The iPhone 15 Pro Max looks set to debut alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro at the 2023 edition of Apple's September launch event, with all four phones set to shake up our ranking of the best iPhones.
As with all larger iPhones since the XS Max debuted, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will likely have some exclusive tricks up its sleeve by virtue of its larger size, which affords more space for better components. In this article, we detail what those tricks might be, as well any release date and price rumors we've heard surrounding the potential successor to the excellent iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Latest leaks (August)
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max might only have 6GB of RAM
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max could offer a massive 2TB storage option
- Sources are in agreement over the iPhone 15 release date
- Leaked iPhone 15 Pro Max cases tease Action button
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max could have almost no bezels
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max could cost more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max is all but confirmed to get a titanium alloy frame
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max will reportedly feature an upgraded UWB chip
In addition to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, we're expecting Apple to unveil an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max in September, and in the below table, we've compiled some at-a-glance specs for all four phones.
Initially, we thought the iPhone 15 Pro Max might be called the iPhone 15 Ultra, but the latest intelligence suggest that we'll be waiting until next year for Apple's first Ultra-grade iPhone.
|iPhone 15 (rumored)
|iPhone 15 Plus (rumored)
|iPhone 15 Pro (rumored)
|iPhone 15 Pro Max (rumored)
|2532 x 1170 pixels
|1284 x 2778 pixels
|1179 x 2556 pixels
|1290 x 2796 pixels
|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
|128GB, 256GB, 512GB
|128GB, 256GB, 512GB
|256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
|256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
iPhone 15 Pro Max release date
- September launch is all but confirmed
- Shipping dates slated for Friday, September 22
Apple likes to leave things to the last minute when it comes to revealing iPhone release dates, but we do have an idea of when the 2023 edition of the company's annual September launch event might take place.
The bottom line is this: in all likelihood, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be unveiled on either Tuesday, September 12 or Wednesday, September 13. Pre-orders for Apple’s new iPhones will likely begin a few days later on Friday, September 15, with shipping dates following another week later on Friday, September 22.
Naturally, Apple hasn't confirmed any of those dates just yet, but previous iPhone launches and consistent predictions from Apple analysts mean we're fairly confident of their accuracy. For more details, head over to our iPhone 15 release date explainer.
iPhone 15 Pro Max colors
The iPhone 15 colors will vary by model, but we expect the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to be offered in the same shades as one another. The latest intelligence suggest that four color options are on the cards:
- Dark red
- Graphite, Space Gray, or Space Black
iPhone 15 Pro Max price
- Likely to be the most expensive iPhone ever
Early leaks surrounding the price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max were based around Apple calling it the iPhone 15 Ultra, but the figures are still worth considering. In December, for instance, an iPhone 15 Ultra price leak suggested that the phone could start at $1,299, likely equating to £1,429 / AU$2,249 in other regions.
For comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899 – which itself represents a price hike over the iPhone 13 Pro Max outside of the US market – while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra starts $1,199.99 / £1,249 / AU$1,949.
Whatever the case, a price increase of some amount seems likely, with even Apple itself suggesting that customers could be willing to pay more for the newest iPhones.
Indeed, it looks like Apple will be raising the prices of every phone in the iPhone 15 line versus their respective predecessors. According to one prominent leaker, the iPhone 15 will be 12% more expensive to produce than the iPhone 14, while the iPhone 15 Pro will be a whopping 20% more expensive to produce than the iPhone 14 Pro. Neither figure bodes well for the production cost of the inevitably-more-advanced iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Another source has also more recently said to expect a price rise from the iPhone 15 Pro Max, though they didn't say how much by, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has also pointed to increased iPhone 15 Pro Max prices.
What's more, we're expecting Apple to do away with 128GB storage options for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max this year, so the latter will surely start at a higher price than $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099 (i.e. the price of the 256GB variant of the iPhone 14 Pro Max).
The iPhone 15 Pro Max could be offered with up to 2TB internal storage, too, and considering that the 1TB variant of the iPhone 14 Pro Max costs a whopping $1,599 / £1,740 / AU$2,769 – which is some $200 / £211 / AU$350 more than the 512GB variant (which is half as big, storage-wise) – a 2TB iPhone 15 Pro Max would likely cost at least $1,799 / £1,950 / AU$2,769. Yikes!
iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras
- Will likely stick with the same triple-lens setup as the iPhone 14 Pro
- Sensors may be improved
- Periscope lens on the Pro Max
When it comes to iPhone 15 cameras, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to improve upon its predecessor’s already excellent triple-sensor setup in a few key ways. The iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts the following three rear lenses:
- 48MP wide (24mm, f/1.78)
- 12MP ultra-wide (13mm, f/2.2)
- 12MP 3x telephoto (77mm f/2.8)
For starters, a periscope camera was rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has since predicted that the iPhone 16 Pro will be the first to get a periscope lens, owing to its potentially larger display. This means that it's now likely that only the iPhone 15 Pro Max – being larger than its standard Pro sibling – gets a periscope camera in 2023.
Similarly, before rumors of its existence subsided, we heard that the iPhone 15 Pro Max could be getting a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens, of the sort rumored to feature on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Variable optical zoom cameras are exceptionally rare among today’s smartphones – the Sony Xperia 1 IV uses one, but it’s only capable of zooming between 3.5x and 5.2x – so again, this feature could be reserved for Apple's biggest 2023 iPhone.
Other than that, the main difference between the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s cameras and its predecessor's will probably be the quality of sensors used. According to leaks, the iPhone 15 Pro is expected to sport new Sony-produced sensors that capture more light, so the iPhone 15 Pro Max would likewise benefit from these sensors.
In fact, one of these sensors – the Sony IMX903 – is rumored to measure 1/1.14 inches, meaning the iPhone 15 Max could ship with the biggest camera sensor ever used in an iPhone. Rumors have also suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will have more advanced image processing skills than the iPhone 15 Pro.
And lastly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might have a dual-lens front-facing camera, improving upon its predecessor's single 12MP front-facing TrueDepth camera.
iPhone 15 Pro Max design
- Thinner bezels and titanium sides expected
- Solid-state buttons were initially rumored, but no longer likely
- Action button seems confirmed, though
We expect the iPhone 15 Pro Max to be similar in size to its predecessor – i.e. 77.6mm x 160.7mm x 7.85mm – but that's not to say it'll be an identical-looking device.
For instance, we’ve heard from multiple sources that both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max could get titanium sides, which would make them stronger and lighter than their stainless steel-framed predecessors (and, presumably, the rest of the best phones out there in 2023).
Both devices are also expected to have rounded rear edges, which would mark a contrast to the iPhone 14 Pro’s sharp-angled sides. Apple was reportedly unsure about implementing this design change for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but leaked renders showing off these curved sides have since emerged, adding weight to the rumor.
These renders also show a button in place of the mute switch, which is believed to be a configurable button like the Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra. You might be able to do a lot more with this version of the button, though – code snippets in an iOS 17 beta have pointed to nine different options. These include the ability to toggle accessibility modes, Shortcuts, silent mode, the flashlight, the camera, a magnifier, Focus modes, text or speech translation, and voice memos.
Leaked iPhone 15 Pro Max case images have seemingly teased the Action button, too, so we're almost certain that it'll be debuting with the iPhone 15 line.
Apparently the cases of the iPhone 15 Ultra models show a third button that should replace the old mute switcher pic.twitter.com/6XIKgBMJVNAugust 6, 2023
On the bezel front, we've heard that the iPhone 15 Pro will be getting thinner bezels than the iPhone 14 Pro, meaning the iPhone 15 Pro Max will surely do, too. This would be an impressive feat on Apple’s part, given that the bezels on the iPhone 14 Pro Max are already remarkably thin.
Specifically, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might have bezels of 1.5mm thickness, which would be down from around 2.2mm thick on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so that's a significant reduction.
You can take a look at what the iPhone 15 Pro Max might look like in the MacRumors video below, which shows off dummy units for all four rumored iPhone 15 models. The rounded edges and USB-C ports that we've been hearing about (more on the latter below) are both visible.
Incidentally, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max were widely rumored to be getting solid-state volume and power buttons, but Apple analysts recently poured water on those claims. Leaks had suggested that these buttons would use haptic vibrations to simulate the sensation of being touched, despite not actually moving (not unlike a modern MacBook's Force Touch trackpad), but this technology is now expected to debut on the iPhone 16 line at the earliest, owing to its complexity.
The final iPhone 15 Pro Max design upgrade is expected to come in the form of a USB-C charging port. The EU has told Apple that it has to add USB-C charging ports to iPhones by 2024, but multiple leaks have suggested that Apple will be adopting the charging standard in 2023 with the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, this year.
Any design differences between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are likely to come from the latter's rumored superior camera features, which we've detailed in the above section. This beefier photography tech will surely make the iPhone 15 Pro Max heavier than its predecessor, too, which weighs 240g.
It's also worth noting that Apple may be preparing to move to eSIM in countries outside the US for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, with eSIMs reportedly coming to the next generation of Apple’s best iPhones in France. SIM card-less iPhone 15 Pro Max's could be coming to the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and many other countries, too.
iPhone 15 Pro Max screen size
- Expected to inherit its predecessor's 6.7-inch Super XDR OLED display
- Dynamic Island will return, with marginal improvements
On the topic of iPhone 15 screen sizes and displays, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will likely retain its predecessor’s 6.7-inch Super XDR OLED screen and Dynamic Island digital cutout. The latter is expected to make its way onto the vanilla iPhone 15, too, though the next iteration of the Dynamic Island won’t necessarily be identical to that which is used on the iPhone 14 line.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15’s proximity sensor will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island itself, rather than positioned separately (as on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max). The proximity sensor is used to detect when you raise your iPhone to your ear. When triggered, the sensor shuts off the screen, so you don’t end up accidentally putting your boss on hold or hanging up on your grandma.
This new sensor arrangement is unlikely to result in any material difference to the appearance or functionality of the iPhone 15 Pro Max versus the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but the former's Dynamic Island will technically be more advanced than the latter's given the inclusion of a previously isolated sensor.
iPhone 15 Pro Max features
- Will reportedly use the super-fast A17 Bionic
- Possibly more RAM and larger battery
- USB-C should bring improved functionality
- AI could feature prominently
The iPhone 14 Pro Max uses the A16 Bionic – aka the latest version of Apple’s silicon – which makes it one of the fastest phones money can buy in 2023. Apple being Apple, though, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be even faster.
Unsurprisingly, Apple’s next Pro-level iPhones are reportedly in line for an A17 Bionic chipset, which will surely be more power-efficient than the A16 Bionic. Chinese outlet DCInside reports that the A17 Bionic will boast a 20% more powerful CPU than its predecessor, meaning the iPhone 15 Pro Max should enjoy sizable performance gains over the iPhone 14 Pro Max (even if these gains won't necessarily be tangible in terms of speed).
DCInside claims that the A17 Bionic earns a single-core score of 3019 and a multi-core score of 7860 on Geekbench 6, where the A16 Bionic scores 2504 and 6314, respectively. Naturally, we’d suggest taking these rumored figures with a hefty pinch of salt, but they do suggest that the iPhone 15 Pro Max might sport benchmark scores to rival Apple’s best MacBooks.
Notably, the A17 Bionic could also be significantly more powerful than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset – aka the processor that powers many of the best Android phones. The latter is made on a 4nm process, while the A17 Bionic will reportedly be made on a 3nm process (which means far more transistors can be included, likely leading to better performance and efficiency).
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is possibly going to get 8GB RAM, too, marking an improvement over the iPhone 14 Pro Max (whcih uses 6GB RAM).
On the other hand though it might be stuck at 6GB, according to a more recent leak, which also adds that the A17 Bionic has six CPU cores, six GPU cores, and a maximum clock speed of 3.70GHz. For reference, the A16 Bionic has six CPU cores, five CPU cores, and a top speed of 3.46GHz.
We were expecting the iPhone 15 Pro Max to boast a similarly-sized power pack to the iPhone 14 Pro Max (4,323mAh), however recent rumors suggest that the entire iPhone 15 lineup will feature significantly larger batteries than their predecessors.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max, specifically, will reportedly feature an 18% larger battery than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, taking its capacity up to 4,852mAh. In theory, then, it'll boast better battery life. We've also heard that Apple will switch to a different type of battery technology with the iPhone 15 line.
Another rumor has suggested that Apple is working on a reverse wireless charging feature for the iPhone 15 line, and if true, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be able to wirelessly charge other Apple gadgets, where the iPhone 14 Pro Max can’t.
It’s also worth reiterating here that the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to get a USB-C port, so you probably won’t be able to use your older Apple Lightning cable to juice it up. This version of USB-C is rumored to support the USB 3.0 standard, too – where the iPhone 15 will reportedly stick with its predecessor's USB 2.0 standard – so the iPhone 15 Pro Max could get faster file transfer speeds than its vanilla sibling (according to USBMakers, the former could offer 90% faster speeds).
We've heard that the iPhone 15 Pro’s Thunderbolt 3 version of USB-C will make the device compatible with 4K monitors, too, meaning you’ll also be able to display certain types of content on a separate screen – as you can with the best iPads – on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
This option will supposedly arrive with iOS 17, which was announced in June, but only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be able to make use of the technology given their support for Thunderbolt 3.
Getting more granular, every iPhone 15 will reportedly feature an upgraded Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip to support the functionality of Apple's Vision Pro headset. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple's U1 chip – currently built on a 16nm process – will be replaced by newer silicon, founded on a significantly more compact 7nm process; with the intention of improving performance, while also reducing power consumption. This could have major (positive) implications for the iPhone 15 Pro Max's functionality with Apple Vision Pro.
Lastly, the entire iPhone 15 line is expected to play host to Apple's next big developments in AI. “It’s only a matter of time before Apple aggressively moves into artificial intelligence,” analyst Dan Ives told The Daily Mail in July, adding that the iPhone 15 Pro Max's Health app is likely to be the first beneficiary of this future-facing strategy shift.
Specifically, this next-generation iOS Health app could use AI to make tailored lifestyle recommendations based on your heart rate, sleep, diet, and breathing data – something existing iPhones aren't able to do.
Apple already uses AI and machine learning to power its Siri smart assistant and features like smart photo rendering, but it’s clear that the company is intent on making a more significant push into AI-powered apps with its next-generation iPhones – potentially beginning with the iPhone 15 line.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.
- Michael AllisonStaff Writer, Phones