iPhone 15 price predictions: how much might each iPhone 15 model cost?

One thing we can always be sure of with new iPhones – outside of the iPhone SE line – is that they’re going to be expensive. But exactly how expensive varies depending on the model and where in the world you are. So what about the iPhone 15 series?

As well as the iPhone 15 itself, we’re expecting to see the iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Ultra (or iPhone 15 Pro Max as it might be called). While pricing for these phones hasn’t been confirmed yet – and likely won’t be until September, when we’re expecting them to be announced – we have an idea of what to expect.

That idea is based both on what previous models cost and what leaks and rumors have suggested, but the gist is that it could be bad news, with prices for at least some models prices tipped to be higher than with the iPhone 14 line. But for a more precise look at what to expect, read on.

How much might the iPhone 15 cost?

Apple iPhone 14 yellow unboxing partially open

The iPhone 15 could cost the same amount as the iPhone 14 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

To work out how much the iPhone 15 might cost, it helps to first look at what the iPhone 14 costs. That phone starts at $799 / £849 / AU$1,339, which gets you a 128GB model. For 256GB the price rises to $899 / £959 / AU$1,579, and for 512GB it costs $1,099 / £1,179 / AU$1,899.

Now, Apple doesn’t increase the prices every year, so it’s entirely possible that the iPhone 15 will cost the same amount as the 14. But some leaks suggest that it might be priced higher.

According to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, the average selling price of the iPhone 15 line might be higher than it was with the iPhone 14 series. It’s worth noting, however, that this could be driven by price increases to just some models rather than all of them. Indeed, a source speaking to Forbes suggests that this is the case, with Apple apparently undecided as to whether to raise the price of the base iPhone 15, with the Pro and Ultra models more likely to get an increase.

A similar claim has been made by industry analyst Jeff Pu of investment firm Haitong International Securities, in an investor's note seen by SuperchargedNews. Here, Pu predicts that only the iPhone 15 Pro Max will get a price rise.

That said, leaker @Tech_Reve has claimed that the iPhone 15 will cost around 12% more to produce than the iPhone 14, and we’d think it’s likely Apple would pass those costs onto buyers – if this leak is right.

So where does that leave us? While a price rise for the base model is certainly possible, for now more sources seem to suggest that won’t be happening. In which case, the iPhone 15 price could be as follows:

  • iPhone 15 128GB: $799 / £849 / AU$1,339
  • iPhone 15 256GB: $899 / £959 / AU$1,579
  • iPhone 15 512GB: $1,099 / £1,179 / AU$1,899

However, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if prices were around $100 / £100 / AU$150 higher than that, or if some regions got price rises and others didn’t.

How much might the iPhone 15 Plus cost?

iPhone 14 Plus

The next Plus could be priced the same as the iPhone 14 Plus (Image credit: Future)

The situation with the iPhone 15 Plus looks very similar to that of the iPhone 15 – meaning it might not see a price rise.

Its predecessor, the iPhone 14 Plus, starts at $899 / £949 / AU$1,579 for a 128GB model, rises to $999 / £1,059 / AU$1,749 for a 256GB one, and tops out at $1,199 / £1,279 / AU$2,099 for a 512GB version.

So will we see the same this year? Well, the aforementioned Forbes source says Apple is undecided on whether to raise the price, and – as noted above – analyst Jeff Pu only mentions a price rise for the iPhone 15 Ultra / iPhone 15 Pro Max. So it sounds like there’s a fair chance the iPhone 15 Plus will retain its predecessor’s price tag.

For now then we predict the following iPhone 15 Plus price:

  • iPhone 15 Plus 128GB: $899 / £949 / AU$1,579
  • iPhone 15 Plus 256GB: $999 / £1,059 / AU$1,749
  • iPhone 15 Plus 512GB: $1,199 / £1,279 / AU$2,099

But the same caveats apply as with the standard iPhone 15 – it sounds like Apple might at least be considering a price rise, in which case we could see an increase of perhaps around $100 / £100 / AU$150.

It’s worth noting also that if the iPhone 15 has a price increase, the iPhone 15 Plus almost certainly will, since otherwise the two phones would likely cost about the same amount.

How much might the iPhone 15 Pro cost?

Apple iPhone 14 Pro home screen

The iPhone 15 Pro will probably cost more than the iPhone 14 Pro (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

We’ll once again start by looking at the prices of this phone’s predecessor, the iPhone 14 Pro. That handset costs $999 / £1,099 / AU$1,749 for a 128GB model, $1,099 / £1,209 / AU$1,899 for a 256GB version, $1,299 / £1,429 / AU$2,249 for a 512GB device, and $1,499 / £1,649 / AU$2,599 for 1TB of storage.

So will that price go up this year? Well, many but not all signs point to yes. For one thing, to echo what we said in the iPhone 15 section, analyst Dan Ives predicts that the average selling price of iPhones will go up this year. Now, we’ve established that this might not be driven by increases in pricing for the cheapest two models, so that just leaves the Pro and the Ultra.

Leaker Technology Window posting on Weibo has also specifically said that the iPhone 15 Pro will cost more than its predecessor. Similarly, the aforementioned Forbes source claimed that a price rise for the Pro in the US is likely, and they went so far as to predict that it would cost $100 more than its predecessor.

They don’t talk about other regions, and it’s possible the likes of the UK still wouldn’t see a price increase, since the UK did see a price increase with the iPhone 14 line, while the US didn’t. But we’d imagine if Apple raises the price in the US it will also do so elsewhere. In which case, the iPhone 15 Pro price could look like this:

  • iPhone 15 Pro 128GB: $1,099 / £1,209 / AU$1,899
  • iPhone 15 Pro 256GB: $1,199 / £1,279 / AU$2,099
  • iPhone 15 Pro 512GB: $1,399 / £1,529 / AU$2,419
  • iPhone 15 Pro 1TB: $1,599 / £1,740 / AU$2,769

That said, it’s possible the prices won’t rise, because as mentioned above, analyst Jeff Pu seems to think only the iPhone 15 Ultra / iPhone 15 Pro Max will get a price increase.

Still, with @Tech_Reve on Twitter claiming that the iPhone 15 Pro could cost around 20% more to produce than its predecessor, we’d think a price rise is likely, with the prices above being our best guess for now.

This assumes that Apple offers a 128GB model, though; we haven’t heard otherwise, but it’s possible the company could ditch this and start the phone at a 256GB size. In which case starting prices could be even higher.

Note also that since these leaks only specifically talk about US prices, we’ve estimated UK and Australian pricing by looking at other devices that Apple charges those US amounts for.

How much might the iPhone 15 Ultra / iPhone 15 Pro Max cost?

iPhone 14 Pro Max review Notification Center

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The iPhone 15 Ultra is sure to cost at least as much as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, meaning at least $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899 for a 128GB model, $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099 for 256GB of storage, $1,399 / £1,529 / AU$2,419 for 512GB, and $1,599 / £1,740 / AU$2,769 for 1TB.

However, all signs point to it actually costing more. Analyst Jeff Pu and the Forbes source mentioned above both suggest a price rise, with the latter suggesting it will cost $100 more in the US.

The Weibo source above suggests a higher price, too, and an older leak from December points to a price rise of $200 for the iPhone 15 Ultra.

However, the $100 price increase claim above is a lot more recent, so we’re more inclined to believe it. Either way, though, a price rise of some amount seems likely.

Assuming the price does rise by $100, we’ll likely be looking at this for the iPhone 15 Ultra price:

  • iPhone 15 Ultra 128GB: $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099
  • iPhone 15 Ultra 256GB: $1,299 / £1,429 / AU$2,249
  • iPhone 15 Ultra 512GB: $1,499 / £1,699 / AU$2,629
  • iPhone 15 Ultra 1TB: $1,699 / £1,879 / AU$2,879

However, it’s worth noting that at least one source has suggested Apple won’t offer this phone with 128GB of storage, instead making 256GB the starting size. If that happens, the starting price might be $1,299 / £1,429 / AU$2,249, or maybe Apple will still make it $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099 and give you more storage for your money. We can hope!

Obviously all of the above is currently based on rumors and speculation, but we'll continue to update this page as new leaks filter out between now and the likely iPhone 15 release date in September. 

If you want more predictions ahead of the launch, we also have guides to the likely iPhone 15 screen sizes and iPhone 15 specs, plus our thoughts on what the iPhone 15 USB-C situation will be. And of course, we also recommend checking out our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra hubs for the very latest info on Apple's next flagship phones over the next few months.

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The Google Pixel 8 is tipped to get a major upgrade to its display

According to a well-placed source, the display is one of the components that's in line to get a significant upgrade on the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, compared with the Pixel 7 handsets that launched last year.

This comes from the usually reliable Kamila Wojciechowska at Android Authority, who says that the Pixel 8 will be upping its maximum refresh rate to 120Hz, up from 90Hz on the Pixel 7. The Pixel 8 Pro sticks at 120Hz like the Pixel 7 Pro, but both phones will offer a greater range of refresh rates overall, which should improve battery life.

Brightness gets a boost as well. On the Pixel 8, the maximum HDR brightness will apparently be 1,400 nits, and that goes up to 1,600 nits for the Pixel 8 Pro. On both the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, the HDR brightness topped out at 1,000 nits.

However, the displays will be getting smaller. The Pixel 8 screen is reportedly shrinking down to 6.17 inches from 6.3 inches (while keeping the same 2400 x 1800 pixel resolution), and the Pixel 8 Pro screen is said to be 6.70 inches rather than 6.71 inches, with a 2992 x 1344 pixel resolution (down from 3120 x 1440 pixels on the Google Pixel 7 Pro).

Curves or no curves

Do the math on those dimensions and resolutions, and you'll see that the pixels-per-inch on the Pixel 8 goes up to 427 from 417, while the Pixel 8 Pro drops down to 490 from 512. Those are relatively small differences that will be difficult to spot.

Part of the reason for these changes seems to be the new display panels that Google is sourcing for these phones. Larger corner radiuses are mentioned (see previous leaks), while the Pixel 8 Pro will switch from a screen with curved edges to a fully flat one (like the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 8, but unlike the Pixel 7 Pro).

We like what we've been hearing about the Google Pixel 8 phones so far, and a substantial boost in the display specs – in terms of refresh rates and brightness at least – is going to give potential buyers another reason to pick one up.

We've already heard rumors about the boost in performance that the Pixel 8 phones are going to bring with them, and the superior camera modules that the handsets will be fitted with. There might even be a built-in thermometer. If Google sticks to its usual schedule, we should see a launch around about October time.

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This dangerous new malware is after your WhatsApp backups

A hacking group known as SpaceCobra developed an instant messaging app that is also able to steal a lot of sensitive information from the target device. The threat actor seems to know exactly who it wants to target, as downloading the app has proven to be quite the challenge for researchers.

Cybersecurity researchers from ESET recently discovered that two messaging apps, called BingeChat and Chatico, were actually serving GravityRAT, a remote access trojan. This RAT was capable of exfiltrating plenty of sensitive information from compromised endpoints, including call logs, contact list, SMS messages, device location, basic device information, and files with specific extensions for pictures, photos, and documents.

No app store presence

What makes these two apps stand out from others delivering GravityRAT out there, is that these can also steal WhatsApp backups and receive commands to delete files. 

The way the malware is distributed makes this campaign even more unique. The apps cannot be found on app stores and were never uploaded to Google Play, for example. Instead, they can only be downloaded by visiting a specially crafted website and opening up an account. This might not sound like anything special, but the researchers from ESET could not open up an account as registrations were “closed” when they visited. This prompted them to conclude that the group was very precise with its targeting, possibly going for a specific location or IP address.

“It is most probable that the operators only open registration when they expect a specific victim to visit, possibly with a particular IP address, geolocation, custom URL, or within a specific timeframe,” says ESET researcher Lukáš Štefanko. “Although we couldn’t download the BingeChat app via the website, we were able to find a distribution URL on VirusTotal,” he adds. 

That being said, the majority of the victims seem to reside in India. The attackers, SpaceCobra, are apparently of Pakistani origin. The campaign is most likely active since August last year, with one of the two (BingeChat) still being active, the researchers said. The malicious app, based on the open-source OMEMO Instant Messenger app, is available for Windows, macOS, and Android.

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iPhone 15 specs predictions: everything we expect to see from every model

Every year, details about Apple's upcoming iPhones are extensively leaked – so much so that we often have a good idea of what to expect from each new device, long before they’re actually announced. 

This year has been no exception. Even though we’re not expecting to hear about the iPhone 15 and its siblings in an official capacity until September, we’ve already heard plenty of rumors about the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max (which might yet be called the iPhone 15 Ultra).

While we can’t be certain of anything about these phones just yet, we imagine much of what we’ve heard will be accurate – particularly given the level of corroboration among leakers – so below, we've collated all the likely specs for each upcoming iPhone.

iPhone 15

Apple iPhone 14 lock screen

The iPhone 15 is sure to be more powerful than the iPhone 14 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The iPhone 15 will probably have the same chipset as the iPhone 14 Pro if leaks are to be believed, namely an A16 Bionic. While that’s not new, it is an upgrade on the A15 Bionic found in the standard iPhone 14.

That will likely be joined by 6GB of RAM, and a choice of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage. That’s all the same as the iPhone 14.

We’re not expecting changes to the core screen specs either, with a 6.1-inch OLED display of around 1179 x 2556 rumored, along with a 60Hz refresh rate – though it will apparently have a Dynamic Island rather than a notch this time.

While we haven’t heard much about the battery, that will probably also be similar to last year, at around 3,279mAh. However, it will probably charge via USB-C, rather than Lightning, which is a big change for Apple.

The camera could also get an upgrade, with a new 48MP main sensor inherited from the iPhone 14 Pro. That would replace the 12MP sensor of its predecessor, but will likely once again be joined by a 12MP ultra-wide and 12MP selfie camera.

iPhone 15 Plus

Apple iPhone 14 Plus back

The iPhone 15 Plus should have a newer chipset than the 14 Plus (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The iPhone 15 Plus will likely follow in its predecessor’s footsteps, in that it will be a bigger alternative to the standard iPhone 15.

As with the iPhone 15, leaks suggest that the main spec upgrades will be applied to the camera, namely a 48MP main sensor instead of a 12MP one (albeit with the former still joined by a 12MP ultra-wide and a 12MP selfie camera, like on the iPhone 14 Plus). Similarly, there will be a new-but-not-that-new chipset, in the form of the A16 Bionic, which has already been used by the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

Beyond that, the specs largely sound similar to the current model, based on the rumors we’ve heard so far. That means 6GB of RAM, a choice of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage, a battery of roughly 4,323mAh, and a 6.7-inch OLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate and a resolution of around 1284 x 2778.

The iPhone 15 Plus will, however, probably have a Dynamic Island rather than a notch, and a USB-C port rather than a Lightning port.

iPhone 15 Pro

Apple iPhone 14 Pro home screen

The iPhone 15 Pro could be a big upgrade on the 14 Pro (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The iPhone 15 Pro could get some substantial spec upgrades, headlined by a new A17 Bionic chipset, which reportedly has a 20% more powerful CPU than its predecessor. We’ve also heard that it might have 8GB of RAM, up from 6GB in the iPhone 14 Pro.

We haven’t heard much about the battery, and wouldn’t be surprised if it’s similar to before, meaning around 3,200mAh. But the new chipset is reportedly a lot more efficient, so it could go further.

It will probably also charge differently, with a USB-C port rather than a Lightning port, and we’re hearing that Apple will offer high 40Gbps data transfer speeds. The iPhone 15 Pro might also offer reverse wireless charging for the first time on an iPhone.

Storage is likely to once again start at 128GB and top out at 1TB, though, and the screen might once again be a 6.1-inch 1179 x 2556 OLED one with a 1-120Hz variable refresh rate.

We’re also expecting similar cameras again, likely meaning a 48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto (with 3x optical zoom), and 12MP selfie camera. That said, one report points to a new ‘state-of-the-art’ Sony sensor being used, so some significant camera upgrades remain a possibility.

iPhone 15 Ultra / iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max full back

The iPhone 15 Ultra could have better cameras than the 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The iPhone 15 Ultra or the iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to be the top model in the iPhone 15 line (with sources disagreeing on which of those names it will have).

In some ways, it should be like the iPhone 15 Pro, with leaks pointing to the same powerful new A17 Bionic chipset and 8GB of RAM – both of which would be upgrades on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

It’s also expected to have a USB-C port with support for fast 40Gbps data transfer speeds, along possibly with reverse wireless charging.

But in a lot of other ways it could be even more high-end than the iPhone 15 Pro. For example, the iPhone 15 Ultra might have a starting storage capacity of 256GB, rather than 128GB.

Plus, it might have a screen that’s not just bigger and higher resolution than the 15 Pro (likely at 6.7 inches and 1290 x 2796), but also possibly brighter, with leaker ShrimpApplePro suggesting that this phone might be able to reach 2,500 nits, up from 2,000 nits on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which would make it the brightest phone screen on the planet by current standards.

Its refresh rate could be a variable one of between 1-120Hz like last year, but its battery might be bigger (though exactly how much bigger hasn’t been leaked). For reference, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 4,323mAh battery.

The cameras could also get an upgrade, both compared to its predecessor and the rest of the iPhone 15 line. According to leaks, the Ultra could get a periscope camera (allowing for likely around a 6x optical zoom rather than the 3x offered by the 14 Pro Max). In fact, it might even have a variable zoom lens, meaning it's camera could move between different optical zoom levels.

The phone could also get a new larger (but still 48MP) Sony sensor for the main camera, and a dual-lens front-facing camera.

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Update your phone now to get the latest major fix for Android Auto

If you're an Android Auto user, you should get the Google app on your Android phone updated to the latest version at your earliest convenience – that's the app that assists Android Auto on car dashboards, and it means you'll get the latest fix rolled out by Google.

As reported on the Android Auto Help forums (via Autoevolution), engineers have now dealt with a rather annoying bug that interfered with in-car voice commands – even ones as innocuous as "call my wife".

The problem, it seems, is that something was interfering with the personalized settings inside the Google app, which in turn blocked access to contact information. Ask Android Auto to call your brother, for example, and it wouldn't know who your brother was.

How to update

"We are happy to report that the Assistant team has applied a fix," writes one of the Android Auto team in the official support forum. "Please update your Google app to the latest version, which should solve the problem."

You may well find the Google app has updated itself automatically. To check, open up the Play Store, tap your profile picture (top right), and then choose Manage apps and device. Select Updates available to review and install any pending updates.

It's difficult to say exactly how widespread the problem was, but in the original troubleshooting forum thread, a total of 31 users indicated they had the same issue as the initial poster. Hopefully, all should now be well again.

Analysis: less AI, more AA

Google recently treated Android Auto users with a revamped interface known as Coolwalk, but it's been a rocky drive for them since – only last month Google dealt with yet another bug that was affecting people with a Samsung Galaxy S22 phone.

While we're quite impressed with all the artificial intelligence that Google has been stuffing into its products lately, we do get the impression that the company is more interested in shiny new toys than the wealth of established apps and services that it already offers to users.

Sure, being able to have Gmail write boring emails for you seems like quite a cool hack for saving some time in the day – but we reckon that most people would be content with some solid updates and fixes for the tools they're using day-to-day, whether that's to do with Pixel phones or data security.

Android Auto is a case in point: an app and interface that millions of people rely on every day, that has long felt neglected. Perhaps we can be grateful that at least it hasn't yet gone the way of Google Stadia and numerous other products...

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Vodafone and Three announce UK mega-merger

Vodafone and Three have officially announced plans to merge in a move that is set to hugely shake up the UK mobile market.

In a statement, Vodafone and CK Hutchinson, the owner of Three UK, confirmed a deal that should see the formation of a new £15bn-valued telco giant and, "create one of Europe's leading 5G networks."

Vodafone is set to be the slight majority owner of the new combined group, known for now as MergeCo, controlling 51%, with CK Hutchinson keeping the remaining 49%. 

Vodafone-Three merger

Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone Group Chief Executive, described the merger as being “great for customers, great for the country and great for competition.”  

“The merger is great for customers, great for the country and great for competition. It’s transformative as it  will create a best-in-class – indeed best in Europe – 5G network, offering customers a superior experience," she added. 

"As a country, the UK will benefit from the creation of a sustainable, strongly competitive third scaled operator – with a clear £11 billion network investment plan – driving growth, employment and innovation. For Vodafone, this transaction is a game changer in our home market. This is a vote of confidence in the UK  and its ambitions to be a centre for future technology.” 

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone for CK Hutchison and for the UK," added Canning Fok, Group Co-Managing Director of CK Hutchison. "Three UK and Vodafone UK  currently lack the necessary scale on their own to earn their cost of capital. This has long been a challenge  for Three UK’s ability to invest and compete." 

"Together, we will have the scale needed to deliver a best-in class 5G network for the UK, transforming mobile services for our customers and opening up new  opportunities for businesses across the length and breadth of the UK. This will unlock significant value for  CK Hutchison and its shareholders, realise material synergies, reduce net financial indebtedness and further  strengthen its financial profile.”

In a press release, the two companies highlighted the advantages of combining their two 5G networks for consumers and businesses alike.

They expect MergeCo to deliver up to £5 billion per year in UK economic benefit by 2030, supporting the digital transformation for schools, hospitals and businesses, with its standalone 5G network will cover every school and hospital in the UK by 2030,  helping deliver the Government’s stretch ambition as set out in the Wireless Infrastructure Strategy.

MergeCo also intends to invest over £6 billion in the first five years, and £11 billion over a ten year plan, to create a best-in-class 5G network, supporting between 8,000 and 12,000 new jobs in the wider economy.

Analysis: A major disruption - for better or worse?

Rumors of Vodafone/CK Hutchinson merger have been ongoing for quite some time now, and triggered major moves in the market, with Della Valle's predecessor Nick Read, stepping down due to not being able to consolidate the UK market, which frustrated shareholders.

Less than a month ago, Della Valle announced the company would be cutting 11,000 jobs in an effort to become more agile on the market.

The deal is still pending regulatory approval in both the UK and CK Hutchinson's home nation of Hong Kong, with some observers not viewing the further reduction of the number of UK network operators very kindly.

If the deal does end up going through, the resulting group will become the biggest mobile operator in the UK, with some 27 million customers. That would place it above BT’s EE and VM O2, as well as Liberty Global, which some analysts have predicted could disrupt the UK market significantly.

“This long-awaited mega merger represents the biggest shake-up in the UK mobile market for over a decade," noted Kester Mann, Director, Consumer and Connectivity, CCS Insight. 

“The deal makes plenty of sense as both providers are sub-scale. As separate entities, it would have been near impossible for either to grow enough organically to come close to challenging BT or Virgin Media O2 for size. Inevitably however, there will be widespread fears over job cuts.”

 “An £11 billion network investment plan will seek to allay regulatory concerns. But this deal will still face a major challenge to win approval. At this stage, I believe it is too difficult to call either way.”

 “The prospect the deal leads to higher prices will be a major concern for the CMA. Vodafone and Three may have shot themselves in the foot by recently hiking tariffs by up to 14.4%.”

 “My view is that the deal should be approved. It is better to have three strong providers than two that are dominant and two that are sub-scale. Blocking it could thwart the long-term development of the UK’s telecoms infrastructure.”

 “A marriage of convenience makes sense. Scale is key to help lower costs and improve margins," noted Paolo Pescatore from PP Foresight.

"It will take years before we see the real fruits of this deal come to fruition. The question is, can the UK wait that long? However, convergence still remains the achilles heel if this does get over the line. It would create a mobile champion that could increase competition in the wholesale segment of the market and become a partner of choice for MVNOs.”

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE could land earlier than expected, but not everywhere

If you’re eager to get your hands on the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE then the latest news is mixed – or rather, it could be good or bad, depending on where you are in the world.

That's because SamMobile claims to have learned that the phone will launch in Q3 of this year, meaning sometime between the beginning of July and the end of September. That’s earlier than we were expecting, as the same site had previously said the Galaxy S23 FE would land in the fourth quarter of this year.

However, according to SamMobile this initial launch will only be in select markets, with the rest of the world getting the Galaxy S23 FE during the final three months of 2023 and the first few months of 2024.

So if you’re in one of the select markets that’s reportedly getting the phone in Q3, you might not have long to wait at all. But other regions could be waiting as long as we’d previously expected or even longer, in the case of places that don’t get the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE until next year.

Beyond that, this leak reiterates earlier claims that the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE will have an Exynos 2200 chipset. That’s the same chipset as European models of the Samsung Galaxy S22 series use, so it’s a little dated, but then that should help Samsung keep the cost of the phone down.

We would however take this leak with the requisite pinch of salt. Not only are leaks never guaranteed to be accurate, but – at least when it comes to the release date – SamMobile is changing its previous claim, so in at least one instance the site is going to be proved wrong on this.

The right chipset at the right time

We hope the site is right though, both in terms of the release date (at least for the places that might get it in Q3) and in terms of the chipset. 

One issue faced by previous FE models was baffling release timing, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE for example launching just a month before the Galaxy S22. That made it almost instantly feel dated, and on top of that it was long enough after the launch of the standard Samsung Galaxy S21 that price cuts to that flagship meant the FE wasn’t much if any cheaper, so it didn’t have a clear selling point.

If Samsung launches the Galaxy S23 FE in the next few months, there will still be a long gap before the Samsung Galaxy S24 series launches, and the price of the standard Samsung Galaxy S23 likely won’t have been reduced by significant amounts. Though of course in regions that are waiting longer for the S23 FE, Samung could run into the same issues as in previous years.

As for the chipset, Samsung typically uses high-end Snapdragon ones in its FE models, but by using an in-house Exynos chipset and one that’s a bit older at that, the company can likely save some money, potentially leading to a lower price for the Galaxy S23 FE. If it’s priced cheaper, then it will be further differentiated from the standard Galaxy S23, making it a more attractive option, and a contender for our list of the best Samsung phones.

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Even Samsung employees are reportedly disappointed by the Z Fold 5’s ‘boring design’

If you’ve been looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 then you might want to temper your expectations - because even some of Samsung’s own employees are reportedly complaining about it.

This comes from leaker @UniverseIce, and the focus of those alleged complaints is apparently the “boring design,” with one or more employees saying that “it can't even be called the Galaxy Z Fold4s.”

Those are strong words if true, and perhaps not entirely unjustified, as leaks have largely suggested that the design will be similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. Not identical though, as it’s widely rumored that there will be a new waterdrop hinge, which will allow the two screen halves to sit flat when folded shut.

See more

This new hinge will likely also decrease the size of the crease in the screen, but not by enough, according to @UniverseIce, who claims it will only be reduced by 15%. That still sounds a lot better than nothing to us, but will reportedly mean the crease is still much larger than we’ve seen on foldable phones from Chinese brands.

The leaker doesn’t name specific brands, but presumably they’re thinking of phones such as the Oppo Find N2 and the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2.

Reasons to be positive

These are just rumors, of course, so there's no reason to be too negative just yet. While @UniverseIce has a solid track record, they tend to be quite negative about Samsung, and leaks are never guaranteed to be accurate.

Even if they are correct in all this, it’s not all bad news for Samsung's next foldable flagship. In more positive news, we’ve previously heard that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 could get new camera sensors, while a Z Fold 5 specs leak suggested it could also have a brighter screen. We've also heard talk that the Z Fold 5 could get dust resistance, and of course a more powerful chipset than its predecessor.

So while this doesn’t sound like the biggest upgrade ever, it could still be more than enough to see the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 rank among the best foldable phones.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra camera specs leak in full, and they don’t impress

One of the main mysteries surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has been what camera configuration it might have. There have been plenty of leaks, but they can’t seem to agree. Finally though, it feels like there’s starting be a consensus, and it doesn’t sound positive; at least for those hoping for a big upgrade to the imaging hardware.

This consensus comes with the help of the latest Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra camera leak, courtesy of @UniverseIce (via Phone Arena), which is a complete specs list for the rear camera sensors.

The list includes a 200MP main camera using the same ISOCELL HP2 sensor as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, a 12MP ultra-wide camera using the same IMX564 sensor as that phone, and a 12MP 3x telephoto camera (taking cropped 10MP photos) using the same – you guessed it – IMX754 sensor as the S23 Ultra.

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That just leaves the 10x periscope camera, which is also returning for the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra according to this leak, but with a new IMX754+ sensor. That’s just a ‘+’ version of the IMX754 that’s used in the current model though, so it doesn’t sound like something that will have a massive impact.

Indeed, @UniverseIce – who has a good track record for leaks – describes this change as “negligible.”

If this is accurate, that would mean a previous leak that suggested there would be a 1-inch main sensor is wrong, but we were always skeptical of that claim, as the source doesn’t have much of a track record.

It would also mean more widely reported claims of a variable zoom telephoto camera were wrong, but we’d recently heard elsewhere that this probably wouldn’t be featured either. So while we’d take this latest leak with a pinch of salt, it seems credible.

Too few changes

That’s a big shame, because while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the best camera phones on the planet, Samsung is in real danger of losing its lead, as rivals like the Xiaomi 13 Pro (and Xiaomi 13 Ultra) pack in bigger and arguably better sensors, while the iPhone 14 Pro has more natural image processing, and the Pixel 7 Pro has arguably smarter camera software.

By the time the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra launches, it will have the iPhone 15 Pro and Pixel 8 Pro to compete with, and it’s likely they’ll push ahead further too, based on what we've already heard.

So, if Samsung wants to justify the sure-to-be-high price of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, and see it rank among the best phones, it’s going to need to make some big changes somewhere.

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Major Google Pixel 8 leak reveals all the camera upgrades on the way

As the months roll round to the expected October launch window for the Google Pixel 8, we're hearing more and more rumors about what the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will bring with them. And today, we're talking about the cameras.

According to Android Authority, the Pixel 8 series is going to bring with it a significant upgrade in the camera department. Specifically, the main Samsung ISOCELL GN1 sensor is apparently going to be swapped out for the larger Samsung ISOCELL GN2 upgrade.

That larger sensor means around 35% more light can be captured – not only does that ensure better performance in low light scenarios, it also means faster shutter speeds (and less motion blur) no matter what the lighting conditions.

Ultrawide and telephoto

There's more: on the Pixel 8 Pro, the ultrawide sensor is said to be getting an upgrade from the 12MP Sony IMX386 to the 64MP Sony IMX787 – that happens to be the primary camera sensor that you'll find in the Google Pixel 7a.

Google is also making the lens on top of the sensor wider, the report says, allowing more of a scene to be captured. And while the ultrawide camera sensor on the Pixel 8 is reportedly the same 12MP Sony IMX386 on the Pixel 7, again the lens is supposed to be wider on the upcoming phone.

As for the telephoto zoom camera on the Pixel 8 Pro, it's expected to match the 5x zoom 48MP Samsung GM5 sensor on the Pixel 7 Pro. The Pro model is also being tipped to get a better time-of-flight (ToF) sensor to improve autofocus, which all adds up to a serious set of upgrades – especially on the Pro edition.

Analysis: Google looking to impress again

Throughout the history of the Pixel series, the phones have usually impressed in terms of their photo and video capturing capabilities, even if the underlying hardware hasn't matched the components on phones made by the likes of Apple and Samsung.

That has primarily been down to Google's expertise in the field of computational photography: the way that images are processed and optimized in order to produce the best results from the raw data captured through the camera hardware.

In recent years, Google's rivals have caught up in these image processing techniques, so it seems important for the Pixel 8 to come with upgraded camera components – as well as, we're hoping, upgraded photo and video processing tricks.

Camera upgrades on Pixel phones aren't always a given, with software enhancements typically more common. This year however, it seems Google is determined to set a new high bar when it comes to smartphone photography.

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5 could beat the Pixel Fold in one major way

The Google Pixel Fold is an impressive foldable phone, and one which matches the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in a number of areas, including its IPX8 rating for water resistance. But a leak suggests that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 could go a step further, with an IP58 rating.

That’s according to leaker @chunvn8888 (via NotebookCheck), and that ‘5’ in place of an ‘X’ means that, along with the same level of water resistance as the previous models, these phones would also be dust resistant.

Specifically, a dust resistance rating of IP5 means that, while dust won’t be totally prevented from entering the phones, it shouldn’t do so in quantities that can interfere with them. That’s in contrast to the Samsung Galaxy S23 series and most other high-end phones, which have an IP68 rating, meaning they’re dust-tight.

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Of course, foldable phones have a lot more moving parts and are therefore trickier to protect against dust than standard smartphones, so even an IP5 rating is very rare. The Motorola Razr Plus has such a rating, but it’s IP52 rated, meaning that, while it’s got some dust resistance, it has almost no water resistance.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, then, could be the first foldable phones with a decent amount of protection against both dust and water.

Just a single source

That said, we’d take this claim with a pinch of salt. We had previously heard that Samsung might be exploring dust resistance on these phones, but that claim came from the same source, and so far no other sources seem to be echoing them (though equally we haven’t seen other sources dispute this claim, either).

Still, if Samsung does achieve this, then that could give the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 a big advantage over other foldables, and with competition being steeper than ever this year, that’s something they could really do with.

We’ll likely find out in late July, as that’s when Samsung is expected to unveil these best foldable phone contenders. And they probably won’t be alone, as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 line are both expected to land alongside them.

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Vodafone and Three could announce merger tomorrow

Vodafone and CK Hutchinson - the owner of Three - are about to announce a merger in the UK, according to a report from Reuters. The news agency said the deal could be announced either this Friday, or early next week.

Apparently, the deal will be in line with what was reported in October last year - namely that Vodafone would own the majority of the combined group (51%), with Hutchinson keeping the remaining 49%. 

It was also said that the new company would be valued at approximately $18.6 billion, debt included. 

Shareholder pressure

The story of the Vodafone/CK Hutchinson merger has been ongoing for quite some time now, and triggered major moves in the market. 

Some argue that former Vodafone CEO, Nick Read, stepped down due to not being able to consolidate the UK market, which was one of his major goals. This inability frustrated shareholders, which resulted in the change at the helm.

The new CEO, Margherita Della Valle, stepped in and has been feeling the pressure to improve the company’s performance. Less than a month ago, Della Valle announced the company would be cutting 11,000 jobs in an effort to become more agile on the market.

The deal also raised some concerns, as the regulators did not view the idea of reducing the number of network operators in a major market such as the UK kindly. The deal is still pending regulatory approval, Reuters added. 

On the other hand, Hutchinson’s CFO, Frank John Sixt also said that finalizing the deal was “extremely difficult.”

If the deal does end up going through, the resulting group will become the biggest mobile operator in the UK, with some 27 million customers. That would place it above BT’s EE and VM O2, as well as Liberty Global, Reuters claims.

Via: Reuters

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Android 14 Beta 3 is here, and it brings enhanced lock screen customization

We’re not expecting the finished version of Android 14 to roll out for another two or three months, but the beta version has just had a big update, with Android 14 Beta 3 now here, complete with new lock screen customization options for Pixel phones.

These features – spotted in Beta 3 by Mishaal Rahman – were previously teased at Google I/O 2023, and they allow you to change the colors, size, and style of the lock screen clock, as well as choosing which shortcuts to display on the lock screen.

For the clock, you can choose from a number of digital options along with one analog one, while for the shortcuts, you have a choice of mute, device controls (for smart home devices), Google Wallet, camera, do not disturb, video call, flashlight, and a QR code scanner.

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You can place one in the bottom left corner and one in the bottom right, or choose not to display shortcuts. Disappointingly though you’re limited to those options, so you can’t have truly custom shortcuts.

Still, this should be a handy update, and bring the Pixel series more in line with what’s possible on the iPhone 14, along with the other best iPhones, especially since iOS 16 introduced a similar feature. And while this implementation isn’t currently supported by other Android handsets, some manufacturers have been offering similarly capable lock screen customization for a while, anyway.

Interface tweaks and a new tutorial

This isn’t the only new feature in the Android 14 Beta 3 though, as Rahman also reports that there’s a new tutorial for gesture navigation, and there are various small interface tweaks, such as a new charging indicator, themed icons now having more vibrant colors, and more rounded buttons in the screenshot preview.

So the enhanced lock screen customization is definitely the headline feature, but there are a few other things that users might appreciate too.

Notably though, this beta has been released on the schedule Google previously set, which means we should be on target for a finished release, likely in August or September. As such, there shouldn’t be too long to go now, and we’d recommend most users wait until the final version is ready, since betas always have bugs.

That said, if you really want the latest Android 14 beta now and you have a compatible phone, you can head to our how to download the Android 14 beta guide for full step-by-step instructions.

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Many Android apps have been installing adware for half a year

Tens of thousands of Android applications were recently discovered pushing adware on the devices for months.

This is according to a new report from cybersecurity researchers Bitdefender. After deploying an anomaly detection feature to its mobile security solution last month, the company found 60,000 unique apps that pretended to be various security, utility, and entertainment apps but were in reality just pushing adware.

The apps were being distributed through third-party websites, propped up solely for the distribution of malicious apps. None of the apps were found on the Play Store, it seems. Bitdefender says that it’s likely that the 60,000 number is not final and that the number of malicious software is probably a lot bigger.

Fake uninstall

The threat actors would create these websites and then get them as high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) as possible, probably also utilizing other distribution channels, such as social media sites, instant communications apps, email, and more.

Once the victim installs the app on their endpoint, it would tell them it is unavailable in their region, and offer a quick way to uninstall it. However, the uninstallation process would never happen, and the apps would simply remain on the device.

The developers also deployed a couple of other obfuscation methods to make sure the adware remains hidden on Android devices for as long as possible. 

Firstly, the apps don’t automatically run once downloaded, as that would require additional privileges which would likely raise suspicion among the targets. Instead, they go the route all other apps take and wait for the users to run them. 

Secondly, after the “uninstall” process, the apps go to sleep for a few hours, after which they would register two “intents” that make the app launch upon reboot or device unlock. The intents themselves are “asleep” for the first two days. 

As usual, the best way to protect against such threats is to make sure to only download software from legitimate sources.

Via: BleepingComputer

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Apple has rejected almost a million apps from its App Store

The number of apps built for the Apple ecosystem which try to obtain too much sensitive user information, or violate user privacy in another way, is growing exponentially year after year. 

This is according to a new report from Atlas VPN, which states that between 2020 and 2022, Apple declined almost a million apps from appearing on the App Store (958,000).

Atlas VPN based its conclusions on numbers obtained straight from Apple’s annual reports. Apparently, apple blocked 215,000 applications in 2020, and 400,000 in 2020, up by almost 100%. 

Preying on careless users

In most cases, the apps were declined access to the famed app repository due to user privacy concerns. They were often found looking to collect more data than was necessary, or sharing it with third parties without proper disclosure, or even user consent.

But sometimes, the apps would also look to damage the users financially. Apple said it prevented more than $5 billion in fraudulent transactions since 2020, and blocked millions of stolen credit cards from transacting. 

Hackers are preying on Apple users because many users fully understand the impact certain apps might have on their privacy, the researchers said. Many apps are asking for permissions they don’t really need, and users are sometimes so annoyed with the constant prompts for permissions that they just accept all. 

Consequently, they give app developers access to sensitive information even if they didn’t want to do it, regardless of whether their intentions are malicious or not.

Apps generate a treasure trove of important data that can easily be monetized by developers. Unlike Google’s Android ecosystem, which welcomes third-party app stores as well, Apple insists on its walled-garden approach, arguing that it’s the best way to protect its customers from malicious developers.

Apple also takes a 30% commission on most app purchases, Atlas VPN reminded.

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