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Apple Might Introduce An ‘Ultra’ iPhone Tier in 2024

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According to Apple tracker Mark Gurman, the company is considering launching a new 'Ultra' tier that sits above the iPhone Pro and Pro Max models. It could launch next year.

Apple is considering adding a new high-end ‘Ultra’ tier that sits above the Pro and Pro Max models when it releases the iPhone 16 next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports(Opens in a new window).

In an earnings call last week(Opens in a new window), Apple’s CEO Tim Cook indicated that customers could be persuaded to pay more for more powerful iPhones that offer more features.

Last year Gurman reported that Apple could replace the Pro Max(Opens in a new window) with the ‘Ultra’ branding, but it now looks like the company is now discussing adding ‘Ultra’ branded iPhones, reportedly in time for next year’s iPhone 16 release.

Given the iPhone Pro Max starts at $1,099, a higher-end Ultra version of the iPhone would come at a steep price that many could find unaffordable. However, as Gurman notes, Tim Cook is confident that people would be happy to pay more for higher-end phones.

In his argument for why consumers would be open to paying more for higher-end phones, Cook cited how iPhone users are now reliant on the smartphone to do a wide array of tasks in their daily lives such as paying for products in stores through Apple Pay, control smart-home devices, and check their health and banking data.

To make people spend more, it would need to offer an array of new features. Gurman speculates that alongside potentially dropping the charging port for wireless charging, Apple would offer “further camera improvements, a faster chip and perhaps an even larger display.”

As Gurman notes in his Power On newsletter, Apple has already used Ultra branding for its new smartwatch and for the top version of the M1 processor. And Apple has already tried to add more features to its Pro and Pro Max models in a bid to further distinguish them from the standard lines. According to analysts, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, due to be released this year, might get a periscope lens(Opens in a new window) and improved zoom.

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