Apple today held its annual iPhone media event, where it unveiled its new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus handsets. The new iPhones feature the Dynamic Island, USB-C connectivity, a 48MP main camera with 2x telephoto, and more.
The Dynamic Island
The new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus now both boast the Dynamic Island, which provides a new way for users to interact with alerts, Live Activities, and other important information. Dynamic Island allows users to easily see directions in Maps, easily control music, and interact with third-party apps for information such as food delivery, ride-sharing, sports scores, and much more.
Super Retina XDR Display
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both sport Apple’s Super Retina XDR display, which offers peak HDR brightness of up to 1600 nits for improved HDR photos and videos. The display is more easily viewed in bright outdoor environments, with peak outdoor brightness reaching up to 2000 nits — twice as bright as the previous generation’s display.
Both models feature a color-infused back glass, available in five colors, pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. Apple says the back glass is strengthened using an optimized dual-ion exchange process before being polished with nanocrystalline particles and etched to create a textured matte finish.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus also boast a new contoured edge on the aluminum enclosure, which Apple says feels nicer in users’ hands. The devices also feature a Ceramic Shield front cover, designed to be tougher than other smartphone glass. The design is both water- and dust-resistant.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus feature a 48MP Main camera, with a quad-pixel sensor and 100% Focus Pixels for faster autofocus. Using computational photography, the iPhone 15’s main camera offers a new 24MP super-high-resolution default, offering excellent image quality while keeping file size reasonable for storing and sharing. An additional 2x Telephoto option offers three optical-quality zoom levels — 0.5x, 1x, and 2x — a first for an iPhone dual-camera system.
Users can now capture portraits without the need to manually switch to Portrait mode. When photographing a person, dog, or cat, a tap to focus causes the iPhone to automatically capture depth information, allowing users to turn the photos into portraits at a later time in the Photos app on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Users can even adjust the focus point after the photo has been taken. (I’d venture to say that third-party photo apps will likely pick up on this in a future update.)
Night shooting is improved, thanks to improvements in the handsets’ Night mode, offering sharper details and more vivid colors. Smart HDR handles bright or uneven lighting providing better handling of skin tones, as well as providing brighter highlights, richer midtones, and deeper shadows when viewed in the Photos app. Third-party apps will also be able to access this feature.
These improvements all benefit the 48MP Main camera, Ultra Wide camera, and TrueDepth front camera.
A16 Bionic SoC
The A16 Bionic chip that debuted alongside last year’s iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max now powers the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. The chip powers the handsets’ Dynamic Island, computational photography capabilities, and more. The A16’s 6-core CPU is faster than the A15 and easily handles intensive tasks while also delivering excellent battery life. Meanwhile, the A16’s 5-core GPU has 50% more memory bandwidth for improved streaming videos and games. A new 16-core Neural Engine is capable of nearly 17 trillion operations per second. The chips Secure Enclave powers the iPhone 15’s privacy and security features.
Crash Detection, Emergency SOS, and Roadside Assistance
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus now include Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is now available in 14 countries on three continents and will be available in Spain and Switzerland later this month.
The new devices now offer Roadside Assistance via satellite, which will debut in the U.S. When an iPhone 15 user has car trouble and cellular and Wi-Fi coverage are not available, they can now connect to roadside assistance service from AAA. Users need only to fill out a short questionnaire to provide details of their predicament, which is then transmitted via satellite, allowing AAA to message with the user directly and send help to their exact location. Access to Roadside Assistance via satellite will be included for free for two years. Service is covered according to AAA membership, but is also available separately for nonmembers.
Both models now sport a USB‑C connector for charging and data transfer, allowing owners to use the same cable to charge their iPhone, Mac, iPad, and the updated 2nd generation AirPods Pro. AirPods or Apple Watch can be directly charged by iPhone with the USB‑C connector Both models provide support for MagSafe wireless charging.
Ultra Wideband Chip
Both models feature the second-generation Ultra Wideband chip, which allows two iPhone devices equipped with the chip to connect at a three times longer range than before. This allows users to access Precision Finding for Find My, so iPhone 15 users can share their location and find each other, even in crowded situations.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both now use more recycled content, including the first time use of 100% recycled cobalt in the battery and 100% recycled copper in the main logic board, copper wire in the Taptic Engine, and copper foil in the inductive charger in MagSafe.
Both models also include a 75% recycled aluminum enclosure, 100% recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, and 100% recycled gold in the USB‑C connector as well as the gold plating and tin soldering in multiple printed circuit boards. Over 99% of the packaging is fiber-based.
Apple also announced that it will no longer use leather in any of its products, and the Cupertino firm is introducing a new FineWoven Case with MagSafe and FineWoven Wallet with MagSafe, made from a durable and elegant microtwill that offers a soft, suedelike feel. The material is made from 68% post-consumer recycled content.
Pricing and Availability
- iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will be available in pink, yellow, green, blue, and black in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage capacities, starting at $799 (U.S.) or $33.29 (U.S.) per month, and $899 (U.S.) or $37.45 (U.S.) per month, respectively.12
- Apple offers great ways to save and upgrade to the latest iPhone. Customers in the U.S. can get $200-$650 (U.S.) in credit when they trade in iPhone 11 or later and upgrade to iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus by visiting the Apple Store Online, or at an Apple Store location. To see what their device is worth and for terms and conditions, customers can visit apple.com/shop/trade-in.
- Customers can get an iPhone 15 for as low as $0 (U.S.) per month when they trade in an iPhone 11 or later with select U.S. carriers. For eligibility requirements and more details, see apple.com/shop/buy-iphone/carrier-offers.
- Customers in more than 40 countries and regions, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the UAE, the U.K., and the U.S., will be able to pre-order iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus beginning at 5 a.m. PDT this Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22.
- iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will be available in Macao, Malaysia, Türkiye, Vietnam, and 17 other countries and regions beginning Friday, September 29.