The iPhone 15 Ultra sounds like it's in line for some premium upgrades like a titanium frame when it arrives next year. But the high-end features could wind up commanding a much higher price than usual.
As highlighted by Howtoisolve, prominent leaker LeaksApplePro says the price of the iPhone 15 Ultra could be anywhere from $1,199 and $1,299. Apple's current high-end phone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, starts at $1,099, so we're talking about a hike of at least $100 and potentially $200 — at least in theory.
This isn't the first time we've heard about a price hike for next year's top iPhone. Previous iPhone 15 Ultra price rumors have suggested that the phone will debut at $1,199 (though that's also coming from LeaksApplePro).
The higher price could be a sign of higher production costs, as LeaksApplePro speculates that it may cost Apple $90 more to make the iPhone 15 Ultra than it would an iPhone 15 Pro Max. Potential reasons for those higher costs include rumored features like a titanium chassis, adopting a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, new dual front-facing selfie cameras or any combination of these possible changes.
It could also come down to supply chain constraints that might also prevent the iPhone 15 from adopting rounded-edge back panels. Either way, it seems that the costs will be passed down to consumers, at least according to this one leaker's calculations.
iPhone 15 Ultra price hike impact
At first glance, a price hike would seem to be bad news for the iPhone 15 Ultra, which is being tipped as potential high-end successor to Apple's Pro Max models. But it could also be a sign that Apple will take the "Ultra" part of the rumored model's name seriously.
-New naming scheme: 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, 15 Ultra.The 6.7-inch iPhone 15 “Pro” will be called Ultra and be differentiated a bit more, and that includes pricing. I expect it to start at $1199 at best. I’ll have more specific info about features closer to release.September 19, 2022
We always decry companies for not making changes worth paying for. There’s been enough incremental changes rather than massive leaps in recent years, that we are able to honestly debate whether or not you should keep an iPhone 11 instead of upgrading to an iPhone 14. The question of making an iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13 choice is still very open, even though the former phone is newer.
So if Apple actually provides an upgraded experience that the iPhone 15 Ultra name hints at, paying $100 more may be worth it. After all, that could be a small price to pay for increased performance, stronger design, more storage, and much better cameras. And current iPhone 15 Ultra rumors indicate that the Ultra could provide all these benefits.
But if the Ultra simply replaces the iPhone 15 Pro Max in the iPhone 15 lineup, a $100 price hike will be disappointing and could backfire on Apple. The $100 you spend on the iPhone 14 Pro Max versus the iPhone 14 Pro largely comes down to a larger display. If the Ultra only brings that upgrade and costs at least $200 more than the Pro, it becomes a significantly less attractive proposition.
It’s important to note that Apple has offered no official indication as to how many models will make up the iPhone 15 lineup, whether it's the current four models or some other number. And not everyone believes an iPhone 15 Ultra could actually come to pass. Even if there is an Ultra model, it could simply be a rebranded Pro Max model, without the price-spiking enhancements.
You may also remember that the iPhone 14 Pro models were supposed to see $100 price hikes, reflecting the significant changes Apple was making to both the Pro and Pro Max. In the end, both phones kept the respective $999 and $1,099 starting prices as their predecessors. So rumored price hikes don't always pan out, especially 10 months ahead of a phone's actual release.
It's a long ways between now and the iPhone 15 Ultra's release, if that phone is even in the works. Apple isn't likely to roll out the iPhone 15 lineup until fall 2023. If you can't wait until then, be sure to check out the best iPhone 14 Pro Max deals so that you can save on Apple's most expensive current handset.
Up next: iOS 16.2 launching this week — here's all the new features for your iPhone