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iPhone 15 Ultra: what we know so far

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iPhone 15 Ultra: what we know so far
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max hero image



(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple set off a tectonic shift in the iPhone world this year when it added a new device, and a new naming scheme to the iPhone 14 lineup, with the iPhone 14 Plus.

Originally believed to be the ‘iPhone 14 Max’ and designed to complement the sizeable iPhone 14 Pro Max – with a simpler chip, display and camera system, the 14 Plus also showed that Apple wasn’t beyond reworking its product names for better clarity.

Rumors now suggest that the company will apply a similar treatment to the top of next year’s iPhone lineup. Instead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it’s starting to look like we’ll be introduced to an ‘iPhone 15 Ultra’, set to sit above the iPhone 15 Pro. 

The naming is not out-of-character for Apple. The company just launched an extreme version of its smartwatch – loaded to the gills with features – called the Apple Watch Ultra

The notion of an Apple iPhone 15 Ultra makes sense to us and breaking away from the Pro in name will give Apple better justify any differences Apple decides to inject into its two most capable 2023 iPhones. It’s likely that the 15 Ultra will be more than just a bigger screen and battery, as is the case with the current iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The biggest and baddest of Apple’s expected 2023 iPhones
  • When is it out? Likely September 2023
  • How much will it cost? As much, if not more than the current 14 Pro Max, probably

iPhone 15 Ultra release date predictions

Apple events historically happen in the first or second week of September. The company likes to make an announcement on a Tuesday or Wednesday, then start pre-sales the same Friday. The phone usually arrives in stores the Friday following.

For the iPhone 14, that event fell on September 7 (admittedly, earlier than expected), with three of the four phones going on sale over a week later, on September 16 (the iPhone 14 Plus doesn’t arrive until October 7). 

In 2023, that means September 5 or 12 are likely event dates (both are Tuesdays), though the 6 and 13 are possibilities too. We could see the phone in stores as early as September 15. 

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max always on display

Apple’s current top dog: the iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

iPhone 15 Ultra price leaks

The early leaks about how Apple will price the iPhone 15 Ultra are telling. Apple may start the Ultra phone at $1,199. This would put the phone in the same pricing tier as Samsung’s current “Ultra” device, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. That phone costs $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849. 

The current iPhone 14 Pro Max costs $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899, which itself represents a price hike outside of the US market over last year’s model. We think it’s possible that when Apple switches from ‘Pro Max’ to ‘Ultra’, it will bump the price by $100 in the US with corresponding price hikes elsewhere. 

Hopefully, that price increase will also come with more reasons to buy. The current iPhone 14 Pro Max gives you a bigger screen and battery than the standard 14 Pro, and that’s it. That’s a big bonus for $100, but if Apple is going to push the price even higher, it needs to offer more features and more hardware to justify the price. 

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G: $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849
  • iPhone 15 Ultra (expected): $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099

In other words, we expect the iPhone 15 Ultra to cost about the same as the iPhone 14 Pro Max as it stands, with 256GB of storage.

iPhone 15 Ultra news, rumors and leaks

We have already heard quite a bit about the expected iPhone 15 with rumors reaching back to before the iPhone 14 series’ launch, but only recently has news of a higher-tier Apple iPhone 15 Ultra emerged. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman mentioned right after launch of the 14 line that an Ultra would be coming, and that was the first we had heard of this new possible nomenclature. 

Like I said yesterday: Ultra is coming. https://t.co/IrZUBHlLN2September 9, 2022

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After that, we heard further confirmation from other iPhone 15 leaks, and one leaker suggested that in addition to a bigger screen and battery, the iPhone 15 Ultra could see a better camera setup than its iPhone 15 Pro sibling.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max camera array

The iPhone 14 Pro Max cameras (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The information came across rather vague, with the leak saying that Apple was testing a much-anticipated 8K video recording feature for its next iPhone, but the leaker was unsure if this feature would be coming to the iPhone 15 Pro or just the higher-end iPhone 15 Ultra. This set off speculation that the Ultra phone could see camera improvements over the Pro.

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is a step ahead of its Galaxy S22 Plus and base model Galaxy S22, and one significant improvement is the addition of a periscope-style telephoto zoom lens. Leaks suggest Apple could also also use a periscope zoom on its larger Ultra device, and size requirements for such a lens would make more sense on the larger phone compared to the smaller iPhone 15 Pro that is expected next fall too.

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for eTown.com. He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. 

Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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