Another year, another new iPhone to get hyped about. This time, it’s all about Apple’s iPhone 15, and we’re already seeing a flood of leaks and rumours hinting at what’s to come. The real question is: when is the iPhone 15 release date?

Apple is pretty consistent when it comes to its lineup of smartphones, so its safe to say that an iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro (and possibly an all-new iPhone 15 Ultra) are set to arrive this year.

If past iPhone launch dates are anything to go by, we may not have to wait much longer for the iPhone 15’s arrival, and it’s tipped to boast a few intriguing updates. Not as soon as WWDC 2023 (kicking off on June 6 at 5am NZST), but still this year.

With a forced move to a USB-C port instead of Lightning, an expected telephoto zoom lens to go head-to-head with the Galaxy S23 Ultra and an upgraded A17 chip, the next-gen lineup is already looking strong.

What’s more, New Zealand buyers are one of the first in the world to get their hands on new iPhone models thanks to our futuristic time zone. Needless to say, excitement is ramping up, and if you’re wondering, here’s a look at when to expect the iPhone 15 release date.

When is the iPhone 15 release date?

Despite all the credible leaks and rumours, an exact iPhone 15 release date still isn’t certain. But that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate when it will arrive.

The iPhone 15 is expected to be announced in the first half of September 2023. Apple’s track record of iPhone launches barely go off schedule, with previous models consistently being announced at those famed Apple events sometime in the first two weeks of September. The next set of models aren’t expected to be any different.

For context, here’s a look at previous iPhone announcement and release dates:

iPhone modelAnnouncement dateRelease date
iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro MaxSeptember 7, 2022September 16, 2022
iPhone 14 Plus
September 7, 2022
October 7, 2022
iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro MaxSeptember 14, 2021
September 24, 2021
iPhone 12, iPhone 12 ProOctober 13, 2020October 23, 2020
iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max
October 13, 2020
November 13, 2020
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro MaxSeptember 10, 2019September 20, 2019

See a pattern of any sort? With the exception of the iPhone 12, which had an irregular release due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cupertino-based tech giant often sticks with an early September date for the announcement, and around a 10-day wait for the release date.

Another detail to note is that Apple’s flagship iPhones normally release on a Friday.

With this in mind, the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro lineup may launch on September 15, 2023 or September 22, 2023. Of course, nothing is set in stone, and Apple may have a few surprises up its sleeve.

iPhone 15 Pro render
iPhone 15 Pro render via 9to5Mac

It’s also worth keeping in mind that without a Apple retail store NZ, customers will need to pre-order the iPhone 15 once it’s been announced to make sure they get it on the release date.

According to well-known Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu via 9to5Mac, Apple supply chain sources claim the iPhone 15 will be released on September 23. As per AppleTrack, Pu isn’t always spot on, but it gives us a good indication of of when the new models will release.

This year, we may also see the introduction of the iPhone 15 Ultra – Apple’s rumoured premium flagship phone. This is likely to be announced at the same time as the other iPhone 15 models if rumours are to be believed, but may be released a month later, similar to the delayed iPhone 14 Plus.

While we’re confident that the lineup will arrive in September, it’s a good idea to take this in with a pinch of salt. Apple has yet to officially announce anything, so no one can say for sure when the next flagship Apple phone will drop.

How much is the iPhone 15 going to cost?

For those thinking about nabbing the next-gen iPhone models, the good news is prices are expected to stay the same. As for the iPhone 15 Pro models, prices are tipped to increase.

It’s far too early to say if this rumoured price increase will happen, but a report from Chinese news site ITHome states both the Pro and Pro Max (or Ultra) iPhones will jump by $100 – in the US, at least.

Here’s a breakdown of the prices to expect:

  • iPhone 15: from $799
  • iPhone 15 Plus: from $899
  • iPhone 15 Pro: from $1,099
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: from $1,199

If the reports are true, that price jump is likely because of the expected upgrade the Pro models could have. This includes an upgraded chip, periscope camera, titanium frame, solid-state buttons and possibly even more RAM.

iPhone 15: What to expect?

Apple’s next iPhone is expecting some big changes compared to previous models, even though the design will largely look identical to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro (if renders are to be believed).

As for the models to expect, they are tipped to come in two sizes: 6.1 inch and 6.7 inch. This means the lineup should include:

  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max

That said, there have been rumours floating around about an iPhone 15 Ultra, which notable analyst Mark Gurman stated may replace the Pro Max. It also may follow in the Apple Watch Ultra’s footsteps and be made out of titanium. Will it see the light of day? Only time will tell.

iPhone 15 Pro render
iPhone 15 Pro render via 9to5Mac

Thanks to EU regulations, the next-gen lineup are all set to have USB-C ports instead of Lightning, with the Pro models having higher end support for USB-C 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3. The switch to USB-C should mean users will have an easier time finding a cable to charge their phones.

Dynamic Island was the stand-out feature on the iPhone 14 Pro models, but it’s now expected to come on all iPhone 15 models. The pill-shaped notch has some cool tricks, but we may finally see its true potential with iOS 17 on the horizon (Apple WWDC is set for June 5).

Battery may be getting a boost in power, especially when it comes to charging. According to a report from ChargerLab, the next iPhones will all be able to support 15W wireless charging without a MagSafe charger. That’s a step up from the usual 7.5W, and good news to those looking for third-party charging accessories but still want the same juice.

Cameras are also tipped to see an upgrade, with Apple bringing in Sony’s latest and greatest image sensors. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to exclusively boast a new periscope zoom lens, which allows for 5x or up to 10x optical zoom. According to industry analyst Jeff Pu (via MacRumors), the 15 and 15 Plus are expected to get the same 48 megapixel rear cameras found on the iPhone 14 Pro models. That means standard models can capture more light for better picture quality.

Speaking of exclusive, the Pro models are gearing up to be equipped with the new A17 Bionic chip, which is said to be built on 3-nanometer chip. That means better performance (possibly up to 15 percent), but don’t expect the same for the standard models. The iPhone 15 models should come with an A16 chip, which is what we saw in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Hardly a surprise, seeing as Apple introduced this chip strategy with its latest phone.

While we wait for the eventual release date to arrive, check out our thoughts on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, and see why they’ve made it onto our list of best phones in NZ.