iPhone 15 Pro rumored to ditch stainless steel for titanium: What we know

iPhone 15 Pro rumored to ditch stainless steel for titanium: What we know

Among other changes, this year’s iPhone 15 Pro models are rumored to feature a new chassis made of titanium for the first time. It can make for a lighter design, added durability, and more. In fact, this could be one of the biggest design changes to the iPhone in years, marking the end of the stainless steel era that began with the iPhone X in 2017.

The gossip

So far, several different sources have reported that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max (or iPhone 15 Ultra) could feature a new titanium design.

Twitter leaker ShrimpApplePro, who has a decent though imperfect track record of accuracy, reported in November that the design of the iPhone 15 Pro will consist of a titanium case with rounded edges. This was also confirmed by JP Morgan Chase analyst Jeff Pu, who echoed the Twitter leak in an investor report earlier this month.

Apple has been working on an iPhone with a titanium chassis for several years. Multiple patent filings from the company have shown this work in place. But to get the clearest glimpse of what a titanium iPhone 15 Pro can bring to the table, we have to look at the Apple Watch.

Titanium iPhone 15 Ultra vs. Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has been available in a titanium finish since the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019. The Apple Watch Series 5 is available with a titanium finish in two colors – natural and space black. This marks the first time Apple has used titanium in a product since 2001 with the PowerBook G4.

The Apple Watch Series 6 is available in both natural and space black titanium finishes, as is the Apple Watch Series 7 in 2021, which brings us to the current generation of the Apple Watch. This time, the titanium finish is exclusive to the all-new Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple Watch Series 7 Edition: titanium finish in ‘natural’ and ‘space black’

There are two things we can take away from how Apple has used titanium in the Apple Watch lineup: colors and weight.

Perhaps most noticeable is the difference in weight between stainless steel and titanium. Over the years, Apple has sold Apple Watch models in both of those finishes. The iPhone lineup, however, has used stainless steel since the iPhone X in 2017.

Here’s a look at the weight difference for the Apple Watch Series 7 in three different finishes. Apple Watch Series 7 is the last generation of Apple Watch available in three different materials with 41mm and 45mm sizes.

  • 41mm:
    • Aluminum: 32.0g
    • Stainless steel: 42.3g
    • Titanium: 37.0g
  • 45mm:
    • Aluminum: 38.8g
    • Stainless steel: 51.5g
    • Titanium: 45.1g

Then there’s the Apple Watch Ultra, the only current-generation Apple Watch with a titanium finish. It’s also the largest Apple Watch Apple has ever sold, with a 49mm case size. Here’s a breakdown of the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra:

  • 41mm:
    • Aluminum: 32.2g
    • Stainless steel: 42.3g
  • 45mm:
    • Aluminum: 39.1g
    • Stainless steel: 51.1g
  • Apple Watch Ultra 49mm:

An Apple Watch Ultra made of stainless steel? That is not available. The Apple Watch Ultra is only practical because of the weight of titanium.

9to5Mac’s Take

It’s no surprise that titanium is lighter than stainless steel, but I find it particularly interesting to look at what the differences have been in the Apple Watch lineup over the years. The Apple Watch offers us our only look at how modern Apple addresses the use of titanium in a product.

In the iPhone lineup, Apple has used stainless steel edges since the introduction of the iPhone X. Recent iPhone generations use aluminum in the non-Pro models and stainless steel in the Pro and Pro Max models. Of course, this means that the iPhone 14 is lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro.

  • iPhone 14: 172g
  • iPhone 14 Plus: 203g
  • iPhone 14 Pro: 206g
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: 240g

If the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max use titanium, they won’t be lighter than the aluminum iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. However, they will be noticeably lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, which feature stainless steel bands all around.

How much lighter? That’s up in the air at this point. Back-of-the-envelope math shows that the 45mm Apple Watch Series 7 in titanium is about 12% lighter than its stainless steel counterpart, which isn’t directly applicable to the iPhone lineup, but it’s good context .

Stainless steel iPhone 11 Pro

Apple can also use the weight savings that titanium provides to offset the addition of things like new camera hardware or larger batteries. It opens up a world of possibilities.

Personally, the idea of ​​an iPhone 15 Ultra that is 10% lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max sounds good to me. I’ve been tired of the stainless steel edges ever since the iPhone 13 Pro. Stainless steel is heavy, not to mention it’s also a complete fingerprint magnet.

An iPhone 15 Ultra with titanium edges would be a dream come true. The iPhone has used stainless steel edges since 2017, and it’s time for a change. While we’re at it, let’s also use the space black titanium we saw on the Apple Watch Series 7.

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