While we're still around 10 months away from Apple launching the iPhone 15 lineup, rumors are already suggesting that the higher-end Pro models will have more exclusive features than usual compared to next year's standard models.

In September, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said strong sales of the iPhone 14 Pro models could encourage Apple to increase the differentiation between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max and the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, though it’s worth noting that Many hardware changes are likely to be planned at least several years in advance.

Currently, at least five rumored features are exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro models:

A17 chip:

According to Japanese publication Nikkei Asia, the iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with the A17 Bionic chip manufactured based on TSMC's second-generation 3nm process, offering performance and efficiency improvements.

According to the report, 2023 could be the second year in a row that only the Pro models of the new iPhone lineup will be equipped with Apple's latest chips.

Faster USB-C port:

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a USB-C port that supports at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3, which will allow these devices to transfer data at much faster speeds than existing iPhones Lightning cable. The USB-C port on the standard iPhone 15 models will still be limited to USB 2.0 speeds like Lightning.

Continue to add RAM:

According to research firm TrendForce, the iPhone 15 Pro models will come with 8GB of RAM, while the standard model will likely continue to feature 6GB of RAM as it currently does. The extra RAM allows apps like Safari to keep more content active in the background, preventing the app from reloading content when it reopens.

Solid-state buttons:

The iPhone 15 Pro models will feature solid-state volume and power buttons. The devices will feature two additional haptic engines that provide haptic feedback to simulate the sensation of pressing a button without physical movement, similar to the latest iPhone SE's home button or the newer MacBook's trackpad.

Increased optical zoom capabilities on the iPhone 15 Pro Max:

The iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature a periscope telephoto lens, which could allow the device to offer at least 10x optical zoom, up from 3x on the iPhone 14 Pro models.

Due to the increased differentiation, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says it's possible the iPhone 15 Pro Max could be rebranded as the iPhone 15 Ultra.

Pushing customers toward higher-tier models will help Apple increase iPhone average selling prices. The trend has already started this year, when only the iPhone 14 Pro models got Apple's latest A16 Bionic chip, while the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models still feature last year's A15 Bionic chip.

Apple will likely announce the iPhone 15 lineup next September, as usual. With the device still many months away, it's likely that more features will surface.


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