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iPhone 15 Pro Max might feature better performance than Pro

Updated Jan 27th, 2023 4:57PM EST
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max units on launch day
Image: Jonathan Geller BGR

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The iPhone 15 might be the first iPhone series where the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which may be called the iPhone 15 Ultra, will be much different from the Pro version. Apple’s iPhone Pro models have traditionally offered identical specs and experiences, with screen and battery sizes being the obvious differentiators.

We’ve already seen various reports claiming the iPhone 15 Pro Max might be called Ultra. The new designator would tell buyers that the Ultra has additional specs and features that are missing from the Pro. Like a telephoto periscope lens for better zoom and extra RAM that the Ultra will supposedly get. But a new report also suggests iPhone 15 Ultra might also pack a few performance improvements over the regular Pro.

The iPhone 14 series was the first to deliver two different System-on-Chips (SoC) in one iPhone series. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus featured the same A15 Bionic models as the iPhone 13 Pro, while the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max came with the new A16 Bionic.

We’d expect Apple to follow this pattern for at least a few years. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus should get the A16. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max would run on the brand-new A17 SoC. That’s one way to keep costs down for the more affordable iPhones and deal with any chip-related manufacturing issues.

iPhone 14 Pro on an Apple coffee table book
iPhone 14 Pro on an Apple coffee table book Image source: Jonathan Geller, BGR

But LeaksApplePro indicates in his recent iOS 17 features leak that the iPhone 15 Pro Max might offer a few chip performance improvements over the regular iPhone 15 Pro. Not only that, but they’d be performance improvements that Apple will not necessarily draw attention to.

First, the leaker says the iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature image processing software that will be more advanced than the Pro. Remember that rumors say the Pro Max will get a telephoto periscope camera. The extra zoom abilities might require better processing. The larger phone might also include 8GB of RAM, and the additional memory could come in handy for image and photo processing.

Separately, the leaker says the iPhone 15 Pro Max might offer a better cooling system than the iPhone 15 Pro. This would improve the overall performance of the A17 Bionic, as the phone would be able to operate at peak speeds for longer than the Pro.

We’ll remind you these are just claims from a leaker’s sources who might have access to incomplete details about a product that’s still in development. We should learn more about the iPhone 15 Pro Max and its unique abilities as we approach the September launch date.

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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