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iPhone 15 and 15 Plus might get a big camera redesign

Published Feb 13th, 2023 1:22PM EST
iPhone 14 Camera
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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It’s only mid-February, but we think we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the iPhone 15 series that Apple will unveil in September. We saw plenty of leaks teasing the design changes and specs updates for the iPhone 15 series. The latest rumor tackles an expected iPhone 15 and 15 Plus design change that’s very logical, considering what recent rumors said about the iPhone 15’s new camera.

A leaker says the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will feature a new camera bump. It might sound like a minor design detail that we care little about at this point. But the reason why that’s exciting has to do with the camera capabilities of the cheaper iPhone 15 models. Both the base model and the iPhone 15 Plus should inherit the 48-megapixel sensor that Apple introduced with the iPhone 14 Pros this year.

Apple has steadily increased the size of the iPhone’s camera bump in recent years as it upgraded the sensors. The iPhone 12 Pro Max debuted sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS) tech. Apple then brought that primary camera to all iPhone 13 handsets along with a new camera arrangement for the non-Pro models. We’re talking about the diagonal setup that Apple kept in place for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus.

Then the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max got an even larger camera module thanks to the introduction of Apple’s first 48-megapixel sensor in a phone. Apple advertises that sensor as being 65% larger than the iPhone 13 Pro.

iPhone 14 Pro's 48-megapixel sensor.
iPhone 14 Pro’s 48-megapixel sensor. Image source: Apple Inc.

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus have sensors similar to the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, but not identical. The iPhone 14 bump is slightly larger than the iPhone 13. But it’s smaller than the iPhone 13 Pro, as the latter also features a third zoom lens.

A larger sensor collects more light and has more megapixels. But it also takes up more space on the back. That’s why the size of the camera bump keeps growing.

With that context in mind, it’s easy to understand why the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus getting a larger camera bump is an exciting rumor. Previous leaks say the two handsets will get 48-megapixel main sensors that match the ones in the iPhone 14 Pros.

That implies the rear camera module will have to increase in size, even if it accommodates just two lenses. As a reminder, the upcoming non-Pro phones will not feature a telephoto zoom lens.

Leaker ShrimpApplePro teased the camera bump size increase for the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus on Twitter while recapping the purported specs for the iPhone 15 series. The specs he quoted mention the 48-megapixel sensor for the non-Pro iPhone 15 models and the Pros.

As with all iPhone rumors, we can’t confirm these leaks at this time. But if Apple wants the base iPhone 15 models to match the iPhone 14 Pro camera performance, the camera bump will almost certainly need to be slightly larger.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.