iPhone 15 tipped for huge 48MP camera upgrade — but iPhone 15 Pro still beats it

ipHone 15 concept 4RMD
(Image credit: 4RMD)

A critical difference between the iPhone 15's tipped 48MP main camera and the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max's cameras has been revealed by respected leaker Digital Chat Station, posted on Chinese social network Weibo (via MacRumors).

We've come across rumors of a 48 MP camera for the basic iPhone 15 models before, up from the current iPhone 14's 12MP camera. While we'd assumed this meant Apple would use the same 48MP camera found on the iPhone 14 Pro (and assumed to be returning on the iPhone 15 Pro), this doesn't seem to be the case.

As DCS puts it, the iPhone 14 Pro/iPhone 15 Pro's 48MP sensor measures 1/1.28 inches (about 0.78 inches if you prefer decimals). The 48MP tipped for use on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus measures 1/1.5 inches (0.67 inches).

This means that not only could the iPhone 15 get a serious resolution bump from previous iPhones, but it'll also get a substantially larger sensor. The 12MP main sensor in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus measures 1/1.9 inches (0.52 inches).

However, with a smaller surface area than the Pro phones' sensor, we should still see the more expensive iPhones offer noticeably better photos, especially in low-light conditions. We'd imagine Apple will keep full 48MP ProRAW photography a Pro exclusive feature too, although it would be a pity if there was no way to use the full camera resolution on the standard iPhones.

A Pro camera upgrade could come next year

DCS also gave us a teaser for the iPhone 16 in their message. Apparently, next year's model is the next time the Pro models are due for a sensor upgrade, with the 1/1.28-inch camera sensor being swapped for a 1/1.14-inch (0.87 inches) sensor.

Looking back to the iPhone 15 series though, the upgrades rumored to be coming this year alongside the new cameras include USB-C charging, and Dynamic Island notches on all models, with the Pro models also due to get a new 3nm A17 Bionic chipset for increased power and a new customizable Action button. That's plenty to look out for when the phones launch, which we anticipate to be at the Apple September event.

Keep it locked to our iPhone 15 hub for all the latest rumors and leaks. 

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is 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.