iPhone 14: Apple’s first iPhone price increase since 2017 to divide opinions and multiply profits

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
iPhone 14: Apple’s first iPhone prices increase since 2017 to divide opinions and multiply profit
When Apple introduced the first $1,000 iPhone in 2017, the internet was fascinated. In a good and a bad way. However, most thought that “this was crazy” and vouched to avoid the iPhone X like the plague. But it turns out it was mostly just a phase...

Fast forward five years later, the $,1100 iPhone 13 Pro Max is the second-best-selling phone on the planet (at least according to IDC). Apple's biggest flagship is preceded by the $800 iPhone 13, which takes the 1st spot, and ahead of the $1,000 iPhone 13 Pro, which comes up at 4th place.

Who would’ve thought! It turns out millions of people are more than happy to spare $1,000 or more for a brand new iPhone in 2022. Just like they were in 2021, and 2020, 20219, 2018... You get the point!

So, Apple listened…

According to somewhat reliable tipsters Jon Prosser, LeaksApplePro, and analyst Chris Caso, iPhone 14 prices "should" and will be increasing, making all new iPhone 14 models $100 more expensive than their iPhone 13 counterparts, save for the base iPhone 14 variant:

  • iPhone 14 (6.1-inch) - $799
  • iPhone 14 Max (6.7-inch) - $899
  • iPhone 14 Pro (6.1-inch) - $1,099
  • iPhone 14 Max Max (6.7-inch) - $1,199

So, let’s see why Apple might be increasing iPhone 14 prices; which hardware upgrades might justify the price increase and if there's a tiny, tiny chance the rumours might actually be wrong and Apple is actually gearing up for a generous year with a bigger and longer-lasting iPhone 14 Max...

iPhone 14 series price increase: Apple has a dozen reasons to make iPhone 14 more expensive

iPhone 14 Max shakes up Apple’s lineup pricing for the first time since 2017

Although there’s certainly a scenario where iPhone 14 prices stay the same as before, there are a few extremely good reasons to believe the rumors will turn out to be true.

But by far Apple’s best reason to make the 2022 iPhones more expensive for the first time since iPhone X will be the brand new iPhone 14 Max model, which (weirdly) replaces the iPhone 13 mini from the 2021 lineup (which sold poorly).

Anyway, the iPhone 14 Max will be the latest addition to Apple’s lineup of iPhones. Philosophically, there’s nothing extraordinary about it - it’s expected to be the same phone as the standard iPhone 14 but with a bigger display and a bigger battery.

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However, knowing that the “Max” branding and model has historically been reserved for Apple’s more expensive iPhones, and that the Pro Max model is always $100 pricier than the smaller Pro iPhone, It's almost surefire that the iPhone 14 Max will have to start at $900. That’d leave the iPhone 14’s price unchanged (compared to the iPhone 13), but now the lineup would start at $800, instead of $700, which would’ve been the case if iPhone 14 mini was a thing (RIP).

The price must reflect the hardware differences between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro series

Of course, a more expensive iPhone 14 Max means that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max must also go up in price, to justify their existence and “pro” qualities. Apple is a business and businesses like to… upsell. Tim Cook & Co like to keep a healthy $200 gap between the most expensive standard iPhone and the cheapest Pro model.

Therefore, according to tipsters like Jon Prosser, it’s now expected that compared to iPhone 13 Pro ($1,000) and iPhone 13 Pro Max ($1,100), the 2022 iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max should cost $1,100 and $1,200 respectively. That’s $100 on top.

With that comes the question: “How is Apple planning to justify the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max price increase?”. And since “there’s a new iPhone 14 Max model” doesn’t necessarily sit pretty, here’s what Apple might actually tell you in September…

Which upgrades and new features will help Apple justify the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro price increase?

As we established, the vanilla iPhone 14 is actually expected to cost just as much as the vanilla iPhone 13. That aside, we can’t compare the iPhone 14 Max’s price to that of any older iPhone, because this “big but humble” model is technically a brand new thing for Apple...

But we can talk about the iPhone 14 Pro series…

Now, if you ask me, to justify the expected price hike, in addition to all the rumored improvements (which you'll see below), Apple should give iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max:

  • 256GB of base storage
  • Faster charging and Reverse Wireless Charging
  • A brand new (larger) ultra-wide-angle camera sensor

But that's just my short (but realistic) wishlist. Now, let's see what Tim Cook & Co might actually be Cook-ing up...

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to get a new front design

For starters, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are getting Apple’s first front redesign since iPhone X came out in 2017, while the more affordable iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max are most certainly going to be sticking to the good/bad old notch.

The new dual punch-hole front look of the iPhone 14 Pro series is a great starting point, but, of course, it’s not the only thing that will separate the Pro from standard iPhone 14 models.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to get a better camera system

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will also continue to be getting newer and better camera hardware than their less expensive counterparts, and this year the biggest (seemingly confirmed) change will be coming to the primary camera of the iPhone 14 Pro series.

We’re expecting a brand new, larger 48MP sensor able to shoot 8K videos; gather more light for better image quality in the dark, and possibly even give iPhone 14 Pro the ability to shoot Cinematic Mode videos in 4K (iPhone 13 Cinematic Mode tops out at 1080p).

We haven’t heard of any upgrades to the ultra-wide and zoom sensors on the iPhone 14 Pro series yet, but bear in mind that this was also the case in 2021, when there were zero rumors of a new 3x telephoto lens, which, of course, made an appearance with the iPhone 13 Pro series.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to get the new A16 Bionic chip; A15 Bionic for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max

Interestingly, this year, there'll be another notable hardware difference between the standard and Pro iPhones, and (quite surprisingly) this will come in the processor/performance department.

We're meant to get A15-powered iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max, and A16-powered iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. What’s also important to note is that both chips are expected to stick to TSMC’s 5nm processing. This means that iPhone 14 buyers might actually be missing out on much less than expected.

Anyway, speaking of TSMC (Apple’s main chip supplier), the Taiwanese company itself is reportedly increasing hardware prices, which might be another good reason/excuse for Apple to make its new iPhones more expensive.

There’s a slight chance iPhone 14 prices might not go up

Apple can absolutely keep the prices of the new iPhone 14 series the same as before, which means the iPhone 14 would replace the iPhone 13 mini in the new lineup, while the iPhone 14 Max would take the place of the vanilla 13. So, like this:

  • iPhone 14 6.1-inch - $699 (replaces iPhone 13 mini 5.4-inch)
  • iPhone 14 Max 6.7-inch - $799 (replaces iPhone 13 6.1-inch)
  • iPhone 14 Pro - $999 (same as iPhone 13 Pro)
  • iPhone 14 Max Max $1099 (same as iPhone 13 Pro)

However, while this is certainly achievable, it requires from Cupertino to be more generous and essentially give us a bigger and longer-lasting iPhone 14 Max model for the same price as the iPhone 13 and selling the iPhone 14 for the price of a mini iPhone. And that's simply... not very “Apple”.

In the end: Why iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro won’t appear "too expensive" even after the rumored price jump

Although an average price of $1,000 across the entire lineup would be the highest price for an iPhone ever, it somehow doesn’t look particularly surprising. Ironically, that’s because Apple was one of the first companies to break the $1,000 mark in 2017 with iPhone X, which gave the company lots of headroom for the following years...

On the other hand, Android phone makers have been trying to find the sweet spot for ages, with the most notable example of “confused pricing” coming from none other but Apple’s big South Korean rival, Samsung. Samsung sells Ultra-expensive flagships too. Quite literally.

However, unlike Apple, Samsung made the mistake of sending Galaxy S20 prices through the roof back in 2020 ($1,000 for a Galaxy S20, $1,200 for a Galaxy S20+ and $1,400 for a Galaxy S20 Ultra). This surprisingly poor business move coincided with another tragedy - the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. Needless to say, the Galaxy S20 series were victims of the circumstances and sold rather poorly...

Anyway, fast forward to today, Samsung already makes a $1,200 premium flagship (Galaxy S22 Ultra), and brands like Xiaomi, Honor and even OnePlus won’t shy away from breaking the bank either, with flagship prices ranging from $900 (OnePlus 10 Pro), $1,200 (European Honor Magic 4 Pro), and $1,300 (Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra original price in Europe).

So, yes, although iPhone prices have been steadily going up around the world since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007, it turns out that since 2017 Apple’s actually kept it rather conservative when it comes to price hikes, while Android phone-makers have gone bananas. Shocker.

Anyway, what I’d be more worried about is that a hypothetical iPhone 14 series price increase in the United States would undoubtedly affect iPhone 14 prices in other markets around the world too.

While the UK seems safe, since an iPhone 13 or an iPhone 13 Pro there costs less to get anyway (if you’re earning money in the UK), places like Europe and India - two of the biggest smartphone markets, wouldn’t be as lucky.

For example, the cheapest iPhone 13 mini arrived in Germany at “only” €800, and a whopping €840 in Italy, and the country where pizza was invented isn’t nearly as economically powerful as Deutschland. But who knows... perhaps Apple will surprise us with a 256GB base model iPhone 14 Pro in exchange? Anyway...

Good luck, Italy! I love a good Cappuccino and I thank you for it.

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