Home iPhone 16 Ultra: Rumors, Release Date, Features

iPhone 16 Ultra: Rumors, Release Date, Features


  • Rumors suggest the iPhone 16 Ultra might feature a 6.9-inch display and ultra-thin bezels, offering a standout design.
  • Speculations include an A18 Pro chip, up to 2TB storage, solid-state buttons, and a powerful camera with enhanced zoom.
  • The iPhone 16 Ultra might debut in fall 2024 with an estimated price around $1,399, based on Apple's premium pricing strategy.

As we eagerly await the release of the Apple iPhone 16 family in the fall of 2024, rumors are growing surrounding the potential of an Ultra version being included for the first time.

Talk of an Ultra model has been rumbling on for some time now, especially following Apple’s release of the Apple Watch Ultra in 2022. The feeling was that Apple would likely extend its Ultra offering to its flagship smartphones.

Here’s what we know so far.

iPhone 16 Ultra: What we know so far and rumors

Design & Display

For an Ultra model to stand out from the iPhone 16 family, it’s likely Apple will need to make some tweaks to the overall design of the handset. Otherwise, it risks blending in with its siblings.

An Ultra model would need to be worthy of such a title, after all.

So it’s no surprise rumors are pointing towards a potential 6.9-inch display for the iPhone 16 Ultra, which would be the biggest ever screen on an iPhone. In comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s display is 6.7-inches.

Sticking with the display, we might see the iPhone 16 Ultra opting for a brighter panel to compete with Google’s Pixel 8 Pro display, which peaks at 2,400 nits.

Meanwhile, there are reports that tip all iPhone 16 displays to be more power-efficient. Samsung have reportedly switched from using blue fluorescent technology to blue phosphorescence technology in their displays to allow screens to consume less power and, given they provide Apple with display panels for iPhones, it’s fair to assume this could be a feature to include on an Ultra version of the iPhone 16.

iPhone 16 Ultra concept design
Image: Science and Knowledge/YouTube

One of the key design features rumored to be present in the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max is the display borders, which are reportedly set to be the smallest in the world. According to Setsuna Digitial on Weibo, there will be a 1.2mm bezel around the 16 Pro display and a 1.15mm bezel around the 16 Pro Max’s. To show just how much of an improvement that is, the iPhone 15 Pro’s bezels were 1.71mm.

That’s all due to a new a Border Reduction Structure manufacturing process and could mean that while we might expect to find a larger display on the iPhone 16 Ultra, it’s overall body should be much bigger than the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Elsewhere, the introduction of Solid State Buttons has been a rumour that extends back to before the release of the iPhone 15 Pro. We didn’t see them then, despite the introduction of the Action Button, so there is fair speculation that we might see this on the iPhone 16 Pro, or even specifically the iPhone 16 Ultra. Solid State Buttons would replace the current moveable volume and power buttons we see on existing iPhone models with buttons that provide haptic feedback, like the Action Button and new reported Capture Button which will enhance camera control.

If we’re going to get a buttonless iPhone at any point, then it would make sense for this to debut on an Ultra version.

Hardware & Software

The iPhone 15 Pro lineup debuted the A17 Pro chipset, so we might see the introduction of the A18 Pro chip in the iPhone 16 Ultra, although details on that are currently very sparse.

It has been said by analyst Jeff Pu, via MacRumours, that all iPhone 16 models will feature an A18 chip, with the A18 Pro being reserved for Pro models, which would include the Ultra. The A18 Pro is allegedly powerful enough to take on laptops, which is certainly the type of upgrade we’d expect in an Ultra iPhone.

On the storage front, it’s expected that the iPhone 16 Ultra will follow the iPhone 15 Pro Max by offering 256GB as the very least, but we might see the introduction of up to 2TB of storage in the Ultra, according to blogger yeux1122.

As for battery life, there’s not a great deal to go on just yet. The Apple Watch Ultra boasted twice as long battery life compared to a standard Apple Watch but there’s no indication that the iPhone 16 Ultra will be able to make similar promises.

Meanwhile, we would expect iOS 18 to be present out of the box for the iPhone 16 Ultra. iOS 18 has already been announced by Apple and will be released this fall.


iPhone 16 Ultra camera design concept
Image: 4RMD/YouTube

One thing Apple fans always look for on the release of a new iPhone is the improvements to the cameras and, if there’s an iPhone 16 Ultra in the pipeline, the expectation will be that it comes with one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, if not the best.

We saw the introduction of the tetraprism telephoto lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which allowed it to reach a 5x optical zoom for the first time. That’s reportedly going to be present in all iPhone 16 Pro models, so how much further could Apple go with the Ultra?

There could be a more powerful zoom, which would help it compete with Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra, which boasts a 10x optical zoom. On top of that, there are reports that Apple could switch to a different type of telephoto lens that is thinner and will improve magnification.

Meanwhile, we’re expecting a 48MP main camera on the iPhone 16 Pro, which would likely also involve the Ultra.

One initial rumour was that the Ultra would be the only iPhone to offer spatial video capture, but that’s now expected to be present on all of the iPhone 16 family due to reports of a vertical camera design change. That would likely mean all iPhone 16 phones will be able to offer spatial video capture as a result.

What is the iPhone 16 Ultra release date?

We’re expecting to be introduced to the iPhone 16 in the fall of 2024 and rumours are growing that this is when Apple might also reveal the iPhone 16 Ultra.

In February 2023, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple was working towards “an even higher-end Ultra model for as early as 2024.”

That would add weight to the rumours that we could see an Ultra model in the iPhone 16 lineup in September 2024, but there remains nothing concrete on whether that’s yet a viable expectation of still just a hunch.

For example, there’s no mention of an iPhone Ultra in this road map of potential Apple product releases, which is from Samsung Securities. That would suggest not even Apple’s biggest competitor is expecting them to release an iPhone Ultra just yet.

And remember, we’re still waiting on the rumored iPhone Flip.

How much will the iPhone 16 Ultra cost?

As there’s still uncertainty surrounding the true release date of an iPhone Ultra, it’s hard to speculate on how much it would cost. There is currently no indication that an iPhone Ultra will replace, say, the iPhone Pro Max version in the lineup, which means would naturally expect any Ultra version to be north of $1,199, which is what the iPhone 15 Pro Max entered the market at.

To get some guidance, Apple priced its Apple Watch Ultra 2 at $700, which is $400 more expensive than the Apple Watch Series 9. If Apple sticks to that pricing strategy, then an iPhone Ultra will likely cost at least $1,399, given the iPhone 15 Pro costs $999.

That might sound steep, but it’s actually incredibly competitive when compared to the $1,799 price for Samsung and Google’s foldable phones.

Featured Image: iPhone 16 Ultra concept by Jonas Daehnert on X

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

James Jones

James Jones is a highly experienced journalist, podcaster and digital publishing specialist, who has been creating content in a variety of forms for online publications in the sports and tech industry for over 10 years. He has worked at some of the leading online publishers in the country, most recently as the Content Lead for Snack Media's expansive of portfolio of websites, including Football Fancast.com, FootballLeagueWorld.co.uk and GiveMeSport.com. James has also appeared on several national and global media outlets, including BBC News, talkSPORT, LBC Radio, 5 Live Radio, TNT Sports, GB News and BBC’s Match of the Day 2. James…

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