Will I Need to Buy a New Case for My iPhone 15?

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With Apple’s iPhone 15 models set to land in stores and on eager customers’ doorsteps this Friday, many folks are being faced with a common question that comes up every year: Will my older iPhone case fit the new iPhone 15?

Sadly, even in the unlikely event that you’re upgrading directly from an equivalent iPhone 14 model, such as an iPhone 14 to iPhone 15 or iPhone 14 Pro Max to iPhone 15 Pro Max, the answer is a flat “no.”

Of course, that’s even more true if you’re expecting to use an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 case with your shiny new iPhone 15.

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Although the dimensions of the iPhone 15 models don’t look that different on paper from their respective 2022 predecessors, it’s important to remember that iPhone cases are precision-engineered to fit each iPhone model like a glove.

iPhone 15iPhone 14iPhone 13
Standard147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8 mm146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8 mm146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65 mm
Plus160.9 x 77.8 x 7.8 mm160.8 x 78.1 x 7.8 mm
Pro146.6 x 70.6 x 8.25mm147.5 x 71.5 x 7.85 mm146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65 mm
Pro Max159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25 mm160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85 mm160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm

While some iPhone 14 Plus cases might barely fit an iPhone 15 Plus, which has changed only by a fraction of a millimeter in height and width, the slightly looser fit will mean impact and drop protection won’t be nearly as effective.

However, that model is the exception. The iPhone 15 has grown enough in both directions over its predecessor that any iPhone 14 case will be a tight fit at best. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are significantly thicker than the previous iPhone 14 Pro models, at least in terms of case fit.

This also doesn’t factor in differences in the camera bump, for which most cases also have precision-machined cutouts. Apple doesn’t publish the dimensions for those, so it’s hard to know exactly how much has changed, but considering the larger sensors and lenses, it’s likely the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro versions are different from their predecessors.

Then there’s the fact that Apple has made some subtle design refinements to this year’s iPhone 15 lineup, with contoured edges all around. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max also replace the ring/silent switch with an Action button that requires a proper cutout in the case, as well as thinner bezels around the display, meaning that older cases could block part of the display.

If getting the best protection for your new iPhone is important to you, then you’ll definitely want to get a case that’s precisely made for your specific model. The various shock-absorbing materials engineered into protective iPhone cases are designed for a precise fit, so a case that’s too tight or too loose won’t provide the promised level of drop protection.

In a worst-case scenario, your iPhone could even slip out of the case entirely. I once painfully shattered an iPhone 4 screen only a day after I bought it because it slid out of the iPhone 3GS wallet case I was attempting to use while waiting for a proper one to show up.

Fortunately, case manufacturers don’t waste any time ensuring they have products ready to protect your new iPhone right out of the gate. Last Friday, we rounded up Speck’s fall 2023 case lineup, which includes the highly acclaimed Presidio2 Grip and Presido2 Pro cases that offer solid protection without bulking up your iPhone. Speck’s cases have been among my personal favorites since the iPhone 3G CandyShell.

If you’re buying your iPhone at an Apple Store, you’ll also undoubtedly find Apple’s new FineWoven cases and iPhone 15 versions of their traditional Silicone cases. While these tend to be a bit pricey, they offer a lovely style and fit for your iPhone and a variety of fun colors to match whatever finish you pick.

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