We’re still a few months away from the unveiling of the iPhone 15, and if the rumors are to be believed, the Pro Max will be the phone to rule them all, with even more exclusive features than ever before. With the iPhone 14, Apple separated the iPhone Pro models from the non-Pro ones with better cameras, a faster processor, and enhanced display features, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max will reportedly widen the gap even further, with high-end features that aren’t even found on the iPhone 15 Pro. Here’s what we’re expecting from the new phone:
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Release date
The one thing we’re absolutely sure of? The iPhone 15 Pro Max will arrive this fall, likely in mid-September alongside the rest of the iPhone 15 handsets. There may be a longer delay before it goes on sale since we’ve heard rumors that chip maker TSMC is having issues with chip production. But as we’ve seen in the past, it won’t be delayed by more than a couple of weeks. For example, the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 12 Pro Max both arrived three weeks after the rest of the range.
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Price
While the iPhone 14 Pro Max has cost the same $1,099 for the past four years, rumors say the 2023 version will bring a price hike. Several reports have claimed that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will cost at least $100 more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max and possibly as high as $1,299, with storage options bringing it as high as $2,000.
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Name
The early rumors about the iPhone 15 suggested that Apple would follow the Apple Watch and rebrand its high-end iPhone as the iPhone 15 Ultra. However, recent rumors say Apple has pushed that to the iPhone 16 and the iPhone 15 will stick with its Pro Max name.
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Design
According to leaked renders, the iPhone 15 Pro Max isn’t expected to deviate all that much from the rest of the iPhone 15 lineup. According to renders, the design of all four models will be somewhat refined, with slightly curved edges and thinner bezels around the display. But there will still be a few design elements that set the iPhone 15 Pro Max apart from the rest of the lineup.
First and foremost, it will reportedly have a titanium frame instead of stainless steel. Apple has been rumored for years to be working on an iPhone that uses a different material than stainless steel or aluminum, and after the Apple Watch Ultra, it makes sense for Apple to shift to lightweight titanium. Like the Apple Watch Ultra, it’s possible that Apple offers the iPhone 15 Pro Max in a “raw” color option to show off the new finish. It will also reportedly have extremely skinny bezels, possibly even thinner than the iPhone 15 Pro. Some reports say that it will have the thinnest bezels ever on a smartphone.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is also expected to be thicker than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, making it one of the bulkiest iPhones ever. According to rumors, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be 8.25mm compared to 7.85mm on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which will also let Apple trim down the camera bump. However, the overall dimensions of the phone are expected to be slightly smaller than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, giving the phone a svelter, smaller feel.
The buttons are reportedly changing as well. The most recent rumors say Apple will return to a volume rocker rather than individual buttons and the mute switch will become an Action button, though the reports of a switch to solid-state buttons with dedicated haptic engines appear to have been delayed to the iPhone 16.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has had a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display since the iPhone 12, and that’s not expected to change with the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It will also still have the Dynamic Island, ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz, an always-on feature, True Tone, and 2000 nits of peak brightness when outdoors.
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Processor and specs
Like the iPhone 14 Pro models, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to get Apple’s newest A17 processor, which will be built using a 3nm process for the first time. Apple has used a 5nm process since the A14 was introduced in 2020. The A17 will be built using the same architecture as the upcoming M3 chip for the Mac, which is expected to deliver a significant speed and power efficiency boost.
The other big change for the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the anticipated move to USB-C. Not only will USB-C let users use the same cable to charge their iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but it should also bring a boost to data transfer speeds. Lightning is currently capped at 480 Mbps, but and the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s USB-C port will reportedly support Thunderbolt, with transfer rates up to 40Gbps.
Additionally, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will almost certainly get Wi-Fi 6E, which was already introduced on the iPad Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro, and possibly a storage boost to 256GB at the low end and 2TB at the high end.
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Camera
While the iPhone 14 Pro Max brought an impressive main camera upgrade from 12MP to 48MP, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will reportedly take things even further. Literally—the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to get a new periscope zoom lens, which will reportedly raise the optical zoom from 3X all the way to 6x or 10x, with digital zoom that will likely reach 30x or 50x with incredible clarity.
The wide and ultra-wide cameras will likely be the same 48MP and 12MP, respectively, but Apple will surely refine the processing and add some new camera tricks. Also rumored to be using a more efficient LiDAR Scanner supplied by Sony.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.