Apple Leaks Detail iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro Action Button, Major … – Forbes

iPhone 15 Pro Max scale render showing its ultra-thin bezels
08/01 Update below. This post was originally published on July 29
Apple’s biggest iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro changes have leaked thanks to two new reports, and arguably the most controversial has been exposed by Apple itself.
Apple’s apparent own goal comes courtesy of its latest iOS 17 beta release, which contains code related to the much-rumored (and now seemingly confirmed) ‘Action button’ coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Spotted by MacRumors, iOS 17 beta 4 code lists nine different functions for the button: Accessibility, Shortcuts, Silent Mode, Camera, Flashlight, Focus, Magnifier, Translate and Voice Memos.
While all these functions are fairly self-explanatory, the surprise is the sheer number of them. Previous leaks had claimed the Action button might support two or three options at launch, although it remains to be seen how many are accessible at the same time (via a combination of presses, swipes or gestures). Third-party support is also something that would presumably come in time.
The introduction of an Action Button has polarized opinion, with fans of the mute switch frustrated to see its departure, and the absence of a mute function for the button is unlikely to appease them. Yes, it may come later, but Apple has a long history of ‘leaking’ upcoming features via iOS updates, and this looks set to be the definitive list for now.
Render of iPhone 15 Pro Action Button (left) vs iPhone 14 Pro Mute Switch (right)
In addition, Display Supply Chain Consultants, headed up by famously accurate industry insider Ross Young, has filled in the gaps around the rest of the iPhone 15 feature set.
In the company’s latest newsletter, DSCC states that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will have fractionally larger display sizes of 6.12 and 6.69 inches, thanks to slimmer bezels, an A16 chipset and Dynamic Island design. iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models are said to have a 3nm A17 chip, “ultra-thin bezels,” a titanium chassis, stacked battery technology, WiFi 6E and more RAM. All models will use USB-C instead of Lightning.
Most of these upgrades had already leaked, but the head-turner is the inclusion of stacked battery technology, an upgrade that only leaked earlier this month and was subsequently dismissed by its source. Stacked batteries are more space efficient at the same capacity (circa 10%), cooler when charging and last longer. It’s an under-the-hood change, but a big one, if correct, and DSCC is always worth taking seriously.
Other widely tipped upgrades DSCC doesn’t mention are upgraded UWB, to work with the upcoming Apple Vision Pro, and Apple’s first periscopic zoom lens, which will be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. On the flip side, price rises for Pro Max models look set to be higher than expected.
07/31 Update: Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has leaked a long list of upgrades for the iPhone 15 range in his latest Power On newsletter.
Many of these align with existing leaks: USB-C for all models, Dynamic Island cutout designs, an upgraded primary camera and A16 chip for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. For the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max: super slim bezels, “a 3-nanometer chip [read: A17] that is noticeably snappier,” titanium chassis, and updated primary cameras with “a much wider range of optical zoom on the largest model [read: periscope lens for the iPhone 15 Pro Max].
But Gurman does also throw in two nuggets that are new. First, is detail around the iPhone 15 Pro’s record-breakingly slim bezels, which he says will be produced by a new technology called Low-injection pressure over-molding (LIPO)
1.5mm is fractionally slimmer than the 1.55mm previously reported, and Gurman claims Apple will eventually bring the process to the iPad lineup as well. He also reveals that the iPhone 15 range will mimic the internal layouts of the iPhone 14, which will make them easier to repair. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max missed out on this last year, and with legal pressure building in the US and internationally for easier repairs, this is an important step.
08/01 Update: further information about the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max design has been revealed to me by consistently accurate Apple insider Unknownz21.
Last week the leaker revealed the specific material compositions for the iPhone 15 range: Grade 5 Titanium (Ti-6Al-4V) for the Pros and Aluminum (Al 6013 T6) for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
Ti-6Al-4V is not pure aluminum, it’s an alloy blend of titanium, aluminum and vanadium, which is widely used in aerospace and biomechanical applications. This is due to its high strength, corrosion resistance and reduced weight compared to stainless steel, which Apple used for Pro model chassis until now.
Moreover, what Unknownz21 now tells me is Apple will use Ti-6Al-4V for every part of the chassis, even including the volume buttons and new solid-state Action button. These are areas where Apple was expected to cut costs by using stainless steel.
The benefit for buyers is this consistent use of Ti-6Al-4V has potentially significant weight benefits. Stainless steel is extremely heavy, making iPhone Pros some of the heaviest smartphones on the market (an iPhone 14 Pro weighs almost 70g more than the aluminum iPhone 14). In contrast, Ti-6Al-4V is 3-4x stronger than stainless steel at the same weight, so Apple could potentially double the strength of the iPhone 15 Pro chassis and still roughly half the chassis weight.
Exactly what balance Apple will strike remains to be seen. It could go all in for added strength and match the stainless steel chassis weight, match the durability and produce a chassis 3-4x lighter, or strike a balance between the two. The last of these seems most sensible, but we will only know when Tim Cook holds up the new models at their anticipated September launch.
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