The iPhone 15 Pro Max is on the verge of making its debut alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro at Apple’s September 2023 launch event. All four phones are poised to revolutionize our ranking of the best iPhones.
Following the tradition set by larger iPhones since the introduction of the XS Max, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to offer exclusive features due to its larger form factor, allowing for enhanced components. In this article, we’ll delve into these potential features, alongside any rumors surrounding its release date and pricing, as it aims to succeed the impressive iPhone 14 Pro Max.
In addition to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple is anticipated to unveil the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro in September. Below, we’ve summarized the specifications of all four phones.
|Specifications||iPhone 15 (rumored)||iPhone 15 Plus (rumored)||iPhone 15 Pro (rumored)||iPhone 15 Pro Max (rumored)|
|Display||6.1-inch OLED||6.7-inch OLED||6.1-inch OLED||6.7-inch OLED|
|Resolution||2532 x 1170 pixels||1284 x 2778 pixels||1179 x 2556 pixels||1290 x 2796 pixels|
|Refresh rate||60Hz||60Hz||Adaptive 1-120Hz||Adaptive 1-120Hz|
|Chipset||A16 Bionic||A16 Bionic||A17 Bionic||A17 Bionic|
|Rear cameras||48MP main, 12MP ultrawide||48MP main, 12MP ultrawide||48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom||48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto with 6x variable zoom|
|Front camera||12MP||12MP||12MP||12MP dual-lens|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB|
Please note that the information provided is based on rumored specifications and might be subject to change upon official release.
Expected Release Date
Initially, there were speculations that the iPhone 15 Pro Max might be named the iPhone 15 Ultra. However, the latest information indicates that we’ll need to wait until the following year for Apple’s inaugural Ultra-grade iPhone.
Apple tends to keep iPhone release dates under wraps until the last minute, but we have a rough timeframe for the 2023 edition of the annual September launch event.
In summary, it’s highly likely that Apple will announce the iPhone 15 Pro Max on either Tuesday, September 12, or Wednesday, September 13. Pre-orders for the new iPhones are expected to start a few days later on Friday, September 15, with shipping projected around a week after that, on Friday, September 22.
Though Apple hasn’t officially confirmed these dates, historical iPhone launches and consistent predictions from Apple analysts provide us with a reasonable level of confidence in their accuracy. For more information, check out our detailed explanation of the iPhone 15 release date.
Colors to Expect: iPhone 15 Pro Max
While the iPhone 15 will boast distinct color options based on the model, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to share the same color choices. As per the latest information, four color options are under consideration:
- Dark red
- Graphite, Space Gray, or Space Black
This edition is poised to become the most expensive iPhone to date.
Price to Expect: iPhone 15 Pro Max
Initial leaks suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s price could be labeled the iPhone 15 Ultra, but uncertainty lingers. A leaked December price hinted at a potential starting point of $1,299, about £1,429 / AU$2,249 in other regions.
For comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max begins at $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899. This already marks a price increase from the iPhone 13 Pro Max outside the US. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at $1,199.99 / £1,249 / AU$1,949.
Despite specifics being unclear, a price hike seems probable. Apple has even indicated customers’ willingness to pay more for its latest iPhones.
Evidently, Apple positions the iPhone 15 series with higher price tags than its predecessors. A well-known leaker suggests iPhone 15 production costs might rise by 12% compared to the iPhone 14, with iPhone 15 Pro expenses surging 20% against the iPhone 14 Pro. These numbers don’t favor the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Recent sources hint at an increased iPhone 15 Pro Max price, though specifics are undisclosed. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman supports higher prices too.
Moreover, Apple may cease the 128GB iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max options. The latter could start above $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099, the 256GB iPhone 14 Pro Max variant’s cost.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max might offer up to 2TB storage. With the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max at $1,599 / £1,740 / AU$2,769 (a $200 / £211 / AU$350 premium over 512GB), a 2TB iPhone 15 Pro Max might cost $1,799 / £1,950 / AU$2,769—a notable price point.
Camera Setup for iPhone 15 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro is likely to retain the same triple-lens setup as its predecessor. There could be sensor enhancements, and the Pro Max might even feature a periscope lens.
In terms of camera improvements for the iPhone 15 series, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to take the triple-sensor configuration of its predecessor to new heights. The iPhone 14 Pro Max comprises three rear lenses:
- 48MP wide (24mm, f/1.78)
- 12MP ultra-wide (13mm, f/2.2)
- 12MP 3x telephoto (77mm f/2.8)
Initially, rumors swirled about the possibility of a periscope camera for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now predicts that the iPhone 16 Pro will take the lead in introducing a periscope lens due to its potentially larger display. This suggests that the periscope camera might remain exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, owing to its larger size.
Similarly, earlier speculations pointed to a telephoto camera featuring a variable zoom lens for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, akin to the anticipated features of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. However, smartphones with cameras that boast variable optical zoom capabilities are still relatively uncommon. For instance, the Sony Xperia 1 IV includes one, but its zoom capabilities are restricted to a range of 3.5x to 5.2x. Consequently, this feature might be reserved for Apple’s largest iPhone model in 2023.
When it comes to the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s camera system, the primary distinction from its predecessor is likely to be improved sensor quality. Leaks suggest that the iPhone 15 Pro will incorporate novel Sony-manufactured sensors capable of capturing more light, and this will undoubtedly benefit the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Notably, one of these sensors, the Sony IMX903, is rumored to be the largest camera sensor ever featured in an iPhone, measuring a substantial 1/1.14 inches. Moreover, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to offer more advanced image processing capabilities compared to the iPhone 15 Pro.
Lastly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might introduce a dual-lens front-facing camera, an advancement from the single 12MP front-facing TrueDepth camera of its predecessor.
Design and Looks: iPhone 15 Pro Max
Expect design upgrades for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, including thinner bezels and integrated titanium sides. Initial rumors about solid-state buttons have faded, but an action button’s inclusion is certain.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s size is projected to remain like its predecessor, around 77.6mm x 160.7mm x 7.85mm, but not identical.
Sources suggest both iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max could feature titanium sides, offering durability and lightness over stainless steel. Rounded rear edges are anticipated, differing from the iPhone 14 Pro’s sharp angles. Leaked renders support this change.
Leaked images and iOS 17 beta code hint at an Action button replacing the mute switch, offering diverse functions. This button likely debuts with the iPhone 15 lineup.
Reports suggest iPhone 15 Ultra cases feature a third button replacing the mute switch.
Regarding bezels, rumors point to thinner ones on the iPhone 15 Pro compared to the iPhone 14 Pro, possibly extending to the Pro Max. Achieving this feat is impressive, given the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s slim bezels.
Bezel thickness on the iPhone 15 Pro Max could shrink to 1.5mm from 2.2mm on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Check the MacRumors video for an idea of the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s look. Leaks suggest solid-state volume and power buttons, using haptic vibrations to mimic touch sensations, might come later due to complexity.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to adopt a USB-C port, mandated by the EU by 2024. Leaks suggest it could appear as early as 2023 for the iPhone 15 series.
Design differences between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max might stem from camera capabilities, impacting the Pro Max’s weight.
Apple may move to eSIMs for the iPhone 15 Pro Max outside the US, debuting in France and potentially other countries.
Display and Processing Power
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to retain its predecessor’s 6.7-inch Super XDR OLED display, alongside an improved iteration of the Dynamic Island digital cutout. In terms of iPhone 15 screen sizes and displays, it’s likely that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will retain the 6.7-inch Super XDR OLED screen and Dynamic Island digital cutout from its predecessor. Dynamic Island is also expected to be introduced in the standard iPhone 15, albeit with potential differences compared to its implementation in the iPhone 14 lineup.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 will integrate its proximity sensor within the Dynamic Island itself, eliminating the need for a separate position as in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. This proximity sensor detects when the iPhone is raised to the ear, triggering it to deactivate the screen to prevent unintended actions like placing a call on hold or prematurely ending a call.
This revised sensor arrangement isn’t likely to bring drastic changes in terms of appearance or functionality for the iPhone 15 Pro Max compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. However, the inclusion of a previously separate sensor will make the Dynamic Island in the former technically more advanced than that in the latter.
It has been reported that the iPhone 14 Pro Max utilizes the A16 Bionic, Apple’s latest iteration of silicon, resulting in one of the fastest phones available in 2023. As expected of Apple, the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Max is poised to outperform even this.
Unsurprisingly, Apple’s forthcoming Pro-level iPhones are rumored to feature the A17 Bionic chipset, projected to offer greater power efficiency than the A16 Bionic. As reported by Chinese outlet DCInside, the A17 Bionic will sport a CPU that is 20% more powerful than its predecessor. This implies that the iPhone 15 Pro Max should witness significant performance improvements over the iPhone 14 Pro Max, although these enhancements might not be immediately noticeable in terms of speed.
Reportedly, the A17 Bionic achieves a single-core score of 3019 and a multi-core score of 7860 on Geekbench 6, while the A16 Bionic scores 2504 and 6314, respectively. While these rumored figures should be taken with a grain of caution, they do suggest that the iPhone 15 Pro Max might achieve benchmark scores on par with Apple’s high-performing MacBooks.
Importantly, the A17 Bionic might surpass the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, commonly found in leading Android phones. This advantage is due to the A17 Bionic’s reported use of a 3nm manufacturing process, contrasting with the Snapdragon’s 4nm process. The smaller process potentially allows for more transistors, leading to improved performance and efficiency.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to come equipped with 8GB of RAM, a step up from the 6GB RAM in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Initially, it was expected that the iPhone 15 Pro Max would feature a battery size akin to that of the iPhone 14 Pro Max (4,323mAh). However, recent rumors suggest that the entire iPhone 15 lineup will incorporate significantly larger batteries than their predecessors.
Specifically, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is rumored to house an 18% larger battery compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, resulting in a capacity of 4,852mAh. This is expected to translate to improved battery life. Furthermore, there are indications that Apple plans to introduce a different battery technology with the iPhone 15 series.
Another rumor suggests that Apple is developing a reverse wireless charging feature for the iPhone 15 lineup. If accurate, this functionality would allow the iPhone 15 Pro Max to wirelessly charge other Apple devices, a feature absent in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
It’s important to note that the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to adopt a USB-C port, meaning that older Apple Lightning cables might not be compatible for charging. This USB-C variant is rumored to support the USB 3.0 standard, in contrast to the iPhone 15, which is expected to retain the USB 2.0 standard. This could potentially result in faster file transfer speeds for the iPhone 15 Pro Max compared to its standard counterpart. According to USBMakers, the former might offer file transfer speeds up to 90% faster.
Reports suggest that the iPhone 15 Pro will feature a Thunderbolt 3 version of USB-C, enabling compatibility with 4K monitors. This capability would allow specific content to be displayed on an external screen, similar to the functionality found in the best iPads. This feature is anticipated to arrive with iOS 17, announced in June. However, only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to support this technology due to their Thunderbolt 3 compatibility.
In more technical terms, each iPhone 15 model is said to include an upgraded Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip to facilitate the features of Apple’s Vision Pro headset. Notably, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the current U1 chip, built on a 16nm process, will be succeeded by a newer iteration based on a significantly smaller 7nm process. This transition aims to enhance performance while also reducing power consumption. This advancement could significantly benefit the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s compatibility with the Apple Vision Pro.
Lastly, the entire iPhone 15 lineup is expected to showcase Apple’s latest strides in artificial intelligence (AI). Analyst Dan Ives underscores that Apple’s venture into artificial intelligence is inevitable, and the Health app in the iPhone 15 Pro Max is positioned to be the first beneficiary of this strategic pivot towards futuristic technologies.
To be precise, the next-generation iOS Health app could leverage AI to offer personalized lifestyle recommendations based on data such as heart rate, sleep patterns, diet, and breathing. This capability goes beyond the functionalities of existing iPhones.
While Apple already incorporates AI and machine learning for Siri and features like intelligent photo rendering, the company is evidently preparing for a more significant integration of AI-powered applications with its upcoming iPhone generation, potentially commencing with the iPhone 15 lineup.