9/9 update below. This article was originally published on September 7
Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are getting more expensive, and now we might know exactly why.
According to a new report released by Digitimsthe “[iPhone 15] The Pro series will likely suffer a significant price hike due to case upgrades from stainless steel to titanium and an upgrade of the periscope lens, which is only for the Pro Max, to perform at 5-6x optical zoom.
In previous reports, titanium has been cited as a significant cost increase for Apple, but with claims that the price of the iPhone 15 Pro will not go up, it appears that this will not be passed on to end users. Add to that the cost of Apple’s first 10x optical zoom camera, and this is in line with claims that the iPhone 15 Pro Max could rise by as much as $200, becoming the most expensive iPhone ever released.
As such, the iPhone 15 lineup could be priced as follows:
- iPhone 15: starts at $799 (unchanged)
- iPhone 15 Plus: starts at $899 (unchanged)
- iPhone 15 Pro: Starting at $1,099 ($100 increase)
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: Starting at $1,299 ($200 increase)
Speculation has mounted that elements such as the titanium body, which, while stronger and lighter than stainless steel, is not necessary for the phone and is being incorporated precisely because Apple wants to widen the gap between the Pro and non-Pro iPhones.
Why? For most of the iPhone 14’s lifecycle, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max outsold the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. That’s because the iPhone 14 Plus costs just $100 less than the iPhone 14 Pro, a difference that becomes minuscule compared to the average carrier’s two-year contract.
Since Apple has similar profit margins across all iPhone models, it prefers to balance demand to benefit its supply chain. With the new prices, the iPhone 15 Pro will cost $300 more than the iPhone 15, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max will cost $400 more than the iPhone 14 Plus.
Even if these numbers were spread across a long carrier contract, they would be enough of a difference to make upgraders think twice. Meanwhile, Apple could increase the average selling price of its iPhones from the Pro increments, just as the rest of the smartphone market struggles with its own. Biggest drop ever.
So what are the differences, and is it worth paying for? You’ll have to wait for reviews to answer the second part of that question, but as has become custom in recent years, the standard iPhone 15 models will essentially be new versions of the iPhone 14 Pro at lower prices. This means an A16 chip, a Dynamic Island design, and a 48-megapixel camera.
In contrast, Apple is going all out with the iPhone 15 Pros: standard bezels, new body materials, Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, the first 3nm smartphone chip in the A17, and the Pro Max’s aforementioned periscope zoom camera. Battery life should also get a big boost.
Yes, it’s the perfect Apple trap: The starting prices for the set are reasonable, but spend a little more and you’ll get it Much more…
Update 09/09: Another prominent industry figure has added her voice to claims that Apple will offer higher prices for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
In an investor note Visible Via MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives claims that the iPhone 15 Pro will start at $1,099, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max arriving at $1,199. Both prices represent a $100 increase over their predecessors.
Ives also says that the prices of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will not change, at $799 and $899, respectively. This is consistent with previous leaks.
While developers eyeing the iPhone 15 Pro models will undoubtedly be disappointed by the news of the price increases, the writing has been on the wall for some time. Furthermore, Ives’ pricing is on the lower end of the scale, given that many insiders expected a $200 increase in the price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
If Ives is right, I would argue that Apple’s new pricing could be problematic. A $100 increase is unlikely to tempt most upgraders to buy the standard iPhone 15 model, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s exclusive periscope zoom camera is likely to make it by far the most popular choice when the model is available. Facing shipping delays.
My advice: If you want the iPhone 15 Pro Max, pre-order it ASAP, or you could be waiting too long.
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