08/06 Update below. This post was originally published on August 03
Apple leaks have consistently agreed on one thing: iPhone 14 models are getting more expensive. That is, until now.
In a new suspension, anonymous user Lanzuk revealed that Apple “decided to freeze the launch price of the base model iPhone 14 through a top-level decision.” And given Lanzuk’s solid track record, there’s every reason to believe so.
Lanzuk explains that Apple’s decision was based on the “global stagnation of the mobile phone market and the decrease in demand … so the price of the base model has been frozen despite some factors increasing the price”.
As detailed by other users, these factors include rising component prices due to shortages and Apple upgrading several key components of the iPhone 14 lineup. Most notably, an all-new front-facing camera unit from LG Innotek, which according to leaks is triple the price of its predecessor.
Lanczuk is no doubt aware of the shock and potential disbelief his news will cause, and stresses that his information comes from a very powerful source inside a “major US financial institution”. In addition, Lanzuk has a track record that deserves respect. While the initiate had the occasional missthere have been several accurate leaks for both Apple and Samsung devices during the last year.
Update 08/05: Further information about the iPhone 14 launch has leaked, and it’s more good news. Major analyst and industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo References that Apple has successfully expanded production of the upcoming entry-level model in India ahead of the launch.
“Foxconn’s iPhone manufacturing plant in India will ship the new iPhone 14 6.1″ almost simultaneously with China for the first time in the 2nd half of 2222 (India was a quarter or more behind previously),” Kuo explained.” In the short term, India’s iPhone capacities/shipments still have a significant gap with China, but it is an important milestone for Apple in building a non-Chinese iPhone production site.”
My contacts believe this strategy will pay off immediately, with Apple able to supply significant inventory of the iPhone 14 for the September launch. This is in stark contrast to the ongoing supply chain issues facing the iPhone 14 Max. While Kuo expects the new 6.7-inch model to launch alongside the rest of the lineup, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), has warned that “iPhone 14 Max panel shipments [are] still way back until August.”
So if you’re looking to buy Apple’s most affordable large-screen iPhone to date, I suspect you’ll have to move fast when they’re released.
08/06 Update: speaking to me today, popular tipster AppleLeaksPro says the new prices are in line with what he’s been hearing for several months. “The pros are significantly more expensive to build,” LeaksApplePro explained, citing the new punch-hole display, upgraded 48MP camera, stainless steel frame (which differentiates the cost from the iPhone XS) and the A16 chipset.
“There are a lot of differences,” the leaker told me, saying that Apple is expected to focus primarily on the iPhone 14 Pro models at launch. “My guess is that Apple will say little to nothing about the iPhone 14.”
AppleLeaksPro says the driver behind all of this is “Differentiation.” This ties in with similar moves Apple has made to widen the price and feature differences between standard and Pro models of iPads, Macs and MacBooks in recent years. The strategy has proven to be successful, even if it is harder to identify any feature that will make the iPhone 14 Pro models objectively professional.
All of this means that a divide is opening up in the leak community. Last month, noted analysts at Wedbush explained that price increases across the board were inevitable because “prices are rising throughout the supply chain, and Cupertino needs to pass those costs on to the consumer in this release.”
From what I understand, there is some truth to both positions. Pressure on the supply chain is driving up costs, as are many new components in the iPhone 14 lineup (esp new front cameras).
That said, I understand that Apple is also determined to make 2022 the year it drives differentiation between Pro and non-Pro models, even if that means swallowing some of the cost increases on standard models. This is a major factor behind the iPhone 14’s similarity to its predecessor, both in design and performance, with upgrades likely to be smaller than any previous-generation iPhone upgrade.
As a result, expect this to be one of the most controversial iPhone launches in years.
If correct, Lanzuk’s claim would mean the iPhone 14 will retain its asking price of $799 (instead of jumping to $899), which also raises hope that the new iPhone 14 Max will also be priced $100 lower in $899. These price points make sense given Apple’s determination to widen the feature and performance gap on the iPhone 14 Pro models, which are still expected to increase in price:
- iPhone 14 Pro – $1099 (iPhone 13 Pro $999)
- iPhone 14 Pro Max – $1199 (iPhone 13 Pro Max $1099)
Furthermore, I would argue that Lanzuk’s claim still equates to a real $100 price increase across the spectrum. That’s because the $799 iPhone 14 will replace the $699 iPhone 13 Mini as the entry-level model, and the $899 iPhone 14 Max will take the place of the $799 iPhone 13. Given the corresponding increases in screen size, these increases are also easier for Apple to market to customers.
Will the iPhone 14 series be worth it? The design, camera and performance upgrades to the Pro models certainly look like it, but with a potential switch from Lightning to USB-C in 2023, I’d advise caution if you don’t need to upgrade this year.
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