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iPhone 15 Ultra name is back on the table for the upcoming Pro Max version

Published Aug 21st, 2023 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 14 Pro Max and Beats Studio Buds+ earbuds
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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The iPhone 14 series wasn’t even out properly, and we already had rumors last fall claiming the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be called iPhone 15 Ultra. The reason for the change was Apple’s desire to differentiate the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max. And I told you back then that I already hated the iPhone 15 Ultra for that. Assuming Apple would keep this up for upcoming generations, I’d have to get the largest model to take advantage of the best new features.

But then the Ultra excitement died down, and we returned to calling the largest iPhone 15 variant the Pro Max. Apple will still deliver a few exclusive features to the 6.7-inch Pro model, rumors said. Like the telephoto zoom camera that will mark the arrival of periscope cameras to the iPhone. But the Ultra name change seemed postponed to the iPhone 16 series.

With less than a month to go until Apple’s iPhone 15 event, we now have a rumor that claims the iPhone 15 Pro Max will get that new name, iPhone 15 Ultra.

The detail comes from Apple Insider’s Andrew O’Hara. He heard from “multiple sources” that the iPhone 15 Ultra moniker is coming.

“Multiple sources have told me Apple will indeed use the ‘iPhone 15 Ultra’ monicker for the plus-sized pro phone,” O’Hara said. “This was an early rumor that got backpedaled. Most have since referred to it as iPhone 15 Pro Max.”

Name aside; I already told you the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be a great upgrade if you like the Pro Max size. The handset will feature a tweaked design, complete with a titanium frame and a periscope camera on the back. You’re also getting other camera improvements, a new Action button on the side, the 3nm A17 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port with fast data transfer speeds.

The iPhone 15 Ultra will also feature a larger battery than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage.

All of that makes the starting price of $1,299 easier to swallow. Again, if you’re into Pro Max devices. Regardless of the name change.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max Cads
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max CAD files. Image source: 9to5Mac

As for the new Ultra rumor, I think we might soon see proof that the rebrand is real. Or that it’s not. If Apple is moving to Ultra branding on the iPhone, it must have decided the change long ago. Apple needs enough time to develop all the marketing materials and the iPhone 15 Ultra boxes. Similarly, carriers and accessory makers must prepare marketing materials to sell the device/accessories.

All these parties would have prepared “iPhone 15 Pro Max” materials, of course. What I’m saying is that, if that Ultra branding is real, it might get leaked long before September 12th.

I’ll also note that the Ultra particle makes sense for the iPhone. It represents the best possible smartphone can sell right now and takes on rivals that also have Ultra in their names. Like the upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra. Also, Apple already uses Ultra for the Apple Watch Ultra and the M2 Ultra chip.

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.