The tech behemoth’s latest iPhone features a new USB-C charging port and titanium frame for its higher-end models.
Apple has unveiled the iPhone 15, with the base models 15 and 15 Plus priced at $799 and $899 respectively, in its most anticipated product event of the year. The higher-end 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will be priced at $999 and $1,199 respectively.
As usual, the iPhone 15 will come equipped with a better camera and upgraded processing power, but it will also feature a significant change: a USB-C port for charging and data transfers. Apple was forced to do away with its Lightning port in iPhones after the European Union passed a law last year that requires all mobile devices to accommodate a common USB-C charger.
The consumer tech giant also announced two new makes of the Apple Watch: the Apple Watch Series 9, which it said was its first carbon neutral product ever, and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Sustainability was one of the central themes of the event, where Apple detailed its increased use of recycled materials like cobalt in the battery and energy efficient manufacturing and transportation practices to produce the Apple Watch Series 9. This comes ahead of the company’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
With inconspicuous changes in design and appearance, the screen sizes for the standard iPhone 15 models are the same as before (6.1 inch and 6.7 inch), but the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have a slightly larger display as their bezels are thinner than previous iPhones, the company announced. The Pro iPhones are built with Grade 5 titanium frames for the first time rather than stainless steel, making them the lightest Pro phones Apple has ever built.
Similar to its predecessor, iPhone 15 has a matte finish, but the edges of the phone are more rounded than before. The regular models are available in pink, yellow, green, blue and black while the Pro models come in black, blue and white titanium. All new phones have the “Dynamic Island,” an interface that was first added to iPhone 14 Pro that lets users see notifications in the black pill-shaped notch at the top of the display.
Apple touted the phone’s upgraded camera capabilities: a 48-megapixel camera sensor is replacing the 12-megapixel and lets users zoom into photos while capturing minute details and nuances. The new Pro phones come with a feature that uses machine learning to detect when a person is in the photo, enabling you to automatically switch to portrait mode even after a photo has been taken.
If you’re on a call using the iPhone 15 Pro, a machine learning-based feature called “voice isolation” prioritizes the speaker’s voice and drowns out background voice. The phones are also enabled with an emergency SOS service and roadside assistance while off the grid.
The pricier models come with a performance edge, thanks to a new A17 chip. All new iPhones are embedded with a new ultrawide-band semiconductor, a technology that uses radio waves to send and receive signals, to make location tracking on the Find My app more accurate.
The ring/mute slide switch, which has never changed since Apple launched the original iPhone in 2007, has been replaced in iPhone 15 Pro models with an “Action Button” that can be customized to set different functionalities like starting a voice recording, launching the camera or opening the flashlight.
For the Apple Watch Series 9 and a second generation of the Apple Watch Ultra , the look and design for the new watches has remained consistent, but their guts have gotten an upgrade, with 30% faster processing speed and brighter screens. The two new Apple Watches are equipped with a feature that lets users double tap their index finger and thumb to carry out actions like accepting or ending a call, and playing or pausing music with just one hand.
Apple’s latest product reveal comes at a crucial time for the company. Demand for smartphones is slowing down across the industry, and Apple’s iPhone sales dropped about 2% year over year in the third quarter of 2023. Core to its business, iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods accounted for about 60% of Apple’s $394.3 billion annual revenue in 2022.
Although more mainstream, the new iPhone and Apple Watches aren’t the only products that Apple announced this year. In June, alongside new Macs, Apple introduced the Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, its first major new product category since the Apple Watch made waves in 2015. The iPhone 15 lets users create photos and videos that are compatible with the Apple Vision Pro.