Unreleased iPhone models referenced in tvOS 17 beta code


We’re only a month away from Apple announcing iPhone 15, so it’s no surprise that the company has been working on new phones at this point. However, multiple unreleased iPhone models have been found in the tvOS 17 beta code, and they may give us a clue as to what to expect for the new iPhones.

tvOS 17 may give us a hint about iPhone 15

According to Aaron, four unreleased iPhone models were added to the tvOS 17 beta 1 code. These models remained in the codes unnoticed until tvOS 17 beta 4, but have now been removed by Apple. The model identifiers are:

  • iPhone15,4
  • iPhone15,5
  • iPhone16,1
  • iPhone16,2

While there isn’t exactly a firm logic behind these identifiers, they’re usually organized by family of chips. For example, both iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 14, and 3rd generation iPhone SE are identified as “iPhone14,x.” On the other hand, iPhone 14 Pro is identified as “iPhone15,x” as it features the A16 Bionic chip.

Based on this, we can assume that iPhone15,4 and iPhone15,5 are the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, while iPhone16,1 and iPhone16,2 are iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. According to rumors, iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will be equipped with the same A16 Bionic chip as the current iPhone 14 Pro, which would explain the new phones being part of the “iPhone15,x” family.

At the same time, the new iPhone16,1 and iPhone16,2 identifiers hint at iPhones powered by a new, unreleased chip, which is likely the rumored A17 chip built on 3-nanometer technology.

More unreleased iPhones found

But also according to Aaron, there are two other unreleased iPhone models listed in the tvOS 17 beta code, and those are more intriguing. Identified as iPhone14,1 and iPhone14,9, these unreleased iPhones are associated with A15 Bionic chips. But it’s hard to say what exactly these models are at this point.

While they could in fact be unreleased iPhones, it’s not unusual to find leftovers of model identifiers in the iOS code that were never used by an actual device. But there are some interesting theories for these identifiers.

2022 iPhone SE sales

Michael Burkhardt suggested that Apple could consider relaunching the same 3rd generation iPhone SE and even the iPhone 13 mini with USB-C instead of Lightning, as the entire iPhone 15 lineup will get a USB-C port. However, that wouldn’t make much sense unless Apple was also planning to update iPhone 14 with USB-C as well, as those models are likely to stay available in the lineup for at least another year.

Rumors suggest that Apple has been working on a new iPhone SE with a larger OLED display for 2024, so it seems more plausible that Apple would wait to put USB-C in that new model instead.

But what are your theories about these model identifies? Let us know in the comments section below.

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