iPhone 15: news, rumours and release date speculation for Apple's 2023 flagship

The iPhone 15 ought to take cues from the iPhone 14 Pro & Max's new features, here's an early spin on what you might expect

iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
Pictured: Apple iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models from September 2021 announcement
(Image credit: Apple)

That's right, 'What is the new iPhone coming out in 2023?' is already a question on people's lips, so it's time to turn your attention to the future and what that could mean for the iPhone 15 series. 

I know, it's only been mere hours since Apple announced its full iPhone 14 line-up – comprising iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max – but that's already got everyone talking about what the next big-deal Apple phones will bring in 2023.

It's early days, like I say, so the initial news and rumours surrounding Apple's iPhone 15 are in short supply at the present moment. But, I suspect, a lot of the iPhone 15 – right down to the 'entry-level' models – will receive a drip feed of features from the more 'upper-level' iPhone 14 Pro models. And that can only be a good thing. 

iPhone 15 rumoured release date

Some things in life are certain: death and taxes... and new iPhone models arriving each September. Ok, so there's no guarantee that the iPhone 15 series will be unveiled in September 2023, but based on the tech giant's recent history it's extremely likely. The iPhone 14 was actually revealed a week earlier than originally expected.

That said, with production lines suffering various supply issues, the iPhone 15 could arrive at any given time. If you think back over iPhone history, the very first one was revealed on 9 January back in 2009. Its follow-ups were typically released in the month of June. There's nothing to say the iPhone 15 couldn't flip the script and break up the annual cycle, but that's unlikely with many customers on 24 month contracts with carriers. 

As it stands, then, there's no known iPhone 15 release date, but a September reveal with on-sale the same month or into October is the current best bet.

How much will the iPhone 15 cost?

Product pricing is never announced until the big reveal date, so it would be a total shot in the dark to put a price on the iPhone 15 so far ahead of its rumoured reveal. 

That said, however, I suspect pricing will depend rather a lot on world events and economies. After all, the iPhone 14 series did not receive a price increase over the iPhone 13 series equivalents in the USA. 

It sure did in the UK, though, with the iPhone 14 costing £70 more than the iPhone 13 was at launch; the iPhone 14 Pro Max is £150 pricier than the equivalent iPhone 13 Pro Max too. 

If we see a recession from late 2022 throughout much of 2023 and an ongoing weakening of the Pound then, well, the iPhone 15 series could be pricier again. And not just based on inflation. We shall have to wait and see. 

Design: Will the iPhone 15 have a notch?

When Apple announced the iPhone 14 series there was a lot of expectation that the notch – the now almost classic black-out area top and centre of the screen where the cameras are housed – would be banished for a new design. That was partially the case: although not for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus models. 

Instead, it was the iPhone 15 Pro and 14 Pro Max that both received a new floating notch, or what Apple likes to call a Dynamic Island. The name might sound somewhat pompous, but actually Appleis onto a really great way of dealing with the notch here: its iOS software can animate expansive black-background areas out from this space, making it appear entirely intentional, acting as a purposeful 'island' space to interact with.

I suspect the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will take benefit of this new design idea, leaving the notch as it was known as a thing of the past. Even the lower-end iPhone models, i.e. the iPhone SE, have a full bar that creates a much larger top bezel. 

iPhone 15: How many models?

As there was no iPhone 14 Mini, I think that's the end of that series – so the iPhone 15 line-up is likely to be four strong, just like the 2022 flagship line-up.

That, assuming it follows suit year-on-year, will comprise an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. And if an iPhone SE 3 arrives in the interim period, prior to the next flagship series' arrival, that doesn't count as a true '15' model anyway. 

Will the iPhone 15 have a SIM slot?

Here's a really interesting rumour: the iPhone 15 will be eSIM only across the board, i.e. there will be no SIM tray, no way to put a physical SIM card in.

I suggest this could very well be the case across the globe for the iPhone 15 series, as Apple announced at its Far Out event on 7 September that it's already rolling out this model for the iPhone 14 series in the USA. 

Give it a year and it'll be the norm... or there'll be a total u-turn. But I think this fewer openings approach, with zero trays and a more seamless design, is something we've been moving towards for a long time. 

iPhone 15: Display size

I think Apple is now pretty settled on its approach: two models with 6.1-inch displays;  two with 6.7-inch displays. But where does progress then come from?

Well, there's certainly a possibility that Apple could flip the script to reconsider the iPhone 15 series' screen sizes. But there's no evidence to support that at this stage. It would be interesting to see an interim 6.4-inch scale model in my opinion though. 

Otherwise I think we can expect advancement in refresh rates, colour volume, brightness, and battery-savings. Things that don't read all that exciting, but all affect everyday use for the better.

iPhone 15: Key specs

While not getting too ahead of ourselves here, will the iPhone 15 receive a new chipset to power things? The iPhone 14 didn't improve over the iPhone 13 in that regard, adopting the A15 Bionic. And you know what? I don't think anyone will notice. 

Computational and graphical power in phones is now so impressive that, really, it's likely to be the battery-saving accomplishments that a smaller nanometre process could bring. TSMC, the chip manufacturer, is heading towards 3nm already, which is the next step (A15 Bionic is 5nm), so it's plausible 'A16 Bionic' would adopt that process. That should bring battery-boosting capabilities without actually adding more battery capacity.

iPhone 15: Expect new cameras?

It's already taken Apple a long time to move away from 12-megapixel cameras to 48-megapixel ones, as found in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. It's therefore likely that the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus could adopt these cameras, with the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max going even further up the resolution scales. 

However, I don't think that's entirely likely within just one generation. If anything we'll probably see more modes, more computational photography to improve portraits, lighting, high dynamic range, low-light and night photography, among other scenarios. 

As I've learnt from years reviewing Android phones: adding more cameras doesn't always make for a better product, sometimes it's worse; the same can be said of overdoing resolution too. So I think Apple will bide its time and maintain a steady refinement of its cameras system, not a total overhaul for the iPhone 15 series.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.