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Leaked 3D CAD files obtained by 9to5Mac show the presence of a USB-C port, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, while also revealing that Apple will indeed bring the Dynamic Island — currently exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro lineup — to the two base iPhone 15 models.
With Dynamic Island being adopted across the entire iPhone 15 lineup, it would presumably spell the end for the classic notch design that appeared with the 2017 iPhone X — which Apple has been trying to do for years — although it could conceivably return on a future iPhone SE.
More of the Same — with Some Twists
The folks at 9to5Mac called upon Ian Zelbo to turn the CAD files into actual renders, and the results show few surprises, with a design that will look familiar to anybody who has seen an iPhone in the past three years.
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For example, the camera setup appears unchanged, with the iPhone 15 sporting the same diagonal two-lens array introduced with the iPhone 13. There’s no third lens and no sign of the LiDAR Scanner from the Pro models — despite recurring rumours of its arrival on the base model iPhones.
Perhaps the biggest twist for the iPhone 15 this year will be a slightly larger screen. The CAD drawings show a new display size of 6.2 inches, but it’s not yet clear whether Apple will accomplish that by shrinking the bezels even more, or if the device’s physical dimensions will increase. We also don’t know yet if the iPhone 15 Pro will follow suit; for the past few years, Apple’s two 6.1-inch have been nearly identical in physical dimensions, with the camera bump as the only differentiator between the two.
There have also been some rumours that Apple will move to capacitive buttons on this year’s iPhone lineup, but these iPhone 15 renders show no evidence of that. This could mean those rumours are inaccurate — or perhaps just premature — or Apple may reserve that new button design as an exclusive feature for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
While the CAD renders naturally offer little insight into what we can expect regarding hardware specs, a separate report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via MacRumors) reveals that the iPhone 15 models will move to a more power-efficient chip to power to OLED displays.
The new chips are apparently being manufactured based on a 28-nanometre (28nm) process versus the 40nm that’s been used in recent models. While this won’t necessarily make any significant differences in display quality, it should improve the power efficiency of the displays, which will translate to better battery life.
That’s particularly important if this year’s iPhone 15 models retain their fixed 60Hz refresh rates. Despite recurring rumours that Apple will bring it’s 120Hz variable-rate ProMotion displays to the non-pro iPhones, we’re not holding our breath; as we’ve seen with the iPad and MacBook lineups, Apple reserves its best display technology for its “Pro” models.
Hence, while the iPhone 13 Pro gained a nice boost in battery life from its lower-refresh screen — especially when it came to watching videos — Apple will have to try a different tactic to eke out longer run times from the iPhone 15 this year.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]