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The iPhone’s Future: A Costly Leap Forward

TLDR: Apple is rumoured to introduce a new high-end iPhone Ultra model in 2025, featuring a thinner design, improved cameras, and a smaller Dynamic Island. The iPhone Ultra is expected to be a costly, futuristic device that will shape the iPhone lineup for the rest of the decade, as Apple continues to experiment with new technologies and designs to maximize revenue.

It’s astonishing to think that in the early days of the iPhone, there was only a single model available. It wasn’t until 2014 that Apple introduced two different iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, opening the floodgates for a decade of experimentation to maximize revenue from its most important product.

The Rumored iPhone Ultra

Reports suggest that Apple is preparing to launch a new iPhone model in 2025, featuring:

  • A display larger than the current iPhone Pro but smaller than the Pro Max
  • A smaller Dynamic Island
  • Improved front camera
  • Relocated rear cameras
  • A much thinner design compared to current iPhone models

This new model sounds reminiscent of the iPhone X, which was a massive leap in iPhone technology when it was introduced in 2017 alongside the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

The iPhone X was new, futuristic, and significantly more expensive than any previous iPhone. Yet, it was a success, and over time, Apple converted the entire iPhone lineup to the iPhone X’s sensibility.

Apple’s iPhone Experiments

Over the last decade, Apple has continued to experiment with its iPhone lineup:

  • 2014: iPhone 6 Plus introduction, leading to a quantum leap in iPhone sales
  • 2017: iPhone X introduction, followed by the XR and XS Max
  • 2018: XR design becomes the iPhone 11
  • 2020: iPhone 12 mini introduction
  • 2022: iPhone 14 Plus replaces the mini

Most of Apple’s iPhone experiments have been successful, with iPhone sales taking several quantum leaps during this period. However, the fourth model in the lineup has been cursed, with less interest in buying a variant phone in the lower price tier.

The High-End Opportunity

There’s an obvious place for Apple to go with a new iPhone model: the high-end. Apple is confident that some iPhone buyers will spare no expense to buy the very best iPhone available, and today’s lineup probably doesn’t maximize the revenue potential of that audience.

Tim Cook’s statement in 2023 supports this idea: “The iPhone has become so integral into people’s lives. It contains their contacts their health information their banking information their smart home and so many different parts of their lives, it’s the payment vehicle for many people. And so I think I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can they can afford in that category.”

This is the argument for an iPhone Ultra, a high-end model that people will buy because it’s the very best, just like they bought the iPhone X.

The Challenge of Innovation

If an iPhone Ultra is so obvious, why hasn’t Apple released one already? The problem lies in actually inventing and building a phone that looks like it’s from the future.

Apple has reportedly been investigating various technologies, including foldable screens, but we haven’t seen a dramatically different iPhone design since the iPhone X, seven years ago.

New designs take time and need to be built on the back of new technologies. If Apple feels that a folding iPhone isn’t practical, the alternative is to do what’s being rumoured: build a thinner phone with miniaturized sensors, presumably with less battery due to improved chip performance.

The Future of the iPhone

While the details of this rumour may be subject to change, it feels like Apple has settled on a plan for the future of the iPhone line. It’ll start with one model in late 2025 but spread out to other models through the rest of the decade.

If you want to hold the future of the iPhone in your hand, you’ll probably be able to do it next fall.

But it’ll cost you.

That’s the whole idea.


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