09/01 Update below. This post was originally published on August 29
Apple’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro design and feature upgrades continue to leak, and now the company’s surprising release expectations and an official new iPhone listing have also been revealed.
In a blog post, influential analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple expects the iPhone 15 Pro Max to account for up to 40% of all early iPhone 15 sales when it launches in September.
“iPhone 15 Pro Max, the most expensive iPhone, accounts for 35–40% of iPhone 15 series shipments, the highest share,” he explains. “iPhone 15 Pro Max shipments in 2H24 also grew 10–20% YoY compared to iPhone 14 Pro Max in the same period. It means Apple is optimistic about the selling point of the periscope, which is only available in iPhone 15 Pro Max.”
This is surprising for two reasons. First, production of the iPhone 15 Pro Max was expected to be heavily constrained due to supply issues with its periscopic zoom lens. Second, the new model will be Apple’s most expensive ever iPhone, with leaks claiming a starting price as high as $1,299.
Either way, the launch is clearly close as a second new iPhone has been officially registered in India’s official regulatory database.
Again discovered by MySmartPrice, just weeks after it spotted the “A3094”, the site has uncovered a further listing for the “A3090.” Both phones sit above the iPhone 14 lineup, which carries the model numbers A2649, A2881, A2882, A2883 and A2884. Registering new electronic devices ahead of release is a legal requirement in India, and something even Apple’s secrecy cannot escape.
Moreover, the sequencing suggests the two new models are the base-level iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but component variants (suppliers for memory, storage, etc) mean — as with the iPhone 14 series — there are likely to be more model numbers than the four official models.
Ultimately, the big talking point from these leaks is the iPhone 15 Pro Max. If Apple expects it to be the best-selling model, its new periscope lens must be really something. Early buyers tend to be the biggest iPhone fans, which can warp numbers (sales of standard iPhone models tend to catch up later in their lifecycle), but it’s still a head-turning discovery during a cost of living crisis.
This is especially true given the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will essentially be iPhone 14 Pro models, complete with a Dynamic Island design, 48MP primary camera, A16 chip and USB-C at a lower price. The main iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max differences are super thin bezels, a next-gen 3nm A17 chipset, and a programmable solid-state Action button.
It might prove a harder upsell than Apple is anticipating.
08/31 Update: Apple’s announcement date for the iPhone 15 range is now official. The company invited journalists to a “Wonderlust” event on September 12, starting at 10am PT. The event will be broadcast from Apple Park, California, and can be watched online at apple.com.
And, of course, the invite has its traditional teaser: an Apple logo made up of blown particles of different metallic color shades. A meaning it didn’t take leaker Unknownz21 to work out:
“I might as well point out the obvious here, the colors used for this – they match up with the 15 Pro colors. Not exactly subtle if you ask me, lol.”
Unknownz21 was at the front of the queue in revealing that Apple will introduce a new dark blue hero color for the iPhone. Some reports claimed the hero color would be a deep red before a consensus formed around Unknownz21’s information this month, and the blue hints to the invite do nothing to change that confidence.
As for my own theory, the sandy construction of the Apple logo is actually titanium granules. The texture looks right for the material, and the stronger, lighter chassis will be a big selling point of the new iPhone 15 Pro Models. Combine this with the color pallet being iPhone Pro-focused, and I agree with Unknownz21, Apple isn’t exactly being subtle this time.
09/01 Update: It looks like Unknownz21 was on the money again. New leaks on Weibo, spotted by MacRumors, have revealed more about Apple’s new S-shaped iPhone 15 Pro wallpaper. Meanwhile, a pair of reliable sources have revealed that Apple will move away from its long-running leather iPhone cases.
First, the new iPhone 15 Pro wallpaper has been mocked up by Supercharged writer Willian Faix, following a leak from Apple’s Chinese supply chain, and made available for download. This may mean, iPhone fans are already using the iPhone 15 Pro’s wallpaper weeks before the phones are announced.
As for the cases, credible leaker DuanRui has revealed that Apple may be working on a fabric alternative to its leather cases this year for the iPhone 15 lineup. The insider claims the new material will be marketed as “FineWoven” and shared mockup images of how they may look.
Apple has previous here, with the company using “woven” to describe some Apple Watch bands. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also subsequently wrote that:
“In another move toward sustainability, Apple is planning to use new materials to replace leather in some of its new iPhone cases and other accessories, other people with knowledge of the matter said.”
The move away from leather is likely to be welcomed by most parties, with alternatives such as vegan leather now widely adopted in the car industry. Needless to say, if Apple popularizes this material, expect numerous copies to be made by third parties, both for iPhones and Android rivals.
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