According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has contemplated releasing a brand-new, premium iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest. This timeline indicates that the product would be an iPhone 16 or later.
Apple could switch up the 2024 iPhone 16 lineup by offering five models instead of four
In September 2022, Gurman revealed that Apple might replace the iPhone Pro Max suffix in next year’s lineup, in favor of calling the model “Ultra.” The Ultra naming scheme seems to be inspired by the Apple Watch Ultra and the M1 Ultra.
In the latest edition of his weekly “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, Gurman said that instead of charging suffix of the iPhone Pro Max, Apple may introduce the Ultra as a new, more expensive, high-end model in the iPhone 16 lineup.
But instead of renaming the Pro Max “the Ultra,” Apple could add an even higher-end iPhone above both Pro models. Internally, the company has discussed doing just that — potentially in time for the 2024 iPhone release.
The more expensive iPhone Apple offers right now is the iPhone 14 Pro Max which starts at $1,099. While 1 terabyte of storage, the iPhone 14 Pro Max costs $1,600. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, there is no issue with the rising average sales price of the iPhone. In fact, it’s likely that consumers could be convinced to spend more money.
“I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category,” Cook said on the call, noting that the iPhone has become “integral” to people’s lives. Consumers now use the device to make payments, control smart-home appliances, manage their health and store banking data, he said.
Consumers would need the incentive to upgrade. It’s unclear at this time how that top-of-the-line device would differ, although it will likely come with upgraded cameras, a faster chip, and possibly a larger display. Additionally, Apple could make the device completely portless. It already intends on introducing solid-state haptic volume buttons with the iPhone 15 lineup.
On the topic of this year’s iPhone 15 lineup, Gurman said that Apple will use a variety of materials, CPUs, and cameras to further distinguish the product’s tiers. This involves adding a periscope lens to the Pro Max variant, which will provide better optical zoom.