Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 series on September 12, showcasing the new products to be released later this month
Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 on Sept. 12 at its “Wonderlust” event giving fans of the smartphone a first look at its impressive features along with other products and gadgets on the company's advanced lineup.
Due to its launch lining up with Apple's three-year cycle that was enacted in 2014 for the iPhone 6, major changes are planned for the iPhone 15 and its variants — similar to the overhauls that came with the iPhone X in 2017 and the iPhone 12 in 2020.
Unlike the iPhone 14, of which the camera advancement was among its most significant updated features, the iPhone 15 sees several transformational changes with its new models.
The September product comes in four variants: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Significant differences are prevalent between the Pro and non-Pro iPhones.
From the new features to the increased price changes, read on for everything to know about the iPhone 15.
When was the iPhone 15 released?
The iPhone 15 model was unveiled at Apple's "Wonderlust" event on Tuesday, Sept. 12 in Cupertino, California. Apple even launched a countdown on YouTube ahead of the highly-anticipated event.
The product introduction began at 10 a.m. PT — which also gave consumers a first look at new Apple Watches, Airpods and other gear, in addition to the phones. The product hit Apple shelves on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.
What does the iPhone 15 look like?
Over the years, the iPhone has seen several designs that differed in color, dimensions, thickness and screen size. Since the first iPhone was released in January 2007, the evolution of its models have advanced.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus has a new design that features a durable, color-infused back glass and contoured edge — in addition to the Dynamic Island (the pill-shaped area on top of the phone's display) and an advanced 48MP Main camera.
They are available in the following colors: pink, yellow, green, blue, and black.
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max slightly differs from the aforementioned two models. They feature a strong and lightweight titanium design with new contoured edges, a new customizable Action button, powerful camera upgrades and A17 Pro for next-level mobile gaming.
They are available in the following colors: black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium finishes.
What new features does the iPhone 15 have?
The iPhone 15 series includes various updated features — and once again, the camera is among the most notable advancements. The Pro modes, specifically, see the most significant changes.
The Pro models feature an A17 bionic chip which makes the product "noticeably faster." It is expected to also feature enhanced battery and technology, in addition to improved camera technology.
According to the Apple press release, the Pro mode models "offer the very best of Apple innovations, featuring a strong and lightweight titanium design with new contoured edges, a new customizable Action button, and Roadside Assistance via satellite."
Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro models feature powerful camera upgrades that give users "the equivalent of seven pro lenses with incredible image quality." In addition to a new high-res main camera, the Pro phones include improved Focus and Depth Control, Night mode, Smart HDR and 5x Telephoto camera.
The iPhone 15 also features a USB-C charging port, the same port built into Android smartphone models. "A transition to the USB-C port from its current Lightening connector would be a significant leap for the company, which has been one of the main holdouts in adopting the sockets," CBS News reported ahead of Apple's official unveiling.
How much does the iPhone 15 cost?
The prices for the iPhone 15 models are as follows:
iPhone 15: starting from $799
iPhone 15 Plus: starting from $899
iPhone 15 Pro: starting from $999
iPhone 15 Pro Max (featuring the 5x Telephoto camera): starting from $1199 (available in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage capacities)
Should you wait to purchase the iPhone 15?
There's no denying that Apple users are drawn to the company's newest and improved iPhones, but experts often advise those interested to gauge whether the product is worth the immediate purchase.
Olivier Blanchard, a research director at tech research firm The Futurum Group, told CBS MoneyWatch that deciding to upgrade your iPhone should depend on the model currently owned. He suggests keeping newer products, like the iPhone 12 or later models.
"I'm not hearing about any amazing new features," he told the outlet ahead of the announcement of the iPhone 15. "We're not going to see anything super crazy interesting or different, unfortunately." However, if Apple owners possess an older model, the iPhone 15's upgraded features could be worth the investment.
What's the difference between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15?
The aforementioned features that the iPhone 15 includes differentiates the latest Apple model from products in the past. In addition to the camera zoom advancements in the Pro and Max, the charging port is among the most significant difference between the new model and the iPhone 14 series.
Is the iPhone 15 compatible with iOS 17?
Yes! All four of the iPhone 15 models are compatible with iOS 17, Apple's latest update that was released on Sept. 18 this year. The free software update promises to make the user experience "more personal and intuitive" — plus, it's available on models that are iPhone SE (2nd generation), or later!
While the updates that come with the iOS 17 are listed on Apple's 17-page guide, we've highlighted a few of the key features and enhancements that are sure to have you opening your Settings app in no time.
Let's start with phone call standouts, like live voicemails. When someone calls your phone and leaves a message when you don't answer, receivers will now see a live transcription. The iOS 17 allows users to pick up the call while the person is leaving their voicemail. (Calls identified as spam by carriers will be immediately declined.)
A similar feature comes with FaceTime. If you don't pick up, callers can leave a video or audio message to visually or audibly capture exactly what they want to say. For Facetime Audio calls, users can leave a voicemail.
Sharing contacts just got easier, as the iOS 17 feature allows users to Airdrop information from person to person. This includes name and contact poster for both phone numbers or emails.
The iOS 17 sees several enhancements to the keyboard, like improvements to autocorrect accuracy. Your good pal Siri also leveled up. Now, users can address the digital assistant solely by its name — instead of saying, "Hey Siri!"
Are there any issues with the iPhone 15?
While the iPhone 15 has received plenty of rave reviews since it was released (with lots of fans of the redesign and upgraded camera), the product has also received negative feedback from people on social media who say the phone tends to overheat very quickly.
"Widespread reports are circulating about the iPhone 15 overheating, seemingly across all models," reported Forbes. The outlet noted that some of the heating issues happened when the phone was charging.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TFI Securities addressed the issue in a report for Medium, suggesting that the "primary cause is more likely the compromises made in the thermal system design to achieve a lighter weight." For example, Kuo referenced "the reduced heat dissipation area and the use of a titanium frame, which negatively impacts thermal efficiency.”
A spokesperson for Apple had no comment, but pointed PEOPLE to the tech company's website that generally addresses the overheating issue across its devices. The support page lists reasons why users may experience a warm device, such as setting up the device for the first time, restoring the device from a backup and streaming high-quality videos.
"These conditions are normal, and your device will return to a regular temperature when the process is complete or when you finish your activity. If your device doesn't display a temperature warning, you can keep using your device," the website reads.
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