iPhone 15: the latest 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 15 smartphone
(Image credit: 4RMD)

We've had plenty of time to appreciate the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max now and while they're still some of the best phones we are dreaming about the shiny new models coming next (don't tell them). Let's have a look at what we know about the iPhone 15 series, which will arrive this year. 

There are plenty of rumours and leaks from all around the internet but think of this page as a one-stop shop to round up all of the rumours that have got people talking. We will discuss speculation around the phone's, features, release, price and more.

With WWDC today (yay!) we could be treated to a first look, or at least official information about Apple's next set of phones, or at least iOS 17. It is expected however that Apple will focus on its rumoured VR headset

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 so stay on your toes. 

That said, with production lines suffering various supply issues, the iPhone 15 could arrive at any given time, but don't worry we've got our eyes peeled. 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. 

Apple's 2023 WWDC event, will take place from June 5th to June 9th. It's unlikely that we'd see the new iPhone released there, with the focus expected to be on Apple's VR headset, though there is a possibility that we could get a glimpse of a new phone. We're also likely to get a taste of iOS 17, which the new iPhone will run on.

As it stands, then, there's no known iPhone 15 release date, but a September reveal with an on-sale release 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, 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. 

One thing we have seen rumoured is a larger price gap between the standard and Pro ranges. That suggested there would be a $300 gap between models of the same size with what we then thought was going to be called the iPhone 15 Ultra (but now looks likely to be the Pro Max)  supposedly around $1199.

iPhone's aren't cheap but even the top models will come in at less than Google's new foldable, the Pixel Fold

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. 

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

Leaks of the design of the iPhone 15 suggest it won't have changed very much, at least to the eye. Dummies of all four expected models look similar to the iPhone 14 but seem to confirm a few things.  The Dynamic Island seems to be across the whole range of phones, and the switch to USB-C looks the same. 

It seems like future iPhones will be even bigger than they are currently, but the iPhone 15 is expected to launch too soon for the latest display upgrade

iPhone 15: How many models?

As there was no iPhone 14 Mini, I think that's the end of that series (a shame) – 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 4 arrives in the interim period, prior to the next flagship series' arrival, that doesn't count as a true '15' model anyway.

Again, the dummies pictured in a prominent leak suggest that it will a be a fantastic four rather than five. While an Ultra model now looks unlikely, it could appear in the iPhone 16 range as the ultimate bells and whistles iPhone. 

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 2022 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 and will surely help with the durability of the phone. 

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. These aren't the most glamorous things, but they are benefits that users will appreciate every day.

In terms of the technology in the display, the Pro models are still expected to lead the charge with Always-On Display and ProMotion, which isn't expected on the base models.

Interestingly enough, it seems that the iPhone 16 range could see the pro models get even bigger, with some mooting that the iPhone 16 Ultra could reach a 6.9-inch display. You might need some bigger pockets. 

iPhone 15: Key specs

In the iPhone 14 line-up, the Pro models were the only ones sporting the new A16 Bionic chip, while the standard-tier variants kept the A15 Bionic from the iPhone 13. Things look set to step up a notch again this year, with Apple's A17 Bionic chip rumoured to be the first using a 3nm fabrication process. However, I suspect that dual-tier variation will remain, with the base models getting the A16. 

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. 

Leaked Geekbench scores for the iPhone 15 Pro, however, have suggested it could be a serious step up in terms of raw power. 

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. That's no bad thing as we rate the iPhone 14 as one of the best cameras out there.

However, I don't think that's entirely likely within just one generation. If anything we'll probably software upgrades like 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.

One of the most persistent iPhone 15 rumours however is a curious one. There is talk that the iPhone 15 Pro Max only could have a Periscope lens, allowing for improved optical zoom. This would be one of just a few times that the Pro and Pro Max models have had such big differences rather than just size which could set the precedent for future Ultra models. While we'd love a lens like that on all models, the thought of iPhone camera software with beefy optical zoom is very exciting indeed. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has 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 10 years, 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.