The iPhone 15 Pro rumor mill has been chugging along steadily. This week we got a slew of new tips and details to give us some clues as to what we can expect with Apple's next high-end phone model.
Which is good because reported production woes indicate the iPhone 15 Pro may miss Apple's usual September event window, and one source claims the iPhone 15 series overall could be in shorter supply than expected. So it could still be a while yet before we get our hands on Apple's next-gen smartphones.
When the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max do hit store shelves (possibly in October, but more on that in a bit), they've been tipped for some nasty price hikes. Up to now, U.S. consumers were shielded from the price increases other international markets (including the U.K.) saw last year with the iPhone 14 line. But that doesn't look to be the case this time around.
Potential release date delays
Manufacturing of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone Pro Max is already well underway, but issues with dodgy displays could result in a launch delay or stock shortage, according to two sources speaking to The Information.
Apple's production partner Foxconn has been testing how well-built the initial batches of iPhone 15 units are, and in the process, they found some LG-built displays have "failed reliability tests" when being attached to other parts. iPhone 15 displays from Samsung, however, were able to pass these same tests.
It appears LG's displays are failing because of a new process Apple's employing with the iPhone 15 series to slim down the display's bezels, something we've heard rumors about Apple doing before. One of The Information's sources saw parallels between this manufacturing headache and one Apple had with the Apple Watch 7 in 2021. That model also featured new display tech designed to increase the size of the screen without bulking up the dimensions of the chassis, and assembly issues resulted in a delayed launch.
Apple insiders told Bloomberg that Apple's preparing to ship around 85 million iPhone 15 units, which is about the same amount of iPhone 14s Apple made last year. While this sum is certainly nothing to sneeze at, it also represents Apple's failed pledge to ramp up output compared to its last generation of smartphones.
Another analyst also claimed we may see a delay in the iPhone 15's launch, with it possibly debuting in October instead of September. Though of course, Apple could still hold the event in September and just put the phones on sale a bit later than usual.
Still, for aspiring iPhone 15 owners, delays or shortages could be a nuisance because of how many big upgrades are tipped to be coming this year, especially for the Pro models.
Rumored price hike
Arguably there's an even bigger question than when the iPhone 15 Pro will drop: How much will it cost?
Barclays analyst Tim Long predicted earlier this week that Apple could be adding $100 to $200 on top of what users already paid for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max for their iPhone 15 Pro successors. Another report from Bloomberg claims Apple's aiming to increase its overall revenue by raising the price of its iPhone 15 Pro models when they launch this fall. Apple's Pro-grade iPhones have remained at $999 or $1,099 for the Pro and Pro Max models respectively for years in the U.S., though international markets began seeing price increases with the iPhone series 14.
A price hike could be contributed to the big iPhone upgrades tipped to be in the works. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to get an exclusive feature with the periscope telephoto camera, which packs enhanced zoom capabilities compared to previous iPhones, while it and the iPhone 15 Pro should be getting a performance boost with a new 3nm chipset.
The entire iPhone 15 line is said to use the Dynamic Island notch introduced on the iPhone 14 Pro last year, and we're also likely to see the long-requested switch from Apple's proprietary Lightning cable to USB-C charging ports. But both Pro models should also see a more durable titanium frame, thinner bezels and a new customizable action button in place of the usual iPhone mute switch.
Hopefully, these new additions will be more than enough to justify any potential sticker shock. But asking customers to fork over more than $1,000 for Apple's high-end iPhone models for the first time ever is no small ask. And when you see how competitive the best phones landscape is, users may begin to wonder if their new phone budget may be better off spent on an Android phone.