iPhone 16 Ultra: Expected Release Date, Features & Prices

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Rumors suggest the iPhone 16 Ultra, a premium, supersized version, may launch in September 2024.
  • The iPhone 16 Ultra could feature a larger display, brighter panel, thinner bezels, and solid-state buttons.
  • Our wishlist includes A18 Pro chipset, iOS 18, 5x optical zoom lens, and up to 2TB storage.
  • If the iPhone 16 Ultra becomes the most premium iPhone, we expect a price between $1,299 and $1,399.

Early rumors of an iPhone 16 Ultra have gained traction — a supersized, premium version that has been whispered about for years.

Last year, there were some debates over whether Apple would launch a high-end iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models. But we saw what happened in the end, as Apple later chose the iPhone 15 Pro Max as their best premium phone in the iPhone 15 lineup.

This year’s Apple Fall releases are already drawing closer, and Apple might seize the opportunity to finally usher in a new breed of premium smartphone in the iPhone 16 series — iPhone 16 Ultra. How this iPhone Ultra would differentiate itself from the Pro or Pro Max models is still not clear, but it would complement the Apple Watch Ultra, at least in name.

Here is what we know so far about the iPhone 16 Ultra, including the rumored design, specs, features and potential release date.

iPhone 16 Ultra Release Date

Expected Release Date: September 2024

Details of the iPhone 16 Ultra release date are still very sketchy. The most tangible release date for iPhone 16 Ultra came from Mark Gurman, who, during his 2023 Bloomberg Newsletter, revealed that Apple had discussed launching a higher-end Ultra model alongside the Pro and Pro Max — and could do so in time for the iPhone 16 line.

If this rumor turns out to be true, and Apple sticks to its launch schedule, then we expect to see the iPhone 16 Ultra launch in September 2024 alongside the rest of the iPhone 16 lineup, including the Pro and Pro Max models.

iPhone 16 Ultra Rumored Design And Display

Potential Options: Larger Display, Brighter Panel, Thinner Bezels, Solid-state Buttons

There have not been recent leaks concerning the iPhone 16 Ultra design. The biggest rumor we have heard so far is that Apple is planning to grow the display of the iPhone 15 Pro Max from 6.7 inches to 6.9 inches in one of its upcoming flagship luxury iPhones. While rumors suggest this luxury iPhone could be the iPhone 16 Pro Max, we won’t discount the iPhone 16 Ultra.

There are reports that all the iPhone 16 models will feature more power-efficient OLED screen displays. This follows the rumor that Samsung, which supplies Apple with display panels, is reportedly switching from blue fluorescent technology to blue phosphorescence technology, which helps to utilize less power for display.

If this happens, we might see the iPhone 16 Ultra’s peak brightness surpass 2,000 nits. The Google Pixel 8 Pro display already boasts a peak brightness of about 2,400 nits, so Apple wouldn’t like its best phone to stay far behind. Thanks to the new Border Reduction Structure (BRS) process, the iPhone 16 Ultra may also feature a slimmer bezel.

German industrial designer Jonas Daehnert shared on the X in February 2023, an image of what the iPhone 16 Ultra could look like, which he described as “12mm+ thick – the Ultra concept.” The titanium iPhone chassis featured rounded edges with a flat upper rim that sits flush with the display. There are also protruding Volume and Side Up & Down buttons mimicking the Apple Watch crown guard.

However, Jonas said that the image isn’t based on leaks, but was just an exercise to see if it’s possible to adapt the Watch Ultra with a smaller Pro.

Another design feature we might see when the iPhone 16 Ultra launches is solid-state buttons, with haptic feedback to indicate a press.

One advantage they have over the current volume buttons is that they reduce the number of moving parts that are prone to breakages over time.

iPhone 16 Ultra Rumored Specs And Features

A18 Pro Chipset, iOS 18, Tetraprism 5x Optical Zoom Lens, 2T Storage

If the iPhone 16 Ultra finally launches in the Fall of 2024, then we expect it to feature the newly announced iOS 18. This update will usher in Apple Intelligence features in iPhone 16 Ultra. The A18 Pro chip is another feature we look forward to seeing in the iPhone 16 Ultra, with some analysts suggesting it will have exceptional computing power.

Speculations suggest that all Pro models of the iPhone 16 lineup will feature tetraprism telephoto lenses as we saw in the iPhone 15. We have 5x optical zoom in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, so if Apple is going to make the iPhone 16 Ultra more outstanding, we expect a more powerful optical zoom. For example, the close competitor, Samsung S23 Ultra already has 10x optical zooming, so something close to that wouldn’t be bad.

We might also see larger camera sensors, potentially 48MP or more for the iPhone 16 Ultra main camera to capture more light. iPhone 15 Pro Max was the first iPhone to feature in its base configuration 256GB of storage capacity, and we expect this to also continue in the iPhone 16 Ultra storage. Tere are supply chain suggestions that the storage in iPhone 16 Pro models will use a denser, but slower type of memory, which will allow for higher storage capacities, possibly 2TB.

iPhone 16 Ultra Colors

Expected: Black, White, Gray, and Rose

If we are to base our assumptions on rumors surrounding the iPhone 16 Pro models, we will have four color options, which are black, white, gray, and rose. There are also rumors that Apple could go for a smoother, glossier finish in the iPhone 16 Ultra, instead of the brushed titanium steel present in the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 16 Ultra Price

Estimated Launch Price: $1299 — $1399

iPhone 16 Ultra launch price could be more difficult to predict since we are not sure if the model is coming out this year.

But we can make educated guesses based on recent price trends. iPhone 15 Pro Max, which is Apple’s top-of-the-line phone, was launched at $1,199. We don’t expect any price increase if Apple decides to ditch the Ultra rumors and launch iPhone 16 Pro Max instead.

However, if we happen to see both the iPhone 16 Pro Max and the iPhone 16 Ultra in this September launch, then we should expect the Ultra model to launch higher than $1,199, probably somewhere between $1,299 and $1,399.

Our iPhone 16 Ultra Wishlist

The iPhone 16 Ultra is expected to be a premium smartphone. Aside from the speculated features on the iPhone 16, there are still many areas that we hope Apple will improve on in its upcoming iPhone models.

We hope Apple will explore faster charging technology. There is no sign that Apple would speed up the charging on this year’s iPhone models. While there are speculations on a possible larger battery and more efficient chip, having a bump in the charging speed of the next iPhone lineup would be a very big boost.

We would also like to see something like an under-display camera. If Apple puts in effort into developing this in their iPhone Ultra model, it will be a great feature that will justify the class, elegance, and price of the premium phone.

The Bottom Line

Given that competition for luxury phones has increased recently between top phone manufacturers like Samsung, Google, and OnePlus, Apple now finds itself in a tight corner.

While the iPhone Pro Max models carry a lot more premium features that can match those found in brands like Samsung and Google, there are still more gaps to close. Introducing an iPhone Ultra model can usher in a new set of features and specs that can appease the almost insatiable fans’ taste for luxury smartphones.

Features like a tetraprism telephoto lens with up to 10x optical zoom would be a reason to upgrade, and a power-efficient OLED display, expanded storage capacity, extended peak brightness, and other AI features that follow the A18 Pro chipset and IOS 18 update will surely make a difference if they find their way into the iPhone 16 Ultra.

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