New year, new iPhone rumours!
This time, well… they’re actually pretty interesting.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not about to reveal that we might get a folding iPhone later this year, or that Tim has finally caved in and decided to reintroduce the iPhone mini. But we do appear to be getting some rather interesting – and long overdue – stuff when the new iPhones drop in the autumn.
These latest rumours are courtesy of Apple Hub on Twitter, which, I guess, is about as reliable as the next member of the Apple Rumour Mill Collective. So, please take everything you’re about to read with a massive pinch of salt.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts on each rumour.
6.1” and 6.7” sizes (both regular and Pro models)
This is no different to the current models, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.
We shouldn’t be surprised about the absence of a mini-sized iPhone, either – that really has gone the way of the original HomePod.
What will be interesting is how Apple handles the iPhone 15 Plus (assuming it retains that moniker). There are numerous reports that the iPhone 14 Plus has experienced poor sales performance, therefore will Apple tackle that by lowering the price of the next iteration?
I doubt it, but stranger things have happened!
48MP wide lens (regular models)
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, either. Apple has a history of nudging once-Pro-only features down the ranks, and that strategy is seen most often with the camera hardware.
The presence of a 48MP main camera on the regular iPhone 15 will bring that device in line with the majority of its Android competition. It’s a big upgrade for most iPhone owners, sure, but it’s one from which most regular users are unlikely to ever benefit or utilise to its full potential.
For that reason alone, I hope this isn’t the only camera upgrade the regular iPhone 15 receives.
USB-C port (all models)
I’ve been pretty outspoken about my desire for Apple to finally ditch its Lightning port across all product lines.
They started the process with the launch of the refreshed iPad Pro in 2018 – nearly five years ago. So unexpected was the introduction of a USB-C port on that device that it even drew gasps of joy from Apple staff at the event.
It was a big deal back then; the most impressive iPad of them all finally had an industry-standard port that could live up to the rigours of fast data transfer. It also meant you could use any of the cables that came with competing devices to charge the damn thing.
In 2022, the USB-C charging port made its way to the weird 10th-generation iPad and, bizarrely, the Siri Remote for the latest iteration of the Apple TV 4K.
AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and the entire iPhone lineup are still resolutely Lightning-only.
It’s no secret that Apple’s reported move to USB-C for the iPhone 15 has been hurried along somewhat by an EU directive that will force all manufacturers to adopt USB-C on mobile devices by 2024. This is with a view to reducing e-waste and “empowering consumers to make more sustainable choices”.
Whatever the reason for the EU’s Apple-baiting, I’m all for it. This is long overdue.
Titanium frame (Pro models)
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max consist of stainless steel frames. This has been Apple’s material of choice for its most expensive iPhones for quite some time, and in my experience, they are bloody tough devices (if a little on the heavy side).
They appear to have become tougher over time, too. These days, it’s tricky to even scratch, nick, or dent those shiny flat edges. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve dropped my iPhone 14 Pro Max with the bottom edge exposed and it still looks as good as new.
I know precisely nothing about metals, therefore I’ve had to look up the benefits of using titanium over stainless steel, and it boils down to some intriguing differences.
According to this helpful blog post, titanium is:
- significantly stronger than many steels;
- capable of withstanding very high temperatures;
- low in density with a high strength-to-weight ratio;
- more easily formed during manufacturing; and
- extremely resistant to fatigue.
Unfortunately, it also seems that titanium is generally more expensive than stainless steel. So, does that mean we’ll see another price hike for an even tougher, lighter iPhone Pro this year, Tim?
Solid-state buttons (Pro models)
Hold your horses – this doesn’t mean the return of the physical home button. Instead, I think it means the conversion of the remaining physical buttons on the iPhone Pro models to solid-state affairs.
For those who are unaware, solid-state buttons use a combination of sensors and haptic feedback to make it feel like you’re pressing a real button. The technology behind it is mind-alteringly smart and is used on MacBook trackpads and the Home Button-equipped 9th generation iPad and iPhone SE.
Introducing solid-state buttons to the iPhone 15 Pro models is, presumably, part of a continued bid to both remove all physical input methods from the iPhone, while increasing water and dust resistance.
I’m all for this. I just can’t get that excited about it I’m afraid, Tim.
A17 Bionic chip (Pro models)
It’ll be super fast.
Just like every iPhone.
Oh, and kudos to Apple for resisting the temptation to ‘chuck an M1 in there’.
8GB RAM (Pro models)
Stay awake at the back, please.
Periscope lens (Pro models)
This rumour has been circulating for a while, but it essentially refers to the iPhone 15 Pro devices receiving a significant camera upgrade.
The addition of a periscope lens essentially enables far better and longer optical zooming with minimal image degradation. It would also bring the iPhone Pro series in line with most of its flagship competitors. Finally. Although, obviously, Apple will give their periscope lens technology a silly name.
Having used the periscope lens in both the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Google Pixel 7 Pro, I can confirm that it is a genuinely useful camera feature. Both of those devices deliver surprisingly good results at 10x (and, often, far beyond), and there have been numerous occasions where I’ve wanted just a bit more optical reach on the iPhone’s camera system.
These rumours feel pretty solid to me. There’s nothing outlandish and nothing seemingly placed there to satisfy the naysayers. It’s all perfectly reasonable stuff, and I hope every single thing above comes true later this year.
What do you think? Will any of these rumours tempt you to upgrade to the iPhone 15? Or do you think Apple is still missing a trick or two?
Get involved in the comments!