Early iPhone 15 leaks claim Apple will shake up its smartphone lineup with several notable design changes. And now it looks like the release of a new flagship model will coincide with the move to a potentially revolutionary core material.
Since the iPhone X of 2017 has exclusively used stainless steel stains on its premium smartphones, popular leaker LeaksApplePro claims the iPhone 15 Ultra (tipped to replace the Pro Max brand) will have a titanium chassis. Titanium is much stronger and lighter than stainless steel, but it is also staggeringly expensive.
Looking at the good news first, titanium’s strength-to-weight ratio is on a different level than stainless steel, with nearly the same strength at 40% of its weight. Therefore, titanium is widely used in weight-dependent applications, such as aircraft components.
In addition, titanium is 3-4x stronger than stainless steel at the same weight. This would give Apple options: reduce the weight of the iPhone 15 Ultra without losing power, keep the same weight and release the world’s strongest smartphone, or – more likely – strike a balance between the two.
The benefits make titanium seem like a no-brainer, but the reason it’s not common in smartphones is the cost. Titanium costs $35-50 per kilogram, compared to $1-1.50 per kilogram for stainless steel. It’s a huge difference, which made it a real shock that Apple would release a titanium iPhone.
Of course, Apple can rely on industry-leading economies of scale, but even they could struggle unless the company plans to raise prices again.
On the one hand, this would be a tough pill to swallow after the near-global price increases (US and China excluded) introduced with the iPhone 14 series. On the other hand, Apple has shown a desire to build the best devices in other product lines (regardless of cost), and this would be in line with the move to ‘Ultra branding’.
Throw in the rumors of the move to a Thunderbolt 4-powered USB-C port, dual front-facing cameras and, in the A17, its first 3nm chipset, and Apple might just make an iPhone, which customers will be willing to bank on. break. Given the battle of standard iPhone 14 models, it may also make a lot of sense…
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