Confession time. When Apple announced that its new rugged and pricey smartwatch was named the Apple Watch Ultra rather than the Apple Watch Pro, this writer wondered whether Apple was hinting about a change it was planning to make to the Apple iPhone lineup. In my mind, I thought that perhaps next year Apple would release an even pricier iPhone 15 Ultra that would feature specs topping those on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple could replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max with the iPhone 15 Ultra
But before I could start typing, it dawned on me that this would require Apple to use the Ultra name for an iPhone, a name already used by its top rival Samsung. Apple wouldn’t do that I thought; so yeah, yours truly 86’d the idea and moved on.
Twitter tipster LeaksApplePro tweets about Apple’s rumored new iPhone naming scheme
This being the competitive business that it is, I was surprised, amused, and even angry with myself after reading a tweet from Twitter tipster LeaksApplePro who wrote about the new naming scheme for the 2023 iPhone models that presumably he heard from a source (unlike me as my forecast was based on a gut feeling and years of experience writing about the mobile market).
The tipster says that next year Apple will roll out the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Ultra. He not only expects it to be differentiated more than the Pro Max models were, he expects it to be priced starting at $1,199. That would be $100 more than the $1,099 starting price for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. He states that Apple is working on 8K video recording although it isn’t clear whether that will be for the two Pro models (the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra) or the Ultra model alone.
TF International’s reliable analyst, and the man who knows which shirt Tim Cook will don on the next Thursday in October, Ming-Chi Kuo, hints that only the Ultra model will sport a periscope lens with a 5x to 6x zoom capability. And the Ultra is said to have three to four hours of additional battery life. Did I just see your ears perk up?
We already know, or at least it is rumored, that all four 2023 models will sport the latest amazing Apple feature that you didn’t know that you needed, the Dynamic Island. Apple is expected to put this year’s 4nm A16 Bionic inside the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus while the 3nm A17 Bionic powers the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra. That would make the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra models the first iPhone models to use chips made using TSMC’s 3nm process node.
Apple iPhone 15 line could replace the Lightning port with a USB-C port
The smaller the process node, the larger the number of transistors that can fit in a small dense spot like a chip. And the higher a chip’s transistor count, the more powerful and energy-efficient that component is. Apple is also reportedly testing a way to move the components of the True Depth Camera (used for Face ID) to underneath the display using a hole-punch for the lens.
We’d be remiss if we failed to mention that all iPhone 15 models could probably replace the Lightning port with a USB-C port at long last. But that change could wait for the iPhone 16 since in the EU (that’s European Union to you and me) all devices using a wired charging platform must have a USB-C charging port by the fall of 2024.
We haven’t seen any noticeable change in the screen sizes of the recent iPhone models. An iPhone 15 Ultra might look to break away from the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus by featuring a larger display. This all makes too much sense for Apple not to be considering it. And even if Samsung did use Ultra first on the Galaxy S line, we’re sure Apple won’t mind as it counts the revenue that an iPhone 15 Ultra model could generate.