iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple Adds USB-C, Dynamic Island, Titanium Finish to iPhone 15 Line

Looking for a new iPhone? You might want to skip the iPhone 14 and jump right to the iPhone 15 for one particular reason: a switch to USB-C charging. Yes, Apple has finally shifted its iPhone line, the last hold-out, to more ubiquitous USB-C charging. But that’s not all you’ll get with the new iPhone 15, which includes the base iPhone 15 model and larger iPhone 15 Plus as well as the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Here’s a rundown of the key upgrades.

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

iPhone 15 line

The biggest news with the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus (as well as the Pro and Pro Max models) is the switch from the proprietary Lightning connector to USB-C. Both phones also do away with the annoying top notch, replacing it with the Dynamic Island that fluidly expands to show various alerts and live activities (this feature has been available since the 14 Pro models). This might be navigation, tracking a food delivery, seeing flight gate information, phone call details, music controls, and more.

Equipped with a Super Retina XDR display that uses OLED technology, the phones offer up to 1,600 nits peak brightness and up to 2,000 nits in sunny environments, twice as bright as the iPhone 14. They come in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes, respectively with new contoured edges on the aerospace grade aluminum enclosure. The new colours are built right into the foundation of the material, affording a textured matte finish. The screen, meanwhile, is both water- and dust-resistant with a ceramic shield.

iPhone 15 portrait mode

The phones have an advanced camera system that includes a 48MP main camera with a quad pixel sensor and 24MP super-high-resolution default, and a 12MP 2x telephoto lens with continuous zoom. There are also improvements to portraits so you can capture them more easily and intuitively without even having to switch to portrait mode, with more detail, even in low light environments. When there’s a person, dog, or cat in the frame, or when you tap to focus, iPhone automatically captures depth information, so you can turn photos into portraits later in the Photos app. You can also adjust the focus point after the photo has been taken, like switching from the person in the foreground to someone in the background and vice versa.

Using the A16 Bionic chip that was introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro, the phones also offer all-day battery life. You can use the new USB-C port to charge AirPods or Apple Watch directly from iPhone and both models support MagSafe and future Qi chargers for wireless charging.

iPhone 15 roadside assistance

Apple opened the event by showing how its safety features like Emergency SOS, Crash Detection, and abnormal heart rate detection, has saved lives, highlighting individuals who used their Apple Watch to help locate them when they were stranded or detect serious heart conditions that led to surgeries. A new feature being added to this list alongside Emergency SOS and Crash Detection is Roadside Assistance, which allows you to text what help you need, even without a Wi-Fi or cellular signal, to contact roadside assistance. It is launching first in the U.S. with AAA, available for both members and separately for others. The phones come with satellite service for free for the first two years, after which you’ll have to subscribe for a fee if you want to keep using these safety features.

Both models feature the second-generation Ultra-Wideband chip, enabling two iPhone devices with this chip to connect at three times the range as before. This opens a new way to use Precision Finding for Find My friends, so iPhone 15 users can share their location and find each other, even in crowds. Precision Finding is built with the same privacy protections as in Find My.

In addition to 5G for a reliable connection, sound quality on phone calls can be improved with a new Voice Isolation feature that can help remove distracting background noises and amplify your voice so the person on the other end can hear you better.

iPhone 15

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will be available in pink, yellow, green, blue, and black with pre-orders beginning Friday, September 15 and official availability Friday, September 22. Pricing starts at $1,129 for the iPhone 15 and $1,279 for the iPhone 15 Plus, both available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. A purchase of a new iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus will come with three free months of Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness+.

Customers can get $230-$955 in credit when trading in an iPhone 11 or later at Apple Store online or at any Apple Store location. iOS 17 will be available as a free software update on Monday, September 18.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro line

There’s a lot to be excited about with the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but what got the most “oohs” and “ahhs” was the introduction of a titanium finish. It’s not only a more durable material but also more lightweight, and the construction helps with thermal dissipation. Greg Joswiak, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple calls it the “most premium material we have ever used in an iPhone enclosure” while Isabelle Yang, Materials Science Engineer, notes that the Grade 5 titanium used for the Pro Max model is the same alloy used on the Mars Rover. This is paired with the tough glass back and Ceramic Shield. Both models feature contoured edges, powerful camera upgrades, and A17 Pro.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple is updating the little switch on the side that is typically for ring and mute to function as a new custom press-and-hold Action button as well, a small but appreciated upgrade. In button format now versus switch, you can press it to activate whatever function you set, with options ranging from accessibility features to shortcuts, or even activating voice memo recording. With haptic feedback, it’s seemingly much more enjoyable, not to mention functional, to use.

The cameras include a more advanced 48MP main camera system that now supports the new super-high resolution 24MP default, the next generation of portraits with Focus and Depth Control, improvements to Night mode and Smart HDR, and a new 5x Telephoto camera exclusively on iPhone 15 Pro Max. Using the main camera, you can switch among 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm focal lengths as well as shoot in ProRAW mode. Coming later this year, iPhone 15 Pro will add the ability to record spatial video for Apple Vision Pro. A17 Pro, meanwhile, unlocks next-level gaming experiences and pro performance.

iPhone 15 Pro USB C

Like the iPhone and iPhone 15 Plus, these top-line models also feature a new USB-C connector with USB 3 speeds, which is up to 20 times faster than USB 2. As with the other models, you can charge AirPods or Apple Watch directly from the iPhone with the USB-C connector. Both also feature the second-generation ultra-wideband chip along with Wi-Fi 6e, 5G, and support for MagSafe and future Qi wireless charging.

The phones come with 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR always-on displays with ProMotion technologies and in four finishes: black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium. Pre-orders begin Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22.

iPhone 15 Pro

Naturally, both will come with iOS 17. The iPhone 15 Pro comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities and starts at $1,449 while the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage capacities and starts at $1,749. Customers in Canada can get $230-$955 in credit when they trade in an iPhone 11 or later and upgrade to iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max. Both will be available to pre-order starting Friday, September 15 and official availability is Friday, September 22.

“These are the best and most capable iPhones we have ever made,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO during the event.”

iCloud Storage Upgrades

It’s also worth noting that Apple will be offering new iCloud storage plans in the iCloud+ tier: as of September 18, you can sign up for 6TB for $40 per month and 12TB for $80 per month. Sadly, Apple did not add a middle tier between the existing $4 per month 200GB plan and the $13 per month 2TB plan. But these larger plans are ideal for those with larger photo and video libraries, who use Family Sharing, and who need access to premium features.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

Apple AirPods 2nd Gen USB-C

Another new addition to the line is the 2nd-gen Apple AirPods Pro, which will come with USB-C MagSafe charging. They include all the same features, including Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode as well as Spatial Audio, dust resistance, and new audio experiences when used with an iPhone with iOS 17, including Adaptive Audio and Conversation Awareness. They are available to pre-order now and will be in stores Friday, September 22. Pricing is $329 in Canada. There is also a new version of the wired EarPods with USB-C, which sells for $25. New subscribers can get Apple Music free for six months with the purchase of any AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max.

See our related announcement for details on the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.