Apple iPhone 15 now rumored to adopt curved titanium side frame

Apple iPhone 15
A wild new rumor circulating around Twitter claims that Apple might be exploring a small but significant design change with the upcoming iPhone 15 series. Known leaker ShrimpApplePro (@VNchocoTaco) has it that the iPhone 15 could adopt a side frame that's curved towards the back instead of being flat as in the iPhone 12/iPhone 13/iPhone 14 generations. 

This could bring the iPhone 15 series in line with Apple's latest design developments. The latest MacBook Pro utilizes a rather similar design language, which employs a side frame that has a right angle on one side and slightly curves to the other, similar to a "J". Interestingly, the "unapologetically plastic"iPhone 5c from nearly a decade ago has a similar design, with a flat display and curved back. Could we potentially see a return to this paradigm, but way, way more premium? 

As a refresher, Apple is no stranger to backtracking its design decisions, no matter how well-received those are. Although the latest iPhone design with its industrial edges seems to be universally loved, Apple comes from years upon years of curved frame designs that started off with the iPhone 6 and peaked with the iPhone 11. However, Apple had dabbled with industrial chamfered edges immediately before that, and the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s carry a lot of that same beloved design DNA that can be seen in Apple's most recent iPhones. 

Such a design would bring the best of both worlds together: the sophisticated super-premium looks of the flat current design paired with the objectively better ergonomics of the slightly curved back design, which wouldn't cave into your palm as much. 

ShrimpApplePro also has it that Apple might use titanium instead of stainless steel with the iPhone 15. With titanium being super-premium, we expect that only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra could potentially adopt a titanium frame, while the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus might adopt stainless steel frames, levelling up from the aluminum iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. We don't see Apple shying away from using glass backs on its future iPhones given how invested Cupertino seems to be with MagSafe, and MagSafe wouldn't play well with anything else but glass. 

Titanium is slowly starting to become relatively mainstream, playing a small bt important part within the vast Apple family. For example, the Apple Watch Ultra, is only available in titanium, and could potentially be used as the litmus test to gauge interest in more premium materials for the iPhone lineup. 

Still, the leaker generally advises that his words should be taken with caution and a pinch of salt, as it's still rather too early to draw definite conclusions about the upcoming iPhone 15 generation (although Apple has surely locked down everything about the project already).

So far, we expect four new iPhones to be unveiled in September 2023: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Ultra. The Dynamic Island punch-hole cutout is expected to grace all four upcoming models, and reportedly ProMotion is coming on all models as well. The iPhone 15 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro are, of course, the most intriguing new devices to expect, and rumors have it that both might drop the hardware volume and power buttons for capacitive ones, similarly to the way iPhone 7 dropped the hardware home button for a static one.  Of course, as already confirmed, all future iPhones will come with USB Type-C instead of Lightning ports at the bottom. 

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