Apple iPhone 15 Ultra said to come with $200 price hike

iPhone 14 Pro Max
iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Apple)

Back at the end of October, when the rumor that the iPhone 15 Ultra, believed to be replacing the iPhone 14 Pro Max (opens in new tab), would be made from titanium rather than a stainless steel casing, which Apple's been using since the 2017 iPhone X, we said it would be expensive (opens in new tab). Now the usually reliable @LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), who dropped the titanium bombshell has leaked, writing for HowToiSolve (opens in new tab) (via TechRadar) that the iPhone 15 Ultra might start at up to $1,299 (but didn’t provide pricing for other regions).

• These are the best iPhones for photography (opens in new tab)

Titanium is one of the costliest industrial metals – at least ten times the price of stainless steel – so we knew if this rumor were to be true there would certainly be a price hike for the consumer. Using @LeaksApplePro’ (opens in new tab)s $1,299 starting price and comparing it to the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s starting price of $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899, means a minimum increase of $200 / £230 / AU$350. 

A $200 price hike is a biggy, especially in today’s troubled economic climate, but we are still excited about the iPhone 15 Ultra for a number of reasons, not least the titanium body, which would mean Apple is either building an immensely strong phone or a very light one (without sacrificing strength). Compared to stainless steel, at the same weight, titanium’s strength-to-weight ratio means it can provide the same strength at 40 percent of the weight. 

iPhone 15 Ultra: Rumors so far 

As well as the rumored titanium body and price hike, there are other exciting leaks around the expected flagship, which is said to come with upwards of 256GB of storage – twice that of the 128GB starting capacity of the iPhone 14 Pro Max – another rumor that makes you think the price hike may be warranted.

Again from the prolific, yet anonymous, @LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), this time speaking directly to Fobes (opens in new tab) has said that the transition back to curved edges (opens in new tab) – a look that goes back to the 2013 iPhone 5C which was arguably Apple’s best phone ergonomically – is under “strong consideration” but hasn’t yet been decided upon.

Earlier this month we got new intel, courtesy of MacRumors (opens in new tab), that suggested that the two high-end iPhone models will feature haptic buttons (opens in new tab) on the side and create larger differentiation between Pro and non-Pro handsets. The benefit of this is that there would be fewer entry points for dirt and water to get into the handset. 

Another recent rumor (opens in new tab) says we can’t expect the long-awaited Apple chip to debut until at least 2025 and so Qualcomm is predicted to remain the supplier of modems for all iPhone 15 (opens in new tab) and indeed iPhone 16 models instead. Currently, then, it’s expected that all iPhone 15 models, including the Ultra, will be powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon X70 modem, which was announced in February.

@LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), responsible for many of the rumors we’ve shared here has also said the Dynamic Island to stop being a Pro exclusive and feature in all models instead, and all models in the iPhone 15 series ditching the Lightning port (opens in new tab) in favor of USB Type-C. 

Analyst and leaker Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab) (via TechRadar (opens in new tab)) who has a decent track record for Apple information, also alleges that all models in the upcoming iPhone 15 family will have a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port. In his series of tweets (opens in new tab), Kuo claims that only the two tiger-end models will benefit from the extra speed potential of USB-C. The two higher-end models will supposedly support either USB-C 3.2 data transfer speeds -which can reach 20Gbps - or Thunderbolt 3 speeds - which can achieve up to 40Gbps.

The Apple iPhone 14 sees the newer SoC on the Pro model only and @LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab) says this will also be the case next year with standard iPhone 15 models getting the A16 Bionic and the Pro models featuring an all-new A17 one. 

Again from the mouth of @LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab),  Apple may be working on 8K video recording support and the tech giant is looking to improve battery life for the new series. It’s rumored that on the iPhone 15 Ultra model, Apple is aiming for the battery to last 3-4 hours longer.

Lastly, earlier this month, a new leak (opens in new tab) from Nikkei (opens in new tab) (via SonyAlphaRumours (opens in new tab) said that Sony will supply Apple with its latest state-of-the-art CMOS image sensor and that the new component is expected to feature in the iPhone 15 series. Sony's new image sensor will give roughly double the saturation signal level in each pixel – that's compared to a conventional camera phone (opens in new tab) sensor, meaning that iPhone 15 Ultra users would be able to capture far better-quality photos compared to the iPhone 14 (opens in new tab), thanks to all the extra light and could potentially expect overexposure and underexposure to become a thing of the past.

The iPhone 15 family, including the iPhone 15 Ultra,  is expected to launch in September 2023, in line with Apple’s standard launch model, and we can expect many more leaks and rumors (opens in new tab) before then.

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Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com (opens in new tab), she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.