iPhone 15 UltraQ4, 2023
Expected Release DateQ4, 2023
Apart from possibly choosing a different name for the iPhone 14 Pro Max successor next year, Apple could also add more exclusive upgrades to the iPhone 15 Ultra than what it incorporated in its premium models this year. In 2023, we could be greeted with a flagship that forgoes the moniker ‘Pro Max’ and replaces it with something that befits its potential stature. Here is everything you need to know about the iPhone 15 Ultra.
Apple Is Likely to Maintain the Same Design of the iPhone 14 Pro Max for the iPhone 15 Ultra
Given that Apple stuck with the notch for five iPhone generations while only reducing its size slightly on the iPhone 13, the Dynamic Island is likely to stay on the iPhone 15 Ultra and future models. In fact, the pill-shaped cutout that transforms during any intuitive function is reported to arrive for all iPhone 15 models in 2023. At least in this area, there would be less incentive for customers to pick up the pricier models unless Apple decides to give more functionality to the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra.
Minor Changes to the Display
Every year, Apple brings improvements to the iPhone’s screen. This year, DisplayMate gave the iPhone 14 Pro Max display more performance awards than it delivered to the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and for those that do not know, the latter was the previous reigning leader of DisplayMate’s rankings for having the best smartphone display.
A mix of LTPO OLED screens from Samsung and LG could be made for the iPhone 15 Ultra, with Samsung taking a bulk of the orders as it has done on multiple occasions. Features like refresh rate switching from 1Hz to 120Hz and Always-on Display will most probably make a return.
Currently, we have not heard of any other advanced display technologies or components being prepped for the iPhone 15 Ultra, so we will update our readers if any future reports mention those advancements.
Cutting-Edge 3nm SoC for the iPhone 15 Ultra and More
Alongside the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Ultra could be the first from Apple to feature the company’s first 3nm SoC. TSMC is expected to be given orders, with mass production likely commencing in the second half of 2023. The chipset could be named the A17 Bionic and like the M3 for future Macs, it could be fabricated on TSMC’s second-generation 3nm architecture, bringing better power efficiency and performance to the table.
The disappointing news from this revelation is that the A17 Bionic may be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra, with the less expensive models getting treated to the A16 Bionic, according to one rumor. We have not received any word if the ‘Ultra’ variant will feature more RAM, but considering that all iPhone 14 models launched this year feature 6GB LPDDR5 RAM, we should be greeted with an 8GB RAM version next year.
After all, as Apple continues to add more features to iOS, iOS 17 will require more memory to work optimally, so one way to justify the iPhone 15 Ultra purchase is to give the flagship more memory. The only question is if Apple will adopt the LPDDR5X standard like some Android phone makers. While we contemplate on Apple’s choice of specifications, we should also remind our readers to patiently wait for the technology giant’s custom 5G modem since that plan has hit a temporary roadblock and will not debut with the iPhone 15 launch.
An earlier teardown of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max revealed that Apple’s entire lineup features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X65 5G modem. This modem, along with a bunch of other components, is what allows all iPhone 14 models to communicate with some satellites, with users eventually using Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite in November. For 2023, the iPhone 15 Ultra will probably use the Snapdragon X70 5G modem, and the addition of this component could bring more exclusive satellite communication features.
As for Apple’s in-house 5G modem, experts argue that we will not see it before 2025. Other specification details of next year’s flagship are currently unknown to us, so let us move on to the camera.
New Camera Features
Reasons for buying an iPhone are plentiful, and its diversified camera array is one of them. We believe the iPhone 15 Ultra will arrive with one feature no other model for that year will get, and it will be the first in the iPhone launch’s history; a periscope zoom lens. Some of you were clamoring for Apple to add extended zoom capabilities to the iPhone, and after generating more patience than you can muster, it may only take next year of waiting for you to see the feature in action.
Currently, the iPhone’s zoom capabilities are limited to 3x optical zoom in and 2x optical zoom out, with the remaining 6x optical zoom range and up to 15x digital zoom done using a software and hardware running in unison. With a periscope zoom lens, which Apple is said to have already secured a supplier for, we could get 5x optical zoom right off the bat, meaning Apple would have greater flexibility incorporating higher digital zoom level options.
If we are lucky, Apple could implement a 10x optical zoom. As for the main sensor, we could be looking at the same 48MP camera belonging to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, with Apple bringing additional software magic to boost image quality. We will get to know more about these cameras and more as time goes on.
Potentially Increased Pricing Structure
The fact that Apple is rumored to bring more exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra to rake increased margins and command a higher average selling price (ASP) means that the top-end model is likely to cost more. Given that the A16 Bionic running in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max costs more than twice to make compared to the A15 Bionic, a 3nm A17 Bionic could be an expensive chip to procure and use.
Not just this, but the addition of a periscope zoom lens, paired with an uncertain economic future that also has Apple’s only chip supplier, TSMC, raising wafer prices by up to 6 percent, the iPhone 15 Ultra could see a $100 price hike. Of course, do not take our word for it since Apple was rumored on multiple occasions to do the same for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, and every single report was proven wrong. This year’s ‘Pro’ models still cost $999 while touting more upgrades than last year’s iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Since the new start has not started, significant changes in rumors and reports alike will be seen, and we may have a completely different outlook on the iPhone 15 Ultra, so let us keep our crossed for more updates and wait for other surprises that Apple has planned for 2023.