All About the iPhone 15 Pro Max Ultra: Apple’s Top Phone for 2023

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By AlSheikh

The Big iPhone 15 might get a fresh name and loads of new stuff when it arrives this autumn. Here’s the scoop on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, also known as the iPhone 15 Ultra. We’re just a few weeks away from the debut of the iPhone 15, and if the buzz is correct, the Pro Max will be the boss phone, with even more special features than ever. In the past, the iPhone 14 Pro had better cameras, a faster brain, and cooler display tricks than the regular iPhones. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to take things even further, with super fancy features that aren’t even on the regular iPhone 15. People are saying it might even get a fresh name – rumors hint at calling it the iPhone 15 Ultra.

Update as of August 24, 2023: A new story from 9to5Mac is saying that the gold and purple colors will be switched out for a kind of “raw” grey made of titanium and a deep blue hue. Let’s dive into what we’re expecting from Apple’s top iPhone in 2023:

iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra: When It’s Coming Out

One thing we’re super sure about? The iPhone 15 Pro Max is showing up this autumn, probably during an Apple Event in September with the rest of the iPhone 15 gang. We’re guessing the event might be on September 12 or 13. But it might take a bit more time before you can buy it. There’s been talk that a company called TSMC had some hiccups making chips, and more recently, people are saying that due to “image sensor readiness” delays, the iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra) might come out 3-4 weeks later than the other iPhones. But based on the past, it’s likely the delay won’t be too long. For example, the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 12 Pro Max both launched three weeks after the other models.

iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra: The Name Game

Back in 2022, folks were chattering about the iPhone 15 maybe getting a fresh name like the iPhone 15 Ultra, following the style of the Apple Watch. Then that idea kinda disappeared, and the rumors hinted the 2023 star iPhone would be the 15 Pro Max. They even said the iPhone 16 might end up with the Ultra name. However, by August, the rumor was back. Apple Insider’s Andrew O’Hara, over on X (which used to be Twitter), said that Apple will indeed go with the iPhone 15 Ultra name. They started calling it the Max with the iPhone XS Max in 2018, and then there was the iPhone 11 Pro Max in 2019. Apple also used Max for its Mac chips (M2 Max and M1 Max) and the AirPods Max.

If they do pick iPhone 15 Ultra over iPhone 15 Pro Max, it could mean it’s not just a bigger version of the iPhone 15 Pro, but maybe a better one too. The rumors seem to be saying the super-duper top iPhone will offer more than just a big screen. But if they do this, it might be confusing if in the future, the big iPhone isn’t better than the smaller one.

iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra: How Much It Costs

The Pro Max iPhone has cost $1,099 for a while now, but word is, the 2023 version will cost even more. Lots of folks are saying the iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra) might start at least $100 higher than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and could even go up to $1,299. If you want more storage, you might end up paying as much as $2,000.

Back in July 2023, a smart person named Tim Long at Barclays said the price bump for the Pro Max iPhone could be $200.

iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra: The Look

Pictures that got out show that the iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra) won’t be too different from the other iPhone 15s. They say all four models will look better, with slightly curved edges and thinner bits around the screen. But the top iPhone 15 will still have some cool stuff that sets it apart.

The big deal is, it might have a titanium frame instead of steel. For a while, people talked about Apple working on an iPhone with a different material. After the Apple Watch Ultra came out, it makes sense that they’d try light titanium. 9to5Mac says the Pro models will come in space black and silver like we thought, but they’ll ditch the gold and purple and have raw titanium grey and deep blue colors instead. This top iPhone is also said to have super slim edges, maybe even slimmer than the iPhone 15 Pro. Some stories say it might have the thinnest edges on a phone ever.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max (or Ultra) could also be a bit thicker than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which would make it one of the chubbiest iPhones ever. The word is, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might be 8.25mm thick, compared to 7.85mm on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. That would let Apple make the camera bump smaller too. But the whole phone is supposed to be a bit smaller than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so it’ll feel sleeker and tinier.

They’re changing the buttons too. A smarty named Ming-Chi Kuo said back in October 2022 that Apple plans to swap out regular buttons for solid ones on the iPhone 15 Pro and Max/Ultra. But now it looks like that’ll wait until the iPhone 16. New stories are saying the volume rocker will come back, and the mute switch will turn into an Action button, which you can set up like the one on the Apple Watch Ultra. There might be new colors too. 9to5Mac thinks the gold and purple might turn into raw titanium and deep blue.

iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra: The Screen

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has had a huge 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR screen since the iPhone 12, and it’s not supposed to change for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It will still have the Dynamic Island thing (which could also come to the iPhone 15), ProMotion tech for smooth scrolling up to 120Hz, an always-on thing, True Tone for great colors, and really bright outdoor screen that gets up to 2000 nits.

iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra: The Camera

The iPhone 14 Pro Max got a way better main camera, going from 12MP to 48MP. But guess what? The iPhone 15 Pro Max is said to go even further. Way further. It’s getting a new zoom lens called a periscope lens. That’s supposed to make the optical zoom go from 3X all the way to 6X or 10X. The digital zoom might even go to 30X or 50X and still look amazing. This better camera might make the bump on the back of the phone bigger. They say “the bump” will be bigger, and each lens will stick out more. The wide and ultra-wide cameras are probably going to be 48MP and 12MP, but Apple will surely make them even better with new camera stuff. Some stories say they’re switching to a cooler LiDAR Scanner from Sony.

iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra: What’s Inside

Like the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will likely have Apple’s new A17 brain, made with a 3nm process. That’s a first. The 3nm process should let Apple put even more tiny parts in the same space. Since 2020, Apple’s been using a 5nm process for its brains. The A17 will use the same design as the new M3 chip for Macs, which is also supposed to be way faster and use less power. Some info about this new chip leaked. Someone who knows a lot, Unknownz21, says the A17 will be kind of like the A16 even though it’s made with a new 3nm process. They say it will have one extra graphics core – 6 instead of 5 – and it’ll be faster at 3.7GHz instead of 3.46GHz.

15 Pro Max is the switch to USB-C

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is undergoing a significant change as it transitions to USB-C. This change enables users to utilize the same cable across their iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices, resulting in a faster data transfer experience. Currently, Lightning cables are limited to transferring 480 megabits per second. However, the upcoming USB-C port on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is anticipated to have Thunderbolt support, enabling much higher speeds – reaching up to 40 gigabits per second. Reports indicate that the USB-C-enabled iPhone 15 could potentially offer rapid charging at 35 watts, a notable upgrade from the existing capabilities. Presently, the iPhone 14 can charge at 20 watts, while the iPhone 14 Pro can achieve 27 watts.

Also, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will probably get Wi-Fi 6E, which is already on the iPad Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro. Some stories say Apple’s making its own cell modem, but it might not be ready yet, so the new iPhones might still use modems from Qualcomm for 5G. We also expect more storage, starting at 256GB and going all the way up to 2TB. The memory (RAM) will likely stay at 6GB – Unknownz thinks 8GB is “maybe not impossible,” but they’ve only seen 6GB for now. A Weibo story from July 2023 said all the iPhone 15 models will have bigger batteries when they come out in September. But the source changed their mind a bit after the story got popular.

Here’s what they said:

  • iPhone 15: 3,877mAh (used to be 3,279mAh)
  • iPhone 15 Plus: 4,912mAh (used to be 4,325mAh)
  • iPhone 15 Pro: 3,650mAh (used to be 3,200mAh)
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: 4,852mAh (used to be 4,323mAh)

Another story from July said Apple’s using a new design for the iPhone 15 battery that stacks stuff to make it bigger, like up to 5,000mAh.

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