iPhone 15 Ultra to replace Pro Max model in 2023

Apple might replace its iPhone Pro Max model with a new iPhone 15 Ultra in 2023, as per a new update by Mark Gurman. This is a surprising bit of news as Apple has stuck with the Pro Max naming scheme ever since it gave up on Plus models, only to bring back the name this year for iPhone 14 Plus.

It is unclear why Apple would want to change its phone names, as the only differentiation between Pro and Pro Max models is the screen and battery sizes. Unlike the past, when Apple used to keep some features exclusive to Pro Max models, the company has changed this with recent iPhone releases.

iPhone 15 Ultra

iPhone 15 Ultra

Mark Gurman’s weekly Power On newsletter has a passing mention of this change, alongside the move to USB-C to replace the Lightning connector.

Based on Apple’s current pattern, we can expect 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.

It is interesting to note that Apple has only used the “Ultra” name with two products to date. The first one was with M1 Ultra chip, which was built to be much more powerful than the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips. The second instance of using this name is with the Apple Watch Ultra, which recently launched and is targeted towards extreme sports athletes.

With M-series chips, Apple uses all the “tier” names including Pro, Max, and Ultra. With Apple Watch, the company is only using Ultra. However, with iPhone, the current naming is broken down as follows:

  • iPhone (default)
  • iPhone Plus
  • iPhone Pro
  • iPhone Pro Max

The Max branding is also used with AirPods, alongside Pro. Will we also see an Ultra model replace the Max model in the future?

If Apple plans to replace the Pro Max models with Ultra, it may be possible that the company intends to add exclusive features to this model which will not be available for the Pro models. That would be the best way for Apple to justify the new name. Now whether it comes through a rugged exterior, improved camera features, or something else, is yet to be seen. We doubt that users want a rugged exterior on a premium iPhone, but if Apple plans to use Titanium, like Apple Watch Ultra, it may be an attractive upgrade.

The only news that we have received so far is that the difference between Pro and non-Pro models will widen next year with iPhone 15, which does not say anything about this name change.

This is also not the first time that iPhone 15 Ultra name has been used. A Twitter user @LeaksApplePro tweeted about it a few days ago, claiming that Apple will have the following naming for iPhone 15: 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Ultra. The leaker also claimed that it will be differentiated in not just features but also pricing, and may start from $1199.

iPhone 15 is a year away from now, so we will get more rumors and leaks over time to confirm whether the Ultra is just a name change, or is backed up by new exclusive features.

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