iPhone 15 could be dead on arrival — 5 reasons to wait for iPhone 16

iPhone 15
(Image credit: Future)

At the Apple September event, we’re going to get our first official look at the iPhone 15 lineup. That much is obvious, and I’m willing to put money on Apple confirming a lot of the leaks we’ve seen so far.

I mean just look at some of them — we’ve literally seen the USB-C port, leakers with a strong track record are confident in an Action Button on the Pro models, and reports sourced from Taiwan Semiconductor Company (TSMC) insiders speculate about the 3nm A17 Bionic. But I’m here to pose one question: is all of this really enough?

While we are just a few weeks away from our projected iPhone 15 release date, we’re already hearing big things about the iPhone 16 that should make everyone think twice about buying the 15. In fact, it may be dead on arrival. Here are five reasons why you should skip this year and just start saving up for the 16.

1. iPhone 15’s improvements seem to be minor

Rumored blue iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: MacRumors/Unknownz21)

Let’s list off the rumored changes we’re seeing for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models:

That’s it? Don’t get me wrong — it’s good to see some fundamental changes to the hardware design after three years of the same look and feel. But especially in the case of the standard iPhone 15, the updates feel very minor.

2. USB-C shenanigans

iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

It’s fair to say that Apple and the EU have been in a bit of a duel over standardizing the USB-C port. From the union approving this new bill to Apple’s seeming threat to remove the port altogether, it’s been quite the face-off.

But one growing fear over the past few months is the return of the ‘Made for iPhone’ program, which adds a verification chip to the port so only verified accessories can make the most of the connection. That means if you buy any unofficial cable, charging and data speeds would be restricted.

Well, we got something a little more concrete in the form of a 3LD3 chip Apple has added to the charging component. Of course, it’s purpose is not known, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was for accessory verification for one key reason — the EU’s new laws don’t come into action until the end of 2024.

That is good news for the iPhone 16, though, as Apple won’t be allowed to pull off these shenanigans (if these said shenanigans are happening of course).

3. The displays will get bigger 16th time around

iPhone 16 Pro Max

(Image credit: 9to5mac)

While the bezels get smaller on the iPhone 15, it is the 16th iteration that will see (literally) a far bigger change to the display. According to popular Apple analyst Ross Young, the iPhone 16 Pro models are set to increase in size by around 15%.

On paper, that sounds small, and we don’t have any confirmation the same is happening to the entry-level iPhone 16 models. However, since all the iPhones have been in lock step with each other in terms of display size, it would be a weird logistical nightmare to have different size screens. Here are the sizes we are looking at (compared to the current 6.1 and 6.7 inches).

  • iPhone 16 - 6.3 inches
  • iPhone 16 Plus - 6.9 inches
  • iPhone 16 Pro - 6.3 inches
  • iPhone 16 Pro Max - 6.9 inches

4. Going ultra on the ultrawide

Deep red for iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

This rumor just recently started circulating. Of course, we’ve already heard about the super periscope telephoto lens, which would vastly increase the zoom power of the iPhone 16 Pro’s camera. However, this is not the only sensor set for an update.

Moving over to the ultrawide, which is currently limited to only 12MP, you could see that megapixel count jump to a full 48MP with the iPhone 16. If it’s a similar sensor to the current 48MP primary camera on the iPhone 14 Pro models that would be a huge upgrade — unlocking ProRAW ultrawide photography, and improving the amount of light and data taken in by the sensor.

5. Sinking the Dynamic Island next year?

iPhone 14 Pro display with deserted island illustration covering the Dynamic Island

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Dorling Kindersley)

Now by this, I don’t mean that the entire Dynamic Island is going. Simply that the actual hole punch in the display looks set to be drastically reduced, thanks to an under-display Face ID for the iPhone 16 Pro. 

What does this mean for Dynamic Island notifications and interactions? Nobody is sure. To make my own prediction, I bet it will remain in a smaller sense with the same UI for multitasking and a quick view of activities.

16 is a magic number

If all of this is true, the iPhone 15 is looking more like a new coat of paint rather than the substantial upgrade we are all looking for. Not to say it will be a bad phone, but you may be left with some buyer’s remorse.

So here’s my advice — once Apple officially announces the iPhone 15 in September, give it a couple of months. After the dust settles, I guarantee you will start to hear so much more about the iPhone 16, and then you can make your own decision about whether the 15 is a worthwhile buy.

If it is, great! I’m confident you’ll love your iPhone no matter what. But if it’s not the juicy upgrade you imagined, grab a battery pack, keep your current phone going for the year, and wait until the iPhone 16 arrives.

Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.