iPhone 15 starts production a month earlier than iPhone 14

iPhone 15 Pro render from 4RMD
(Image credit: 4RMD)

iPhone 15 rumors are in full swing as we get closer and closer to an anticipated reveal later this year. But now there’s a rumor that has us wondering if we could see it even sooner.

According to the Chinese news site UDN (opens in new tab), Apple has begun trial production of the iPhone 15 lineup with partner Foxconn at Hon Hai’s Shenzhen Guanlan factory in China. This is a typical step in the manufacturing process for new iPhones, as it helps finalize the device’s design, and allows Foxconn to calibrate testing machines for quality assurance and identify any issues with the manufacturing process.

A similar process occurred last year in the lead-up to the iPhone 14 and has regularly occurred in February of recent years. 

iPhone 15 concept by 4RMD

(Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

What is surprising, is that it's notably not February. It’s currently early January, which is at least a month before these trial productions typically begin — last year we first reported on it on February 22, 2022.

The report from UDN does appear to have an answer for this change in process, and unfortunately, it’s not that the next phone from Apple will be coming a month earlier this year. Apple is seemingly mass-producing the iPhone 15 in India only a few weeks after it begins production in China. In previous years the gap had been as much as nine months — last year the gap was two months — and now it is barely any time at all. So perhaps the trial production needs to begin earlier so both locations are appropriately prepped for mass production in a timely manner.

However, this could simply be a case of Apple wanting to prepare for potential supply chain disruptions, which have become a more frequent issue in recent years for tech companies than they had in the past. There’s nothing to prevent Apple from sitting on a few thousand iPhone 15 units for an extra month if it wants to, and if it ensures that the iPhone 15 lineup is appropriately stocked to handle pre-orders this fall that’s better for everyone.

iPhone 15 rumors so far

iphone 15 ultra concept video

(Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

While entering trial production doesn’t provide any additional insight as to what features the next iPhone will get, we’ve already seen a fair amount of rumored changes. The iPhone 15 is tipped to get the A16 Bionic chip from last year's iPhone 14 Pro, which will be a nice upgrade over the iPhone 14’s A15 chip but still a generation behind Apple’s latest silicon. The iPhone 15 is also rumored to get the iPhone 14 Pro’s 48MP main camera sensor.

There's another set of upgrades that could come to all four members of the rumored iPhone 15 lineup. First, this could be the year that Apple finally switches to USB-C ports and ditches the Lightning cable. The EU has mandated the change for 2024, but the expectation is that Apple will bring it to the iPhone this year.

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

(Image credit: 4RMD)

The Dynamic Island also looks set to come to all four iPhone 15 models in a surprising update from Mark Gurman. Given this gets rid of the notch, we’re not complaining, we’re just impressed that Apple didn’t choose to delineate the differences between the base iPhone 15 and the Pro models even further.

The best feature upgrades will likely be reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra, which appears increasingly likely to be the new name for Apple’s top-tier iPhone. The high-end iPhones are rumored to get an upgraded titanium chassis and could feature solid-state haptic buttons. They should also get the latest Apple silicon — a rumored A17 Bionic processor using a new 3nm process. If true, that could be a massive upgrade for the top iPhones, even if they don’t get a RAM upgrade as well.

There’s still plenty of time between now and the launch of the iPhone 15 however, so make sure to follow our coverage of all the latest iPhone 15 rumors to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

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.