As early as September last year, it was rumored that one of Apple’s 2023 iPhones could indeed come with the “Ultra” branding following the launch of the Apple Watch Ultra. Between the rugged wearable and Apple’s top-of-the-line Apple silicon chips, “Ultra” has become Apple’s new go-to name for the best of the best across multiple product lines.
In September, top insider Mark Gurman revealed Apple was planning “a revamped iPhone design next year, coinciding with a shift to USB-C and the potential of a new Ultra model replacing the Pro Max.”
Later, in January, prolific analyst Ming-Chi Kuo referred to new devices as “the highest-end model of the 2H23 new iPhone 15 model (15 Pro Max or 15 Ultra)", and in February Gurman reiterated that Apple could debut both an iPhone 15 Pro Max and an iPhone 15 Ultra.
The point I’m trying to make is that it could be both. More differentiation between the pro and pro max but also something even higher end. Who knows what Apple will name which.February 5, 2023
iPhone 15 Ultra? It’s back!
Now, a source without a previous track record, but who could well be in the know, claims multiple sources have told them “Apple will indeed use the “iPhone 15 Ultra” moniker for the plus-sized pro phone.”
Apple Insider’s Andrew O’Hara reiterates this “was an early rumor that got backpedaled”, noting that most people (ourselves included) have since been looking ahead to the iPhone 15 Pro Max nomenclature.
According to O’Hara, the Ultra “will have the larger display and the 10X periscope tele lens,” while the iPhone 15 Pro will also get the Action Button and A17 Bionic chip, as expected.
While Gurman has previously hinted at a Pro Max and Ultra possibility, O’Hara explicitly states there will be an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and an iPhone 15 Ultra, with “no more” Pro Max name.
What’s in a name? iMore’s take
We’d laid the iPhone 15 Ultra rumors to bed months ago. Last we’d heard, the iPhone “Ultra” might have been a newer high-end fifth iPhone coming in 2024. There are enough rumors now swirling to confidently say that no-one has a clue.
However, in my book, an Ultra iPhone makes some sense. As noted, Apple uses Ultra to denote really high-end premium products, so sticking that name to the iPhone would make sense in some regards. However, I really like how clean the iPhone X/X Pro division is, and having four iPhones, each with a slightly different name seems messy to me. Perhaps, for regular consumers, having only one “Pro” iPhone could make buying them easier, but the list of iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and UItra definitely doesn’t roll off the tongue.
With just three weeks until the expected iPhone event, we don’t have long to wait to find out.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9