iPhone 15 release date just tipped by analyst along with three big upgrades

iphone 15 fan render
(Image credit: 4RMD)

New iPhone 15 rumors have claimed we'll see better cameras, more RAM and a new style of volume/power button for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra. And what's more, the source: Jeff Pu, analyst for Haitong International (via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)), has been bold enough to call the retail release date.

The date, according to Pu's supply chain sources, will be September 23 of this year. That fits in roughly with Apple's usual release schedule each September, but the 23rd would be a Saturday this year, and also a week later than we'd normally see the iPhone. Perhaps with Haitong being based in Hong Kong, the September 23 claim translates to a Friday, September 22 launch in the U.S. and Europe, which would still be later than usual but would make more sense when looking at Apple's historic launches.

Moving to Pu’s hardware-related claims, the iPhone 15 Pro could feature three Taptic Engine vibration motors. This unprecedented boost in motors will reportedly underpin the new Pro iPhones' rumored solid-state power and volume buttons

iPhones currently use just one to provide feedback to user input, but without the buttons physically moving, it seems more motors will be needed. If you're struggling to imagine how solid-state buttons would feel to use, think of the home button on the iPhone SE or iPhone 7 / iPhone 8 models. The button doesn't move, but a buzz from the Taptic Engine clearly tells you when you've pressed it.

On the performance side of things, Pu says the iPhone 15 Pro models will come with 8GB RAM, an increase of 2GB from the iPhone 14 Pro models. That's still less than equivalently priced Android phones generally come with. But Apple's shown time and again that it doesn't need much memory to make the iPhones the top-performing phones of their respective years. And we could see a particularly large jump this year, as the iPhone 15 Pro is tipped to use a more efficient and powerful 3nm chipset, assumed to be called the A17 Bionic.

As for cameras, the 48MP sensor seen on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max could be coming to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, Pu says. We've heard this rumor previously, and it's one we really hope is correct. The 12MP main camera seen on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus is capable, but it can't compare to the detail on offer from the higher-res 48MP sensor.

On the iPhone 15 Ultra/Pro Max meanwhile, Pu says we could see Apple's first periscope telephoto camera, in line with other rumors. Using a folded lens design would allow the camera to zoom in much further than the current 3x sensor on the iPhone 14 Pro models.

Pu agrees with previous rumors that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will come with an A16 Bionic chipset (as seen in the iPhone 14 Pro models), and a USB-C port in place of the familiar Lightning connector for more convenient charging and data transfers. He also says there will be no size differences in the iPhone 15 series from the iPhone 14 series, so expect another pair of 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models in Pro and non-Pro flavors.

There's still a while to go before the iPhone 15 arrives, so even if these rumors are accurate, things could change before Apple firms up the design and starts up mass production. We'll be keeping an eye on all the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra rumors in the meantime though, so if the rumor mill changes its mind, we'll be sure to let you know.

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.