Apple looks set to debut iPhone 15iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in September this year, but we’re quietly confident that we already know what each new phone will bring to the mobile table ahead of their respective unveilings.
Of course, Apple may yet pull the curtain on our predictions, but the iPhone 15 rumors and leaks have been so consistent in recent months that we’re comfortable making preemptive comparisons between the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple’s current best iPhones.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of reasons does not to buy the iPhone 15 if you already own a top-tier iPhone (which we broadly consider any iPhone from the excellent iPhone 13 or iPhone 14 lines). Or put another way, these are the reasons why the iPhone 15 series could leave you disappointed.
Before that, though, a disclaimer: The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max will almost certainly be the best iPhones ever made, and this article isn’t intended as a blanket critique of iPhones we haven’t seen yet.
For example, we’re confident that all four devices will offer USB-C connectivity, updated designs, better cameras and better battery life than their respective predecessors, and if any of these elements are critically important to you, then you should definitely consider upgrading in September.
But because the company’s current models are already so technologically advanced, there will almost certainly be things that Apple’s next iPhones don’t improve on, a fact worth remembering amid the annual iPhone hysteria.
1. The displays remain the same
Apart from the addition of the Dynamic Island – Apple’s clever display cutout – on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, all models in the iPhone 15 series are expected to retain the same display as its predecessor.
The standard iPhone 15, for example, will likely retain the iPhone 14’s 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED display, offering the same 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution and static 60Hz refresh rate. The iPhone 15 Pro is also expected to stick with the 14 Pro’s 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display – which offers a resolution of 2556 x 1179 pixels and an adaptive refresh rate of 1-120 Hz – while the iPhone 15 Pro Max also looks set to retain its predecessor’s 6-in.
To be clear: these are all really excellent displays — but for the most part, they haven’t improved since the iPhone 13 line, and the iPhone 15 line isn’t likely to change that. So if you’re someone who’s excited about the prospect of a brighter, more vibrant iPhone display (if such a thing is even possible), you’ll probably have to wait at least another year.
2. Don’t expect noticeable performance increases
Make no mistake, the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will all pack lightning-fast processors, with the former two phones expected to inherit the A16 Bionic and the latter two sure to get the A17 Bionic (which could boast benchmark scores to compete with Apple’s best MacBooks).
But Apple’s annual chipset upgrades have now become more about longevity than actual, tangible performance gains. Most high-end iPhones remain exceptionally fast devices capable of juggling countless apps at once, and the iPhone 15 likely won’t feel faster than e.g iPhone 13 Pro.
It goes without saying that iPhones equipped with Apple’s A16 and A17 processors will outlast those with older-generation chipsets, but we’re talking marginal differences in power here. iPhones are famous for maintaining strong performance levels long after they’ve been replaced by new-generation models, and you shouldn’t think about upgrading to the iPhone 15 (or one of its siblings) from one of the current best iPhones just because you want a faster, smoother mobile experience.
3. The price will be higher than ever
As we alluded to earlier in this article, the iPhone 15 line will still bring valuable design, camera and battery life upgrades to the table – but it will come at a cost.
We are convinced of that Apple will raise the prices of all phones in the iPhone 15 line compared to their respective predecessors. According to a prominently delicious, the iPhone 15 will be 12% more expensive to produce than the iPhone 14, while the iPhone 15 Pro will be as much as 20% more expensive to produce than the iPhone 14 Pro. Neither figure bodes well for the production costs of the inevitably higher-end iPhone 15 Pro Max, and those increased costs will certainly affect the purchase price of all four iPhone 15 models.
Incidentally, a range-wide price increase for the iPhone 15 series would mark the first of its kind in the US since 2017. International markets have seen price increases as recently as last year’s iPhone 14 line due to increased VAT (value-added tax) costs, but consumers in those regions also appear to be adversely affected again.
With that in mind, the question of value for money will be even more important with the iPhone 15 range – especially as its announcement will inevitably encourage price drops for existing iPhone 13 and 14 models, which (as we’ve mentioned) are excellent phones.
How much will the iPhone 15 and its siblings cost? We can’t know for sure, but if we accept that each model will be more expensive than its predecessor, the starting price of the standard iPhone 15 will be higher than $799 / £849 / AU$1,339.
As for the Pro models, we expect Apple to do away with 128GB storage options for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max this year, so the former will definitely start at a higher price than $1,099 / £1,209 / AU$1,899 (i.e. the price of the 256GB variant of the iPhone 14, 14 Pro), while the latter is likely to cost more than $14, $9, $9 / AU$1, $9.99 (ie the price of the 256GB variant of the iPhone 14 Pro Max).
Will the upgrades coming to Apple’s new iPhones justify these expected price increases? We won’t know for sure until we get our hands on the phones themselves – but if you’re already happy with your iPhone’s screen and performance, then you might want to think twice about getting a shiny new iPhone in September.