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iPhone 15 Ultra titanium case might have appeared in a puzzling leak

Updated Dec 21st, 2022 11:59AM EST
iPhone 14 Pro Max boxes
Image: Jonathan S. Geller

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Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup will reportedly include four models: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Ultra. The last one would be the iPhone 15 Pro Max replacement, a device featuring a few additional features compared to the iPhone 15 Pro. We have plenty of rumors about the new iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra models, including one that says Apple might use titanium for the more expensive handsets.

Not only that, but the iPhone 15 models might deliver a significant design change compared to iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14 handsets. Next year, Apple will supposedly use a curved back, similar to the new MacBook Pros.

This brings us to a brand new leak that may give us a look at the finish of the iPhone 15 Ultra’s titanium case. The leak is questionable, and not only because of the timing. It only gives us a partial look at a material that’s not smooth like we would imagine it to be.

A leaker known as ShrimpApplePro shared an image that was first posted in China on the local social network Weibo.

The image claims to show the surface of the iPhone 15 Ultra’s titanium frame. If accurate, we might be looking at a zoomed-in photo of the material. The macro shot makes the material look like sandpaper. Put differently; it could be anything, not just titanium. And it obviously might not truly be the iPhone 15 Ultra’s titanium frame.

If the image is real, it means Apple is already working on the technology required to make enclosures for next year’s iPhones. The company already used titanium for the Apple Watch Ultra and has patents detailing technology to manufacture goods out of durable metal.

On the other hand, other iPhone generations have been rumored to use titanium frames in the past. There’s no confirmation that Apple will actually use titanium iPhone frames next year.

Whether it features a titanium frame or not, the iPhone 15 Ultra should have the same glass-sandwich design as its predecessors. We’re looking at two glass panels on the front and back. Between them, we’ll have a metal chassis holding all the internal components.

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus feature aluminum enclosures, while the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have stainless steel frames.

Finally, if Apple curves the sides of the iPhone 15 models, it’ll be interesting to see how the metal will meet the glass, regardless of whether titanium is involved. The iPhone 15 design details come from the same leaker who also claimed recently that Apple will indeed use titanium frames next year.

The iPhone 15 series should launch in early September, which gives us plenty of time to for additional design rumors before then.

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.