Apple Might Shift To USB-C For 2023 iPhone 15 Ultra

Apple's naming strategy for its smartphones hasn't really won a lot of fans, especially the Pro Max part, which is not really easy on the tongue. It appears that Apple is finally ready to ditch the naming scheme that it introduced with the iPhone 11, and it will reportedly embrace the Ultra name for the top-end iPhone 15 model next year.

In the latest edition of his PowerOn newsletter, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman mentioned that an iPhone 15 Ultra is likely happening next year. The rechristening won't be surprising, though; Apple has already added the Ultra suffix to its pricey rugged smartwatch that made its debut a few weeks ago.

The Ultra name first popped up with the beastly M1 Ultra chip, the most powerful in-house silicon in Apple's lineup, which powers the Mac Studio and will reportedly be surpassed by an even beefier Extreme model soon. Plus, it appears that the switch from a Pro Max to Ultra naming strategy for the iPhone 15 won't be just a marketing stunt. Instead, it might herald a new era for iPhone hardware with a few highly anticipated changes. Among them is potentially the switch to a processor based on TSMC's second-generation 3-nanometer fabrication process, promising a notable bump in performance and energy efficiency.

The first USB-C iPhone may finally arrive next year

According to Gurman, Apple might also adopt a fresh design strategy next year with the iPhone 15 quartet. The current iPhone 14 portfolio more or less follows the same design language the company introduced with the iPhone 11 family, save for the Dynamic Island found on the iPhone 14 Pro models. But the more noticeable change will allegedly happen in the port department.

Apple has reportedly been testing a USB-C port on the iPhones for a while, and it looks like the iPhone 15 Ultra will be among the first models to ditch the Lightning connector, at least if the latest rumors prove accurate. The EU has already paved the way for a mandatory USB-C future for smartphones, and it appears that Apple may finally be ready to comply, lest it risks losing access to the European market.

Previous rumors also hinted at an upgrade to the zoom camera hardware. Instead of the regular telephoto zoom setup that can be found on the iPhone 14 Pro models, the iPhone 15 series will allegedly adopt the periscope-style telephoto lens array. Also known as the folded lens zoom system, this design bends light by 90 degrees and then feeds it to the sensor by passing it through a lens tunnel. A larger area for lens movement ensures a higher zoom range, similar to the 10X optical magnification offered by the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and a bunch of other Android flagships.