New Apple Exclusive reveals lower than expected iPhone 14 price

New Apple Exclusive reveals lower than expected iPhone 14 price

08/06 Update below. This post was originally published on 03 August

Apple leaks have consistently agreed on one thing: iPhone 14 models will be 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 senior management decision.” And given Lanzuk’s solid track record, there’s every reason to believe this.

Lanzuk explains that Apple’s decision was based on “stagnation in the global mobile phone market and a decrease in demand … so the price of the base model is frozen despite some price increase factors.”

Detailed by other leaks, these factors include an increase in component prices due to shortages and Apple upgrading several key elements of the iPhone 14 series. Most notable is a brand new front-facing camera module from LG Innotek, which leaks have tripled the price of its predecessor.

Undoubtedly aware of the shock and potential disbelief his news will generate, Lanzuk emphasizes that his information comes from a rock-solid source in a “major American financial institution.” Moreover, Lanzuk has a track record that deserves respect. While the insider has had the occasional miss, there have been a number of accurate leaks for both Apple and Samsung devices over the past year.

08/05 Update: further information has leaked regarding the launch of the iPhone 14, and there is more good news. Influential analyst and industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo reports that Apple has successfully expanded production of the upcoming entry-level model in India ahead of its release.

“Foxconn’s iPhone manufacturing site in India will ship the new 6.1″ iPhone 14 almost simultaneously with China for the first time in 2H22 (India has been a quarter or more behind in the past),” Kuo explained. “In the short term, India’s iPhone capacity/shipments still have a significant gap with China, but it is an important milestone for Apple in building a non-Chinese iPhone manufacturing site.”

My contacts believe this strategy will yield an immediate payoff, with Apple able to deliver a significant inventory of iPhone 14s for its September release. 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 far behind through August.”

So if you’re planning to buy Apple’s most affordable large-screen iPhone to date, I suspect you’ll need to move quickly when they go on sale.

08/06 Update: speaking with me today, popular tipster AppleLeaksPro says the new prices are consistent with what he’s been hearing for months. “The Pros are significantly more expensive to manufacture,” LeaksApplePro explained, citing the new punch-hole display, upgraded 48MP camera, stainless steel chassis (which has been a cost differentiator since the iPhone XS) and the A16 chipset.

“There are a lot of differences,” the leaker told me, saying the expectation is that Apple will primarily focus on the iPhone 14 Pro models at launch. “My guess is that Apple will talk little or nothing about the iPhone 14.”

AppleLeaksPro says the driver behind all this is “differentiation”. This is in line with similar moves Apple has made to increase the price and feature differences between the standard and Pro models of the iPad, Mac and MacBook in recent years. The strategy has proven successful, although it is more difficult to find a feature that will make iPhone 14 Pro models objectively professionally oriented.

All this means that a split is opening up in the leak community. Last month, noted analysts at Wedbush explained that price increases across the range were inevitable because “Prices have increased across the supply chain, and Cupertino needs to pass those costs on to the consumer on this release.”

From what I understand, there is some truth in both positions. Supply chain pressures are driving up costs, as are several new components in the iPhone 14 series (especially new front cameras).

That said, I understand 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 in the standard models. This is a significant factor behind the iPhone 14’s similarity to its predecessor, both in design and performance, with the upgrades likely to be smaller than any previous generation iPhone upgrade.

As a result, expect this to be one of the more controversial iPhone launches in recent years.

If true, Lanzuk’s claim would mean the iPhone 14 would retain its $799 asking price (instead of jumping to $899), which also raises hopes that the new iPhone 14 Max will also be priced $100 lower at $899. These price points make sense, given Apple’s willingness to widen the feature and performance gap for iPhone 14 Pro models, which are still expected to go up 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 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 their respective increases in screen size, these increases are also easier for Apple to market to customers .

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

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