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Apple may be working on a pricier iPhone 'Ultra'

The phone could arrive next year with a port-less design.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Next year could see the introduction of a new flagship iPhone. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is considering whether to release a more expensive iPhone “Ultra” that would slot in above the iPhone Pro and Pro Max. He says the device could arrive as early next year.

If you’ve been following Gurman’s writing for a while, you may recall he previously reported Apple was considering whether to rebrand the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Max to the iPhone 15 Ultra. Now, he says there’s evidence to suggest Apple wants to instead offer a more powerful and expensive iPhone to well-heeled consumers. Specifically, Gurman points to a recent comment made by Apple CEO Tim Cook. “The iPhone has become so integral [to] people’s lives,” Cook told analysts when he was asked if the increasing average price of the iPhone was sustainable. “I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category.”

How Apple will differentiate the new model is harder to say. Gurman suggests the iPhone Ultra could feature a faster processor, better camera hardware than the Pro and Pro Max and an even larger display. “There also may be more future-forward features, such as finally dropping the charging port,” he adds.

It’s worth noting reports on the iPhone 15 line suggest Apple is already searching for more ways to differentiate the Pro models from their mainstream siblings. For example, one recent report said the upcoming Pro variants could feature WiFi 6E connectivity, while the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus ship with older WiFi 6 antennae. The Pro models could come with other differentiating features, including redesigned titanium frames with haptic volume and power buttons. Apple will also reportedly equip the Pro Max with a periscope camera lens.