New Apple Exclusive announces lower-than-expected iPhone 14 price

New Apple Exclusive announces lower-than-expected iPhone 14 price

08/06 update below. This post was originally published on August 3rd

Apple leakers always agree on one thing: iPhone 14 models are getting more expensive. That is, until now.

In a new blog post, anonymous leaker Lanzuk has revealed that Apple has “decided to freeze the launch price of the iPhone 14 base model 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 in the mobile phone market and the drop in demand … so the price of the base model is frozen despite some price increase factors”.

These factors, detailed by other leakers, include a surge in component prices due to shortages and Apple’s upgrade of several key elements of the iPhone 14 lineup. Most notably, a brand new front camera module from LG Innotek that claims to be three times the price of its predecessor.

Lanzuk is no doubt aware of the shock and potential disbelief his news will provoke, stressing that his information comes from a rock-solid source within a “major US financial institution.” Additionally, Lanzuk has a track record that deserves respect. While the insider has had the occasional glitch, there have been a number of accurate leaks for Apple and Samsung devices over the past year.

08/05 Update: More information about the launch of the iPhone 14 has been leaked, and it’s more good news. Influential analyst and industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo reports that Apple has successfully ramped up production of the upcoming base model in India ahead of release.

“Foxconn’s iPhone manufacturing plant in India will ship the new 6.1-inch iPhone 14 for the first time in 2H22 almost simultaneously with China (India has historically been a quarter or more behind),” explained Kuo. “In the near term, India’s iPhone capacity/supply still has a significant gap with China, but it is an important milestone for Apple in establishing a non-Chinese iPhone manufacturing facility.”

My contacts believe this strategy will pay off immediately as Apple is able to ship significant stocks of the iPhone 14 for its September release. This is in stark contrast to the ongoing supply chain issues faced by 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 deliveries [are] still far behind August.”

So if you’re planning to grab Apple’s cheapest big-screen iPhone yet, you’ll probably need to hurry when it goes on sale.

Update 6/8: Popular tipster AppleLeaksPro told me today the new prices are consistent with what they’ve been hearing for several months. “The Pros are significantly more expensive to manufacture,” LeaksApplePro explained, citing the new punch-hole display, upgraded 48-megapixel camera, stainless steel body (which has been a cost differentiator since the iPhone XS), and A16 chipset.

“There are many differences,” the leaker told me, saying Apple will primarily focus on the iPhone 14 Pro models at launch. “My guess is that Apple will say little to nothing about the iPhone 14.”

According to AppleLeaksPro, the driver behind all this is “differentiation”. This ties in with similar moves Apple has made in recent years to widen the price and feature gaps between the Standard and Pro models of iPads, Macs, and MacBooks. The strategy has proven successful, although it’s harder to pinpoint a feature that objectively professionally orients iPhone 14 Pro models.

All of this means a split is opening up in the leaks community. Last month, prominent Wedbush analysts stated that price increases across the range were inevitable because “prices have risen across the supply chain and Cupertino needs to pass those costs on to consumers in this release.”

As far as I know, there is some truth to both positions. Pressures in the supply chain increase costs, as do several new components in the iPhone 14 range (particularly new front cameras).

However, I understand that Apple is also determined to make 2022 the year it pushes differentiation between Pro and non-Pro models, even if that means swallowing some of the cost increases in the standard models. This is a major factor in the iPhone 14’s similarity to its predecessor, both in design and performance, with the upgrades likely being smaller than any previous generation iPhone upgrades.

So expect this to be one of the more controversial iPhone launches in recent years.

If true, Lanzuk’s claim would mean that the iPhone 14 would keep its $799 price tag (rather than jump to $899), which also fuels hopes that the new $899 iPhone 14 Max will too will be $100 lower. These price points make sense given Apple’s determination to widen the feature and performance gap to iPhone 14 Pro models that are 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 represents an effective price increase of $100 across the range. This is 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 each increase in screen size, those increases are also easier for Apple to market to customers.

Will the iPhone 14 range be worth it? Design, camera, and performance upgrades on the Pro models certainly seem like it, but with a possible Lightning to USB-C transition in 2023, I’d still urge caution if you don’t need to upgrade this year.

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