With pre-orders for the iPhone 14 lineup now open, many iPhone customers will consider whether or not now is the time to upgrade their device.
iPhone 14 models offer some substantial upgrades with Emergency SOS satellite, fault detection, camera improvements, and more, but some customers will now bring their thinking to next year, when it may be a more opportune time to upgrade. iPhone 15 rumors are still early days and everyone’s individual circumstances for getting the best time to upgrade will be different, but what to expect from next year’s new iPhones will be important to many of those who choose not to upgrade to the iPhone 14 model.
In 2023, it will be 10 years since the launch of the popular iPhone 5s, and five years since Apple revealed the first big full-screen iPhone design with the iPhone XS Max. The ‘iPhone 15’ lineup is currently rumored to include:
- USB-C . port
- A broken image of the ‘Pill’ screen on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
- Touch ID fingerprint scanner
- A17 chip manufactured using 3nm manufacturing process
- Periscopic telephoto camera, likely exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max
USB-C instead of Lightning
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that some iPhone 15 models, due to be launched in the second half of 2023, will feature a USB-C port instead of Lightning to improve data transfer and charging speeds. BloombergMark Gorman went on to confirm Kuo’s claim, saying that Apple is testing iPhones with USB-C ports instead of Lightning. Gurman added that if Apple switches the iPhone from Lightning to USB-C, it will release a Lightning to USB-C adapter to allow USB-C iPhones to connect to Lightning-based accessories and cables.
Initial speculation indicated that Apple would keep the Lightning port on the iPhone so it wouldn’t need any at all, relying solely on MagSafe instead. First introduced on the iPhone with the iPhone 12 in 2020, MagSafe is still a relatively new technology on the iPhone with no data transfer capabilities. Now, it appears that Apple has changed its plans.
One possible reason for the change is regulatory pressure to standardize ports in countries such as India and Brazil. The European Union is once again moving forward with legislation to force Apple to adopt USB-C on all iPhones, iPads and AirPods sold in Europe by the fall of 2024.
Apple has used the Lightning connector on all iPhones since the 2012 iPhone 5, as well as a wide range of iPads and accessories. Most other devices, including many of Apple’s iPads and Macs, have switched to USB-C as a versatile, high-capacity connector, in a small, reversible form factor. Calls for Apple to switch to USB-C on the iPhone have grown in recent years, citing the benefits of faster data transfer speeds, especially for large ProRes video files, and consistency between devices.
It’s not clear which iPhone 15 models will feature a USB-C port, but it seems reasonable that Apple could reserve the feature for “Pro” models. USB-C was exclusive to the iPad Pro for several years before expanding to the iPad Air and iPad mini, so a similar pattern to the iPhone is a possibility. If so, after 10 years of the Lightning connector dominating the best iPhone available, this year’s iPhone 14 Pro could be the last version of the flagship iPhone with a Lightning port.
Kuo went on to claim that accessories like AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, Magic Keyboard, Mouse, and Trackpad trio will also switch to USB-C in the “foreseeable future”.
Dynamic Island: No More Notch on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
Display expert Ross Young, who often reveals subtle insights into Apple’s plans, was the first analyst to reveal that the iPhone 14 Pro will have circular disc-shaped notches after components were leaked. It was then revealed that the iPhone 14 Pro slots would appear as a single unified “disk” thanks to the software, in a feature we now know as “Dynamic Island”.
Dynamic Island is not a static discontinuity, and it can change in size and shape to blend into the user interface and provide new visuals front and center on the iPhone screen. In standard use, it’s a small pill-shaped cutout, but Apple uses pixels to expand it to accommodate various tasks like Apple Pay payments and Face ID authentication.
Young believes that this design will carry over to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus next year, uniting the entire iPhone 15 lineup under a single front design. This could provide a significant upgrade for users of the standard iPhone 15 models, with Dynamic Island being among the iPhone 14 Pro’s most eye-catching and popular features.
Touch ID under the screen
Apple has reportedly tested under-display fingerprint scanner technology for at least some iPhone 13 models The Wall Street JournalJoanna Stern and BloombergMark Gorman, but it appears Apple decided not to go ahead with the idea at the time.
In a September 2021 research note, Kuo predicted that Apple would release at least one new iPhone model with an under-display fingerprint scanner in the second half of 2023, which would align with the launch of theiPhone 15 models, but he did not. No other information about the feature has been shared since then.
3nm A17 chip, but no dedicated 5G modem
Apple has committed to ordering chips fabricated using the TSMC 3nm process, which is said to be used for the A17 chip from the iPhone 15 lineup. The 3nm process produces 30 percent better power consumption and 15 percent better performance over the 5nm process behind the A14 and A15, indicating notable developments.
It’s not clear if the A17 will be available on all iPhone 15 models, but Apple could continue the trend that started with the A15 chip in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, and use the 4nm A16 Bionic down for these devices instead.
Taking cues from its work on Apple silicon, Apple has been rumored to be working on a custom 5G modem to debut on all iPhone 15 models in 2023 for over a year. With the aim of moving away from Qualcomm, Apple is believed to have gotten the business started by acquiring the modem chip business from Intel in 2019. TSMC, the Taiwanese company that currently supplies all of Apple’s custom silicon chips, is also reported to be preparing to supply Apple with a 5G-designed baseband modem. specially.
Kuo said Apple’s efforts “may have failed” as development on the chip stalled behind the scenes. This means that it now appears that Qualcomm will remain the exclusive supplier of all 5G chips for the iPhone 2023 models, instead of just 20% as previously thought.
It’s not clear why Apple’s modem won’t be ready in time for the iPhone range of 2023, but the company has been aiming to move away from Qualcomm for several years. Apple fought a protracted legal battle with Qualcomm and planned to use Intel 5G chips in the 2020 iPhones, but this was ultimately not possible because Intel was not able to manufacture 5G chips that meet Apple standards. Apple ended up settling its lawsuit with Qualcomm in 2019 and has used Qualcomm 5G modems in its iPhone and iPad lineup ever since.
Kuo expects Apple to continue developing its 5G chip, but it will likely take more time for the work to be completed to a satisfactory level for use in iPhones and other devices in the future.
Periscope camera on iPhone 15 Pro Max
In 2023, the iPhone is expected to adopt a ‘periscopic telephoto lens’ for the first time after years of rumors about this feature.
Apple allegedly had trouble developing its periscope camera system because much of the technology is protected by other patents, though it still files periscope camera patents, and is said to be exploring purchasing components from existing patent holders instead. Samsung, for example, has the “spherical actuator” technology used in many periscope lenses.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max will be Apple’s only smartphone of 2023 to have a Periscope camera lens and benefit from a significantly improved optical zoom, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, with the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro model retaining the current telephoto lens for optical zoom.
In a periscope system, light entering the telephoto lens is reflected by an angled mirror toward the camera’s image sensor. The change in the direction in which the light travels allows for a longer “folded” zoom setup inside the phones, allowing users to enlarge the image without any distortion. Largan and Genius are expected to be Apple’s main suppliers of such a lens in 2023.
There are already some Android smartphones with periscope lenses. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra features a 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom. With the addition of a periscope lens, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will follow suit. Kuo says the 1/3-inch sensor will be 12MP with an f/2.8 aperture and up to 6x optical zoom and sensor shift stabilization. For context, iPhone 14 Pro models are limited to 3x optical zoom.
The rumors surrounding future iPhones need to be taken with a pinch of salt and there is still plenty of time to change Apple’s plans. However, given the track record of many analysts and leakers from whom these rumors are derived, it is likely that there is some truth to these rumors.
USB-C is probably one of the most significant upgrades for most users, but the periscope camera, potential under-display Touch ID, more advanced technology for rendering the A17 chip, and even dynamic island expansion to the entire suite could make for a fairly large overall upgrade. No matter what device customers choose. Kuo believes the iPhone 15 models could have more differentiation in features between each device, so customers can have more of a dilemma about which device to buy to get the features they want.
For now, the focus is on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, which will start hitting customers on Friday, September 16th.