Apple’s fall lineup is starting to take shape, and comparing iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max rumors can help you anticipate what’s heading for you later this year. While nothing is official yet, there are enough details emerging to give us an idea of what the next iPhones will look like and what it’s like to change from the iPhone 14 models currently on sale.
As with last year’s updates, the iPhone 15 Pro marks the most substantial changes, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max likely to get a significant improvement in the camera setup. But the standard iPhone 15 model (and, by extension, the larger iPhone 15 Plus) is expected to get some noteworthy improvements, as it adopts some features that debuted with the existing iPhone 14 Pro models.
Make a big change in how you charge your iPhone, and this fall’s iPhone updates could end up being pretty important updates. In our roundup of iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max, we take all the rumors we’ve been following for each of these rumored models and compare them to help you familiarize yourself with our list of the best iPhones. Look later this year.
iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max release date
- Likely September release date
- It is likely that all four models will be launched at the same time
Apple has occasionally slipped the release of its fall iPhone models, usually when there’s a supply chain disruption and it needs more time to get a particular model to market. (Think back to 2020 when the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October while the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini didn’t ship until November, as the Covid-19 pandemic ended up delaying iPhone production.) Until last year, it arrived. iPhone 14 Plus lags behind other iPhone 14 models.
So far, we haven’t heard anything about the amazing releases of the iPhone 15 models, so we expect all four new phones to ship at the same time.
If Apple sticks to its traditional release schedule, a September product preview seems like the most likely time. When it comes to Apple’s September event, our best guess for the iPhone 15 release date would be around September 12, given Apple’s tendency to release new products on Tuesdays and its desire not to hold a launch event too close to the Labor Day holiday in the US.
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max price
- Potential price hike of $100 for Pro models
After keeping the iPhone 14 models price line – at least in the US – Apple may look at increasing the prices of at least some iPhone 15 models this year. One report claims that the cost of building an iPhone has gone up 12% this year, so Apple may end up passing those costs on to consumers.
The iPhone 15 seems likely to keep the same $799 price tag as its predecessor, at least according to the rumor mill at this point. This means that the Plus model will continue to start at $899.
Pro models are expected to see an increase in cost, as Apple includes more upgrades in those models. Analyst Jeff Pu expects the iPhone 15 Pro price to rise by $100, echoing a rumor that appeared on Twitter on Weibo. That would put the iPhone 15 Pro at $1,099 and the iPhone 15 Pro Max at $1,199 — matching Samsung’s charge for the Galaxy S23 Ultra (and possibly next year’s Galaxy S24 Ultra).
iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max design
- Same sizes as the iPhone 14 lineup
- Dynamic Island is available on all iPhone models
- USB-C for all four new iPhones
We expect to see the same iPhone 14 models back to the iPhone 15 — that means a standard iPhone with a 6.1-inch screen and a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus model. The Pro and Pro Max models are expected to be available in the same sizes. Early iPhone 15 rumors suggested that an iPhone 15 Ultra was in the works, but it appears that most of the high-end features that were featured on the ear for this model will be included in the iPhone 15 Pro Max instead. We may not see the iPhone Ultra until 2024 at the earliest.
After three years of making phones with straight edges, Apple could be returning to the curved sides of phones with the iPhone 15. We’ve also heard rumors about thinner edges, though that change may be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro. Rumors also suggest that the iPhone 15 Pro could use titanium frames, which are lighter and more durable than the aluminum that Apple is currently using.
Another potential design change for iPhone 15 models only would be the addition of an action button similar to a feature included on the Apple Watch Ultra. The iPhone 15 Pro action button can be used to launch custom shortcuts, turn on the phone’s flashlight, or perform other such tasks.
One design element that’s currently limited to Pro phones may find its way to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, and that’s the Dynamic Island. This bar replaced the notch in the iPhone 14 Pro screens, and in addition to containing the front camera and the Face ID sensor, it is also a place for notifications and live activities to appear. Many Apple watchers expect every iPhone 15 model to feature a Dynamic Island, getting rid of the notch once and for all.
Another addition rumored to each iPhone 15 model is related to USB-C. It looks like Apple is finally ready to replace its Lightning connector with the more universal USB-C, though we’re guessing that regulators in Europe mandating such a switch may have pushed Apple to adopt the change. The type of iPhone you get may determine charging speeds, though analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the iPhone 15 Pro models will offer faster speeds through their USB-C ports. Apple may also require cables to be Made for iPhone certified if it wants to offer faster speeds.
iPhone 15 vs. iPhone Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max
- ProMotion screens will likely remain a pro-only feature
One of the big limitations of buying the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus is that the refresh rate of those models’ screens is stuck at 60Hz. With other entry-level flagships featuring 90Hz panels (in the case of the Google Pixel 7) or even 120Hz (see the Galaxy S23), this puts Apple’s flagship brands at a disadvantage.
This appears to be continuing with the iPhone 15. The standard iPhone is slated to stay at 60Hz, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are still expected to offer 120Hz dynamic displays that automatically adjust their refresh rate. Apple calls this feature Pro Display, and display expert Ross Young doesn’t expect Pro Displays to find their way to the rest of the iPhone lineup before 2025.
Comparing the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras
- A 48MP camera upgrade likely to come to the iPhone 15
- iPhone 15 Pro Max in a single line of periscope-style telephoto lens
In what could be the biggest addition to the standard iPhone, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus lean towards a 48MP main camera, which brings some parity with the Pro iPhones. It’s not clear if Apple will include a 48MP Raw mode like it does on the iPhone 14 Pro, perhaps as a way to maintain some differentiation between the iPhone 15 and the pricier Pro models.
Speaking of the iPhone 15 Pro, analysts have quashed rumors that Apple will switch to an 8-element lens, and instead predict that the new phones will stick to the current 7-element lens. Instead, the biggest change could be the iPhone 15 Pro Max-only addition – a periscope-style telephoto lens.
Zoom capabilities are one area where Apple phones lag behind the best camera phones. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, for example, offers a pair of telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom, respectively. Together, they can support up to 100x digital zoom. iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 3x telephoto lens and can support up to 15x digital zoom. The periscope-style lens, which stacks the lenses on top of one another, will allegedly give the iPhone 15 Pro Max 6x optical zoom.
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max performance comparison
- A17 Bionic for iPhone 15 Pro models
- A16 Bionic for the remaining iPhones
Apple set a precedent with its iPhone 14 lineup, keeping the most powerful chip for the Pro models. It is expected to happen again with the release of the iPhone 15. Specifically, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are tipped to include the A16 Bionic which currently powers the iPhone 14 lineup. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are likely to feature New A17 Bionic chipset.
When the iPhone 14 was equipped with the A15 Bionic, it was actually the version of the chipset that underpins the iPhone 13 Pro models, which feature an additional GPU core. It’s not clear if the A16 Bionic likely for the iPhone 15 will be a modified version of the existing silicon or just the same version found in the iPhone 14 Pro.
As for the A17 Bionic chip, it’s built on 3nm technology — likely the only mobile system-on-a-chip to do so this year. This could give the iPhone 15 Pro models a huge advantage over competing flagship phones that run on 4nm chips. The smaller the chips, the closer the transistors can be packed together, which improves performance and efficiency. In fact, the leaked benchmarks of the A17 Bionic are promising, indicating that the iPhone 15 Pro models will easily hold on to Apple’s performance.
iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max battery life
- USB-C will likely bring faster charging speeds
We have quite a few rumors speculating on the battery size and other power management features of the iPhone 15 lineup. The biggest clue comes from the likely possibility that the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature the A17 Bionic chipset. Reportedly, this chip is expected to deliver a 35% improvement in power efficiency compared to the A16 Bionic chip, which could translate to extended battery life for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple had a little trouble squeezing long battery life out of the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 models, with the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max rounding out the best list for phone battery life. 6.1-inch phones can last longer on a charge. We expect the iPhone 15 Pro to get an energy efficiency boost from the A17 chipset, leaving the iPhone 15 just looking for a way to last longer on a charge.
As mentioned earlier, switching to USB-C may increase charging speeds over the 20W speeds that Apple has supported for a long time. It’s possible that Apple will reserve the maximum charging speeds for the Pro models, following Samsung’s strategy with its Galaxy S phones.
iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max program
- iOS 17 on all four models when iPhone 15 ships
There is no mystery here. All four iPhone 15 models will almost certainly ship with iOS 17 pre-installed, as the updated iPhone software will likely ship just days before the iPhone 15 release in the fall, if Apple sticks to its normal way of doing things.
While the final version of iOS 17 won’t ship until the fall, we’ll get our first software preview at WWDC 2023 on June 5. This will be followed by a public beta release during the summer.
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max predictions
A comparison of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max indicates that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max should continue to get premium features first, while the standard iPhone 15 plays catch-up. Additions like Dynamic Island and an improved main camera could make the iPhone 15 a more compelling option, especially if prices on the iPhone 15 Pro models rise as expected. But with an A17 processor and a possible periscope-style lens headed for the Max model, the iPhone 15 Pro will be the phone to watch out for in the fall.