The iPhone 15 Ultra could be every bit as expensive as we feared

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max full back
An iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Any iPhone with Ultra in the name was always going to be expensive, and so it comes as no surprise to hear that the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra might cost even more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

That’s according to LeaksApplePro – a leaker with a mixed track record – who, writing for HowToiSolve, claimed the iPhone 15 Ultra might start at up to $1,299. Prices for other regions weren’t provided, but Apple currently sells the 512GB iPhone 14 Pro for that price, and it elsewhere costs £1,429 / AU$2,249, so those prices would likely apply here too.

For comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899, so this would mean a starting price increase of $200 / £230 / AU$350.

It might not be quite that bad, though, with a starting price as low as $1,199 (likely translating to £1,309 / AU$2,099) mentioned as the most optimistic possibility, but even that is significantly more than the price the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at.

So how would Apple justify this price hike? Part of the reason is simply inflation, according to LeaksApplePro, but on top of that this phone could have a number of upgrades not seen in the rest of the iPhone 15 line, including a titanium frame, a dual-lens selfie camera, and a starting storage capacity of 256GB.

All of this will reportedly lead to production costs that would be around $90 higher than those for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Oddly, the source also claims that the iPhone 15 Ultra might only be offered in one color – the same silver shade as the Apple Watch Ultra. They claim that there might be other shades too, but so far they've not seen any evidence of those.

We’d add the usual caveat to all of this – that leaks should be taken with a pinch of salt, especially this far out from the iPhone 15's likely September 2023 release date, but we’d frankly be surprised if something called the iPhone 15 Ultra didn’t cost more than any current models.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max angle with screen on

The Ultra might not cost more than a comparable iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Analysis: not as much of a price rise as it might sound

While the iPhone 15 Ultra sounds very expensive here, one detail that’s worth noting is that it will apparently come with upwards of 256GB of storage, which is double the 128GB starting capacity of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Go for a 256GB iPhone 14 Pro Max and the price rises to $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099, which is the same price as the lowest iPhone 15 Ultra estimate here, and $100 / £120 / AU$150 less than the highest estimate.

So, for comparable storage amounts, the iPhone 15 Ultra might not actually cost any more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max; and if it does then the increase might not be as great as it seems at first glance. Either way it’s likely to be one of the most expensive non-foldable phones of 2023.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.