We were able to get our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, aka the four new iPhones that we’re expecting Apple to launch in September 2023. We’ve already heard endless rumors about the iPhone 15 models, but it helps to be able to see all the changes and design updates in person.
At first glance, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models look similar to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, but there are notable differences when you look a bit closer. There are no more Lightning ports, for example, as Apple is adopting USB-C this year. There are USB-C ports at the bottom of each device, which will allow for charging with the same USB-C cable that can be used to charge a modern Mac or iPad.
On the surface, the USB-C ports on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro look identical, but we are expecting the iPhone 15 Pro models to support faster data transfer speeds with possible Thunderbolt support. There have also been hints that Apple will restrict some functionality to Made for iPhone cables, but we can’t tell if that’s the case with dummy models.
There have been multiple rumors of a minor design change to the corners of the iPhone 15 models, which you can indeed see. It’s a subtle shift, but the corners are rounder than before, making for a more comfortable feel in the hand.
Rumors suggest the iPhone 15 Pro models will use titanium instead of stainless steel, but that’s a feature we can’t see in the dummy models. Rather than the shiny finish of the dummy models, we’ll likely see a more high-end matte finish. All of the dummy models feature a frosted glass back, something that has in the past been limited to the Pro models. We have heard rumors that frosted glass will be used across the board, but it is a curious choice.
All four iPhones in 2023 are also expected to have the Dynamic Island instead of a notch, and that will effectively mark the end of the notch in Apple’s flagship iPhone lineup. Right now, the Dynamic Island is limited to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, but even the lower-priced iPhone 15 will have the updated design in 2023.
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max dummy models feature a unified volume button, but that design tweak may have been changed last minute. Apple was rumored to be implementing solid-state technology into the volume buttons, but there were too many bugs to be worked out, so the function has been held until the iPhone 16. Because of that, we may see the traditional two-button design rather than the unified button.
What’s more certain is Apple’s elimination of the mute switch, which is turning into a button. We’ll have a button above the volume buttons, and it may be an Action button instead of a dedicated mute button, similar to the Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra. The Action button would be programmable and able to do more than just mute the iPhone.
Cameras look about the same and you won’t notice major external changes, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to get a new periscope lens with up to 6x optical zoom. It takes a lot of space inside the phone to implement this technology, so it’s going to be limited to the Pro Max.
We’re about four months away from the debut of the iPhone 15 models, which means the design has been finalized and Apple will soon start mass production. We’ll be hearing more about the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models as a launch approaches, with everything we know aggregated in our dedicated roundups.