iPhone 15: release date, colors, USB C, price

iPhone 15: release date, colors, USB C, price

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are here after being released at Apple's September event. Both iPhone 15 ranges have received a number of technical improvements, especially the camera for advanced photo and video performance. In this article we will look at these devices in detail.

As anticipated, Apple's September keynote unveiled the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro series. Most of the rumours that were circulating before the event were spot on, from the design, the titanium chassis in Pro models, USB-C integration across the board, various sizes and also the significant weight reduction in the Pro range. There were however two surprises, the Pro Max will no longer feature a periscopic lens, instead opting for a tetra-prism system, delivering 5x optical zoom, without the bulk. Another welcome surprise was that the iPhone 15 prices have not increased and will stay the same. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 15

The 2023 iPhone 15 introduces several significant new features, addressing the criticism of its predecessor, which mostly offered incremental updates. The standard iPhone 14 faced challenges in finding its audience, likely due to its striking similarity to the iPhone 13, featuring the same design with flat sides from the iPhone 12 and the A15 processor. In contrast, the iPhone 14 Pro stood out with its Dynamic Island, a screen perforation replacing the notch, a 48-megapixel camera sensor, and the A16 processor. However, even the Pro maintained the design of the iPhone 13 Pro, along with a notable price increase.

iPhone 15 Design

In terms of design, the iPhone 15 lineup brings notable changes. First, all models, including the standard iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus, adopt the Dynamic Island that was previously reserved for the Pro and Pro Max version. The Dynamic Island is a pill-shaped perforation at the top of the screen. This marks the end of the notch, which was introduced with the iPhone X. While the display edges remain flat, the slightly rounded corners enhance grip and ergonomics. On the back, the camera module appears similar to the iPhone 14, with two visible lenses for the 15 and three for the 15 Pro, as expected.

Additionally, the Pro models introduce a significant shift in button configuration. The ringer/silent switch is replaced by an Action button, allowing users to customize its function. Options include silent mode (default), quick access to the camera or flashlight, Dictaphone, concentration modes, translation, accessibility features like Magnifier, or custom Shortcuts. Each action triggers haptic feedback, providing tactile confirmation without needing to check the screen.

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iPhone 15 meets USB C

The iPhone 15 makes a significant change by replacing the Lightning port with a USB-C port. This transition aligns with the standard used in most Android smartphones, iPads, and MacBooks for several years. It's worth noting that the Lightning port was introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012 and was initially expected to last a decade, as mentioned in a presentation by Phil Schiller, Apple's former head of marketing. With the iPhone 15, Apple has made the switch to USB-C.

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iPhone 15 Display

All models of the iPhone 15, whether standard or Pro, feature the Dynamic Island. This innovative design replaces the notch, which housed various iPhone sensors, including the front camera, brightness sensor, and Face ID. The Dynamic Island is dynamic in the sense that it can expand to display certain small details, such as the remaining time on a timer or the album cover thumbnail of the music currently playing.

In terms of screen sizes, the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro maintain the same diagonals as their predecessors, measuring 6.1 and 6.7 inches (15 and 17 cm), respectively. However, thanks to thinner borders, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max enjoy slightly smaller dimensions in terms of height and width compared to the 14 Pro and Pro Max, each dimension reduced by 0.4 mm.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro

The iPhone 15 lineup continues to offer the same two screen sizes as the iPhone 14, with no return of a mini model featuring a 5.4-inch (13.7 cm) screen. Despite the underwhelming commercial performance of the iPhone 14 Plus, there is no mini model this time. Instead, the iPhone 15 Plus boasts notable improvements in photography capabilities and performance.

In terms of materials, the iPhone 15 Pro introduces a new titanium exterior chassis while retaining an internal aluminum structure. This change to titanium, replacing the steel of the iPhone 14 Pro, results in a weight reduction of 19 grams for the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max compared to their predecessors. The weights have dropped from 206 to 187 grams and from 240 to 221 grams, respectively. This is a noteworthy reduction. The chassis of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus continue to be made of aluminum, with their weights remaining nearly identical to the previous models, varying by just 1 gram. It's worth mentioning that titanium first appeared in Apple's product lineup with the Apple Watch Ultra, Model 2, also presented during the keynote.

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It's important to note that despite rumors and predictions, Apple did not reference the arrival of an iPhone Ultra during the event. There was no mention of it replacing the iPhone Pro Max or being an ultra-high-end product. Perhaps we can expect such a device in the future, possibly with the iPhone 16.

iPhone 15 Camera

The iPhone 15 continues the trend of improving photography capabilities. Until recently, iPhones featured 12-megapixel photo sensors. However, the iPhone 14 Pro marked a significant change by introducing a 48-megapixel main lens, greatly enhancing the level of detail in photos. Despite a slightly thicker photo block on the back compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro didn't see a substantial increase in optical zoom capabilities, still limited to 3x. This limitation is due to the physical constraints of optical zoom, where moving the lens away from the sensor is necessary to maintain photo quality, similar to using a magnifying glass to enlarge small printed characters on paper.

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iPhone 15 Processor

The iPhone 15 lineup features distinct chips that differentiate between the standard and Pro models. In a departure from previous models, the iPhone 14 Pro series boasted a more powerful A16 processor compared to the standard iPhone 14, which continued to use the A15 chip from the previous year. While iPhones have always delivered exceptional performance, this segmentation was met with mixed reviews.

With the iPhone 15, this segmentation is more accepted. The standard iPhone 15 models are equipped with the A16 Bionic processor, previously featured in the iPhone 14 Pro. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro series introduces the all-new A17 Pro processor, marking a departure from the "Bionic" naming convention and embracing the "Pro" designation more commonly associated with Mac "M" processors.

The A17 Pro chip stands out as the world's first processor to utilize TSMC's 3 nm manufacturing process, a significant advancement from the 5 nm process used for the A16 Bionic. Apple has reportedly secured exclusive access to TSMC's 3 nm production capacity, underscoring its importance. This new chip is expected to deliver substantial improvements in both performance and energy efficiency, although specific performance gains will require real-world testing to confirm.

iPhone 15 Prices

The iPhone 15 brings some welcome news on the pricing front. After the iPhone 14 saw price increases of 10 to 15% compared to the iPhone 13, the iPhone 15 has arrived with a more wallet-friendly approach. It is priced 50 euros lower than last year's iPhone 14, and the savings are even more significant for the iPhone 15 Pro, which is 100 euros less expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro. This unexpected price adjustment is a welcome development, even though iPhones remain in the premium pricing category. Here are the starting prices for the base models:

  • iPhone 15 (128 GB): $799
  • iPhone 15 Plus (128 GB): $899
  • iPhone 15 Pro (128 GB): $999
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max (256 GB): $1199

iPhone 15 Colors

Apple has taken a subdued approach to color choices for the iPhone 15 lineup. The available colors are predominantly light pastel shades, including various shades of blue, green, yellow, and pink. Even the black option, which completes the collection, may appear somewhat conventional.

© Apple

The iPhone 15 Pro models offer a more diverse range of color options, including black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium. However, some may argue that, aside from blue, these choices still revolve around different shades of gray. In summary, the 2023 iPhones favor a more understated color palette. If you're looking for a burst of color, you might consider selecting a colorful case, as Apple has announced the discontinuation of leather cases.

iPhone 15 Release Date

All new iPhones will be available for pre-order from September 15 at 2 p.m. And deliveries will begin on September 22. 

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