iPhone 15 Pro Max release date predictions, rumored specs, cameras and more

iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Ice Universe / Twitter)

Apple’s next flagship phone looks set to be the iPhone 15 Pro Max, as the so-called iPhone Ultra may be pushed back to 2016. As the biggest and most fully-featured of the iPhone lineup, the iPhone 15 Pro Max could make a splash on our best phones list and set a new standard for smartphones to follow. 

While we don’t expect huge differences from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, with Apple likely to double down and refine the Dynamic Island, the rumored upgrades could all add up to a very impressive phone. We could see a powerful new A17 Bionic chip, a periscope zoom camera, titanium design and other enhancements. 

So read on for all the rumors so far about the iPhone 15 Pro Max. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max latest news (Updated March 24)

iPhone 15 Pro Max potential release date  

As night follows day, we can expect to see Apple launch the iPhone 15 range in the fall, with September being the likely launch month

And the iPhone 15 Pro Max will likely head up the family, positioned to fend off rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and likely the Google Pixel 8, which would potentially launch in October. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max price 

There are no substantial rumors for the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s price, but we suspect it’ll track with that of the iPhone 14 Pro lineup. So that means a starting price of $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899 for a base 128GB model, topping out at $1,599 / £1,749 / AU$2,769 for a 1TB version. 

One early rumor has the iPhone 15 Pro tipped to get a $100 price hike. But that could just be for the U.S. to put it in line with the price hikes of the iPhone 14 models in the U.K. and other regions. Analyst Jeff Pu is the latest to predict an iPhone 15 Pro price hike, citing the rumored improvements Apple is making to both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Regardless, the iPhone 15 Pro Max won’t be cheap. But as an out-and-out flagship phone that’s to be expected, and it would likely rub shoulders with the Galaxy S23 Ultra in terms of price, which starts at $1,199 in the U.S. Should prices go up, Apple will have to make the case for why you should pay more for an iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 15 Pro Max design and display 

iPhone 15 Ultra render with rounded edges

(Image credit: @jonjuhan/Twitter)

It’s unlikely that Apple will shake up the overall design of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, or the Pro lineup in general. The Dynamic Island will almost certainly remain, perhaps with a few tweaks and improved functionality and third-party app support; especially as it’s tipped to feature on all iPhone 15 models

It may well be a new type of Dynamic Island too, as Apple's rearranging some of the sensors inside, leaks say.

Expect the display size to stick with 6.7 inches, as well as feature a 120Hz refresh rate courtesy of an LTPO OLED display. Apple might do some tuning to boost the brightness and colors of the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s screen, and may be shrinking the bezels to the smallest of any smartphone around.

One bigger change could be found on the edges of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. with some rumors touting a move away from the flat edges brought in by the iPhone 12 and a return to curved sides. The idea here is the large iPhone could be more comfortable to hold. 

This rumor was given more weight by supposedly leaked images of the front glass panels of the iPhone 15 range, which show how the sides of the screen could be gently curved. 

A screenshot of a video showing three iPhone 15 screens with Dynamic Island notches

(Image credit: ShrimpApplePro / Twitter)

And the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s chassis could be made of titanium. This could lead to a stronger yet lighter iPhone Pro Max, which we think would be an excellent upgrade and shift away from the stainless steel edges that can be chipped easily, in our experience at least. 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is also tipped to feature solid-state buttons with haptic feedback rather than moving parts.  A new rumor has further added to this claiming the iPhone 15 Pro Max will use a solid-state button that combines two volume buttons into a single rocker that won't move but use haptics to communicate physical feedback. Such buttons would reduce the risk of exposing the inside of the iPhone 15 Pro Max to dust and liquids, as well as make the flagship more durable overall.

A render of the iPhone 15 Pro side buttons

(Image credit: Hong Yang Technology / Douyin)

We've seen these designs in 3D now thanks to dummy units of all four expected models. They're not too different looking from the iPhone 14 series, but they're still different enough to require new cases.

A separate video leak of iPhone 15 Pro CAD renders shows the unified volume rocker that replaces the dedicated volume buttons, as well as the mute button that replaces the iconic mute switch on all previous iPhones. 

We haven't heard many iPhone 15 color rumors, but according to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) we could see a deep red color option for the iPhone 15 Pro series. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max USB-C

USB-C and Lightning charging cables for phone on black background

(Image credit: Ivan Shenets | Shutterstock)

Rumors of USB-C connectivity replacing the venerable Lightning port seem very likely on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, as the European Union has demanded that phones need to adopt USB-C as the common charging standard by December 2024; Apple is very likely to get ahead of that with the iPhone 15 lineup.

Adopting USB-C would certainly help with charging and ease of connectivity. But it could make connecting to older iPhone accessors a little awkward without converters and dongles; such is the price of change. 

One rumor has Apple tipped to mandate Made for iPhone USB-C accessories, which could limit how unapproved third-party accessories perform with next-gen iPhones. That rumor is picking up more weight now that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says it's going to happen

This could clash with European Union's ruling that dictates how device makers will need to adopt a common standard for charging and connectivity, in this case, USB-C. Given Apple could restrict data transfer and charging potential for non-Apple accessories, it could breach the EU's rules on the implementation of USB-C.

iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras  

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max/iPhone 15 Ultra renders from 4RMD

(Image credit: 4RMD)

Expect the iPhone 15 Pro Max to stick with the same trio of rear cameras as the iPhone 14 Pro Max; a main, ultra-wide and telephoto suite of snappers. That’ll be fine by us as the iPhone 14 Pro Max is one of our top picks for the best camera phones.

But expect improvements to be made on the sensor and software side; Apple has been tipped to use a new Sony "state-of-the-art" sensor for the iPhone 15 after all. 

One big upgrade could be a periscope telephoto lens for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, tipped by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which would use an array of optical lenses to boost the zoom range of the camera without needing to rely on cropping or digital zooming. A 6x optical zoom could be in store. Periscope cameras popped up in phones a few years back but have since dropped off a bit. But as we saw with the Oppo Find X2 Pro, they can produce some rather nice telephoto shots. So this would be a neat upgrade for the next iPhone Pro Max.

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, this tidbit is one we’re a little skeptical about.  

A new tip has suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro models could sport an upgraded LiDAR sensor to bring in more performance and better power efficiency. Not only could this be a boon for iPhone battery life, but it could make for better portrait photos with improved depth sensing, as well as boosted augmented reality apps, which can benefit from better room scanning sensors. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max specs and A17 Bionic 

A render of the alleged iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

Like many Pro iPhones before it, the iPhone 15 Pro Max looks set to bring in a new A-series chip, likely in the form of the A17 Bionic. 

Expect more CPU and GPU power, but also an upgrade in machine learning and neural processing to better power smart features, from computational photography to Siri. The new chip could be built on a 3-nanometer process from TSMC, theoretically by giving it more power but also greater efficiency. 

A bump in memory is also being rumored, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max tipped to get 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Given the iPhone 14 Pro Max is far from slow, this extra performance isn’t likely to be obvious but could be a welcome boost.

In terms of connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E could come to the iPhone 15, with this rumor being backed up by Ming-Chi Kuo.  

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iPhone 15 Pro Leaked Benchmark Scores
iPhone 15 Pro (alleged)iPhone 14 Pro MaxSamsung Galaxy S23 UltraOnePlus 11
Geekbench 5 single-core score2317188215781166
Geekbench 5 multi-core score6750533350814962
Geekbench 6 single-core score3019252320001536
Geekbench 6 multi-core score7860639651645065

Allegedly leaked benchmarks for the iPhone 15 Pro show off how much faster the A17 Bionic chip could be over its predecessor as well as the chipsets of the best Android phones

In the single-core test, the iPhone 15 Pro reportedly hit 2,317 and delivered a multi-core score of 6,750 in Geekbench 5. This resoundingly beats the mighty Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, hinting at the next Pro Max iPhone being a powerhouse.  

iPhone 15 Pro Max battery life  

A render of the alleged iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

There have been no rumors about the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s battery life. But with a new 3nm chip, we’d expect it to be more energy efficient even if it sticks with a 4,323 mAh battery. 

The iPhone 14 Pro Max lasted 13 hours and 39 minutes in our battery test, which involved surfing the web continuously until the battery ran out. That's good enough to make our best phone battery life list. So we could expect around that or better for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.  

We’d still like to see a bigger battery pack, especially as the Galaxy S23 Ultra makes use of a 5,000 mAh cell. 

There’s no word on fast charging. The iPhone 14 Pro Max charges at 20 watts, which is fine, but isn't up to the likes of the Galaxy S23 Ultra and is miles behind the OnePlus 11 with its superfast 100W charging speeds (this is limited to 80W in the U.S.). We hope Apple finds a way for its next iPhones to juice up a little faster thanks to USB-C. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max outlook 

iPhone 15 Pro render from 4RMD

(Image credit: 4RMD)

Based on the rumors and leaks, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is shaping up to be an impressive smartphone. It might not be a massive step up from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but a lot of the smaller changes tipped could all add up to make it one of the best phones to buy. 

And it’s almost certainly going to be the best iPhone you can buy in 2023. It’ll need to be good, given the Galaxy S23 Ultra has really impressed us and is arguably now the phone to beat. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.