Apple has been known to be secretive ahead of the release of a new iPhone.
But leaked renders of the upcoming iPhone 15, which isn’t due until the fall, show some major design changes from last year’s iPhone 14.
As renders show, the iPhone 15 has thinner bezels, thicker camera bumps, more curved edges, and tactile side buttons operated by touch rather than physical buttons.
The new phone also has a USB-C charging port instead of a Lightning port. due to recent legislation passed by the European Union.
New renders received 9to5Maceven CAD (computer-aided design) files provided by third-party iPhone case manufacturers before the device was released.
The iPhone 15 has thinner bezels, thicker camera bumps, more curved edges, and tactile buttons operated by touch rather than physical buttons, as leaked renders show.
The website has received images of the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro from a “trusted case maker”.
iPhone 15 Design Features
– Thinner bezel
– No physical buttons
– Thicker camera bump
– Curved edges
– USB-C port instead of Lightning
“The specific CAD here comes from a factory in China that appears to have received these files first,” 9to5Mac reports.
“Historically, CAD files have been accurate to the end device both in terms of dimensions and design, as having inaccurate files would have been costly for cabinet and factory designers.”
The renders specifically show the iPhone 15 Pro, which is just one of the models Apple is expected to release this fall.
But it’s likely that other models in the iPhone 15 family, like the cheaper “standard” version, will also have these features.
According to the leak, the iPhone 15 Pro will be the first iPhone without physical buttons.
Apple was the first to ditch the home button — the round button at the bottom of the front screen — with iPhone X in 2017.
But the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro will be the first iPhone without physical buttons on the side, which are used to turn off the device, adjust the volume, take screenshots, activate Siri, and more.
Apple first ditched the home button — the round button at the bottom of the front screen — on the iPhone X in 2017. Pictured is a 2010 iPhone 5C with the old physical home button.
Leaked renders of the upcoming iPhone 15 show some major design changes from last year’s iPhone 14. Pictured is the iPhone 14 Pro.
Instead of moving physical buttons, there will be tactile buttons – those that provide tactile sensations such as vibration when users tap with their fingers.
What is the new USB-C law in Europe?
Approved by the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on October 4, a new EU law will force Apple to stop selling iPhones that use their own power connector, known as “Lightning”, in EU countries.
Instead, it will make the USB-C connectors currently used by Android devices the EU standard, forcing Apple to change the charging port on its new products.
The law, which comes into force in 2024, applies only to EU countries.
However, to make things easier and cheaper, the company could do away with Lightning altogether, and equip every iPhone sold worldwide with USB-C.
Either way, Apple will have to comply with the law, so iPhones sold in EU countries will have to ship with USB-C instead of Lightning.
The iPhone 15 Pro will also feature glass that is slightly curved around the edges, creating a smoother transition to the bezel, 9to5Mac claims.
Meanwhile, the camera bump on the back is thicker than before, suggesting that Apple has upgraded the camera system with new sensors or lenses, the report says.
There are also thicker camera lenses, likely to accommodate larger image sensors for more powerful camera capabilities.
The iPhone 15 Pro also reportedly has a thinner bezel — the border between the screen and the bezel — in order to maximize the 6.1-inch display (the same size as last year’s iPhone 14 Pro).
Meanwhile, Dynamic Island, a feature introduced last year on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, will be retained for this year’s Pro model.
Dynamic Island is a pill-shaped notch at the top of the screen that hides the front-facing camera but also resizes to display important alerts, notifications, and actions.
One of the biggest changes already expected in the iPhone 15 will be the omission of the Lightning port in favor of a USB-C port.
Apple was legally required to equip any iPhone sold in the EU with USB-C ports due to The law was signed in October last year which aims to reduce e-waste.
The law makes the USB-C connectors currently used by Android devices a standard charging technology in the EU.
The iPhone currently uses Apple’s patented “Lightning” power connector technology (top right). But Apple will have to comply with a new EU law that makes USB-C (bottom right) an EU standard. This means that iPhones sold in the EU will have to ship with USB-C instead of Lightning.
Apple will have to start equipping its iPhones and other devices with a USB-C charger (pictured), which is already used for Android devices.
This means that Apple must replace its own eight-pin Lightning charging technology with USB-C in EU countries.
Technically, Apple still has the ability to sell iPhones with Lightning ports in non-EU countries such as the UK and US.
But if they chose to do so, they would have to produce two different iPhone designs – one with a USB-C port for EU countries and one with Lightning for non-EU countries.
Ultimately, the renders show that Apple chose not to – likely due to cost – and was reluctantly forced to go full USB-C.
Apple CEO Greg Joswiak has already said the tech giant will comply with the new USB-C law, but only because it’s necessary.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the EU law comes into effect in the fall of 2024, which is around the time Apple is expected to release the iPhone 16.
However, according to Apple consultant Mark GurmanApple is advancing plans to comply with the law by making the iPhone 15 the first iPhone with USB-C, a claim that is backed up by new images from 9to5Mac.
Even though the new renders only show the iPhone 15 Pro, it’s highly likely that USB-C will appear across the entire iPhone 15 family.
Last September Apple has released four iPhone 14 models – Standard model of iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The Standard model sells for £849 and comes with a 6.1-inch screen, while the Plus costs £949 and has a 6.7-inch screen.
The iPhone 14 Pro has a 6.1-inch screen (same as the standard model) and costs £1,099, while the Pro Max has a 6.7-inch screen (same as the Plus) and costs a whopping £1,199.
Various sources disagree on whether iPhone 15 prices will be higher.
WHY APPLE AGAINST USB-C
Apple has long been a thorn in the side of EU plans to introduce a common standard for charging cables.
Apple claims that replacing iPhone charging ports with USB-C will “stifle innovation.”
An Apple spokesperson said in 2020: “We believe that regulations requiring the unification of smartphone chargers will stifle innovation rather than encourage it.
“It will hurt consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole.”
The firm is also believed to favor its proprietary cable due to its higher water resistance than USB-C.
Additionally, Apple can regulate the quality of Lightning cables and accessories through its Made for iPhone program.
It is also a source of profit that the firm probably won’t want to part with.
However, Apple switched its iPads to USB-C back in 2018.