We’ve got exactly a week till the new iPhone 15 drops and the rumors circling around it aren’t exactly new. If anything, rumors for upcoming iPhones circulate pretty much the day after its predecessor is announced (I remember people speculating about a USB-C iPhone as early as 2021), so we decided to do something different this time. Rather than ONLY presenting the rumors, here’s a dream wishlist of every feature we’d love to see in the iPhone 15. You’ve got the usual suspects like the USB-C port and the purported death of the slider switch for an action/ultra button… but we’ve also added more dream features in the lineup like a periscope camera and RCS-enabled iMessage, as well as a few absolute long-shot pipe-dream features like a folding display (Hey, a guy can dream, right?!)
1. USB-C (With a twist)
It’s all but certain that the 2023 iPhone is getting a USB-C port (given pressure from the EU to standardize ports), but the EU regulation for a USB-C iPhone doesn’t kick in until next year. So while we’re almost surely getting a USB-C iPhone this year, it isn’t quite clear if both the regular and Pro models will get the USB-C port. For years, the iPad Pro had a USB-C port while the regular iPad had a lightning port, so there’s a chance Apple only puts USB-C ports on the iPhone 15 Pro models and not the iPhone 15 models. Conversely, Apple could provide both ranges with the USB-C port, but give the 15 Pro a Thunderbolt port while the 15 just has a USB-C port without Thunderbolt. In all fairness, it’s easier to argue that Thunderbolt is a Pro feature than to make the argument that USB-C ports are a Pro feature over Lightning ports.
2. A17 Bionic Chip
The A17 Bionic Chip may seem like the most obvious upgrade in the iPhone 15, but there’s a fair amount of speculation that the chip shortage is still affecting Apple. Earlier this year, it was reported that the Cupertino giant acquired TSMC’s entire supply of 3nm chips for the iPhone 15 Pro and upcoming MacBook models, but producing 3nm chips can be extremely challenging and there’s a fair chance that the A17 Bionic Chip may just find itself on the Pro model, with the A16 making its way to the iPhone 15 range. Either way, reports indicate that the 3nm chip will offer a 35% power efficiency improvement over 4nm, which was used to make the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
3. RIP Mute Switch, Hello Action Button
Following the success of the Action Button on the Apple Watch Ultra, it seems like the company’s adopting a similar strategy with the iPhone too. We all know that Apple eventually wants to make a phone without ports and buttons altogether, and getting rid of the only mechanical moving part seems to be the first step. The Mute Switch, which has been a staple detail since the first iPhone ever released in 2007, seems to be going the way of the headphone jack. Apple was said to have been experimenting with solid-state buttons, but it seems like for now, the iPhone 15 will have physical pressable buttons… but no sliding Mute Switch. The Action Button, instead, will serve multiple purposes, like invoking Siri, triggering shortcuts, snoozing calls, etc.
4. Periscope Camera Lens
Every year, the iPhone’s pro model gets some serious camera upgrades, but judging by last year’s sensor bump, it seems like Apple’s due for some serious changes to the Pro cameras this year. Leaks and dummy models found across the internet show an even larger camera bump than the ones found on the previous models, hinting at a revolutionized camera layout. Speculators say that the new iPhone 15 Pro models could come with a periscope camera system to enable higher optical zoom, with even larger sensors for incredibly realistic bokeh and high detail even in low light conditions. The iPhone 15 Pro Max could even get a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens, according to TechRadar.
5. Titanium Frame
The titanium design is yet another innovation Apple plans on carrying forward to the iPhone from the Apple Watch Ultra. The iPhone has seen a steady shift in materials, employing Aluminum for the longest time, followed by Stainless Steel for the Pro variants in recent years. However, Apple may be looking to make their latest iPhone even tougher by migrating to the toughest metal known to mankind. Quite like the Watch Ultra’s titanium build, it’s quite likely that the iPhone 15 Pro models may have a titanium chassis, while the iPhone 15 gets upgraded to Stainless Steel.
6. Curved Edge + Thinner Bezels
The fact that the iPhone’s core design hasn’t changed since the 12 also leads to speculation that Apple may be looking to switch things up this year. It’s speculated that Apple might go back to a curved-edge phone like the iPhone X and iPhone 11, while pushing the bezels to be even thinner than previous models for a more seamless-looking display like the one found on the Watch series. Is it a significant upgrade? Probably not. But it does help customers differentiate between older and newer variants, helping Apple push more new models out and giving consumers a bit of an incentive to make the switch.
7. New Color for the iPhone 15 Range
Every year, Apple announces a new color variant for its iPhone series – last year the iPhone 14 was available in Yellow, before that the iPhone 13 was available in Green, and in 2020, the iPhone 12 launched with a gorgeous lilac Purple finish. If there’s one absolutely certain takeaway, Apple will announce a new color this year for the iPhone 15 series, although what the color will be is still undecided. Leaked images of charging cables indicate that the iPhone 15 might come in orange or coral pink, somewhat closely matching their Project RED variant, but still being a little more on the warm pastel side of things.
8. Dynamic Island On All Models
Call it wishful thinking, but it would be great if Apple gave all iPhone 15 models the dynamic island and didn’t just leave it to the Pro variants. Apple immediately upgraded all their phones to the camera notch following the release of the iPhone X, so it would only be fair to do the same with their Dynamic Island too. The iPhone line-up is in desperate need of a design upgrade (it fundamentally hasn’t changed since the iPhone 12), so seeing a dynamic island on the screen (aside from the curved edges and thinner bezels mentioned earlier) would do immense favors for the smartphone’s visual language.
9. Better Siri powered by an AI Large Language Model
I don’t usually make such overt software requests but this one definitely deserves a mention. Siri, as it currently exists, is easily the worst voice assistant out there. Even though it was the first, it’s been overwhelmingly taken over by Google, Alexa, and even Cortana. I’d argue that the only voice assistant I care less than Siri about is Bixby, but let’s not get off-topic. It’s high time Siri changed, and got an LLM update. Earlier this year we explored how an enthusiast connected ChatGPT to his smartphone, using it instead of Siri to control his smart home. Many sources mention that Apple’s working on its own LLM too, but has kept it all under wraps for the longest time. Now would be a great time to upgrade Siri with the power of LLMs, making it smarter, more conversational, and much more helpful instead of constantly being apologetic for “not understanding” what users ask of it.
10. Focus on AR and Spatial Computing features
It would be a missed opportunity if Apple didn’t use this keynote to also have a call-back to the Vision Pro which they announced in June. The iPhone’s AR capabilities have always been a highlight at the keynote, with Tim Cook calling upon game studios and animation studios to talk about their latest innovations using Apple’s ARKit. Given that Apple finally has a $3499 horse in the AR race, it would probably make sense to reinforce the iPhone’s AR capabilities. Probably a 3D photo mode in the camera app, or photogrammetry or NeRF features, but we’re probably looking at the iPhone getting some neat Spatial Computing-adjacent capabilities this year.
11. RCS-enabled iMessage
We’re officially wading into uncertain uncharted waters here, but wouldn’t it be great if iMessage didn’t suck for Android users? It isn’t inconceivable for Apple to announce software features alongside the new iPhone, so here’s to us just hoping that Apple at least relaxes the tight grip of its walled garden. iMessage is great for iPhone users, but for someone on Android, the experience is nothing short of disastrous. Media is highly pixelated, reactions to messages don’t really appear the way they do for iOS users, and Apple is fully aware of the social discrimination that Android users face as a result. Now sure, it isn’t entirely Apple’s fault that iOS users tend to be snobbish prudes, but hey, would it be too much to ask for a better messaging experience? Google’s been incessantly calling for Apple to adopt the RCS framework to make iMessage great for inter-OS devices, but it doesn’t seem like Tim Cook is listening. Here’s to being hopeful!
12. A Folding iPhone (Yes, we went there…)
Up until 2021, Apple has been advocating for the convenience of small phones with its iPhone Mini series, while also highlighting the appeal of larger displays with the Plus and Pro Max models. Doesn’t it just make sense for Apple to make a folding iPhone that gives consumers the best of both worlds?! Here’s the inside scoop. It’s no secret that Apple is actively working on folding phones. Numerous patents have surfaced, revealing their experimentation with flexible screens, innovative hinges, and a wealth of intellectual property that undoubtedly includes foldable devices. However, Apple is known for its meticulous approach, refusing to release anything until it meets its high standards of perfection, even if it means being outpaced by competitors like Samsung or Huawei. Expecting a folding iPhone this year may be an incredibly long shot, but Apple DID unveil its first AR/VR headset this year… anything can happen!