When I first saw Apple announce the iPhone 14 Pro, I clearly remember having two thoughts: the first being “Wow, this dynamic island looks fascinating”, followed by “Wait, this is the only design change? What will they possibly do next? The 14 Pro seems to mark the longest Apple has committed to a design style. The camera layout has remained the same for 3 years; the flat-edge design and lack of a home button have remained in place since 2017, and it’s been 10 years since the Lightning Port was introduced on the iPhone. If there was ever a time to make a massive design change…this was it. And I’m not talking about giving up the notch for an island. I’m talking about something more substantial.
Pulling together all the rumors available on the interwebz (with some creative tweaks on his part), concept designer Antonio De Rosa has unveiled what might be the most drastic change to the iPhone in the past 5 years. The iPhone 15 Pro Max retains the flat edges (although they look more rounded than before), but has a significant change in pretty much every other area you look at. This incredibly attractive concept features a larger dynamic island in the front, rocker-style volume buttons that also slide independently to mute your phone, a Thunderbolt 4 port on the base (instead of Lightning), and a back absolutely unrecognizable with a new camera layout + branding. If all that awesomeness wasn’t enough for you, there’s even an M1 chip inside, marking the first time an iPhone would get Apple’s M-series chips.
Designate: Antoine DeRosa
The first thing you notice with the iPhone 15 Pro Max is that camera bump with 2 large cameras instead of 3 smaller ones. The main reason being that one of these cameras now features a variable aperture, while the other incorporates the rumored periscope lens. The now rectangular camera bump also features a better flash, dubbed the Pro Flash Duo, and a dedicated depth mic that can highlight certain areas and record audio of exactly what’s in frame. ‘camera.
The entire rear of the new iPhone 15 Pro Max is also noticeably different. The new camera bump layout affects the entire composition of the back, calling for a brand new system. The 15 Pro therefore ditches the centralized Apple logo, opting for the word “iPhone” instead. The Apple logo, however, lands in the lower right corner, creating a semblance of balance while almost mimicking a playing card in its design.
The biggest change to the iPhone 15 Pro Max is this new camera system. While the 14 Pro didn’t do much besides introduce a larger sensor and an Action mode with stabilized video, the 15 Pro returns to the drawing board with a completely revamped layout. Now looking almost like something from the Android universe (there’s a distinct OnePlus meets Vivo flavor here), the 15 Pro has a bigger camera with a variable aperture and a camera underneath with a lens periscope. The variable aperture camera is a fascinating thing – it was only recently attempted by Samsung, but abandoned almost immediately… however, if anyone could pull it off, it’s probably Apple. The variable aperture works almost like an eye, expanding in low-light settings to allow the camera to capture more light information and generating more natural bokeh, and closing in brighter settings for crisper images. incredibly sharp with greater depth of field. The Periscope lens just below handles the telephoto end, using a unique lens setup to mimic a much longer lens for better optical zoom.
Perhaps the most anticipated change to the iPhone 15 Pro is the death of the Lightning port. Thanks to EU legislation, the iPhone 15 Pro is expected to have USB-C instead, though the company will likely outdo itself by jumping straight to Thunderbolt 4. The phone will still retain MagSafe and wireless charging, given that Apple probably hope to migrate to a portless iPhone in the near future.
The concept also brings the M1 chip to the iPhone – a feature that seems like a distant reality but is fun to imagine nonetheless. It does, however, share a few features with its predecessor, including a dynamic island (now bigger and better), improved SOS functionality, always-on display, and a SIM-free version.
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 15 series as early as September 2023, although it’s unclear what the supply chain shortage will mean for the company’s ability to deliver its next best iPhone on time. Apple is also rumored to announce a wearable VR/AR towards the end of the year!