iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro Release Problems Hit Apple’s New iPhones – Forbes

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Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max renders based on leaks
09/07 Update below. This post was originally published on September 4
With the iPhone 15 launch just one week away, a new leak has revealed significant ongoing problems, as well as production issues that are likely to impact the availability of Apple’s new flagship model.
In a blog post, influential analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reveals that Apple is experiencing significant issues with producing camera sensors for standard iPhone 15 models and the titanium chassis of the Pros, plus delays in manufacturing the flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Perhaps the biggest shock is the new stacked CIS primary camera for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. Kuo states that Apple tried to resolve its production issues by increasing volume, but up to 15% of regular models are still affected.
Compounding this are two issues with Pro models. Kuo says that their new titanium frame will reduce the weight of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but their production has been impacted by “high processing difficulty and significant design changes during development.” Moreover, the “Pro Max project was the last to kick off, so mass production schedule lags behind other models.”
Render of Apple’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro designs and color options based on leaks
The latter is likely to cause problems for upgraders, given that the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to account for up to 40% of all early iPhone 15 orders. Its exclusive new periscopic zoom camera being the big selling point.
In addition, Kuo reveals that Apple has also suffered production issues with the iPhone 15 range’s displays and batteries, with the latter “expanding when exposed to heat” — a concerning problem that the analyst believes has now been solved.
It is a shock to see such an extensive array of challenges this late in the iPhone’s production schedule, and some cautious upgraders may prefer to wait to ensure they don’t run into any hardware issues with the first iPhone 15 models off the line. That said, if you want an iPhone 15 Pro Max, it looks like you’ll have to move early or face a long wait — and with Pro Max prices tipped to increase by as much as $200, this only adds to the dilemma.
09/06 Update: Long-time leaker Sonny Dickson has exposed one of Apple’s most anticipated/controversial iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max upgrades in a new video (below). The new Action button:
Speaking to me, Dickson confirmed that the iPhone 15 Pro Max in the video is a dummy model but that the design is spot on. Dickson has a long and consistently accurate track record, so anyone still attached to the physical mute button now needs to come to terms with its inevitable removal or buy an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus, where it will last one more generation.
Replacing the mute switch, which featured in every previous iPhone, the button will be exclusive to Pro models. It is solid-state, meaning it won’t physically move, instead sending vibration feedback (similar to a MacBook trackpad). This should increase durability and water resistance.
The button will also be programmable, with code in iOS 17 beta releases revealing an array of options: Accessibility, Shortcuts, Silent Mode, Camera, Flashlight, Focus, Magnifier, Translate and Voice Memos. It’s currently unclear whether it will support more than one function through multiple presses or gestures.
09/07 Update: Another piece of the iPhone 15 puzzle has slotted into place. After months of speculation, 2023 will not be the year Apple’s in-house 5G modem comes to the range. Neither will 2024.
In a new blog post, Ming-Chi Kuo reveals that Apple will not start using its own modems until 2025. This is something of a shock, given the company acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business back in July 2019. Moreover, Intel was already selling smartphone modems, having supplied them to Apple for the iPhone SE, iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone 11, among others.
What could cause a six-year delay from acquisition to introduction? While few things make sense over such a long time period, the elephant in the room is quality control.
Apple may have used Intel modems in the past, but major discrepancies were found in their signal strength and performance compared to comparable Qualcomm modems. So much so that guides were written at the time, advising users how to identify whether an iPhone had an Intel or Qualcomm modem, so they could avoid the latter.
Apple has long favored a business model that prioritizes getting things right over being first to market. In addition, there are questions of scale. iPhones are often late to market with features adopted by rival manufacturers, not because of cost, but because suppliers struggle to supply components in the 100s of millions that iPhones require.
That all means Apple must deliver both a modem that delivers clear performance/battery saving benefits to stay on brand (and that’s highly possible when integrated directly into Apple silicon) in a design at a cost that can be produced in massive quantities. Ultimately, it should be worth the wait.
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