New Apple Leak Reveals Impact of iPhone 15 Launch

New Apple Leak Reveals Impact of iPhone 15 Launch

10/24 update below. This post was originally published on October 22.

The first leaks of the iPhone 15 claim that Apple will change its range of smartphones with several eye-catching design changes. And now, it looks like the launch of a new flagship model will coincide with the switch to a potentially revolutionary core material.

Having used stainless steel exclusively in its premium smartphones since 2017’s iPhone X, the popular leak LeakApplePro claims the iPhone 15 Ultra (inclined to replace Pro Max brand) will have a titanium chassis. Titanium is much stronger and lighter than stainless steel, but it is also incredibly expensive.

Looking at the good news first, titanium’s strength-to-weight ratio is on another level with stainless steel, providing nearly the same strength in 40% of your weight. This is why titanium is commonly used in weight-dependent applications such as aircraft parts.

Furthermore, titanium is 3 to 4 times stronger than stainless steel with the same weight. This would give Apple options: reduce the weight of the iPhone 15 Ultra without losing strength, keep the same weight and launch the strongest smartphone in the world, or, more likely, strike a balance between the two.

The benefits make titanium seem like a no-brainer, but the reason it’s not commonplace in smartphones is cost. Titanium is priced at $35-50 per kilogram, compared to $1-1.50 per kilogram for stainless steel. It’s a colossal difference, so it’s a real shock that Apple is releasing a titanium iPhone.

Of course, Apple can tap into industry-leading economies of scale, but even those may struggle unless the company plans to raise prices again.

Update 10/24: More weight has been added to a cost increase for the so-called iPhone 14 Ultra. writing in his weekly ignition bulletinBloomberg’s Mark Gurman reiterates that he thinks Apple will “create a bigger gap between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max,” while also acknowledging the possible new ‘Ultra’ branding.

What is new, however, is Gurman’s claim that the Ultra may cost more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is not an endorsement of the titanium leak, but the material change would be nearly impossible without a price increase.

As it stands, the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,100 and comes in four storage tiers: 128GB, 256GB ($1,200), 512GB ($1,400), and 1TB ($1,600). It’s a lot, but spread over a three-year deal, an extra $100-200 at each level is plausible. Apple could also raise average selling prices by removing the 128GB tier, which is far from “Ultra.”

Even at this early stage, I expect Ultra branding and price to be the main narrative for the iPhone 15 range.

as i have written here beforeI think Apple will create a bigger gap between the iPhone 15 Pro and the Pro Max, which might actually be called Ultra (just like the watch) and cost upwards of $1,100, the price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max today.

On the one hand, this would be a tough pill to swallow after the near-global price increases (US and China excluded) introduced with the iPhone 14 range. On the other hand, Apple has shown its desire to build best-in-class devices in other product lines (no matter the cost), and this would align with the change to the ‘Ultra’ mark.

Add the rumored change to a USB-C port powered by Thunderbolt 4, dual front cameras and, on the A17, the first 3nm chipset, and Apple can make an iPhone, for which customers are willing to break the bank. Given the fight of the standard iPhone 14 modelsMight as well make a lot of sense…

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