has failed to make a strong case for consumers to buy the iPhone 12 Pro
and Pro Max
, says CNBC
citing some financial analysts.
Apple announced four new models earlier this week
: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 which start at $729, and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max which begin at $999.
iPhone 12 Pro Max camera makes it stand out
All new iPhones are 5G-enabled
and share the same A14 Bionic chip
and OLED display. The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 come with a dual rear camera setup consisting of a primary sensor and an ultra-wide unit, and the Pro models also get a telephoto module and a LiDar scanner for boosting augmented reality features, low-light portrait images, and autofocus.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max features the largest primary sensor ever seen on an iPhone, a new image stabilization technology, and a longer telephoto lens to achieve 2.5x optical zoom.
While these camera upgrades will probably pull in camera and video enthusiasts, Deutsche Bank analysts believe Apple failed to market the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max as models worthy of upgrade to average consumers.
The iPhone 12, which is a direct successor to the iPhone 11, costs $100 more at $799 and this could potentially impact demand across the board. The iPhone 11
was the best selling Apple smartphone phone during the last holiday quarter, presumably because it was priced right.
In past phone cycles, we have felt that AAPL makes a strong case why tech-savvy consumers should gravitate towards the highest end solution (iPhone X in 2017, iPhone XS in 2018, iPhone 11 Pro in 2019), but we do not believe such a case was made as strongly in 2020. We worry that the event did not make a strong enough case that the average consumer should tilt their purchasing towards an iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max vs. a 12/12 mini.
The key difference between the regular iPhone 12 models and the Pro variants seems to be the photography smarts and more storage, and this might not be reason enough for most consumers to spend $1,000 or more.
Per a UBS forecast, the Pro variants will make up only 25 percent of total iPhone shipments next year because of their $999 starting price, and the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 will account for 38 percent of total sales.
Given all the features offered for iPhone 12, the value proposition for iPhone 12 Pro essentially comes down to the quality of the camera. And the camera indeed appears stunning — but the camera is the only differentiator between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.