Today is the day we’ll likely see the reveal of the iPhone 15 lineup, comprising the standard iPhone, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. We also expect to see the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, and possibly more. New AirPods, maybe? We’ve got full details in our Apple September event preview.
As someone who’s been covering iPhone launches for years, I think this could be a big one for the Cupertino company’s phones. We’re expecting to see a tweaked design, Dynamic Island across all four models, a 6x zoom via a new periscope camera for the Pro Max, and more power all round.
I’ll be bringing you the latest rumors and last-minute leaks around the various devices, as well as chewing over what we’ve heard so far and previewing what to look forward to later. Then as we approach the launch I’ll hand over to Phones Editor Philip Berne, who’ll take you through the main event and beyond.
If you want to follow the iPhone 15 launch yourself, then check out our guide on how to watch the Apple September event, or follow it on YouTube via the embedded video below. But for everything else you’re in the right place – so read on for all the big news as it happens.
Watch the iPhone 15 event live here
Apple’s Wonderlust live stream isn’t live yet, of course, but you’ll be able to follow it here once things kick off at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST today (September 12).
Hello, Managing Editor Roland Moore-Colyer here. I’ve been covering Apple launches for years and today’s launch could be one of the more interesting iPhone reveals in a while.
While the iPhone 14 launch saw the debut of the Dynamic Island, the iPhone 15 promises to take that further with by spreading the pill-shaped camera cutout that can morph into a flexible UI element to all iPhone 15 models.
Now I’ve yet to be sold on the Dynamic Island. But spreading it to all iPhones, not just their Pro variants, could see more developers introduce controls for their apps that work with the Dynamic Island.
I’d like to see it become a truly useful tool rather than a nice-to-have UI element.
But the Dynamic Island is not why I’m feeling somewhat hyped for the iPhone 15 launch…
I hope that will see a notable uptick in iPhone photography even on its base models; that’s providing Apple can use its software to get the most out of a 48MP sensor, particularly when the end photo tends to be reduced to 12MP through pixel binning techniques.
A new design for all iPhone 15 models is also on the cards, with rounded edges set to replace the flat edges, this is arguably Apple going forward and backwards; the latter because it introduced flat edges with the iPhone 12 and onwards, the former because many people find phones with curved edges to be more comfortable to hold.
I’m keen to see if the rumor of titanium sides comes true for the iPhone 15 Pro, as that could make for a tougher and lighter phone. But I’d be interested to see how Apple approaches finessing colors for a titanium chassis.
Speaking of the iPhone 15 Pro, I’m most excited to see if an Action button does indeed jump from the Apple Watch Ultra to the next-gen Apple phones.
I’m already sold on the idea of a customizable button that can trigger all manner of apps and services. My only concern is Apple could limit its use – if indeed the rumors of an Action button prove to be correct.
The second iPhone upgrade I’m most intrigued by, at least going by the multitude of rumors to date, is the 6x optical zoom periscope camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Such cameras, which involve some interesting prism arrangement, aren’t new in smartphones. But on the iPhone 15 Pro Max it would double the optical zoom range of the latest Pro iPhone from 3x to 6x.
Android fans may scoff and cite how the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers two telephoto cameras, one at 3x and the other at 10x, with a capable hybrid zoom option.
But I’d argue that 6x optical zoom threads the line between usable zooming and delivering impressive photos; the commonly used 3x tends to require a bit of maneuvering to get the shot I want, while 10x is arguably a bit much unless you happen to pinpoint a particular subject in the middle distance. I think 6x could be the new optical zoom range for smartphone makers to aim for.
I’m also a bit of a sucker for telephoto cameras, preferring them to ultrawides as the second camera option on smartphones; maybe that’s because I just don’t have many friends…
But I find telephotos cameras great for getting close up shots of things like flowers without needing to rely on sometimes finicky macro modes. And for capturing shots of the urban foxes that call my end of East London home, a good zoom is needed; the critters are relatively confident but don’t let big humans like me get too close!
Of course, a smartphone camera is only as good as the processing behind it.
But with the standard and iPhone 15 Plus set to get the A16 Bionic chip, and the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are expected to get the rumored A17 Bionic, Apple should have plenty of onboard computational photography power to play around with the ensure prospective iPhone 15 users get the shots they want.
On the whole I’ve been impressed with Apple’s computational photography performance, having stuck with an iPhone 13 Pro for nearly two years and have been rarely let down by its photo snapping chops.
But I’d be keen to see the smart folks at Cupertino use extra power from a new slice of silicon to get even better photos. After all, Google’s and Samsung’s image processing continues to improve, making competition in this area stiff.
When it comes to power, I’d like to see Apple bring some truly impressive gaming to next-gen iPhones. With Apple Arcade, there’s already a decent selection of interesting titles to play, but few really blow my mind.
So I’d love to see something from the developers in Apple’s app ecosystem that can really push into the power of its A-series chips and make for an evolved take on smartphone gaming. This could all be wishful thinking on my part…