The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are expected to look similar to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, with 6.1 and 6.7-inch OLED displays and a Dynamic Island cutout for the camera and Face ID hardware.
There have been rumors of some tweaks to the chassis of the two Pro models. Leaker ShrimpApplePro has said that the iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to have notably thinner bezels compared to the iPhone 14 Pro models. The displays would remain flat despite the slimmer, curved edges, a design compared to the Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8.
The iPhone 15 Pro’s bezels are expected to measure in at 1.55mm, meaning the device will “break the record” for the thinnest bezels in a smartphone. In comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro has 2.17 mm edges. The bezel size is not rumored to change for the standard iPhone 15 models.
Instead of stainless steel, rumors suggest that Apple will switch to titanium this year and use it for the frame of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Compared to stainless steel, titanium is lighter and stronger, but it is also more expensive because it is more difficult to work with.
Assuming there are no other major changes in terms of internal components, an iPhone constructed with a titanium frame will be lighter than an iPhone with a stainless steel frame, so it’s likely that the 15 Pro and Pro Max will be lighter than their iPhone 14 Pro counterparts predecessors. The weight will ultimately be determined by the alloy that Apple uses, as the devices will not be made from pure titanium.
Apple Watch Ultra in titanium
Titanium is already used in the Apple Watch range, and Apple has previously had two titanium colors, a standard silver-like natural titanium color and a darker space black version. Apple could use the same colors for the iPhone 15 Pro models or design new shades.
In addition to being lighter, titanium has a different finish than stainless steel. Instead of being shiny, it has more of a matte texture that doesn’t attract fingerprints the way the iPhone 14 Pro’s stainless steel frame does.
Titanium is a much stronger material than stainless steel, so an iPhone chassis made from the material could be more resistant to dents, dings and bends, but it can be more easily scratched because the oxide layer is easily damaged and can cause minor scratches to separate get out. .
The iPhone 15 Pro models could be available in a dark blue color, which is not too far from the blue of the iPhone 12 Pro, but with more gray for a deeper shade. Apple often releases one new color each year, and the blue has been used for iPhone 15 Pro prototype devices.
We’ve also heard rumors of a dark red color, close to a maroon or burgundy shade, but blue looks more likely.
The iPhone 15 Pro models were initially expected to have solid-state buttons that would replace the physical buttons, with Apple also using an elongated single-button design. Apple planned to use haptic feedback to mimic the sensation of a button press, giving the sensation of pressing when there is no actual button to press.
For months during the rumor cycle, Apple was said to be using this technology, but in April the company abandoned plans for solid-state button technology. According to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple ran into “unresolved technical problems”.
The physical volume and power buttons on the iPhone 14 Pro
Kuo says Apple will instead “return to the traditional physical button design,” which includes a transition back to the two-button setup used for the iPhone 14 Pro models instead of the rumored single button. Solid-state buttons could instead be included in the 2024 iPhone 16 models.
While there won’t be any significant changes to the volume buttons, Apple is rumored to replace the current mute switch with a button design. Like the volume buttons, this is expected to be a physical button rather than a solid-state button. A source from MacRumors forums have suggested that Apple might turn this mute button into an “Action” button similar to the action button on the Apple Watch Ultra, and multiple sources have since confirmed that it will indeed be a button instead of a switch.
The “Action” button will reportedly replace the current Ring/Silent button located near the volume buttons, but there’s no word yet on what functions such a button might perform. It would likely be customizable in the same way as the Apple Watch Action button, and could be used for things like activating Do Not Disturb, activating Low Power Mode, activating the Camera app, and more.
Apple is expected to use the new action button to change how the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max restart and shut down. Instead of pressing the side button and a volume button to restart, the iPhone 15 Pro models could instead use the action button combined with the side button to force restart and turn off the iPhone.
The iOS 17 code has hinted at some of the features the action button might enable. It can be used to turn on silent mode, activate the camera, turn on the flashlight, activate a shortcut, turn on a focus mode, turn on the Magnifier app, launch the Translate app, launch a voice memo, and more.
All iPhone 15 models could be equipped with a more power-efficient OLED display driver chip manufactured on a 28nm process, allowing for reduced power consumption that could ultimately lead to improved battery life.
A set of 3D-printed iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models offer some insight into how previous-generation iPhone 14 cases will fit, and it appears that older cases won’t work with the new iPhones.
Small changes to the dimensions of the iPhone 15 series will prevent the cases from fitting most, although the iPhone 15 Plus is able to fit inside an iPhone 14 Plus. The Pro models’ larger rear camera housing prevents iPhone 14 Pro cases from working properly, as does the more curved design and changes to the buttons.
Leaks for the iPhone 15 Pro case confirm that the new models will have slightly relocated power and volume buttons, with the buttons slightly lower than they are on the iPhone 14 Pro models. The case has a larger cutout at the bottom to accommodate the USB-C port.
The cases have a cutout for the mute button that replaces the mute switch. Since it is not to be gripped like a switch, it requires a smaller cutout.
Dynamic island updates
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Dynamic Island is expected to have an updated design with an integrated proximity sensor, but this change will not result in significant changes to the appearance or functionality of the Dynamic Island. That will change component costs and could be a move Apple is making to lower device costs somewhat.
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