With the launch of iPhone 14 many customers might be wondering if they should upgrade the phone now or wait for the next iPhone lineup. Here are some points to be considered while weighing your options.
With features like Emergency SOS via satellite, Crash Detection, camera upgrades, and more, the iPhone 14 models offer some significant changes. However, some customers will now be looking ahead to next year, when it may be more opportune for them to upgrade. Even though the iPhone 15 rumors are still in their early stages and everyone's circumstances for when to update will be unique, many people who are delaying an upgrade to an iPhone 14 model will be interested in what to expect from next year's new iPhones.
Ten years have passed since the release of the popular iPhone 5s, and five years have passed since Apple unveiled the iPhone XS Max, the first large full-screen iPhone design. According to current rumors, the " iPhone 15 " lineup for 2023 will include:
- USB-C port
- "Pill" display cutout in place of the notch on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
- Under-display Touch IDfingerprint scanner
- A17 chip, manufactured using a 3nm fabrication process
- Periscopic telephoto camera, likely exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max
USB-C Instead of Lightning
To increase data transfer and charging rates, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that at least some of the iPhone 15 models, scheduled to go on sale in the second half of 2023, will use a USB-C port rather than a Lightning connector. Kuo's assertion was further supported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who stated that Apple is testing iPhones with USB-C connections rather than Lightning. According to Gurman, if Apple moves the iPhone's connector from Lightning to USB-C, it will release an adapter that will let USB-C iPhones work with Lightning-compatible cords and accessories.
Initial rumors claimed that Apple will keep using the iPhone's Lightning port until it no longer needed any ports at all and only relied on MagSafe. With no data transfer capabilities, MagSafe is still a relatively new technology on the iPhone and was initially made available with the iPhone 12 in 2020. Apple's plans appear to have evolved as of late. Pressure from regulators to standardize ports in nations like India and Brazil may be one of the causes of the change. The EU 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.
Since the release of the iPhone 5 in 2012, Apple has used the Lightning connector on all iPhone models as well as a variety of iPad models and accessories. Most other products have migrated to USB-C as a flexible and powerful connector with a tiny, reversible form factor, including many of Apple's own iPads and Macs.
The benefits of quicker data transfer speeds, particularly for big ProRes video files, and device consistency have increased pressure for Apple to move to USB-C on the iPhone in recent years.
Which iPhone 15 models will have a USB-C connector is unknown, but it's plausible that Apple would save the feature for the "Pro" models. It's possible that the iPhone may follow a similar path to how USB-C was initially only available on the iPad Pro for several years before being added to the iPad Air and iPad mini. If so, the iPhone 14 Pro from this year may be the last flagship iPhone to have a Lightning port.
No More Notch on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
The first analyst to predict that the iPhone 14 Pro would have "pill-shaped" and circular cutouts in response to component leaks was display expert Ross Young, who frequently provides precise insights into Apple's plans. Then it became apparent that the software-enhanced cutouts on the iPhone 14 Pro would appear as a single, cohesive "pill"; this feature is now known as "Dynamic Island."
The Dynamic Island is not a fixed cutout; it can change in size and shape to meld with the UI and place new visual tools front and center on the iPhone's display. It is typically a tiny pill-shaped cutout, but Apple expands it with pixels to accommodate various functions like Apple Pay payments and Face ID authentication.
Young predicts that the iPhone 15 lineup will be unified under a single front-facing design. Users of the basic iPhone 15 models may find this to be a significant boost, as the Dynamic Island is one of the most appealing and well-liked iPhone 14 Pro features.
Under-Display Touch ID
According to Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal and Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple reportedly explored under-screen fingerprint scanner technology for at least some iPhone 13 models but ultimately opted against the notion at that time.
In a research note published in September 2021, Kuo predicted that Apple would release at least one new iPhone model with an under-screen fingerprint scanner in the second half of 2023, which would coincide with the release of the iPhone 15 models. However, since that time, Kuo has not provided any additional details about the feature.
3nm A-17 Chip
According to rumors, the A17 chip for the iPhone 15 series will be produced using the 3nm process, as Apple has committed to order chips fabricated using TSMC's 3nm process. Behind the A14 and A15, the 3nm technique results in 30% lower power consumption and 15% higher performance than the 5nm process, signifying significant breakthroughs.
Although it is unknown whether the A17 will be offered in all iPhone 15 model, Apple may choose to follow the trend set by the A15 processor in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus and employ the 4nm A16 Bionic for these phones instead.
Apple was supposed to be working on a unique 5G modem to appear in all of the iPhone 15 models in 2023, taking cues from its work on Apple silicon. Apple is thought to have started the process of shifting away from Qualcomm by purchasing Intel's modem chip division in 2019. It was also said that TSMC, the Taiwanese firm that presently provides all of Apple's custom silicon SoCs, was getting ready to provide Apple with its own 5G baseband modem.
Kuo added that Apple's efforts "may have failed," drawing inspiration from its work on the chip development allegedly stalled behind the scenes. This means that rather than only 20 percent as previously believed, Qualcomm now appears to be the exclusive provider of 5G chips for all of the iPhone models in 2023.
Apple has been working to break away from Qualcomm for some years, so it is unclear why the business won't have its modem ready for the iPhone lineup in 2023. Apple planned to use Intel 5G chips in the 2020 iPhones as part of a long-running legal dispute with Qualcomm, but it was ultimately not viable since Intel was unable to provide 5G chips that matched Apple's requirements. In 2019, Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement, and ever since, the iPhone and iPad lineups have incorporated Qualcomm 5G modems.
Kuo anticipates Apple to continue working on its own 5G processor, but it will probably take longer for the work to be finished to a high enough standard for usage in future iPhones and other devices.
Periscope Camera on iPhone 15 Pro Max
After years of rumors, the iPhone is predicted to include a "periscopic telephoto lens" for the first time in 2023.
Apple has reportedly had difficulty creating its own periscope camera system because a large portion of the technology is covered by other patents. Despite this, Apple has nonetheless filed its own periscope camera patents and is reportedly considering buying the necessary components from existing patent holders.
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro model would continue to use the present telephoto lens for optical zoom, making the iPhone 15 Pro Max the only Apple smartphone of 2023 to receive a periscope camera lens and benefit from much improved optical zoom.
An angled mirror in a periscope system directs light entering the telephoto lens toward the image sensor of the camera. The shift in the light's path enables longer "folded" telephoto setups inside phones, allowing users to zoom in even closer without any blur. In 2023, Largan and Genius are anticipated to be Apple's primary lens suppliers.
Future iPhone rumors should be treated with caution because Apple's intentions could potentially alter at any time, and there is still plenty of time to do so. However, it is very possible that there is some truth to these claims given the track record of many of the analysts and leakers from whom they are sourced.
Although most users will likely find USB-C to be the most significant upgrade, other features like the periscope camera, potential under-display Touch ID, improved delivery of the A17 chip, and even the expansion of Dynamic Island to the entire lineup may result in a significant overall upgrade regardless of the device that users choose. According to Kuo, users may have a harder time deciding which iPhone 15 model to buy to acquire the features they desire because there may be more feature differentiation between the various iPhones in the lineup.