It’s the biggest tech news day of the year, unquestionable – well, unless a major telco gets hacked of course.  But in any normal year, Apple iPhone announcement day is leaps ahead of any other device launch or news day for tech. 

Why? Sheer numbers for starters, and well – it’s Apple – they’re the biggest tech company in the world and it seems to me you either love them or hate them.

Regardless, today’s the day, and we have it now official – straight from the mouths of Apple Executives, iPhone 15 is here

Farewell Lightning, Hello USB-C

A little over ten years ago, Apple created controversy when they introduced the iPhone 5 – they removed the “Apple” connector we’d seen on iPods and the iPhone since it was first launched.  That 30 pin connector was replaced by lightning, and for the most part the controversy was around how many devices had been made with the 30 pin connector, like speaker docks or similar, that now wouldn’t work with the new Lightning connector.

Fast forward to 2023, and the change from Lightning to USB-C is here – and it’s funny how many people say to me “oh they’re changing it again” – let’s be real, 10 years is a long time for a cable/connector on any device.

Critically, this wasn’t Apple’s choice.  They describe it by saying “USB-C has become a universally accepted standard”.

But in reality, they were forced to make the change thanks to the European Union, which regulates that by the end of 2024 all consumer tech sold in the EU must be USB-C, expanding to include Laptops in a couple of years after that.

This is all about reducing waste.  Crazy, given all those lightning cables now go to waste, but in the long run, we’ll need to own and therefore buy and replace less cables overall.

It’s not radical for Apple though, with their iPad range and Laptops supporting USB-C charging for some time.

How it’s technically implemented is yet to be fully known, with some likely limitations on charging speeds and data throughput for non Apple certified cables.  That will be the controversy beaten up by Apple haters in the days to come.

What is clear from the keynote is that iPhone 15 Pro Max will be capable of USB 3.0 speeds, with an “optional USB 3.0 cable”.

Colours of the iPhone 15

A subtle range of colours this year.

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus come in Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black

While the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max comes in Black, White and a dark Blue Titanium, as well as a elegant looking Natural Titanium

Those iPhone 15 colours are subtle and washed out, compared to some of the bolder colours of years gone by. While the Pro model colours look stunning, in particular that Natural Titanium look.

Design and Materials

There is a slight change to the design with an ever so slight rounding of the edges across the iPhone range

That’s the only clear visible and physical change to the design, but it should make the phone a touch more comfortable in the hand.

Also helping with comfort is a weight reduction in the Pro models with a switch from Stainless Steel to Titanium body construction.  This has a different look to it, but critically has huge weight reduction

iPhone 15 Action Button

As we Farewell lightning, there’s an older iPhone item that is also coming to a gradual end, beginninig with the iPhone 15 Pro models – the Mute switch. It goes the way of the home button – gone!

Replaced on the iPhone 15 Pro models by the “Action button” – this programmable button will allow you to set it up to do the things you need most often.

Examples used by Apple include a simple Press to mute or Unmute, press to launch The camera, or another App, Press to launch a new voice memo to record an idea, or to put your phone into Do Not Disturb mode.

Cameras on the iPhone 15

Normally the first thing we talk about, there’s just been too many other little things – that will be seen as big things – to get to before we talk cameras.

Apple as always brought the quality of the iPhone 14 Pro main lens down to the iPhone 15, with a 48 Megapixel camera on those entry models the 15 and 15 plus.

On the Pro models, the megapixel count remains the same, though with increased quality, and focal lengths of 24, 28 and 35mm available on the main lens.

Default photography is now at 24 Megapixels, while on all iPhone 15 models there are advances in the Portrait photography quality and capabilities

On the iPhone 15 Pro Max a radical new lens offers a 120mm focal length, at 5x zoom. Packed into the lens is a tetra prism to process and amplify the image without a bulky lens on the outside.

Night mode on the Pro models also takes advantage of the Lidar scanner to improve quality and performance,

The entire iPhone 15 Range

So, having moved on from the Mini in the 12 and 13 series iPhones, iPhone 15 follows the path set by iPhone 14.  

iPhone 15 and 15 plus are identical but for their size.  

The Pro models though do differ with a more advanced camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 15 Price in Australia

Pre-Orders for the iPhone 15 series start this Friday September 15 at Apple, Major Retailers and all the major Telcos, and will be available the following week on September 22.

iPhone 15 starts at $1,499, and A$1,649 for the Plus.

Phone 15 Pro starts at $1,849 while the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $2,199

Trade-in is the word of the day, with up to $1,255 off if you trade in an older iPhone

Trevor Long travelled to Apple Park in Cupertino as a guest of Apple Australia