iPhone 15 Pro Max scale render showing its ultra-thin bezels
08/15 Update below. This post was originally published on August 12
New leaks for Apple’s iPhone 15 series have revealed multiple updates, including photos of their new USB-C ports, bezels and a potential surprise upgrade for older iPhone generations as well.
First up, a pair of images showing the alleged USB-C component Apple will use across the iPhone 15 range have been published by separate sources. While the sources are new, credible insider Unknownz21 commented: “Upon closer inspection – key details match up perfectly, this looks to be the real deal.”
USB-C is a big deal for iPhone users. While Apple is being forced into the change by upcoming international legislation, the move will enable iPhone owners to finally carry a single cable for charging their iPads, iPhones and MacBooks. iPhone and Android owners will also be able to share cables for the first time.
Less discussed is the move also opens up the potential for Apple to provide faster data and charging speeds for iPhones, which have lagged behind Android rivals for some time. Early leaks claimed iPhone 15 Pro models, may ship with Thunderbolt 4 performance (40,000 megabits/sec), a stratospheric upgrade compared to the current USB 2.0 speeds (480 megabits/sec). Either way, however, the option is now open for speeds like this.
iPhone 15 Pro leaked screen protector shows super thin bezels
Next, popular insider Majin Bu has shared upcoming screen protectors for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which highlight their super thin bezels. They are expected to measure just 1.5mm thick, breaking the record set by the Xiaomi 13 (1.81mm). They are also approximately 20% and 30% thinner than the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro bezels, respectively.
While Apple is already being criticized for a lack of innovation in this year’s models, this is a genuinely impressive engineering achievement. It is also set to pave the way for larger displays in the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max in 2024.
Last, in an eye-opening development, Apple has seemingly confirmed the existence of its iPhone 15 range, as well as new versions of the iPhone 14 in its tvOS 17 beta code.
Discovered by @aaronp613, the code references the iPhone15,4, iPhone15,5, iPhone16,1, and iPhone16,2. Apple’s version numbers refer to their chip generation rather than their model number, so the iPhone15,x uses the A16 chip (iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max) and iPhone16,x is the A17 (iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max).
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max render based on leaked CADs showing the new USB-C port
Why would Apple be refreshing the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max a year after launch? One credible theory is Apple will launch the line with USB-C ports, given they are still likely to be on sale when the EU sales ban hits. Apple has also used USB-C in all its Pro-branded products, other than the iPhone, for some time now, so it would bring consistency to the ranges.
In addition to these leaks, iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max buyers are expected to see upgrades to a titanium chassis, a new solid-state Action button and upgraded UWB. Standard iPhone 15 models will move to the Dynamic Island design, and the whole range is tipped to adopt smarter, cooler stacked battery technology.
Significant price rises may put off some buyers, but with stock understood to be limited at launch, anyone keen to upgrade will still have to move fast.
08/14 Update: It seems that Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max redesign plans are going to filter down to its entry-level iPhone much sooner than anticipated.
In a new post over the weekend, Unknownz21 has revealed the main design changes Apple is planning for the iPhone SE4 in 2024:
While the first couple were expected, the latter two are real surprises. Face ID is significantly more expensive to produce than the Touch ID fingerprint sensor used in current iPhone SE models, while the inclusion of an Action Button means Apple’s budget iPhone would have it while the more expensive iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus do not.
Apple is known for tickling down cutting-edge tech into its cheaper models, but certainly not this fast, as the overdue transition away from the iPhone SE’s iPhone 8-inspired design shows. That said, there has been speculation that the Action Button coming to iPhone 15 Pro models will save costs compared to the current physical mute switch, and its potential to increase durability and water resistance would bring further savings for Apple.
So why would Apple not introduce the Action button for all iPhone 15 models? The most logical answer would be scale. iPhones sell on an unprecedented scale, and as a new manufacturing process, introducing it for the entire iPhone 15 range is a risk. As it stands, any problems would only affect half the models.
So why take the risk with Pros? Apple doesn’t really have a choice because the company would have to justify adding a new feature only to the standard iPhone 15 models. This would also take the shine off the upgrade and make it look more like a cost cutting exercise that would later be inflicted upon iPhone Pro models.
08/15 Update: more iPhone 15 components have leaked online courtesy of Majin Bu. The leaker posted new images, including details of the packaged chip.
Leaked images of the purposed iPhone 15 USB-C connector chip
The rumors about encryption have circled for some time, with fears that Apple will look to lock down the iPhone 15 range’s USB-C port to Apple-approved cables, circumventing the reason the open standard is being enforced by regulatory bodies, such as the European Union. In fact, Apple has already been warned about such practices ahead of release.
Majin Bu does make the point that the cables “should be compatible with all USB-C cables by law, so I think there’s no doubt from that point of view,” but the question is not about whether they will work, but whether Apple will restrict features such as fast charging or higher data transmission rates to certified cables.
Surprisingly at this stage, details around the performance of this USB-C implementation remain vague. Leaks have claimed that iPhone 15 Pro models may output to 4K monitors and operate at Thunderbolt 3 speeds (40 gigabits per second). In contrast, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are claimed to be stuck with current Lighting speeds of just 480 megabits per second (0.48 Gbps). That said, these details have not leaked again in recent months, so there is some doubt about their inclusion.
A similar argument can be made for fast charging. USB-C supports significantly higher charging rates than Lightning, but whether Apple will take advantage of that (either for all iPhone 15 models or just Pros), remains to be seen. In recent years, iPhones have fallen a long way behind Android rivals in this regard, but only a month from launch, nothing has leaked to suggest Apple will look to close the gap.
What is arguably beyond doubt at this point, however, is that USB-C is coming to all iPhone 15 models. For years, this has been one of the most requested changes from iPhone customers, and now it is coming — even if it has seemingly taken international legislation to make the transition happen.
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