A new leak claims that Apple’s 2023 iPhone 15 / Pro series will feature a titanium body and replace the existing straight-edge design with a curved back bezel.
According to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, the back bezel of the iPhone 15 will be rounded to form a new bezel similar to the bottom edge of Apple’s latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models’ cases. It could also look like the back of the iPhone 5C. For reference, the iPhone 14 model has a straight-edge design with straight edges, similar to the iPhone 4. The last model with curved edges was the iPhone 11.
The iPhone 15 “still has a glass back” despite the switch to titanium, and the tipster also said that this is early information, so we can’t rule out any changes later.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors that Apple will release a titanium version of the iPhone. Earlier this year, rumors suggested that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would have a titanium frame version, but that didn’t materialize. All iPhone 14 series models have bodies made of aluminum and stainless steel.
However, Apple recently investigated the feasibility of using titanium cases for its products, including patents related to the use of machined titanium with unique properties for future MacBooks, iPads and iPhones.
Compared to stainless steel, titanium is relatively hard, making it more resistant to scratches, and its hardness makes it durable enough to withstand bending.
However, titanium’s strength also makes it difficult to etch, so Apple has developed sandblasting etching, and chemical processes that can give titanium cases a high-gloss finish for a more attractive appearance. Apple has also been working on using a thin oxide surface coating, which could reduce the appearance of oily fingerprints.
If the latest revelations are accurate, this will be the first time Apple has used titanium in iPhone and iPad. Apple uses titanium as a case material in models like the latest Apple Watch Ultra, and the physical Apple Card credit card is also made of titanium, but the latest iPhone and iPad are still made of stainless steel and aluminum.
Apple’s iPhone 15 series models could be released in September 2023 and are expected to be the same size as the iPhone 14 series, with USB-C instead of Lightning ports, solid-state volume and power buttons, new camera technology, and support for Lingering Island in all models.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple may replace the “Pro Max” version of the iPhone 15 with a new “Ultra” model, following the Apple Watch Ultra naming convention to denote the highest-end product. However, it’s unclear whether the rumors of a titanium case are related to a specific iPhone 15 model.