The iPhone 15 Pro reveal is drawing closer, with September quickly approaching. As it's likely to be announced alongside its larger sibling, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the regular iPhone 15, and 15 Plus, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see huge improvements to the iPhone lineup.
The regular iPhone 15 is shaping up to be a huge upgrade for the regular iPhone with the inclusion of a new charging port and the Dynamic Island. But what about the Pro models?
Rumors indicate a new titanium chassis and new materials for the Pro iPhones as we move towards a new future for iPhone with USB-C. There will also likely be a new A17 Bionic chip with a new 3nm architecture. So with all this in mind, here's everything you need to know about the iPhone 15 Pro.
iPhone 15 Pro: The headlines
- What is it? Apple's next Pro iPhone.
- When can we expect it? September 2023
- Price? Could this be the year the Pro models go above $1000?
Stephen Warwick is iMore's News Editor and has six years of industry experience covering Apple, as well as a lifetime tracking developments in mobile technology. He is also a former Apple employee and one of the web's foremost authorities on iPhone rumors and news.
iPhone 15 Pro: Models
iPhone 15 Pro Adds the faster A17 chip and a new design, with a titanium frame.
CPU: A17 Bionic, 3nm
Rear Camera: 48MP
Networking: Wi-Fi 6e
Best of the best
Best of the best
Best of the best
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There were murmurings that at least one of Apple's iPhone 15 models may be called the iPhone 15 'Ultra'. It would make sense given the release of the Apple Watch Ultra last year as the company's premium Apple Watch model.
While it's unlikely that we'll see a rugged, outdoor-proof iPhone, the name Ultra seems to be used for Apple's most premium offerings. For instance, its use with the M1 Ultra Apple silicon chip.
Such a change could mean a new iPhone 15 Ultra this year rather than an iPhone 15 Pro Max. Reports in early January suggested that Apple hasn't settled on a name yet but on the other hand, we have heard corroborating rumors that Apple could try to differentiate more between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, possibly by changing its name.
The regular 6.1-inch "Pro" model, however, is likely to retain that Pro moniker.
iPhone 15 Pro: Release date and price expectations
Apple's iPhone 15 Pro is almost certainly going to be released in September alongside the iPhone 15. That's in line with Apple's standard launch cycle for the iPhone. In recent years, the date has only been missed once and that was due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999, with the Pro Max starting at $1,099. While we expected the iPhone 15 Pro to retain the same pricing structure a new report from Bloomberg claims Apple is "considering" raising the prices of this year's Pro model iPhones.
iPhone 15 Pro: Sizes and models
The iPhone 14 Pro currently comes in two sizes, the smaller 6.1-inch model and the larger 6.7-inch Pro Max. According to reports earlier this year, Apple will retain this lineup, using all of the same sizes from the iPhone 14 lineup.
That means we're very likely to see two iPhone 15 Pro models this year with the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes.
iPhone 15 Pro: Processor
At the heart of the device is the iPhone's processor. Last year, we got the shiny A16 processor in the iPhone 14 Pro. That processor is likely to trickle down to the iPhone 15 for driving multitasking, your apps, and your camera.
The iPhone 15 Pro will reportedly get an all-new A17 processor. The new processor will be built on a new 3nm technology offering more power than the current 4nm form that Apple uses. 3nm is up to 15% faster with the same power levels as 5nm. Alternatively, it can use up to 30% less power at the same speeds.
That means the new iPhone 15 Pro could be significantly faster than the current model, but potentially while being much more efficient in terms of battery life.
In February 2023, a report from DigiTimes said that TSMC's 3-nanometer process was even more performant and efficient than expected, indicating that the iPhone 15 Pro could be much faster and more energy efficient than Apple anticipated.
iPhone 15 Pro: Design and USB-C
We could see a new design language from the iPhone 15. The iPhone has offered squared edges and a flat back since the iPhone 12. New information suggests that Apple may drop this in favor of a slightly more curved back, such as the one in the concept image above, featuring a titanium finish.
Potentially, the new iPhone 15 could look more like the old iPhone 5C but with a much more premium finish. The idea was further pushed by a report from 9to5Mac that suggests the iPhone 15 Pro will feature a curve around the edges of the phone on both the front glass and back metal. It could be a move away from the boxy, industrial design that we've seen since the iPhone 12.
On that note, there are reports, notably from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, that Apple will use this titanium frame for the iPhone 15 Pro instead of the stainless steel of the current models. The rumors were further corroborated by CAD designs that were sent to 9to5Mac.
Additionally, we now have reports that not only Apple will use titanium in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max this year, but the material will be grade 5 titanium, a material used in spacecraft and airplanes. If true, this would mean stronger and lighter materials which would be a welcome addition to the ever-growing weight of the Pro iPhones.
Alongside that, there are rumors the phone will sport a multi-function Action button which immediately brings about thoughts of a share design language between the iPhone 15 Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra. Another reason why it may not actually be called 'Pro'.
Apple is also set to add USB-C to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro this year, in order to comply with new EU regulations stipulating it as the charger of choice for mobile devices. This might be the time to invest in one of the best headphone jack adapters to circumvent any issues with existing accessories. In February 2023, an unknown leaker shared an image on Reddit of the bottom of what they claim is an iPhone 15 Pro. The photo, if genuine, shows that the company is definitely switching the new Pro iPhone from the Lightning connector to USB-C for the first time. You can check out the image below:
There's also talk of a new microprocessor for the iPhone 15 Pro's internals. It's one that is designed to replace Apple's current "Super Low Energy Mode" which is powered by the main system-on-chip at this time. It should open up functionality even when the phone is effectively off.
"The new microprocessor that will ship in the 15 Pro models will not only manage [Find My and Apple Pay] tasks [in low-power modes] but will also be able to immediately sense capacitive button presses, holds, and even detect their own version of 3D Touch with the new volume up/down button, action (currently ringer switch) button, and power button, while the phone is dead or powered down," the source revealed.
The new feature is currently being tested with and without Taptic Engine feedback and will reportedly power Find My, Bluetooth/UltraWide band functionality, and Apple Pay's express transit feature.
Finally, don't forget one other important design aspect -- color! The iPhone 15 Pro could be getting a new shade once it goes on sale. Leaks suggest a new deep, wine-like red being offered with the iPhone 15 Pro, with the color code 410D0D. It's more maroon than red and is sure to attract attention.
iPhone 15 Pro: Display
2022 marked a big year for the Pro iPhone's display so it's unlikely we'll see a similar leap in 2023. There are no rumors or reports of a major upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro display. Instead, we're looking ahead at 2024 which could see an under-panel Face ID configuration.
With no changes likely, we should see the same 120Hz Super Retina XDR Display with ProMotion technology, so your iPhone's refresh rate can drop to just 1Hz when you're not using it, saving battery life while still showing an Always-On Display. Such a panel will also feature high contrast and resolutions at 2556x1179-pixel resolution at 460 ppi and 2796x1290-pixel resolution at 460 ppi for the Pro and Pro Max (Ultra) respectively.
One related thing that could change is that the bezels may shrink. A report from 9to5Mac in February 2023 showed off a CAD rendering that compared the bezels of the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro. Check out the image below and you'll see what the company likely has in mind, with more screen space for users.
Since that CAD, we've seen more leaks of potentially thinner bezels from Ice Universe. In the image, the display glass for the iPhone 15, 15 Pro, 15 Plus, and 15 Pro Max are all lined up side by side, where we can see a significantly thinner bezel that could lead to a slightly larger display.
This was given further credence by Mark Gurman's Power On newsletter on July 30, mentioning that iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will be getting thinner bezels, after seeing something similar debut with Apple Watch Series 8.
We could also see the OLED display become more power efficient. A report in February 2023 suggested that Apple is updating the display driver from a 40nm process to 28nm. That should lead to battery savings and performance improvements, although it hasn't said what users can expect realistically.
Rumors of a buttonless 15 Pro also continue, with a March 2023 report suggesting that solid-state buttons under the screen could be customized to be more effectively used with gloves. Touch-sensitive buttons and skin barriers historically don't mix very well, so it'll be interesting to see how things turn out.
As with many rumors though, it isn't set in stone. Reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in April that, "both high-end iPhone 15 Pro models (Pro & Pro Max) will abandon the closely-watched solid-state button design and revert to the traditional physical button design." With the phone still in the "EVT" testing stage, it's not too late in the day for Apple to reconsider its buttonless plans — and there'd be a benefit in doing so, not least in terms of sticking with a tried-and-tested input format, while suppliers can eke out another year's worth of revenue from an existing design.
Thanks to Mark Gurman, this has been called 'Bongo' internally at Apple, but has been canceled for now due to "engineering problems". But that's not to say that we won't see it return in a future iPhone once these issues have been ironed out.
On the other hand, changes to the buttons are likely in some form. Regular leaker 941, who tweets under the handle @analyst 941, described how Apple will be looking at changing the shortcuts tied to buttons, whether they come in physical or haptic form.
Mark Gurman's Power On newsletter on July 30 added more details to this, explaining that an 'Action Button' is indeed appearing on 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, enabling you to customize this in a bunch of ways, similar to the button on an Apple Watch Ultra.
iPhone 15 Pro: Camera
Reportedly, the iPhone 15 will have a new periscope design for the iPhone 15 Pro Max only. That's according to Ming-Chi Kuo, and suggests 1/3" 12MP, f/2.8, sensor-shift support, and 5–6x optical zoom for massively improved optical zoom features.
A periscope camera offers up more zoom features using a smaller amount of space by using angled mirrors like a periscope. It would allow Apple to offer much higher levels of optical zoom without the need to increase the size of the lens or the bump on the back of the phone.
Although, another report suggests bigger camera bumps are coming. 9to5Mac in February claimed to show genuine CAD images which are below and showing off a bigger camera bump.
Change could also be coming to the LiDAR sensor, used in the camera not only for augmented reality purposes, but to help with precise photography and videography modes. The same sensor has been used since the iPhone 12 Pro but Apple is said to be contemplating moving its supply from Lumentum and Win Semi to a module put together by Sony.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, "the critical design of Sony's ToF VCSEL solution is integrating VCSEL & driver IC, which can reduce power consumption or provide better ToF performance under same power consumption." Sony's sensor could mean improved battery life as well as better performance for the camera and augmented reality applications. That would be increasingly pertinent while Apple pushes the new Apple VR headset and better AR and VR experiences.
iPhone 15 Pro: RAM and storage
There's no news on possible storage upgrades but we have heard that the iPhone 15 Pro could get a massive 8GB of RAM.
Such an upgrade would mean faster multitasking and more stable running of lots of apps on your iPhone.
iPhone 15 Pro: Wi-Fi
Current predictions suggest that the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a Wi-Fi 6E chip. The news comes from a research note released in January 2023 from Barclay's analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley.
The iPhone 14 lineup already supports Wi-Fi 6 so this would be a decent upgrade for forthcoming Pro models.
Unlike Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E can use the 6GHz band as well as 2.4GHz and 5GHz. That means faster, more reliable and wider coverage for devices connected to a Wi-Fi 6E router. Apple has already upgraded the latest MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iPad Pro models to Wi-Fi 6E, so it's not surprising to see this rumor for iPhones that will release in the fall of 2023.
iPhone 15 Pro: Battery
A report from July states that the iPhone 15 Pro will feature a 3650mAh battery, up from 3,200mAh in the iPhone 14 Pro. That's an increase of more than 10 percent and could make for much better battery life in this year's model.
According to rumors, Apple will use battery stacking technology like that found in electric vehicles to make its batteries denser, enabling the increased capacity.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9