iPhone 14: why the price could increase on new iPhones

Apple has reputedly loyal customers. Still, as broader economic forecasts are scaled back left and right, it could be hard to convince people to upgrade their iPhones.

“Apple faces a real conundrum when it comes to pricing,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at market research firm CCS Insight. In addition to inflation and cost of living pressures taking their toll on consumers, he noted that Apple is simultaneously facing increased costs associated with iPhone components and transportation.

“I expect Apple probably has to raise prices,” Wood told CNN Business. But given the pressure consumers are facing, he thinks Apple will also do “everything it can to keep this as minimal as possible.”

Beyond the broader signals of a deteriorating economy, Apple also faces other headwinds as it prepares for the product launch next week. The supply chain hiccups resulting from China’s zero Covid policy were partly linked to the 11% year-on-year drop in the company’s quarterly profits reported last month. Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, said on the earnings call that there was “no clear evidence of a macroeconomic impact” on iPhone sales. Cook added that the company even set a third quarter record “for revenue and shifts to the iPhone,” adding that “customers continue to see the iPhone remain the gold standard for smartphones.”

The steady iPhone sales are tied in part to other predictions from some industry insiders that Apple will raise the price of its new iPhones — though it’s hard to predict by how much.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an influential Apple analyst based in Asia, tweeted earlier this month that it expects Apple to increase the average selling price of the iPhone 14 line by about 15% over the iPhone 13 line. (Currently, the standard iPhone 13, non-mini, starts at $799, iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999, and iPhone 13 Pro Max starts at $1,099.)

In a research note on Monday, analysts Dan Ives and John Katsingris of Wedbush Securities predicted that Apple would raise the price of its new high-end models by around $100. “We believe a $100 price increase on the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max is likely in-store given component price increases as well as additional features on this new version,” the note reads. Cameras in upcoming iPhone Pro models are rumored to be upgraded to possibly justify the price increase, among other improvements.

Wedbush analysts also predicted strong underlying demand for the next iPhone, estimating that some 240 million out of 1 billion iPhone users worldwide haven’t updated their phones in more than three years and half.

Wood also noted that Apple iPhones are in some ways immune to macroeconomic pressures. Consumers are also increasingly seeing smartphones as “almost essential”, compared to some other tech gadgets. “Whether you really need an iPhone or not is open to question, but people who already have an iPhone are incredibly loyal,” Wood said.

“I think Apple has some advantages over its rivals,” he added. “There are people who are still waiting for a new iPhone.”

Apple, in its famously low-key fashion when preparing for its product launches, did not respond to CNN Business’ request for comment Monday on the latest iPhone prices. The company sent out invites last week for its September 7 event, which was cryptically dubbed: “Far out.”

The event will be streamed on Apple’s website from headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., starting at 1 p.m. ET.


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