Finally! iPhone 15 waving goodbye to flat design in overdue change! Android to copy again?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Finally! iPhone 15 waving goodbye to flat design in overdue change! Android to copy again?
Whether you think of picking up an iPhone 14 during the holiday season or not, iPhone 15 leaks and rumors aren’t going to wait!

Some of the most exciting iPhone 15 series leaks we’ve had so far hint at a periscope zoom camera for at least one iPhone 15 model, Dynamic Island for all four 2023 iPhones, (finally) a new 3nm chip for the Pro models, and, of course, the one to rule all rumors - a USB-C charging port across the entire iPhone 15 lineup (with faster charging and data transfer speeds for the premium models).

But now, the same tipster who told us iPhone 14 Pro would adopt a pill-shaped cutout (Dynamic Island) nearly a whole year before the phone was announced is back with another bold prediction, and this one’s for a redesigned iPhone 15 phones that are going to revert to being… rounder! *confetti pop

So, let’s see why the iPhone 15 might be going back to the round design and why Apple’s 2023 flagships might finally switch from using aluminum and stainless steel to being made of… titanium!

iPhone 15 new round design - Apple to take inspiration from the iPhone 5C, iPhone X or… the Google Pixel?

Before I talk about why the iPhone 15 might be becoming rounder and titanium-er, it only makes sense to take a look at exactly what kind of a round design Apple might be going for here! Tipster ShrimpApplePro says he’ll be keeping an eye out for more information but that currency he doesn’t exactly know more than that “iPhone 15 will feature a new border design - rounded on the back and not square”.

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So, I just had to try and guess what Apple’s planned design might be

Of course, Cupertino’s no stranger to round hardware, and the first round iPhone reference that comes to mind is the most colorful one - the iPhone 5C. Apple’s budget offering was indeed super round, sort of reminiscent of the new MacBook Pro’s base.

The other possibility is that Apple will be going for something completely different than what the company’s done before and take some inspiration from Android! The phones I’m thinking about in particular are Google’s original Pixel and the Pixel 2.

As you can see from the photos I’ve compiled, the original Pixel has a very interesting take on design, as the screen of the phone is flat, and the very borders are also flat but then where the back connects to the sides, we have a slope, which is rounded where the frame meets the back (so it’s more comfortable to hold), but sharp to make for a flat frame. I’m sure I haven’t done a great job of describing it, but hopefully, the photos help.

Anyway, that or the slightly more conservative (but still with a flat portion of the frame) design of the Pixel 2 would actually allow Apple to maintain its “flat” frame but also make the new iPhone 15 models considerably more comfortable to hold, since the very back of the frame would be rounded (just like the leaks promise).

All the reasons iPhone 15 must switch back to a rounded design and a titanium build - it was a matter of time (and cycles)!

Now, I don’t want to be that guy, but I’ve been sitting on this iPhone redesign story for a couple of months now… Of course, now that the first leak about an iPhone 15 redesign is out, it’s a little bit easier to talk about it with some added perspective, so let’s go ahead and do that!

Really, it was always expected (at least for those who keep track of Apple) that the iPhone would eventually switch back to a rounded design! The first reason is because of how Apple’s design cycles work, especially in the recent past…

  • iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8 shared an identical design
  • iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone 11 also looked identical
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and now the iPhone 14 look basically the same

So, if we look past the iPhone 6S, which I’ve left out on purpose, Tim Cook & Co tend to roll with the same design for about three years, which makes the rumors of a new titanium iPhone 15 with rounded edges all the more likely to pan out!

That being said, Cupertino’s upgrade cycles are one thing, but there are a couple of other practical reasons for the iPhone 15 to arrive with a new look…

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are too heavy and uncomfortable to use with one hand - time for a change

For starters, in case you haven’t noticed, recent iPhones are getting bigger and heavier! And do you know what doesn’t help phones that are getting bigger and heavier? Flat edges and stainless steel!

Although the industrial aesthetic of my iPhone 14 Pro and even my iPhone 13 mini help them look badass, Apple’s new iPhones are noticeably less ergonomic to hold and operate compared to my iPhone 6S and iPhone 8. I’m reminded of that every time I have to turn on my iPhone 8 to make sure it’s still doing fine.

Speaking of weight, titanium is known to be significantly lighter than the stainless steel Apple uses for the iPhone Pro, although heavier than aluminum used in the vanilla iPhones. My hunch here is that thanks to that, the new titanium chassis would be reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra models.

However, I wouldn’t write off titanium on all iPhone models next year (or eventually), and that’s because to reach the same level of durability it gets with aluminum, Apple would need to use just a fraction of titanium, which despite being heavier, is much tougher!

iPhone 14’s repetitive design doesn’t look as fresh as it did in 2020

To the last reason why I think it’s time for a design change… My iPhone 14 Pro is simply starting to look tired next to some Android phones!

I just can’t help but notice how uninspiring the triangular camera design and muted colors of the current iPhone 14 Pro look next to the super fresh and bold look of my Google Pixel 6 Pro (Sorta Sunny) or even other Android flagships like the Oppo Find X5 Pro and its ceramic build and seamless back, or the leather version of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, which makes it look like a proper Leica camera.

All of that goes hand in hand with the whole design cycle thing, but I’m already bored with the current iPhone aesthetic. It’s not just the functional design aspect (the weight and sharp edges), but the way iPhones look!

Apple is going back to a rounded iPhone design - is Android going to copy as it did when iPhone 12 went flat?

I’d like to close off by reminding everyone how quick Android phone-makers (with very few exceptions) were to adopt the iPhone 12’s flat edge design when this one debuted in 2020… Of course, it’s not surprising that this happened, but it certainly didn’t make me happy.

Not that I care which company copies what - as long as this is for the better, it doesn’t matter! It’s just that a less comfortable design wasn’t exactly something Android needed to take from the iPhone (especially amongst other great hardware aspects like MagSafe and an alert slider). Although I get the fashion statement.

Ironically, this is why I’m now hoping Samsung, Xiaomi, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, etc., will take another page of Apple’s book (of course, if this one is written in the first place) and revert back to making more comfortable phones!

If not, Android would be stuck with what’s one of the worst iPhone hardware traits (in my opinion).

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