iPhone 15 Ultra To Replace “Pro Max” Variant In 2023
Apple’s continued focus on differentiating its base and Pro model iPhones will pick up pace in 2023 with the release of the iPhone 15 Ultra
iPhone 15 Ultra: Key Takeaways
- Introduction of an ‘Ultra’ Tier: Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple will introduce an iPhone 15 Ultra, rebranding its top-tier Pro Max model. This Ultra model is expected to have exclusive features not available in the iPhone 15 Pro.
- Potential Chipset Variations: The iPhone 15 Ultra could feature a more powerful, optimized version of Apple’s A17 chipset, setting it apart not only from the base and Pro models but also from the Pro Max variant.
- Camera Differentiation: One of the most likely areas for the Ultra model to stand out could be its camera capabilities, which may include features like a fourth sensor, advanced sensors, or the ability to shoot in 8K.
- New Price Tier: The introduction of the Ultra model will likely create a new, higher price point, especially if the device comes with features that are notably superior to the Pro models.
- Impact on Pro Model Sales: Apple will need to carefully balance the features and pricing of the Ultra model to avoid cannibalizing sales of its Pro models.
- Brand Name Extension: The recent release of the Apple Watch Ultra suggests that the “Ultra” brand name might become a regular part of Apple’s product lineup, indicating devices with top-of-the-line specs and features.
Apple already did the dirty on base-model iPhone users in 2022, releasing a thoroughly uninspired iPhone 14 which runs on the same chip as the outgoing iPhone 13 Pro Max. On top of this, Apple reserved nearly ALL the major changes for its iPhone 14 Pro models, and this trend is set to continue into 2023.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s 2023 iPhone 15 series will continue to widen the gulf between the company’s base model iPhones and its Pro series iPhones. But unlike in 2022, there will be some marked differences between the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max too. Oh, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max might not even be called that either…
iPhone 15 Ultra Coming In 2023
According to Kuo and other online sources, Apple will rebrand its top-of-the-line flagship, the Pro Max variant. The iPhone 15 Pro Max will reportedly be called the iPhone 15 Ultra and it’ll have plenty of exclusive features NOT available on the iPhone 15 Pro.
How this will work remains to the seen. Apple’s Pro and Pro Max models are usually very similar, differing only in their size and battery type. If there is an “Ultra” model iPhone, we could see Apple using a tweaked or further optimized version of its A17 chipset, a turbo-charged one, if you will.
Or, the iPhone 15 Ultra could have some unique features that are not present on the iPhone 15 Pro. Again, it is probably way too early to speculate on this kind of thing, let alone determine what Apple’s actual plans are for the phone’s specs and features, but the fact it is now messing with its Pro-series iPhones is very telling.
iPhone 15 Ultra Features – How Will It Be Different?
The most obvious area for Apple to further differentiate its Ultra model would be the camera. It could add in newer, more powerful sensors, add the ability to shoot 8K video content, or even include a fourth sensor that isn’t available on the iPhone 15 Pro. As I said, it is tricky to speculate this early on.
One thing that is almost certain, should Apple choose to go this route, is a new price tier for its Ultra model. Of course, a much higher price will be predicated on new features, and right now it is too early to pin these down, but “Ultra” branding indicates superior performance and top-of-the-line specs which means a higher price point versus the Pro model.
With this new, potential model – or switch of branding – Apple would technically have three price tiers: 1) standard, with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, 2) Pro, with the iPhone 15 Pro, and 3) Ultra (meaning ultra-expensive) with the iPhone 15 Ultra. Plus, Apple has just released the Apple Watch Ultra, so we know this brand name is now in the mix at Apple HQ.
I’m just struggling to see how Apple can do an iPhone 15 Ultra without nobbling its iPhone 15 Pro sales unless it makes the iPhone 15 Ultra so prohibitively expensive that the iPhone 14 Pro looks affordable by contrast…