lineup will include an upgraded USB-C port that features USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 transfer speeds.
More RAM is expected alongside the A17 chip, but all iPhone 15 models will use the same 5G Qualcomm modem chip technology for connectivity. For the most part, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will have the same features, with one major difference – the telephoto camera lens.
Both models will include telephoto lens technology as part of their three-camera array, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max will have a periscope lens that will enable 6x optical zoom, a notable improvement over the 3x zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Part Leaks and Renders
A photo of an iPhone 15 Pro with USB-C port surfaced in February, giving us our first look at the design of the device. Dummy models followed in April, as did several renders.
The USB-C port doesn’t look too much different from the Lightning port in the current iPhone 14 Pro lineup, but it interesting to see the similarities. The image shows off the deeper curve that Apple is expected to add to the iPhone 15 Pro models, and it has a brushed metal finish that could be the rumored titanium chassis.
Leaked front glass panels designed for the iPhone 15 Pro models give us some insight into the thinness of the bezels, and there is a noticeable difference in size. Thinner bezels will be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro models with no change for the standard iPhone 15 models.
iPhone 15 Pro renders published by 9to5Mac provide some additional perspective on the design changes. Thinner bezels are expected around the display, and there could be some design tweaks to the volume and power buttons to account for the new solid-state design. The camera bump is expected to be thicker, with thicker lenses to accommodate camera updates.
The iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to feature a unified volume button design as part of the new solid-state functionality. Renders demonstrate what the single button could look like, but these may not be the exact design Apple has settled on. There is also expected to be a notable change to the mute switch, which will no longer be a switch but a button.
Based on renders designed from CAD drawings of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the device could be slightly thicker than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, with small reductions in the height and width. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to be 8.25mm thick, 0.4mm thicker than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The camera bump may be slightly thinner than the iPhone 14 Pro Max camera bump, and as we’ve seen in renders of the iPhone 15 Pro, the edges are expected to be more curved. Bezels will also be somewhat thinner compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are expected to look similar to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, with 6.1 and 6.7-inch OLED displays and a Dynamic Island cutout for the camera and Face ID hardware
There have been rumors of some tweaks to the chassis of the two Pro models. Leaker ShrimpApplePro has said that the iPhone 15 Pro models are expected feature thinner, curved bezels compared to the iPhone 14 Pro models. The displays would remain flat despite the slimmer, curved edges, a design likened to the Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8.
The iPhone 15 Pro’s bezels are expected to measure in at 1.55mm, which means the device will “break the record” for the thinnest bezels in a smartphone. The iPhone 14 Pro, for comparison, has 2.17mm bezels.
Instead of stainless steel, rumors suggest that Apple will transition to titanium this year, using it for the frame of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Compared to stainless steel, titanium is lighter and stronger, but it is also more expensive because it is harder to work with.
Presuming no other major changes in terms of internal components, an iPhone constructed with a titanium frame will be lighter than an iPhone with a stainless steel frame, so it is likely that the 15 Pro and Pro Max will be lighter than their iPhone 14 Pro predecessors. Weight will ultimately be determined by the alloy that Apple uses, as the devices won’t be made from pure titanium.
Titanium is already used in the Apple Watch lineup, and Apple has in the past featured two titanium colors, a standard silver-like natural titanium color and a darker space black version. Apple could use these same colors for the iPhone 15 Pro models, or design new shades.
In addition to being lighter weight, titanium has a different finish than stainless steel. Rather than being shiny, it has more of a matte texture that will not attract fingerprints in the same way the iPhone 14 Pro’s stainless steel frame does.
Titanium is a much stronger material than stainless steel, so an iPhone chassis made of the material could be more resistant to dents, dings, and bending but it may be easier to scratch because the oxide layer is easily damaged and can make minor scratches stand out.
The iPhone 15 Pro models could be available in a dark red color, close to a maroon or a burgundy shade. Apple often provides one new color each year, and rumors suggest this year’s color is a deep red.
Prior colors have included dark purple, green, and dark blue, and the red shade will be available alongside standard silver/gold and space gray color options.
Solid State Buttons
The iPhone 15 Pro models are not expected to feature the same physical buttons that are on the iPhone 14 Pro models, with Apple instead adopting solid-state buttons with haptic feedback. Solid-state buttons can be used in the same way as a physical button, but there is no actual button press that occurs when you touch it.
Instead, a haptic vibration is used to mimic a button press and give you the sensation of pressing down even when there is no actual physical movement of the button.
Apple already uses solid-state technology for the Touch ID Home button on the iPhone SE and the trackpad on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. On these devices, you can use a press gesture and it feels like you’ve pressed a button, but in reality, it’s a solid surface with haptic feedback.
A low-energy chip will allow the solid-state volume and power buttons to function when the iPhone is turned off or the battery is depleted, so the buttons will still be able to be pressed even when the iPhone is off.
The iPhone already has a low-energy mode that allows an iPhone to be located through Find My after it has been shut off or for up to 24 hours after the battery has been depleted, plus it enables Apple Pay Express Mode and allows NFC to work even with no battery. The new chip will take over these functions and will also power the solid-state buttons.
The sensitivity of the solid-state buttons will be customizable through a new sensitivity toggle in the Settings app, which will allow it to work with a case and when the user is wearing gloves. Increasing the sensitivity will allow the buttons to work in these scenarios.
Volume and Mute Button Redesign
Rather than separate volume buttons, the iPhone 15 Pro is expected to have a solid-state unified volume rocker, a design that Apple used for some early iPhones. It will be a single, longer button that will use haptic feedback rather than two distinct buttons.
Instead of a switch, the iPhone 15 Pro models will use a single button that is pressed to toggle volume on and off, rather than a switch that moves up and down.
A reliable source from the MacRumors forums has suggested that Apple might turn the mute button into an “Action” button similar to the Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra.
The Action button will allegedly replace the current Ring/Silent switch located near the volume buttons, but there is no word yet on what functions such a button might be able to perform. It would likely be customizable similar to the Apple Watch Action button and could be used for things like activating Do Not Disturb, turning on Low Power Mode, activating the Camera app, and more.
All iPhone 15 models could be equipped with a more power-efficient OLED display driver chip that’s manufactured on a 28nm process, allowing for reduced power consumption that could ultimately lead to improved battery life.
A set of 3D printed iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models offers some insight into how prior-generation iPhone 14 cases will fit, and it appears that older cases will not be able to be used with the new iPhones.