iPhone 15 may not get a rounded design after all — here’s why

iPhone 14 Plus vs iPhone 14 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future)

The revival of rounded iPhone edges may be on hold for next year's launch of the iPhone 15, as supply chain issues could be forcing Apple to stick with the current iPhone design.

That's the word from LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), who spoke to Forbes (opens in new tab) about Apple's alleged iPhone 15 plans. According to the anonymous leaker, Apple hasn’t committed to bringing back the rounded edges, though Apple executives are still strongly considering them for the iPhone 15 lineup. In fact, LeaksApplePro seems to suggest that Apple does want rounded edges, but may not have a choice. 

iPhone 15: Flat-back or rounded edges? 

The past several iPhone releases dating back to the iPhone 12 have centered around flat-edge handsets. It's a design some people like because it makes the phone more durable, but others find the edges less comfortable than a rounded approach.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Apple was ready to bring back rounded edges to the iPhone 15 in an effort to freshen up the look of its handsets. Now that decision seems like it's up in the air.

iPhone 15 Ultra render with rounded edges

(Image credit: @jonjuhan/Twitter)

There are a couple of reasons that Apple could still be debating between a flat-back and rounded-back design. Supply chain constraints are still ravaging the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shutdowns in China and other geopolitical concerns in that region and the U.S. have Apple in contingency planning, as evidenced by its move in partnership with TSMC to produce 4nm process chipsets in Arizona (opens in new tab)

The other concern is that Apple also wants to ensure the premium feel and materials of its smartphones, and the rounded edges rumored to be in the works for the iPhone 15 bring design complications. Apple reportedly considers a glass back panel for its iPhones as a non-negotiable element, as it is necessary for wireless charging. If Apple cannot figure out how to make a rounded-edge back panel with glass for wireless charging, the company may be forced to punt a rounded-edge down the road to the iPhone 16 or later.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 camera face-off

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A rounded-back iPhone would be ideal for a lot of users, which is why Apple will probably do everything in its power to bring it to the iPhone 15. Ergonomically, a phone with rounded edge is significantly more comfortable in one’s hand than a flat-back design and Apple seems to be aware of this.

If you prefer the flat-back design of the current iPhone 14 lineup, or just can’t wait for the iPhone 15 to come out to upgrade your phone, make sure to check out our latest iPhone 14 deals. Right now you can still get a free iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro with a trade-in at AT&T (opens in new tab) or Verizon (opens in new tab), so there’s never been a better time to upgrade to an iPhone 14.

Malcolm McMillan
News Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a News Writer for Tom's Guide, writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment with a particular focus on phones and virtual reality. Before writing for Tom's Guide, he worked many retail jobs and many Black Fridays, including a stint for Microsoft so he knows all about finding the best prices for the latest tech. Malcolm had also been a fantasy football analyst for several years prior to his time with Tom's Guide. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.