Apple could introduce a new naming scheme when it releases the iPhone 15 sometime next year, replacing the current “Pro Max” branding with “Ultra“. This is according to Bloomberg journalist and Apple tracker – Mark Gurman.
The Pro Max name first appeared with the iPhone 11 in 2019 whereas the tech-savvy company also brought back the “Plus” title in 2022 with the launch of the iPhone 14 Plus, having not used it since 2017 with the iPhone 8 Plus, so it’s not uncommon for branding to change.
Apple also launched the Apple Watch Ultra earlier this month and added the name to its M1 Ultra Processor. So, using the “Ultra” branding for iPhone would make sense for future models (at least in my opinion).
iPhone 15 Ultra: How would it be different?
So, what would make the iPhone 15 Ultra so ultra? For one, Apple could take a page out from the Watch Ultra and focus on durability. For instance, the iPhone 15 Ultra could use a stronger titanium alloy design, which was rumored at one point for the current iPhone 14 series.
Digging into another leak courtesy of tipster Majin Bu, the iPhone 15 Ultra will be making a change to the existing iPhone design in the form of dual front-facing (selfie) cameras. What this second camera will be used for is anyone’s guess. This two-front-camera setup may be one of the features that set the iPhone 15 Ultra apart from the iPhone 15 Pro. The leak suggests the iPhone 15 Pro will only have one front camera.
Another change Apple could be bringing to its 2023 devices is more storage. Majin Bu claims the Ultra model will come with a base capacity of 256GB. This year’s iPhone 14 Pro Max starts off at 128GB of storage. As for the iPhone 15 Pro, the starting/base storage capacity may stay the same at 128GB.
Ultimately, we could end up with four iPhone 15 models that have a unique naming system, with each one offering something different.
In this big head of mine I can see the iPhone 15 being the basic device, while the iPhone 15 Plus would offer the larger screen. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro would offer more especially in the camera & video quality department and the iPhone 15 Ultra would have the cutting-edge features (that extra something) that require a large price tag.
New design for the iPhone 15? Maybe
Apple reportedly updates its iPhones significantly every three years according to Marc Gurman. The just-released iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro use the same design as the iPhone 12 from 2 years ago, except that iPhone 14 comes with a new internal design that improves repairability.
Supply chain analyst Ross Young predicts that the new Dynamic Island from the iPhone 14 Pro & 14 Pro Max could arrive on all iPhone 15 models so that’s a pretty plausible (probable) design for 2023. That would enable you to get notifications, alerts and live updates at the top of the screen and a smaller cutout than the current notch.
Since the iPhone 15 family is also rumored to come with USB-C instead of the custom Apple lightning port, a re-design wouldn’t be out of the question. Gurman says the company has already started testing the new feature ahead of the European Union’s implementation of a law that will require all new phones to have USB-C ports by autumn 2024.
Moving on from the design changes, we can expect a range of hardware updates. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus should both get Apple’s A16 Bionic Processor powering this year’s iPhone 14 Pro models, and the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra to come with a new Apple A17 Bionic Chipset.
A bump in potential pricing
With all these exclusive upgrades, the iPhone 15 Ultra is expected to go up in price compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, possibly starting at $1,200/Kshs 144,720 (up from $1,100/Kshs 132,660).
What’s next for Apple after the iPhone 14 lineup?
With the iPhone 14 launch now in the rear-view mirror, there are other interesting titbits about Apple’s roadmap for the rest of the year. Notably, the company is further expected to launch the M2 and M2 Pro Mac Minis, M2 Pro and M2 Max 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, and M2 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros later this fall (autumn season).
Mr. Gurman has however noted that Apple may not even hold another keynote event to announce these new products as previously expected. He believes the company may release its remaining 2022 products in much less exciting formats instead, including in press releases, website updates and media briefings with select (a few) members of the press.
There’s still a long road ahead
For now, nothing is confirmed, and we are still a long way from the launch of the iPhone 15 models but I don’t think the iPhone 15 Ultra name is completely off the cards so you can expect more rumors about this in the coming months.