Not calm, Apple hasn’t announced the iPhone Ultra while you were taking a nap or you were on your way home from work. At the moment the catalog is still made up of the four models that you already know, iPhone, iPhone Plus, iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max. And why not Plus and Pro Plus, or Max and Pro Max? Well, it is a question that I would like to be able to answer, but the truth is that I cannot, although I bet that in Cupertino they could dedicate a dissertation of hours to make the reasons clear.
But then, where does that iPhone Ultra come from? Well, once again we have to talk about Mark Gurman, the market analyst specialized in Apple who, although he has made mistakes on occasions, is usually quite correct in his advances and predictions, so we can understand that he has more than one insider in Cupertino.
In his latest newsletter, he raises a hypothesis that is more than feasible, and which also fully coincides with the analysis on the evolution of the prices of smartphones that my colleague Isidro made this morning. It happens with Apple, but also with the rest of the manufacturers, that the price of high-end smartphones has risen well above what the economic indicators that could justify said price increase have done.
It is true that there have been improvements in the materials and components used, but it also happens that the sensation of perceived value has risen like foam over the years, at least in part because mobile phones have been adding more and more functions. Are there other reasons for it? It is more than likely that yes, but personally they seem minor to me.
The hypothesis, I return to Gurman’s text, is that AApple is considering the launch of an iPhone Ultra by 2024. And in case you have thought about it, no, it is not about changing the name of the Pro Max, but about a fifth model that would be above the four that currently exist. And when I say that it would be above it, I mean specifications and benefits, perhaps the size of its screen (although I see this less clearly) and, above all, price.
Before continuing, we must remember that the models with 265 gigabytes of storage of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra they cost 1,599 euros and 1,409 euros respectively. However, Apple thinks that people may be willing to pay even more. And this is not speculation based on his actions, but something recognized by Tim Cook very recently in an Apple results presentation. In that meeting, and when asked if the increase in the average sale price of the iPhone was sustainable, he replied that the price increase is not a problem and that, in fact, consumers could probably be persuaded to spend more.
Now, how could Apple persuade its potential customers to consider approaching or even overcoming the psychological barrier of 2,000 dollars and/or euros to get an iPhone Ultra? The answer to that question is found in the most recent addition to the company’s catalogthe Apple Watch Ultra.
If we review prices again, now of the smartwatches, we see that the price of the Series 8 starts at 499 euros, a price that is multiplied by two with the Ultra model, which starts at 999 euros. Obviously this increase can only be sustained with an increase in features and functions, but also in design, materials (such as the titanium used to build its case) and, of course, the aura of exclusivity with which the brand knows how to cover all its products… when you are interested.
Another thing that Apple is very good at is raising the bar on the high end., and in this regard, with the permission of the foldables, an iPhone Ultra would play that trick, reformulating what we hope to find when talking about high-end, both in design and materials and in features, opening a path that, over time, will surely Other manufacturers will follow. The key will, of course, be choosing the perfect combination so that, as Tim Cook suggests, this price increase is not a problem for customers.