In the beta code discovered by keen observers, references to several yet-to-be-released iPhone models were found, shedding light on what may be in store for the new lineup.
The reveal came as a surprise: four unidentified iPhone models appeared in the code of tvOS 17 beta 1. While these references went unnoticed at first, they were eventually discovered in tvOS 17 beta 4, but were promptly removed by Apple.
The model identifiers provided a teasing glimpse of what might be in the pipeline for Apple:
While the logic behind these identifiers is not obvious, past models suggest that they are often associated with chip families. For example, the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 14, and third-generation iPhone SE have the identifier "iPhone14,x". Conversely, the iPhone 14 Pro is labeled "iPhone15,x" due to the A16 Bionic chip.
Based on this, there is speculation that the iPhone15,4 and iPhone15,5 could represent the upcoming iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. In parallel, the iPhone16,1 and iPhone16,2 identifiers hint at the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which, according to rumors, may use an A17 chip made with 3-nanometer technology.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that two more unidentified iPhone models have appeared in the tvOS 17 beta code: the iPhone14,1 and iPhone14,9. These are associated with A15 Bionic chips, but their purpose remains unclear. While these model identifiers could mean yet-to-be-released iPhones, it's not uncommon to find leftover identifiers in iOS code that were never tied to actual devices.
According to one of the hypotheses put forward by Michael Burkhardt, Apple might consider reimagining the third-generation iPhone SE and even the iPhone 13 mini with USB-C ports to match the rest of the iPhone 15 models. However, it's worth noting that such a move may require an update to the iPhone 14 series as well if they remain in the lineup for at least another year.
Another possibility is that these identifiers hint at Apple's plans for a future version of the iPhone SE, which could feature a larger OLED display and the coveted USB-C port.
While rumors about these yet-to-be-unveiled iPhone models continue to circulate, enthusiasts and analysts are eagerly awaiting Apple's official unveiling of the iPhone 15 lineup.