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iPhone 15 Ultra isn’t even out, and I already hate it

Updated 1 month ago
Published Sep 26th, 2022 6:50AM EDT
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

Apple launched the iPhone 14 series a few weeks ago, with three models hitting stores 10 days ago. The iPhone 14 Plus will follow in mid-October, completing Apple’s 2022 iPhone launch. That means the iPhone 15 rumors season is in full swing, as Apple is undoubtedly working on the next-gen phone. Even though we’ll have to wait about a year to see the 2023 handsets in stores, I already hate the iPhone 15 Ultra, the purported Pro Max replacement.

Hate is perhaps a too-strong a word for a phone that doesn’t exist. Apple might be developing the 2023 iPhones internally, but it has plenty of time to make significant changes to next year’s iPhone 15 models. We’ll have to wait several months to get a clearer image of what the next iPhone series will have to offer.

But we have a few iPhone 15 rumors that already sound like certainties. The Ultra name change seems to be one of them. Specifically, reports say that all iPhone 15 models will feature a Dynamic Island notch. And that all of them will have USB-C connectivity instead of Lightning. The iPhone 15 Ultra is the latest recurring rumor.

After the iPhone 14 event, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that Ultra is coming to the iPhone after the Apple Watch.

Then, Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will want to differentiate the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max next. He didn’t mention the Ultra name change, however.

Several days later, LeaksApplePro said the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be renamed iPhone 15 Ultra.

This brings us to Gurman’s PowerOn newsletter on Sunday, which mentioned the Ultra again:

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. […]

If you have an iPhone 13, I’d wait another 12 months for the iPhone 15. That’s when we’ll see bigger changes, including a potential rebranding of the Pro Max as the Ultra. 

The problem with the iPhone 15 Ultra isn’t the name change. It’s the size. Apple differentiating the Pro and Pro Max is a problem for all iPhone users who want the best iPhone Apple can make in the most compact size possible. That’s the 6.1-inch iPhone Pro.

The Ultra strategy works for MacBook chips. Most people can use entry-level Airs and Pros without needing the most powerful M-series chips. As for the Apple Watch, the Ultra variant targets users who want a more rugged device with more advanced functionality for specific scenarios.

That’s why I hate the prospect of Apple pushing better features to the iPhone 15 Ultra and its successors compared to the regular Pro. I am one of the many people who love the 6.1-inch iPhone Pro. And the move to 6.7-inch seems out of the question.


More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

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 closely follows the events in 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.