Apple did not use the "Pro" moniker for its new rugged smartwatch. Instead, the American tech giant unveiled the steeply-priced smartwatch as the Apple Watch Ultra. This appeared to be a major hint about a shift Apple was preparing to bring to its iPhone lineup.

Phone Arena's Alan Friedman initially claims that Apple could be prepping to announce an iPhone 15 Ultra next year. Notably, the Ultra could boast higher-end specs than the iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, nothing is set in stone yet, and Apple is currently focusing more on promoting its latest iPhones.

Despite the lack of an official confirmation, the rumour mill is churning out speculations around the iPhone 14 series successors. So, Friedman feels Apple will not use the Ultra name since its rival Samsung is currently using it for its high-end offerings. However, equally-reliable Apple experts Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman think differently.

Noted leakster LeaksApplePro recently predicted some key features and specs of the iPhone 15 series. First off, the iPhone 15 lineup will get rid of the Lightning port. Instead, the next iPhones will sport a USB-C port for charging. For those unaware, the USB-C is set to become mandatory in the European Union shortly after the iPhone 15 series goes on sale.

So, the introduction of USB-C on the iPhone 15 lineup is not surprising. Unlike Friedman, Kuo and Gurman believe Apple will ditch the Pro Max model in favour of an Ultra model. This speculation could prove to be true, considering that the Ultra moniker will align nicely with the naming schemes of the Apple Watch and Apple M1.

Furthermore, the iPhone 15 Ultra is tipped to boast a slew of exclusive hardware. For instance, the pricey iPhone 15 Ultra could support 8K video recording. Likewise, the iPhone 15 Pro could support it too. According to Kuo, the Ultra will come with a periscope lens (6x or 5x). Aside from this, it will offer at least 3 to 4 longer battery life than the rest of the iPhone 15 series models.

As a result of these exclusive upgrades, the iPhone 15 Ultra will cost more than the 14 Pro Max. It could carry a starting price tag of $1,200. Moreover, all four iPhone 15 series models are likely to feature the Dynamic Island notification area. On the downside, these models could get different tiers of Apple Bionic chipsets. For instance, only the Pro and Ultra could get the latest Apple A17 chip.

The vanilla iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, on the other hand, are likely to pack the current-gen Apple Bionic A16 chip. Also, the devices could feature an under-display FaceID. Nevertheless, we will have to wait for a long time before Apple finally puts these speculations to rest.

A customer passes an Apple iPhone 13 advertisement at an Apple shop in Singapore Reuters / EDGAR SU