The iPhone 14 Pro Max could be the last iPhone to bear that name, if Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman is correct. Writing the latest edition of his “Power On” (opens in new tab) newsletter, Gurman suggested that the most expensive iPhone 15 could skip the naming convention.
So the iPhone 15 Pro Max may eventually become the iPhone 15 Ultra.
While the “Pro Max” moniker has been around since the iPhone 11 range launched in 2019, a rebrand wouldn’t be the end of the world. The name is a bit of a mouthful, so a simpler name is more than welcome. It would also help differentiate the phone and step out of the shadows of the iPhone 15 Pro as a more standalone device.
We’ve already heard speculation that Apple will do more to better differentiate between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has already said he expects the most expensive iPhone to have additional unique features. Similarly, LeaksApplePro has already suggested that the Pro Max name could be replaced with the Ultra branding.
Should that be the case, then a rebrand would be the easiest way to show that the iPhone 15 Ultra is its own thing, not just a bigger iPhone 15 Pro. It would also mean that, despite all the rumors about the iPhone 15 Ultra, we won’t see the launch of a fifth iPhone next year.
iPhone 15 Ultra — how could it be different?
So what would make the iPhone 15 Ultra so ultra? First, Apple could take a page from the Apple Watch Ultra and focus on durability. For example, the iPhone 15 Ultra could use a stronger titanium alloy design, which was at one point claimed for the iPhone 14 series.
Another possibility is that Apple reserves the rumored periscope zoom camera for the largest iPhone 15 Ultra and keeps the iPhone 15 Pro at 3x optical zoom. This would make Apple a more direct competitor to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
This is more far-fetched, but Apple could even decide to make the iPhone 15 Ultra port-free, as the company is rumored to have been working on a portless iPhone for years. But the company would have to make the MagSafe charge really fast to make up for the lack of Lightning or USB-C.
Ultimately, we could end up with four iPhone models with a unique naming system, with each model offering something different. In my mind, I can see that the iPhone is the basic device, while the Plus model would offer the larger screen. Meanwhile, the Pro would offer more, especially in terms of cameras, and the Ultra would have the advanced features that require a hefty price tag.
New design for iPhone 15
Gurman has also suggested that Apple could offer a brand new iPhone design next year. As he points out, Apple’s current pattern is to change things every three years. The current iPhone design has been around since the iPhone 12, which could indicate that change is on the way.
There are already rumors that Apple will bring the Dynamic Island from the iPhone 14 Pro series to the iPhone 15, so that’s a pretty plausible design change for 2023. That would allow you to get notifications, alerts and live updates at the top of the screen and a smaller recess than the current notch.
Moreover, given that there are many rumors that the iPhone 15 series could be the first time to launch an iPhone with USB-C, a redesign could not be ruled out.
This assumes that USB-C is a universal design change, as some recent rumors have claimed. Early rumors suggested that only the most expensive iPhone 15 model would ditch Lightning, which would help differentiate the Ultra model. However, with EU law on universal chargers coming into force in 2024, it would be in Apple’s interest to get online as soon as possible.
We’re almost a year away from the iPhone 15 launch, which means there’s still a lot of unknowns out there right now. So hang in there, and we’ll bring you more iPhone 15 rumors as soon as we get them.