The iPhone 14 series is official and already on the market thus our attention is now moving to other areas. Although we still have many months before the release of the iPhone 15 series, there is already salient information regarding this series. Borrowing the Apple Watch Ultra and M1 Ultra suffixes, the new model should theoretically offer a better experience than the iPhone 14 Pro. According to Mark Gurman, Apple is preparing to replace its “Pro Max” model with a new iPhone 15 “Ultra” model next year. In addition, the company will also abandon its proprietary Lightning port for a USB Type-C port. Now, the latest iPhone 15 Ultra report is that this device will feature a dual front-facing camera. This will be the first iPhone to feature a dual front camera.
Majin Bu said “According to my sources, the iPhone 15 Ultra will have 2 front cameras. It will also have a USB-C port and will start with 256GB of storage. The iPhone 15 Pro will always start with 128GB of storage and will have a USB- C, but only 1 front camera”. The existing TrueDepth camera array has multiple components, but only one front-facing camera sensor. Thus, the so-called Ultra upgrade will provide additional front-facing camera sensors. But this is very different from the current iPhone 14 Pro Max Smart Island “punch hole + single punch hole” screen design.
It’s unclear what the second front-facing camera will be used for. In theory, it could be used for stereoscopic video capture, or, more simply, different levels of optical zoom. Regarding the report, we still do not know the accuracy rate. It is indeed too early to talk about the specific configuration details of the iPhone 15 Pro / Ultra.
“Ultra” will replace “Pro Max”
Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said Apple is preparing to replace its “Pro Max” model with a new iPhone 15 “Ultra” model next year. For the iPhone 15 series, Apple is planning to bring USB-C with improved design. The company will also possibly change its name. According to Gurman, Apple may replace the “Pro Max” branding used since the iPhone 11 series with “Ultra”.
“Based on Apple’s current model, we can expect an improved iPhone design next year, a move to USB-C ports, and a new Ultra model expected to replace the Pro Max.”
Apple is expected to use the “Ultra” branding on the highest-end iPhones. Most notably, the toughest, most durable, and most powerful Apple Watch to date is named the Apple Watch Ultra. Similarly, the most powerful Apple Silicon chip to date is the M1 Ultra. Details are still scarce given that the iPhone 15 is still a year away. In addition, there are rumours that the Smart Island “Pill + Punch” screen will appear on the Apple iPhone 15 series next year.
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iPhone 15 series to support “Smart Island”
Analyst Ross Young claims that Apple plans to extend the “Smart Island” design to all four iPhone 15 series. The “Smart Island” feature is currently exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Ross Young said in a tweet that he expects “Smart Island” to launch on the iPhone 15 standard model next year. However, he still doesn’t think the standard iPhone 15 models will feature LTPO displays. This suggests that these devices will continue to lack ProMotion support. They will also support AOD option that the Pro models have.
The “Smart Island” feature is designed around the Face ID sensor and the pill-shaped area of the front camera on the iPhone 14 Pro series models. The feature can display system alerts for things like incoming calls and Face ID authentication prompts. When iOS 16.1 arrive later this year, it will also work with the Live Activity feature in third-party apps.
iPhone 15 3nm A17 Bionic chip to have 40 million pieces
Apple’s mobile processors are produced by TSMC, thus the Taiwanese supply chain usually have information regarding Apple iPhones. @Mobile Chip Daren regularly gets information from the Taiwan Province supply chain. He accurately predicted that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will use the old chips. A recent report from the blogger reveals that Apple is preparing 40 million A17s (N3E) for next year’s (2023) iPhone 15 series processors. From this, the iPhone 15 series will probably use the flagship chips only for high-end models.
In some aspects, the accuracy of @Mobile Chip Daren ae relatively high. For example, he is the first source to reveal that Huawei will sell Honor. Furthermore, he also first revealed that Huawei will use Qualcomm chips. In addition, he revealed that Apple placed an order for 100 million chips from TSMC in the first batch. However, supply chain information are generally sketchy. It may not be a direct representation of what to expect in the market. Thus, at best, supply chain information is good for reference purposes only.
Existing information shows that Apple’s new-generation A17 chip will be mass-produced using TSMC’s latest 3nm iterative version of the N3E process. N3E is an improved version of the N3 process. The current N4 process used in the A16 has a certain improvement. However, it may not be as good as the previous ones. TSMC PPT shows that N3E can reduce the power consumption of N5 nodes by 30-35%. It can also achieve a frequency increase of 15%-20% with the same power consumption. The density of logic circuits is 1.6X, and other parts such as cache and analog circuits may increase by about 1.1X. However, the subsequent N2 is 10~15% higher than N3E. Furthermore, the power consumption reduces by 25~30% again, which is relatively more interesting.