Apple’s apparently working on a new ultra-premium iPhone for 2023, and it’ll either be called the iPhone 15 Ultra or the iPhone 15 Pro Max Ultra – and we have lots and lots of QUESTIONS…

As of right now, this is just a rumor but there is plenty of talk about Apple launching a brand new iPhone model in 2023 – the iPhone 15 Ultra. As the name suggests, the iPhone 15 Ultra will almost certainly supersede the iPhone 15 Pro. How this will happen is currently unclear, but Ultra sounds better than Pro, after all, and this is rather telling…

Part of the reason this rumor exists is because Apple released the Apple Watch Ultra, a high-end version of its standard Apple Watch. But the “Ultra” in this context was all about its more advanced features, rugged design, longer battery life, and more accurate fitness tracking and modes.

The iPhone 15 Ultra Pro Max – Or Just “iPhone 15 Ultra

iPhone 15 Pro Max UltraPin

How this branding will translate into the world of iPhone is anybody’s guess and the general consensus right now appears to be that Apple will ditch its Pro Max model in 2023’s iPhone 15 range and replace it with the more expensive iPhone 15 Ultra.

Another option: Apple keeps its iPhone line-up as-is but adds in an additional, fifth iPhone – this would be the Ultra model. If this happened, Apple’s iPhone 15 line-up for 2023 would look like this:

  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 15 Ultra

That’s a pretty large range of phones to release all at once. Even for Apple, with its loyal base of fans, the company has been having demand issues with its expansive range of iPhones. The iPhone Mini model was axed after two years of poor sales, and it looks like demand for the iPhone 14 Plus is pretty weak too.

Given this current malaise, could we see Apple ditch the Plus model and focus on the base model iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Ultra? It’s possible. This would make its lineup for 2023 tighter and more focused, effectively trimming the fat out of its existing range of iPhones.

Personally, if the iPhone 15 Ultra does happen – and there is a strong consensus that it will – it’d make sense for Apple to use it as a replacement for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. That way, Apple would have a base model, a premium model, and an ultra premium model for its most hardcore power users.

Apple’s Plus and Mini iPhones Have Failed

It’s still relatively early on in the iPhone 14 Plus’ lifecycle, but word on the street isn’t too positive about its sales numbers. Demand is said to be much weaker than expected and this means, as before with the iPhone 13 Mini, Apple has a difficult decision to make: does it stock with the Plus inside the iPhone 15 range or switch things up with the Ultra?

Given Apple’s proclivity for making insanely high-end consumer electronics and somehow having the ability to sell them, I think killing off the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max inside its 2023 line-up and pressing ahead with three solid models that hit three distinct price points is exactly what it should be doing.

The only question now is how will Apple differentiate the iPhone 15 Ultra from the iPhone 15 Pro enough to justify what is presumably going to be a seriously big price hike? The way I see, there’s a few potential options right now for the Ultra:

What Will The iPhone 15 Ultra Be Like?

  • It could be the first iPhone with USB-C; this would make it an obvious choice for photographers and videographers as USB C is much faster at sending data than Apple’s current Lightning port.
  • It could feature 8K video recording and a seriously updated camera module. Again, this would tie in with the USB-C thing; moving 8K footage from your iPhone 15 Ultra to a Mac is going to be a lot faster with USB-C
  • A souped-up A18 CPU. Apple is apparently switching to a 2nm process for its iPhone 15 series. If there is an Ultra model, could Apple do what it has been doing with its Mac chipsets and add in a newer, more powerful variant? It’s possible and it would be a really simple way to differentiate the iPhone 15 Ultra from the iPhone 15 Pro.

As I said, this is all conjecture at this point but if there is an iPhone 15 Ultra model, I think it will almost certainly have to replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max. And I don’t see the iPhone 15 Plus happening in 2023 either, not after such weak demand for the iPhone 14 Plus.

Check out all the latest news and leaks for the iPhone 15 inside our dedicated iPhone 15 Resource Hub – it covers literally everything you need to know in one place.

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