08/26 update below. This article was originally published on August 24
The iPhone 15 range is expected to be Apple’s most expensive iPhone range ever, and now another price shock has been revealed.
in new ExclusiveDigitimes sources confirm the likely $200 iPhone 15 Pro Max price increase, but also indicate that the iPhone 15 Pro is unlikely to escape the highs with a $100 price jump as well.
This increase was previously discussed for the Pro device, but was halted when it appeared that Apple’s goal was to widen the gap between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, with the latter exclusively getting the company’s first 10x optical zoom camera. It is also expected that the iPhone 15 Pro Max could be renamed the iPhone 15 Ultra to denote this new division.
If Digitimes is correct, the iPhone 15 lineup will be priced as follows:
- iPhone 15: starts at $799
- iPhone 15 Plus: starts at $899
- iPhone 15 Pro: starts at $1,099
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: starts at $1,299
The price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max could also go up to around $2,000 if leaks about a new 2TB storage option are confirmed.
Why does Apple do this? Although iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus sales have increased in recent months, they have been largely disappointing. The iPhone 14 Plus is only $100 less expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro, and the difference becomes negligible over a two-year average carrier contract. Apple carries similar profit margins across all iPhone models, so an even distribution of demand works best for its supply chain.
New prices should change this. The iPhone 15 Pro will cost $300 more than the iPhone 15, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra will cost $400 more than the iPhone 14 Plus.
Of course, striking the right balance is tricky, but Apple hopes its relatively mild iPhone 14 Pro-inspired upgrades for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus (Dynamic Island design, 48MP camera, A16 chip) will adequately contrast with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max ( Ultra-thin bezels, Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, faster charging, and a titanium chassis) create clear value distinctions.
As always, buyers will make their judgment using their credit cards.
Update 8/26: Last week, Bloomberg mentioned That US carriers will offer significant discounts on the iPhone 15 due to the low demand for smartphones.
“So far this year, upgrades have been record low across all carriers,” Jeff Fieldhack, Counterpoint’s director of North America research, told Bloomberg. “The launch of the iPhone 15 is a window for carriers to steal away high-value customers. And with the iPhone 12’s large installed base, promotions will be strong, leaving Apple in a good spot.
Following this report, I spoke to sources at two of the major carriers who also confirmed this would happen in the UK and Europe as well. Moreover, these moves are unlikely to reach Apple’s bottom line, as carriers plan to pool more minutes and data to create attractive multi-year contracts rather than any direct price cuts for the phones themselves.
This is likely to give Apple a huge boost at a time when most smartphone makers are struggling to ship units. It remains to be seen whether less powerful competitors will cut their dividends to counter these potentially irresistible packages, but this seems inevitable.
Either way, even if you’re not an iPhone fan, I strongly advise anyone considering upgrading their phone right now to hold off until the iPhone 15 launch (expected September 12th). You’ll likely see deep discounts on your favorite brands soon after the new iPhones go on sale around September 15th.
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