It may not be an A15, but my money is on it being a different architecture than the A5 series which used the A9 processor.
Apple typically follows a logical naming convention. On phones, the 3G and 3GS were the same generation (defined by 3G support), and the 4 signified a new generation that included the 4S (defined by retina display). Likewise, the 5 and future 5S(?) are a new generation (defined by LTE and bigger display).
On chips, the A4 series used the A8 architecture.
The A5 and A5X series used the A9 architecture. Apple didn't change the architecture but merely boosted performance on the A5X, and this didn't call it the A6.
If it was only a marketing thing, Apple would have called the A5X the A6, as that's what people were hoping for, and then called this chip the A7.. Similarly, they could have called the 4S the 5, as that's what people were hoping for (and it was technically the 5th iPhone).
Apple is very specific on its naming conventions, and this is the biggest piece of evidence.
So it's either the A15 or a custom architecture similar to the Krait, though likely under clocked as that's Apple's MO.
I only care about performance, but this is relevant because Android fanatics always like to claim Apple releases outdated tech (despite the new iPhone/iPad always besting it's competition in benchmarks upon release and continuing till about 6-8 months later).