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Apple might introduce pricier iPhone Ultra in 2024

Published Feb 6th, 2023 6:50AM EST
iPhone 14 Pro on a side table
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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While some reports claim the first iPhone Ultra will be part of the iPhone 15 series, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple has been considering such an upgrade for the 2024 iPhone series. The iPhone Ultra could be even better and larger than the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max models coming next year. As a result, the iPhone 16 Ultra would be pricier than the most expensive Pro Max option.

Gurman mentioned in his newest Power On newsletter a comment from Tim Cook during Apple’s most recent quarterly earnings report.

Asked whether the rising iPhone average sales price was sustainable, the CEO implied there’s room for additional increases. Customers are willing to spend more for the capabilities the iPhone has to offer.

“I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category,” Cook said. He added the iPhone is “integral” to people’s lives. The handset can make payments, control smart home equipment, and manage health data.

Gurman notes that Apple has discussed internally adding a higher-end iPhone to the top of its smartphone lineup. iPhone 15 rumors say the iPhone 15 Ultra would replace the Pro Max. But Gurman’s information indicates an iPhone 16 Ultra would join the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max will have a few exclusive features compared to the iPhone 15 Pro, something Gurman also touches on. Apple will differentiate the iPhone 15 tiers “with a range of materials, processors, and cameras,” he said. The iPhone 15 Pro Max will have a periscope lens, the first of its kind on the iPhone.

It’s unclear what exclusive features an iPhone 16 Ultra would have to offer. Gurman speculates that the top-of-the-lie model will feature further camera improvements, a faster chip, and a larger display. It might also drop the charging port completely. These features would further drive up the price of the iPhone Ultra.

But there’s no indication any of this will happen. Apple is only discussing the iPhone Ultra in time for a 2024 release. This also gives it plenty of time to alter its plans. Considering the base iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus aren’t selling that well, Apple might want to change the iPhone lineup, starting with the 2024 series.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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