When Apple announced the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro, the names of their chips were surprising: M1 Pro and M1 Max. “Max” meant “better than Pro“, not necessarily “bigger“. Then came the Mac Studio with its M1 Ultra. It means “beyond”. It’s a place no one has ever gone before. Until now. For Apple it means that there is nothing better, that it is the pinnacle of its work. From there we move on to the Apple Watch Ultra. It could have been the Pro or the Max, but no, it’s the Ultra. And it makes sense.
Apple seems to be changing the way it names its products. Up until a year ago, a device could be either regular or “Pro”. If it was small “Mini”, and if it was big “Max”. However, this is no longer the case for some devices, and it looks like Cupertino plans to continue this transition.
What’s a bit left out here is the iPhone. More specifically the iPhone 14 Pro Max. How can it be “Pro” and “Max” at the same time if Max means “better than Pro”? The folks at Cupertino are aware of this incongruity, and it looks like the next “Pro Max” iPhone could be called “iPhone 15 Ultra”.
I’ve seen some contradicting reports online, so I figured the best way to solve this problem is by telling you everything I know about the iPhone 15 Ultra. As always, things can change. We are not even in 2023, so don’t think of this as an accurate description of what you’ll see next year in September, but rather as the current state of the iPhone 15 Ultra project.
The iPhone 15 Ultra will feature a dual front-facing camera, will start at a minimum of 256GB and will have USB-C instead of Lightning. This USB-C port will be a Thunderbolt 4 port to make data transfer extremely faster than its predecessor. It will be made out of titanium, which is lighter and more resistant, but also more expensive.
Apple is considering a return to the rounded bezel design, but no firm decision has yet been made. Currently the team deciding on the external design of this device has prototypes with both options, and while I wish I could confirm which one will be chosen, I can’t yet do so because it hasn’t been decided.
It’s going to be a more expensive iPhone. Even in the United States. The cost of production will be about $90 higher than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which will force Apple to raise prices. An early estimate from my sources is that if the iPhone 14 Pro Max costs $1,099, the iPhone 15 Ultra could be around $1,199-1,299. We would be talking about a price hike of between $100 and $200, something we could see coming considering that the iPhone has been costing the same since the iPhone X was launched in 2017. Apple has been losing margins year after year. Rising production costs and inflation that makes the money the company has in the bank worth less have finally broken the camel’s back. According to my sources, it is virtually impossible for Apple not to raise the price of at least the iPhone 15 Ultra, although we don’t know the situation for the other devices in the line-up.
One last thing: as of today, Apple is only considering one colour for the iPhone 15 Ultra, and it’s the same colour as the Apple Watch Ultra. I don’t know if that will be the only colour available in September, or if there will be more, but as of today none of my sources have seen any colour other than the same as the Apple Watch Ultra.