Apple made some big changes with the iPhone 14 Pro and the upgrades look to continue in 2023 with the iPhone 15 Pro. Of course, there are rumors about a so-called iPhone 15 Ultra, too, which some think will carry on the iPhone 14 Pro Max's legacy.
Right now, it looks like a few of the Ultra rumors apply to the iPhone 15 Pro, too. Some of those include things like solid-state buttons, USB-C and faster data transfer speeds, but Apple might create a further divide between its models, even the Pros — similar to what happened with the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
We've compiled what to expect from the iPhone 15 Pro. If you want to read about the iPhone 15, we have a roundup of those rumors, too.
iPhone 15 Pro: News (updated February 7)
- Apple should use the latest Samsung-made display for the iPhone 15 Pro.
- Ming-Chi Kuo has corroborated the report that the iPhone 15 will get Wi-Fi 6E.
- iOS 17 snippets reveal that the iPhone 15 Pro might get faster USB transfer speeds and Wi-Fi 6E support.
- iPhone 15 reportedly enters trial production a month earlier than iPhone 14.
- The iPhone 15 Pro has been tipped to get a price hike, potentially increasing by $100.
- Mark Gurman claims all iPhone 15 modes could get the Dynamic Island, which could see the feature become more capable as more developers adopt it.
iPhone 15 Pro: Possible price and release date
Apple likes to stick to September as its time frame for iPhone launches, so we'd wager the iPhone 15 Pro will come out in mid-September 2023, with one analyst giving the date of September 22/23 as the specific retail launch day. The iPhone 14 Pro released on September 16, 2022, while the iPhone 13 Pro launched on September 24, 2021.
There is a slight wrinkle now, however. Trial production has reportedly begun for the iPhone 15 lineup and it's starting a month earlier than usual this year. This seems to be due to Apple's mass-production plans in India and China rather than an indication that we will see an iPhone earlier than usual, but we cannot rule it out for sure. Still, we expect a September unveiling for the iPhone 15.
Check out our look at potential iPhone 15 release dates for a more specific guess as to the day the new models could arrive.
As for price, we won't hear much about that until the lead-up to Apple's event. But that's not to ay we can't speculate. The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999 / £1,099 / AU$1,749 going all the way up to up to $$1,599 / £1,749 / AU$2,769 for the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max. Now we'd expect the iPhone 15 Pro to follow that pricing.
But a $100 price hike has been tipped for the iPhone 15 Pro. This could be down to more advanced features coming to the next-gen iPhone. But it wold mean a base iPhone 15 Pro would top the $1,000 mark, which could sting consumers, especially when the cost of living is high. This price hike may not happen in the U.K. and other regions, as the iPhone 14 brought in an increased price last year, while the U.S, stuck with the established pricing rungs.
As a counterpoint, another report speculates that Apple may drop the prices on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus after the iPhone 14 Plus reportedly struggled to make inroads with shoppers. It's unclear if that would impact iPhone 15 Pro pricing, but one scenario would have Apple boost Pro prices to make its standard models seem more appealing.
iPhone 15 Pro: Design and display
The iPhone 14 Pro really shook up the iPhone's iconic design. The Dynamic Island replaces the infamous notch with a responsive UI thanks to iOS 16 features like Live Activities and such.
In a recent report, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claimed all iPhone 15 models will get the Dynamic Island. (Leaker ShrimpApplePro has also corroborated this after obtaining some iOS 17 tidbits.) This could see more developers become moe motivated to make apps that adapt to the morphing camera cutout/display feature, and thus further add to its capabilities.
There's no reason to believe that Apple will change the screen size for the iPhone 15 Pro, either. The 6.1-inch form factor has withstood the test of time, and is a favorite among many (including some Tom's Guide staff). And the always-on display is more than likely to stay.
One potential change is the use of Samsung's latest display technology, something that even the Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn't use.
But the design could get a big change. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman points out in one of his columns that Apple likes to switch up the iPhone design every three years (opens in new tab) or so. The flat-edged look we have now has been around since the iPhone 12, which is three generations older than the upcoming iPhone 15.
That means 2023 could see a fresh look, but what? Apple might return to rounded edges for the iPhone 15 Pro, which is more ergonomic, especially when combined with the weight of modern iPhones. This might also offer a slimmer look to the iPhone 15 Pro. And the chassis might be made of titanium, a long-rumored feature for iPhones.
However, the latest rumors from LeaksApplePro suggest that the iPhone 15 lineup may not get a rounded design after all. Supply chain issues and design constraints related to wireless charging may have Apple sticking with its current flat-back design.
Another recent rumor from Ming-Chi Kuo claims that "two high-end iPhone 15s" will feature solid-state buttons. Replacing mechanical buttons with those that lack any moving parts and instead use haptic feedback (possibly with the help of extra Taptic Engine motors) could make for a more durable phone that lasts longer and is better protected against water and debris. If you want an example of this, look back to the iPhone 7's home button, which went fully haptic.
An iPhone 15 Pro render from 4RMD has taken these potential design changes and spun them into a concept that looks great — even though it's just based on rumors. It shows off the haptic power and volume buttons, a smaller Ceramic Shield back panel to allow for a curved-edge design and a titanium body all make their way into this latest render. While ultimately the real iPhone 15 Pro will probably look a bit different, the concept definitely has us excited for what could be coming.
iPhone 15 Pro: USB-C
Many, including us, expect 2023 to be the year that Apple finally retires the Lightning port on the iPhone, going with USB-C instead as mandated by the European Union and enforceable from December 2024. Of course, it could also be the year that Apple introduces a portless iPhone, but that's a fuzzy guess at best.
The top-end iPhones will reportedly get faster data transfer speeds from their USB-C connectors, while the regular versions would be stuck at the same speed as Lightning, which is equivalent to the ancient USB 2.0 standard. That's one of the reasons why the addition of USB-C will be a big deal for the iPhone 15 lineup.
iPhone 15 Pro: Cameras
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max rank as some of the best camera phones you can buy, partially thanks to the new 48MP main sensor. It can take some great shots, and even use the full 48 megapixels in RAW photos.
Right now, however, there's very little we know about the iPhone 15 Pro's cameras. One of the things we have heard is that Apple will use Sony's new "state-of-the-art" sensor for the iPhone 15. This sensor can double the pixel saturation levels, potentially improving the iPhone 15 Pro's over- and under-exposure compensation. This would be great, as the iPhone 14 Pro struggles a bit with exposure control in challenging scenes.
We've heard about a periscope telephoto lens in an iPhone for a while now, and 2023 might be the year it happens. Ming-Chi Kuo claims the iPhone 15 Pro will finally get this periscope telephoto capability, helping it match the likes of Samsung and Google for zoom performance. That said, it could be reserved for the iPhone 15 Ultra, though a recent iPhone 15 Pro render included it in the design.
Another Kuo rumor claims that the iPhone 15 Pro will sport an 8P main lens to reduce distortion in wider-angle shots, but considering that Apple just moved to a 7P lens for the iPhone 14 Pro, we'd take this one with a grain of salt.
iPhone 15 Pro: Specs and performance
Even before the iPhone 14's launch, analysts were predicting Apple would use different processors for its various phones going forward, which is exactly what happened. That means the iPhone 15 Pro is likely to get a new chipset when it launches.
It's safe to assume that this will be the A17 Bionic. A report from TrendForce tips the iPhone 15 Pro lineup to feature this rumored A17 Bionic while the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus would keep the older A16 Bionic chipset.
In fact, the A17 Bionic is rumored to be manufactured using a 3nm process, which would theoretically improve both performance and power efficiency. So while the A16 Bionic is very impressive, its successor might be even more so. In fact, TSMC —which makes Apple's silicon and has begun mass production on its new 3nm chip — predicts a 35% improvement to power efficiency with the 3nm process. That bodes well for iPhone 15 Pro battery life.
It's unclear if other chipmakers are going to come out with 3nm silicon of their own this year, at least according to a Digitimes report (opens in new tab). If they don't, that could give the iPhone 15 Pro quite an edge when it comes to performance and power efficiency.
We've long heard that Apple wants to build its own wireless modems for the iPhone to break away from Qualcomm. The Cupertino phone maker even bought Intel's floundering modem business in 2019. Some have said 2023 is the year we finally get an Apple modem, but that may not be true.
Qualcomm says it expects to supply the "vast majority" of Apple's modems in 2023, and Apple's apparently just put in a big 5G modem order with Qualcomm too, so we're more willing to bet on that than analyst predictions. Should that be the case, we think the iPhone 15 Pro will use the X70 modem.
iPhone 15 Pro: Software
When the iPhone 15 Pro arrives, it's all but certain to be running iOS 17, a new version of Apple's iPhone software. As before, expect a preview at June's Worldwide Developer Conference that shows off what's new in the software update. A public beta will take place during the summer, leading up to a full release in the fall.
Details about iOS 17 changes are sparse at the moment. The biggest rumors suggest an overhaul to IMessage as Apple also opens up the IPhone to third-party app stores. It's also possible that iOS 17 may not be as substantial as recent iOS updates, with Apple looking to get its VR/AR headset off the ground this year; that project is reportedly requiring a lot of resources that would usually go toward an iOS update.
iPhone 15 Pro: Outlook
September 2023 is still a long ways off yet, so expect many more iPhone 15 Pro rumors and leaks to spring up. We might hear about this supposed differentiation between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra, if there is one — and we sincerely hope there isn't.
The Pro models are solid devices, especially the iPhone 14 Pro. But let's hope we continue to see meaningful upgrades to the small phone that packs a punch. But there's more we'd like to see, such as 256GB base storage and faster charging speeds to start. What's more, Apple needs to address battery life for the iPhone 15 Pro, which took a major downturn in 2022.
Keep it locked here as we learn more about the iPhone 15 Pro in the coming months.