iPhone 14: why the price of new iPhones may rise

Apple has several well-known loyal customers. However, as broader economic forecasts worsen left and right, it may be difficult to convince people to upgrade their iPhones.

“Apple is facing a real pricing conundrum,” said Ben Wood, principal analyst at research firm CCS Insight. In addition to inflation and cost-of-living pressures hurting consumers, he noted that Apple is simultaneously facing rising costs associated with iPhone components and shipping.

“I expect Apple will probably have to raise prices,” Wood told CNN Business. But given the strain consumers face, he believes Apple will also do “everything possible to keep it to a minimum.”

In addition to broader signals of a worsening economy, Apple is also facing other headwinds as it prepares for a product launch next week. Supply chain disruptions caused by China’s coronavirus policies were partly due to the company’s 11% year-over-year drop in quarterly profit, which was reported last month. Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, said in an earnings call that there is “no clear evidence of a macroeconomic impact” on iPhone sales. Cook added that the company even set a record in the third quarter “for both revenue and iPhone switching,” adding that “customers continue to believe that the iPhone remains the gold standard for smartphones.”

Solid iPhone sales are partly due to predictions by some industry insiders that Apple will raise the price of its newest iPhones, though it’s hard to predict by how much.

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

In a research note released Monday, analysts Dan Ives and Jon Katsingris of Wedbush Securities predicted that Apple will raise prices on its latest higher-end models by about $100. “We believe a $100 price increase for the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max is likely to happen in store, given the increase in component prices as well as additional features in this new release,” the note reads. Rumor has it that the cameras of future iPhone Pro models will be upgraded to justify the price increase, among other improvements.

Wedbush analysts also predicted strong underlying demand for the next iPhone, estimating that about 240 million of the world’s 1 billion iPhone users have not updated their phones for more than three and a half years.

Wood also pointed out that Apple’s iPhone is in some way protected from macroeconomic pressures. Consumers are also increasingly considering smartphones as “almost essential” compared to some other tech gadgets. “Whether you really need an iPhone or not is an open question, but people who already have an iPhone are incredibly loyal,” Wood said.

“I think Apple has some advantages over the competition,” he added. “There are people who are always waiting for the new iPhone.”

Apple, in its famously silent fashion ahead of its product launches, did not respond to CNN Business’s request for comment on Monday about the latest iPhone pricing. Last week, the company sent out invitations to an event on September 7th, cryptically dubbed “Far Away.”

The event will be streamed on Apple’s website from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California starting at 1:00 pm ET.

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