Don’t panic about the iPhone 15 Pro getting more expensive
Now that the big Apple Vision Pro event is behind us, we can focus on the company’s next big thing, which happens to be the iPhone 15 series that will launch this September. We’re about three months away from the actual reveal, but strangely enough, we’re in the same place we were a year ago when it comes to iPhone rumors. The iPhone 15 Pro is said to be more expensive than its predecessor, which is a common refrain. But this time, it might actually happen.
During the iPhone 14 rumor season, we heard the same thing over and over again: The price of the iPhone 14 Pro will surpass the $999 price tag that Apple reserved for the cheaper iPhone Pro model in previous years.
I explained at the time several times that the increased price expectations made sense. Not only would the iPhone 14 Pro deliver better hardware than its predecessor, but Apple would also have to deal with rising costs of manufacturing goods amid rampant inflation.
What happened in the end was shocking, at least for the US market. Apple has kept the price structure of the iPhone 13, except for the iPhone 14 Plus, which had no predecessor. Prices rose in the international markets, however.
As a result of the differentiation between the base models and the Pros, the latter models were the most popular, despite price increases. This helped Apple increase the iPhone’s average selling price (ASP), even as the company struggled to manufacture enough iPhone 14 Pro units to meet demand.
Fast forward to mid-June 2023, and we hear the same kind of chatter around the iPhone 15 series. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max should be more expensive than their predecessors. Analyst Dan Ives tell CNBC that he expects Apple to continue raising the iPhone ASP with the iPhone 15 series. The only way to do that is to increase the prices of the upcoming models.
The most logical price increase for the iPhone 15 Pros is a $100 bump in the US. That’s what we hoped for last year. But what if the iPhone 15 Pro $200 more expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro? We would be looking at the most significant price increase for Pro models in recent years. The iPhone 15 Pro Max would start at $1,299 in such a case. Such a significant move should lead to a further rise in prices in the international markets.
Still, there is no reason to panic. Remember that Apple will continue to differentiate between the non-pros and the Pros. Especially the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which will be the only phone in the series to feature a periscope zoom camera. The more money you spend, the better iPhone you get.
Also, that basically means that the iPhone 15 will be a version of the iPhone 14 Pro. It will have the same Dynamic Island notch design and the same powerful chip. Additionally, the phone is getting USB-C connectivity, just like the Pro models.
A price hike for the Pro handsets doesn’t mean the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will see similar cost changes. Apple could keep prices in place for the non-Pro models to increase demand. I explained that we had reached a point where I would be happy with a non-Pro iPhone. At the right price, the iPhone 15 base could be a huge seller. That’s all speculation on my part, though.
Also, remember that carriers are dying to make the iPhone affordable for as many people as possible. You will likely be able to upgrade to the iPhone 15/Plus for free. The Pros should also see significant discounts from carriers.
Back to Ives, the analyst is bullish on Apple, expecting a monster upgrade cycle. About 250 million iPhones haven’t been upgraded in four years, and the iPhone 15 could be a big money maker for Apple, a “trophy case moment.”
Additionally, Ives sees Apple’s valuation increasing to $4 trillion in the next 18 to 24 months. Apple Services will also see a big boost, according to the analyst.
As for the reason why iPhone 15 prices are rising, they haven’t changed since last year. The economy could put pressure on Apple to raise prices, as some components will be more expensive. That would be especially true for the next-generation A17 chip that will power the iPhone 15 Pro models.
That said, there’s always a chance that Apple could surprise iPhone fans with lower-than-expected prices for the iPhone 15 Pro. But price increases seem inevitable this year.
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