11/12 update below. This post was originally published on December 8th
iPhone 15 leaks have already revealed Apple’s ambitious plans for next-generation smartphones. But new information now says that those ambitions come with a heavy price.
Last month, a leaker revealed that the bill of materials for the iPhone 15 Ultra, Apple’s new name for its ‘Pro Max’ models, would Increase up to $100. Now LeaksApplePro states that the iPhone 15 Ultra will be priced at $1,299 — a $200 increase over the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the largest generational jump in iPhone history.
“The iPhone is going to be more expensive. Even in the US.” Apple is losing margins year after year. High production costs and inflation, which makes the money that the company has in the bank less than its value, finally broke the camel’s back.
LeaksApplePro states that “we don’t know the status of other devices in the cluster.” However, with a starting price of $1,299 potentially seeing the iPhone 15 Ultra as high as $1,799 for the 1TB model, this will likely have a significant impact on the rest of the range since Apple doesn’t like to have a gulf between products in the same lineup.
On the flip side, the iPhone 15 Ultra will give you more for your money. LeaksApplePro states that the iPhone 15 Ultra will ship with a minimum of 256GB (twice the current entry point of 128GB), easing some of the pain of the price hike.
In addition, the passenger repeats that the new model will come with it Dual front camerasAnd the USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 (40Gbps) It will replace the Lightning port with USB 2.0 speeds (480 Mbps / 0.48 Gbps), and “will be made of titanium” – something that comes with Great strength and increased price.
Update 12/10: Talk to me, LeaksApplePro has provided more information on Apple’s use of titanium in the iPhone 15 range. Following a recent leak from Apple’s recently announced ShrimpApplePro, ShrimpApplePro Titanium for all iPhone 15 modelsNot just the iPhone 15 Ultra, LeaksApplePro says this is categorically incorrect.
“It’s just not true,” LeaksApplePro argues, saying it will be “Ultra only (maybe 15 Pro but definitely not 15 and 15 Plus).”
Given the cost of titanium, this makes sense. Since it is 3-4 times stronger than the stainless steel used in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, some would argue that this reduces prices as less would be needed to make a case that is as strong, if not stronger.
The problem with this argument is that titanium is currently priced $35-50 per kgFor $1-1.50/kg for stainless steel. It’s a huge difference and definitely puts it out of the reach of standard iPhones.
As such, in my opinion, the question becomes more of whether Apple will complicate its supply chain with three different chassis materials (aluminum for the standard models, stainless steel for the iPhone 15 Pro, and titanium for the iPhone 15 Ultra), or stick with two. This would likely mean an upgrade to stainless steel for the standard models, as downgrading the iPhone 15 Pro is unlikely to be an option.
Update 11/12: LeaksApplePro is back with additional info today.
First, the insider answered my query about Apple’s choice of chassis materials. Interestingly, the answer is that Apple currently plans to use all three: aluminum for the two standard iPhone 15 models, stainless steel for the iPhone 15 Pro, and titanium will be reserved for the Ultra.
LeaksApplePro adds the warning, “This is what we know now.” That’s fair, given how far ahead the iPhone 15 lineup is in its development cycle, but it’s interesting to see the company add this complexity to its supply chain.
Secondly, LeaksApplePro states that the repeatedly leaked dual front cameras are very likely to be an iPhone 15 Ultra exclusive.
I suspect this is not only from a cost perspective but very likely due to physical size. Dynamic Island already takes up considerable real estate on the iPhone 14 Pro’s 6.1-inch display. Adding a second camera will leave almost no space for any other icons – many of which (time, cellular/WiFi signal, notifications, etc.) are considered essential by users.
In comparison, the second camera is a luxury addition. In contrast, the 6.5-inch iPhone 15 Ultra can house the camera and hold the same number of icons as the iPhone 15 Pro. Whether Apple will make the screen larger to live up to the Ultra name and its Android competitors remains to be seen.
And one last great thought: “Apple is considering only one color for the iPhone 15 Ultra, and it’s the same color as the Apple Watch Ultra [silver]. I don’t know if this will be the only color available in September, or if there will be more, but as of today none of my sources have seen any color other than the same color as the Apple Watch Ultra.”
Yes, the iPhone 15 Ultra looks set to push iPhone prices higher than ever, but it also looks like the most exciting and ambitious smartphone Apple has launched in years.
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