Apple will test the limits of how much people are willing to pay for an iPhone Pro. Analysts predict that the company will increase the prices of some models of the iPhone 15 family by $100 compared to the previous models of the iPhone 14 family in order to increase sales despite the slowdown in the global smartphone market.
Apple’s drive to bring the premium iPhone Pro and Pro Max models closer to consumers has yielded phenomenal results over the past several years, growing sales and profits even as unit numbers have declined. Potential price hikes will help offset rising component costs due to inflation, but some analysts believe this strategy is about to reach its limits. “Probably, iPhone Pro have reached their saturation point, says Josh Lowitz, co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. — I don’t think there will be many new iPhone Pro buyers.“.
With the launch of the iPhone 15 family, Apple needs to convince buyers that features the Pro models don’t offer on regular iPhones are reason enough for a costly upgrade. “It’s getting harder and harder for consumers to figure out what new features are coming iPhone Prosaid Michael Gartenberg, a former senior director of Apple’s marketing team who left the company in 2016 to become an independent technology consultant. — For most users, the iPhone 13 will be good enough, and the base iPhone’s camera takes decent enough pictures.“.
In addition to the new processors and updated cameras, the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are expected to get a titanium body, which is lighter than standard stainless steel iPhones. Older new products are also expected to replace the default sound toggle with a button that can be configured to perform specific actions, such as quickly launching the camera or turning on the flashlight.
At the same time, the cheaper base iPhone 15 and 15 Plus models lack some of the features of older models and get less advanced features, most notably last year’s Apple A16 Bionic processor used in the iPhone 14 Pro. The new iPhone 15 Pro gets a fresh, more powerful Apple A17 Bionic.
However, one of the key changes coming to both the regular iPhone 15 and 15 Plus and the older iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will be the transition to a new USB-C connector, replacing the proprietary Lightning connector will be released on the iPhone in 2012. 5. The transition to the new standard is made to comply with new European legislation and is presented as an innovation by Apple, although the company obviously did not want to switch to this port.
The transition to the new standard could create some reluctance among consumers looking to upgrade their iPhone. Analysts suggest that the charging standard change could cause some users to delay upgrading their iPhone to a new one because they will then have to upgrade their chargers and cables.
Apple released the more expensive and advanced iPhone Pro four years ago when the smartphone market started to slow down. In 2019, Apple introduced the iPhone 11 Pro, which gave buyers a more advanced camera system and better display than the base model. Over time, Apple continued to add more ways of differentiation to its Pro series phones. So last year only the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max got the new processor, while the regular iPhone 14 and 14 Plus had the old chip from last year’s iPhones.
Apple’s strategy worked. The price of the iPhone hasn’t changed since 2020, but Apple’s revenue from its sales has increased as more buyers choose premium smartphones. Since 2019, the company has grown its iPhone sales by more than 44% to $205.5 billion in 2022. According to Counterpoint Research, this growth came despite the fact that iPhone device shipments grew by only about 15% over the same period.
But gradually the decline in the smartphone market also reached Apple. Last quarter, the average selling price of an iPhone in the US fell to $948 for the first time since 2017, lower than the same period last year and the first quarter of this year. iPhone sales fell 2.4% in the most recent quarter of the year, slightly below analysts’ expectations.
So Apple has to compete for buyers’ attention for the Pro series models. This becomes even more difficult as consumers continue to use their smartphones and postpone updates.