iPhone 15 Pro Goes Titanium With The Thinnest Borders Yet

During its September 2023 event, Apple took the wraps off its iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max smartphones, confirming previous rumors about the big transition to a titanium body — and not just any titanium, but specifically the Grade 5 variety used by NASA for its Mars Rover. The company describes the painstaking lengths it uses to give the iPhone 15 Pro lineup's titanium a brushed appearance, not to mention the contoured edges for improved ergonomics and the Ceramic Shield that keeps the front protected.

Titanium's unique combination of qualities has also allowed Apple to make the borders on its new, high-end iPhone series lighter and thinner than ever before without having to compromise on the phone's structural integrity. Meanwhile, below the surface lies a "substructure" formed from 100% recycled aluminum, with Apple explaining that the combined use of titanium and aluminum allows it to strike a careful design balance. While the titanium opens the door for greater strength and durability at lighter weights, the aluminum is used to keep heat in check while making it easier to swap out the back glass panel if (when) needed.

Titanium is light, strong, and stylish

Apple executive Greg Joswiak spoke in detail about the new titanium design during the event. "This is the most premium material we've ever used in an iPhone enclosure," he said. "Titanium is incredibly strong and durable. Yet, at the same time, it is much lighter, making these our lightest Pro models ever." He went on to describe the feel of the new contoured edges and explained that the thinner borders have allowed Apple to reduce the dimensions of the phone without needing to reduce the size of the display.

It seems that this isn't run-of-the-mill titanium either (if there is such a thing.) Apple materials science engineer Isabel Yang also spoke about the new casing during the event. "The new enclosure uses Grade 5 titanium, an alloy that has even higher tensile strength than pure titanium," she stated. "It's typically reserved for the applications where the balance of strength, formability, as well as weight, are especially critical." 

The iPhone 15 Pro brings substantial upgrades

Unlike with last year's Pro lineup, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max represent a major upgrade for Apple's higher-end smartphones, boasting not only the big switch to titanium but also the inclusion of USB-C for data transfers and charging instead of the Lightning connector. As well, another previous rumor proved true with the removal of the iPhone's volume switch — in its place, users now get an Action Button that is integrated with the Dynamic Island and capable of far more than just muting the ringer.

Speaking of the Dynamic Island, the feature is now available across the entire iPhone lineup, meaning you get it with the cheaper base-tier iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus. Previously, the feature was limited only to the Pro series. There are still some solid reasons to go with Apple's Pro offerings, however, not the least of which are the substantial camera upgrades that include everything from enhanced Night Mode and Portrait Mode to advanced features for professional photographers and videographers.

Apple wants its switch to titanium to be very apparent, which is why you get four finish options with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max: white titanium, black titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium. The smaller iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 while the larger Pro Max is more expensive at $1,199 — though it comes with 256 GB storage by default.