iPhone 15: release date and price predictions, leaks, rumors

As great as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are, they’re both already a few months old at this point, and the rumors about the iPhone 15 are well underway. We still have several months before the iPhone 15 models drop, though, as Apple usually makes iPhone announcements in the fall. In other words, there’s still a lot of time for more rumors to make the rounds — and make the rounds they will.

We’re keeping all of the reports and rumors of the iPhone 15 here in a single place for your convenience, but do remember to keep in mind that these are all still just speculation. Nothing is final until Apple confirms it during an official announcement. Still, a lot of the rumors give us an idea of what to expect each year, which is unfortunate if you like surprises. Here’s everything we know about the iPhone 15 so far!

iPhone 15: models

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render side by side

Though Apple debuted the iPhone mini with the iPhone 12 lineup and kept it with the iPhone 13 series, the mini was retired once the iPhone 14 came out. It was replaced with the larger iPhone 14 Plus, going from a 5.4-inch screen to a massive 6.7-inch display (same as the iPhone 14 Pro Max), with the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro staying at the 6.1-inch size from previous generations.

It is expected that Apple will continue this with the iPhone 15 lineup featuring an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. This time, the standard iPhone 15 is expected to have a 6.2-inch display, a slight change from the iPhone’s 14’s 6.1-inch display. Other phones, including the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, are expected to keep the same screen sizes as last year. This means a 6.1-inch screen for the 15 Pro and 6.7 inches for the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The name for the iPhone 15 Pro Max may be different, however. There are rumors circulating that “Pro Max” may be replaced with the “Ultra” moniker, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra.

iPhone 15: design and sizes

iPhone 15 render by 4RMD

Apple fans who are waiting for the iPhone to go through a drastic redesign may end up disappointed, as the iPhone 15 might look mostly similar to the iPhone 14. But there is a rumor from a leaker named ShrimpApplePro claiming that the iPhone 15 Pro design may be slightly different, with thinner bezels and curved edges, though the display will remain flat.

That prospect of thinner bezels was reinforced by ShrimpApplePro in early March, with the tipster tweeting a short video clip described as “the real-life video of the front glass panel of the iPhone 15 series.”

Goôd morning! Here’s is the real life video of the front glass panel of the iPhone 15 series, i was able to confirm its authenticity with my source. It’s real! pic.twitter.com/5BkI0OFgz9

— ShrimpApplePro 🍤 (@VNchocoTaco) March 5, 2023

The leftmost panel and middle panel are likely for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, respectively. Both appear to have noticeably thinner bezels than their iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max predecessors. Meanwhile, the rightmost panel has a slightly thicker bezel and is most likely the display panel for the regular iPhone 15. Furthermore, the video shows that all models of the iPhone 15 will be getting the Dynamic Island.

iPhone 15 Pro Max bezel render

According to Twitter user IceUniverse, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will also be breaking records with its new, super-thin bezel. The current record belongs to the Xiaomi 13 with a 1.81mm bezel, but the iPhone 15 Pro may have a 1.55mm bezel, which is significantly thinner than the current iPhone 14 Pro Max with a 2.17mm bezel. Even the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S23 have a 1.95mm bezel, so the iPhone 15 Pro Max would have one of the thinnest bezels on a smartphone yet if this is true.

While the Dynamic Island pill-and-hole cutout was exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models, Apple looks to be expanding that to all iPhone 15 models. A render from 9to5Mac shows how the upcoming iPhone 15 would look with a Dynamic Island.

A render of the iPhone 15 from 9to5Mac showing off the dynamic island, bigger display.

If that’s the case, then the iPhone 15 will be the first iPhone lineup to completely eliminate the notch. As mentioned earlier, we should expect four models of iPhone 15: a 6.2-inch iPhone 15, a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus, a 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra).

iPhone 15 Pro render comparing bezels to iPhone 14 Pro
The iPhone 15 Pro (right) will have thinner bezels than the iPhone 14 Pro (left) 9to5Mac

However, according to leaker yeux1122, the 120Hz ProMotion display will still be exclusive to the higher-end iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models, while the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will still only have up to 60Hz refresh rate, which is getting harder and harder to justify. According to a report from Tom’s Guide, display analyst Ross Young says that the 120Hz refresh rate display won’t be hitting all iPhone models until at least 2025. So the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will more than likely still have a 60Hz LTPS display, and Apple will continue using this for the next two years.

While not all Android phones have 120Hz refresh rates, the more affordable options typically will have up to 90Hz refresh rates, which is still an improvement over the 60Hz that Apple seems to be sticking with for the non-Pro iPhone models. With the 120Hz refresh rate, users get smoother scrolling, more responsiveness, and overall a better experience.

Another report suggests that the iPhone 15 may replace the physical buttons with haptic, solid-state power and volume buttons instead. This would work similarly to the iPhone 7 Home button. Essentially, instead of physically depressing when pressed, it would use haptic feedback to mimic how it would feel if you pressed a button.

iPhone 15 Pro buttons CAD leak

An iPhone 15 Pro leak from Twitter user ShrimpApplePro, which is based on leaked CAD images, suggests that the volume buttons will change to a single, elongated button rather than two separate ones. The mute switch will also become a single button instead of a toggle, which you would press to turn the ringer on or off. However, it appears that the regular iPhone 15 models will still have the mute switch instead of a button and two separate volume buttons instead of a single volume rocker.

While the solid-state buttons could still happen, other reports suggest that those plans may have been scrapped. A recent report from Kuo indicates that because of the required three haptic engines that would need to be inside, the design is a lot more complex than originally thought, and technical issues during the manufacturing process have arisen that have yet to be resolved.

Side view of alleged iphone 15 Pro.

Because of this, Apple may still be using a physical button design, albeit with some small changes. Specifically, it will still be a single, pill-shaped button raised above the metallic frame, with a small indent in the middle to separate the two functional halves. You can see what that may look like in the image above.

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render

To continue the button saga of the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro, a new report from 9to5Mac, which comes from a reputable MFi accessory maker, showed off a more updated CAD rendering that has two physical volume buttons rather than the single elongated button we’ve been seeing from before.

After all, Apple is currently in the Engineer Validation Test (EVT) phase, so any previous leaks on the design could be changed during this time, and that certainly seems to be the case. Due to the complexity of needing three haptic engines for a solid-state button, and the possibility of a single elongated button not working out either, Apple may have just said “forget it” and gone back to the regular, two physical button design for the volume buttons. You know what they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Apple may still use the solid-state buttons in a future design but needs more time to work out the kinks.

However, the plans for the mute switch change to an Action button don’t seem to have changed.

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render back

Another report from 9to5Mac gave us an exclusive first look at what the iPhone 15 Pro could look like via a render based on a CAD model from a reliable case manufacturer. With these renderings, it does seem like the Lightning port will be replaced with USB-C, which wouldn’t be surprising considering the recent EU regulations. Other design changes include slightly more curved glass around the edges, which means thinner bezels. This could mean that the same 6.1-inch display will be housed in a smaller chassis, similar to the transition from the iPhone XS to the iPhone 11.

But the biggest shocker from the iPhone 15 Pro rendering is the gigantic camera bump — it’s almost as thick as the device itself!

iPhone 15 Pro render in black color showing camera bump

An exclusive report from 9to5Mac over Easter weekend shows exclusive renderings of what the iPhone 15 Pro will look like, and it seems to confirm everything that we’ve already mentioned so far: huge camera bump, redesigned buttons, USB-C charging, thinner bezels, and a brand new color.

Excited to share photos of the iPhone 15 Pro Max CAD! This one was source from a case manufacturer. I know others have already shared the 3D model, but I wanted to give you my own w/ a closer look. As promised, the most detailed! 🧵 pic.twitter.com/FZGBueAgLl

— ShrimpApplePro 🍤 (@VNchocoTaco) April 8, 2023

ShrimpApplePro on Twitter also seems to have CAD renderings from a case manufacturer that match 9to5Mac’s exclusive.

While there definitely has been more talk about the iPhone 15 Pro over the standard iPhone 15 counterparts, another design change for the standard iPhone 15 has come up recently. A leak on Weibo claims that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will feature frosted glass backs rather than a glossy glass finish. The frosted glass would be stronger than the regular glass with improved durability, but still at risk of smashing and chipping. It would also be less prone to fingerprints. With this change, though, it would be one less thing that differentiates the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus from their Pro counterparts.

iPhone 15 Pro cases showing slightly repositioned buttons and action button placement.

Some images that were seen on Weibo show off supposed iPhone 15 Pro cases from a case manufacturer. The manufacturers usually get product design and spec information before release in order to make the accessories readily available for launch. This iPhone 15 Pro case shows that the volume buttons will be positioned slightly lower than the current iPhone 14 Pro models. You can also see the case accommodating a new mute/action button above the volume buttons, and it will be a button cover rather than a cutout like for the previous mute switch. The bottom also shows a larger cutout for the expected USB-C charging port.

Twitter user @MajinBuOfficial also got their hands on an iPhone 15 Pro Max case, which shows off larger camera lenses and a bigger microphone. However, the case also has a large cutout on the side that would be designed for the unified volume rocker, but that design may have been scrapped by Apple due to technical difficulties. Perhaps it may still work by just exposing the volume buttons instead.

iPhone 15: colors

A render of the iPhone 15 Pro, shown in a reported dark red color.

Deciding which color to get is a crucial part of the iPhone buying process, and for the iPhone 15 series, it looks like we’ll have some stunning finishes to choose from.

On February 23, 9to5Mac reported that the flagship color for the iPhone 15 Pro will be a beautiful dark red color, and a mock-up of it is seen in the render above. This would mark the first time Apple’s offered a red hue for a Pro model iPhone, and if it looks anything like it does in 9to5Mac’s render, it’ll be quite stunning.

iPhone 15 Pro render in dark red color

According to 9to5Mac’s latest report, this exact shade of dark red will be code 410D0D. It would be replacing Deep Purple as the newest color alongside the usual White, Space Black, and Gold color options. However, while the color in renders looks great, some of us have become quite skeptical of Apple being able to make a new color look as good in person compared to how it looks in pictures on a screen.

The regular iPhone 15 is reported to come in light pink and light blue colors.

iPhone 15: mute switch

iPhone 15 Pro action button vs mute switch

The physical mute switch has been one of the most iconic iPhone features since the original model debuted in 2007 — and it hasn’t changed much at all since then. But the iPhone 15 Pro could shake things up.

According to 9to5Mac, a source familiar with the iPhone 15 Pro says that the mute switch is being replaced with a “pressing type button.” Instead of flicking a physical switch to control your notification volume, the new button may be a solid-state one that you press. And as we mentioned earlier, according to the leak from ShrimpApplePro, this new mute button would only apply to the iPhone 15 Pro models. If you plan to get the regular iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus, then those should still have the mute switch toggle instead, as well as two separate volume buttons instead of a single elongated button.

iPhone 15 Pro side comparison

On March 29, a report from MacRumors suggested that the new iPhone 15 Pro mute button, which would be replacing the mute switch, may be a multiuse Action Button instead — similar to what we have on the Apple Watch Ultra. Though the default action could be set to toggle the mute setting, the button may be customized by the user for other purposes. Some other actions could be launching the camera app, turning the flashlight on, toggling light/dark mode, activating Low Power Mode, taking a screenshot or screen recording, Shazam, Shortcuts, and more.

This would open up a world of possibilities for the user in terms of customization, though a drawback would be making the iPhone 15 Pro less accessible for some since it would no longer be possible to tell from physical touch if the phone is silent or not.

And if Apple is replacing the mute switch with an Action Button, reports suggest that it will replace the volume down button that you previously needed to press with the side button to power down your phone.

iPhone 15: processor and specs

Apple A16 Bionic.

The standard iPhone 15 may use the A16 that is currently featured in the iPhone 14 Pro, and the new A17 chip might be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. This appears to be the new way that Apple is differentiating between the standard and Pro models of the iPhone, which began with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineup.

TSMC, the longtime supplier of chips for the iPhone, is supposedly going to use a 3nm process for the A17 chips. This would make the A17 more efficient at power consumption and reduce the heat that is generated during use. The 3nm A17 chip will also have a 15% boost in speed and power and 30% more power savings over the current 5nm chips.

Another report indicates that the iPhone 15 Pro could also get a boost in RAM, going from 6GB to 8GB. However, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus may remain at the current 6GB RAM, though this may be the faster LPDDR5 RAM that is found in the iPhone 14 Pro models.

Storage capacity could be different, though the baseline storage may depend on what features the iPhone 15 offers. The current top-tier storage is 1TB for the iPhone 14 Pro, but the iPhone 15 Pro could be bumped to 2TB.

And while there were rumors circulating that Apple could be building its own in-house modem chips, the efforts so far have not bared any results. Apple will likely still be using Qualcomm for modem chips in the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15 Pro front display comparisons

There have also been leaks of the iPhone 15 Wi-Fi chip diagrams, which confirm that Apple will be upgrading to Wi-Fi 6E. However, this will be restricted to just the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, so the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will continue using Wi-Fi 6. If you’re not aware, Wi-Fi 6E has more bandwidth, which allows for faster data speeds, less latency, and more capacity. You can also get a 1.2GHz spectrum in the 6GHz band, and this would make the iPhone 15 Pro models capable of home gigabit coverage.

Another report from The Elec claims that all iPhone 15 models will be using the latest generation of materials for the OLED displays, which would be the M12 material set.

A recent report from Macrumors suggests that the A17 Bionic chip that was initially to be in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will fundamentally differ from the original manufacturing process. Originally, the A17 would be Apple’s first chip that would be made with the 3nm fabrication process, which would bring about major performance and efficiency improvements from the 5nm method that was used for the A14, A15, and A16 chips. While the A17 initially used TSMC’s N3B process, Apple may be switching over to an N3E process sometime in the next year. This looks to be a cost-cutting measure that would impact the overall efficiency of the chip by reducing it.

However, it may already be too late in the product design to change the entire process, so this may not affect the iPhone 15, but perhaps the iPhone 16.

iPhone 15: cameras

iPhone 15 Pro render camera explode

On the camera front, the only things that we know are that Apple has been working on periscope lens technology, which may only end up on the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max model. Also, the base iPhone 15 is expected to keep the dual-camera layout, with lidar remaining Pro-exclusive.

With a periscope lens, you could get optical zoom that goes beyond what is currently offered, such as 5x or 10x optical zoom. The current iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max only go up to 3x optical zoom, so having a periscope lens would be a significant improvement. Again, though, it appears that only the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max may get that periscope functionality.

If you’re looking to get the periscope lens on a non-Pro Max iPhone instead of having to shell out the extra cash for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it looks like you’ll need to be waiting for the iPhone 16 series next year. According to industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 16 line could bring the periscope lens to the iPhone 16 Pro Max and iPhone 16 Pro.

I think the rumored iPhone 15 Pro series's adoption of an 8P lens won't likely come true.

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) October 30, 2022

There were previous reports that the iPhone 15 would be getting an 8P camera, which refers to the number of elements within the lens material. Theoretically, having another element in the lens could help with having less image distortion in the final image. However, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this does not appear to be happening — at least, not with the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15 Pro render showing camera bump from side

One of 9to5Mac’s renderings of what the iPhone 15 Pro will look like reveal that it’s going to feature a massive camera bump. This is to be expected with the larger camera sensors and even periscope lens for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but still. The camera bump looks to be almost as thick as the phone itself.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max camera bump comparison

But if you’ve been worrying that the camera bump looks a little too thick, don’t worry. The latest CAD renderings from 9to5Mac seem to show a slightly slimmer camera bump, so it may not be as bad. However, it does seem to confirm that only the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be getting the periscope zoom lens, unfortunately, due to the slightly thicker camera bump on that model.

According to leaker Unknownz21, the camera rig itself might be getting a shake-up for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. In a tweet, the leaker mentioned that the ultrawide and the telephoto lenses would be switching places on account of the bigger space required to house the periscope lens. This doesn’t seem like it’ll make much of a difference when using the phone’s cameras, however, as it’ll be a more noticeable aesthetic change.

iPhone 15: battery, charging, and USB-C

iPhone 15 Pro render showing USB-C

European regulations are mandating a common charger for all electronics, including the iPhone, in an attempt to reduce e-waste. The deadline for Apple to switch over to USB-C and eliminate Lightning is happening in 2024, but Apple could also get a head start on that by transitioning the iPhone 15 over to USB-C in 2023. It’s highly likely, given the regulation, but Apple could hold off until 2024 as well.

With the switch to USB-C on the iPhone, it would bring Apple’s smartphone closer in line with the iPad and MacBook lineups, which have mostly been using USB-C for a while. The iPad 10th Gen (2022) switched over to USB-C last year, which was the last iPad model still using Apple’s proprietary Lightning charger.

In addition to the EU’s ruling, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also seems confident in the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C, saying in mid-November that his “latest survey indicates all 2H23 new iPhones will abandon Lightning and change to USB-C.”

I predict that 15 Pro & 15 Pro Max will support at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3. This spec upgrade means the wired transfer and video output user experience will significantly improve.

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) November 17, 2022

What’s interesting, though, is Kuo’s claim that only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will benefit from faster data transfer speeds with this change. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will have a USB-C port, but they’ll still be limited to the slower USB 2.0 transfer speeds currently available with Lightning.

iPhone 15 Pro CAD render camera bump

Though we should expect USB-C with the iPhone 15, Apple may be doing an MFi program similar to the Lightning cables. This means that Apple may want USB-C cables that are “optimized” for iPhone for the best data transfer and charging speeds. Though disappointing, this wouldn’t be at all surprising.

However, Apple could be playing with fire by adding such limitations to its USB-C charging — and this could actually get Apple in trouble with the EU once again. Alex  Agius Saliba, who is a Maltese representative in the house, sent out the following tweet: “Pity that today Apple rejected an invitation for an exchange of views to conform/deny that they are planning to bypass our rules by limiting charging speed to sell only their chargers.”

Pity that today @Apple rejected an invitation for an exchange of views in @EP_SingleMarket to conform/deny that they are planning to bypass our rules by limiting charging speed to sell only their chargers. Weather they like it or not fast charging is harmonized by #CommonCharger

— Alex Agius Saliba (@alexagiussaliba) March 28, 2023

While the EU originally did not specify anything about charging speed for a mandatory common charging method — in this case, USB-C — that seems to have changed. The requirement now is that devices must “ensure that any additional charging protocol allows the full functionality of the USB Power Delivery, irrespective of the charging device used.”

Apple’s going to be in a tricky situation if it plans to restrict charging speeds with non-MFi USB-C cables, but this looks like something we’ll have to wait and see how it eventually plays out. Typical Apple fashion, though.

One good piece of charging news for the iPhone 15, however, is the recent report that the phone will support 15-watt wireless fast charging from all wireless chargers — not just MagSafe-certified devices. Previously, wireless chargers were required to have official Made for MagSafe certifications if they wanted to make the most out of the phones’ 15W charging speeds, but according to a report from Weibo shared by a Korean news aggregate blogger, the iPhone 15 won’t require the certification for third-party wireless chargers to cash in on the faster charging speeds.

iPhone 15 Ultra rumors

Alleged render of iPhone 15 Ultra.
This is supposedly what the iPhone 15 Ultra looks like with dual selfie cameras. Apple Insider

There have been several rumors so far that suggest Apple is dropping the “Pro Max” moniker for the iPhone 15 series and will instead introduce a new “iPhone 15 Ultra” instead. But there’s more to this rumored iPhone 15 Ultra than just a name.

According to reports, the iPhone 15 Ultra would have a titanium frame instead of stainless steel, which would make it pricier. Rumors suggest a $1,200 or $1,300 starting price for the iPhone 15 Ultra, which would not be out of line if the frame was made of titanium. For example, Apple does charge more for a titanium Apple Watch versus a stainless steel one, and it’s a significant upcharge from the regular aluminum. The titanium material would also be more lightweight than stainless steel, sturdier, and more resistant to corrosion. The below concept render shows what an iPhone 15 Ultra could look like, and it really is something.

A concept of an iPhone 15 Ultra by Jonas Daehnert on Twitter.
iPhone 15 Ultra concept render Jonas Daehnert/Twitter

The iPhone 15 Ultra is also rumored to get a periscope-style telephoto camera, which would not be available on the regular iPhone 15 Pro. Having a periscope camera allows for a higher optical zoom range, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. It might even have dual selfie cameras to help create an improved bokeh effect on self-portraits. Another rumor is that the iPhone 15 Ultra could be completely without ports, while the rest of the iPhone 15 lineup uses USB-C.

If the iPhone 15 Ultra is actually a thing that comes out this fall, all of these rumors look to be pointing toward a massive upgrade that may be worthy of the high price tag. However, Twitter user ShrimpApplePro, seems to believe that the iPhone Ultra will be coming next year, and this year we’ll still only have the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

While we’re not certain if we will see an iPhone Ultra this year, there are a few things we’d like to see Apple fix in the iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra) before we even consider buying one.

iPhone 15: release date and price

iPhone 15 Pro render duo

We should expect the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro to be announced sometime in September 2023, as long as Apple follows its usual iPhone launch schedule. While we usually expect similar prices each year, as that’s been the case for the past several years, the iPhone 15 may be shaking things up a bit in terms of pricing.

A recent report from Chinese outlet Economic Daily News is suggesting that the entire iPhone 15 lineup could be getting a price increase from 10% to 20%. For the standard iPhone 15, this would mean that it starts at $899 instead of $799, though considering the upgrades it may be getting this year, that price jump wouldn’t be too bad. However, for the iPhone 15 Pro models, that means instead of starting at $999, it could start at $1,100 or $1,200 for the base storage model. And the iPhone 15 Pro Max could start at $1,300, with the 1TB option costing as much as $1,800. The reason for the price jump may be due to increased manufacturing costs and inflation.

If Apple is also making an iPhone 15 Ultra, it may start at around $1,300, according to past rumors.

It’s worth pointing out that there were some very convincing-looking rumors last year that the iPhone 14 Pro would be getting a $100 price increase, and that ultimately proved to be false. That’s all to say that it’s certainly possible that the iPhone 15 lineup, specifically the Pro models, could be seeing an increase, but take that rumor with a dose of skepticism.

With the possibility of higher prices for the iPhone 15 across the board, you may be wondering whether you should buy an iPhone 14 model instead of an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro. If that’s the case, you should check out our guide that compares each existing iPhone 14 model with what we’re expecting for each iPhone 15 model. It’s not like the iPhone 14 lineup is bad — it’s still very good! If you don’t mind having a device that is one generation behind, consider an iPhone 14 instead and save some dough.

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