Though it’s all however fully sure that we’ll see 4 new iPhone fashions arrive subsequent month, it appears Apple might have a number of others within the works, as evidenced by code discovered within the newest tvOS 17 beta launched this week.
At first look, references to unreleased iPhone fashions don’t appear all that stunning, however on this case, the inner identifiers seem to replicate one thing apart from Apple’s flagship iPhone 15 lineup.
Unearthed by AppleDBDev contributor @aaronp613, the “iPhone 14,1” and “iPhone 14,9” designations in tvOS 17 beta 5 don’t appear to match the sample of those who could be used for Apple’s upcoming A17-powered iPhone 15 lineup.
Lately, Apple has organized the inner identifiers for iPhone fashions based mostly on the A-series chip contained inside every, with the primary quantity being one digit off from the precise chip quantity. The second digit appears to point the order during which every iPhone was developed, with skipped numbers presumably representing prototypes or different take a look at fashions that by no means made it into remaining manufacturing.
As an illustration, the iPhone 14 Professional, with its A16 Bionic chip, is “iPhone 15,2” whereas the iPhone 13 Professional and iPhone 14, each of which use the A15 Bionic, are respectively “iPhone 14,2” and “iPhone 14,7.” The A15-powered third-generation iPhone SE additionally will get an inner ID of “iPhone 14,6.” Likewise, the iPhone 12 lineup used “iPhone 13,x” designators that matched up with its A14 chips.
|iPhone 13,1||iPhone 12 mini||A14|
|iPhone 13,2||iPhone 12||A14|
|iPhone 13,3||iPhone 12 Professional||A14|
|iPhone 13,4||iPhone 12 Professional Max||A14|
|iPhone 14,2||iPhone 13 Professional||A15|
|iPhone 14,3||iPhone 13 Professional||A15|
|iPhone 14,4||iPhone 13 mini||A15|
|iPhone 14,5||iPhone 13||A15|
|iPhone 14,6||iPhone SE (2022)||A15|
|iPhone 14,7||iPhone 14||A15|
|iPhone 14,8||iPhone 14 Plus||A15|
|iPhone 15,2||iPhone 14 Professional||A16|
|iPhone 15,3||iPhone 14 Professional Max||A16|
Following the sample, one would anticipate the iPhone 15 Professional and iPhone 15 Professional Max to make use of an “iPhone 16” designator to match up with the A17 Bionic that’s anticipated to energy them. The usual iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will seemingly use final yr’s A16, in order that they’ll get “iPhone 15,x” tags.
4 IDs that appeared within the earlier tvOS 17 betas which have since been eliminated would appear to verify this, with iPhone15,4 and iPhone15,5 seemingly representing the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone16,1 and iPhone16,2 the iPhone 15 Professional and iPhone 15 Professional Max — or no less than some preliminary take a look at variations of these gadgets.
|iPhone 15,4||iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus||A16|
|iPhone 15,4||iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus||A16|
|iPhone 16,1||iPhone 15 Professional or iPhone 15 Professional Max||A17|
|iPhone 16,2||iPhone 15 Professional or iPhone 15 Professional Max||A17|
Nevertheless, what’s been discovered within the newest tvOS 17 beta doesn’t match this sample in any respect, with the “iPhone 14,1” and “iPhone 14,9” suggesting two extra fashions that will nonetheless use Apple’s 2021 A15 chip.
This has triggered an entire spherical of hypothesis about what these may characterize, with recommendations starting from a brand new fourth-generation iPhone SE to a prototype iPhone Fold or a return of the iPhone mini. None of those appear seemingly, although.
For one, a brand new iPhone SE would virtually actually get a more moderen chip. The 2022 iPhone SE already makes use of the A15 and options an identifier of “iPhone 14,6.” The following-generation mannequin will seemingly get another vital enhancements, reminiscent of an edge-to-edge OLED show and a side-button Contact ID sensor. Nonetheless, it’s not anticipated to land till subsequent yr on the earliest, and by then, it stands to cause Apple would wish to put an A16 in to maintain it extra present.
A extra seemingly risk is that Apple may re-release some present iPhone fashions with a USB-C port, eliminating Lightning throughout the board. If Apple sticks to what it’s performed lately, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will seemingly stay on sale for an additional yr, whereas the iPhone 13 will drop into the spot at present occupied by the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13 mini drops off the roster together with the 2 iPhone 14 Professional fashions.
In that case, these numbers may characterize up to date USB-C variations of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. That’s actually believable in mild of European rules that can require all iPhones offered on that continent to undertake USB-C by the tip of 2024.
Though Apple has over a yr to adjust to these guidelines, it might wish to keep forward of the curve. In spite of everything, it seemingly plans to maintain no less than one of many two iPhone 14 fashions in the marketplace into 2025, at which level it would want a USB-C port if Apple needs to maintain promoting it in Europe. The iPhone 13 will seemingly be discontinued in September 2024 when Apple releases the iPhone 16 lineup and due to this fact has no danger of operating afoul of EU rules down the highway.
In the end, these numbers may additionally simply as simply be leftover references to earlier prototypes or take a look at fashions. The “iPhone 14,1” is especially uncommon since Apple sometimes (however not all the time) increments the numbers with later fashions. However, “iPhone 14,9” could be the following sequential quantity after the iPhone 14 Plus, which at present makes use of the “iPhone 14,8” identifier.