Looking to increase the revenue brought in by the iPhone 14 family, Apple widened the specs and features gap between the iPhone 14 non-Pro models and the pricier iPhone 14 Pro line. For example, let’s say that you simply must have the shape-shifting Dynamic Island notification feature on your new iPhone. That means spending at least $999 for the iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple got what it wanted by increasing the differentiation between the iPhone 14 Pro and non-Pro models
Some of the other differences include the new 48MP camera sensor used for the Wide camera on the iPhone 14 Pro series (as opposed to the 12MP sensor on the non-Pro models). The Pro models are also equipped with the ProMotion display that allows the screen to redraw 120 times per second (120Hz). The pricier units are also equipped with a better OLED panel and faster memory chips.
Speaking of chips, the iPhone 14 Pro
and iPhone 14 Pro Max
are both powered by the new 4nm A16 Bionic while the non-Pro units are packing last year’s 5nm A15 Bionic SoCs. And of course, the iPhone 14 Pro series features a telephoto camera that the less expensive units do not have.
2022’s pricier iPhone 14 models, the Pro and the Pro Max
Stats posted by Tom’s Guide
indicate that Apple got what it wanted. While the iPhone 13 Pro series made up 51% of iPhone 13 demand, the iPhone 14 Pro line is responsible for a whopping 64% of the demand for the iPhone 14 series. As a result of this and production problems at Foxconn’s largest iPhone 14 Pro series production facility in China, wait times for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are approaching levels deemed to be “extreme.”
At the same time, lower demand for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus means that these models are readily available without delay. It isn’t known whether Apple’s decision to put the kibosh on the iPhone mini and replace it with a non-Pro version of its biggest phone has been a success. The 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus
also features the largest capacity battery ever included with an iPhone (4325mAh vs. 4323mAh for the iPhone 14 Pro Max).
Next year though, Apple is expected to reduce the differentiation gap a little according to Japanese investment house Nomura. Investing.com
says that Nomura is telling clients that next year’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will sport the Dynamic Island, a 48MP Wide camera on the back, and the 4nm A16 Bionic SoC currently used on the iPhone 14 Pro series.
Nomura analysts add that “Meanwhile, the upgrades for higher-end iPhone15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra (or Pro Max) are less significant to consumers (except for the periscope camera, 8GB DRAM, and haptics-feedback buttons.” Apple’s goal is to balance out the demand between the Pro and non-Pro models next year.
Will the iPhone 15 Ultra be worthy of its name?
Also, with the redesign expected for the iPhone 15 family, we’d expect Apple to use this opportunity to raise prices on its most important product. It hasn’t been done for a few years and next year would seem a propitious time to do so. There is also the possibility that Apple
will shove some exclusive new features such as the rumored solid-state buttons, and a possible periscope camera into a much more expensive top-of-the-line iPhone 15 Ultra
And while we really haven’t heard any rumors about the iPhone 15 Ultra battery specifically, could Apple be looking to shoehorn a 5000mAh capacity battery into the unit? Imagine what the screen time could be with a battery like that. There is a feeling that if Apple does replace the Pro Max model with an Ultra, the device will have to have exclusive features worthy of the Ultra name. And of course, it will have to sport a price tag also worthy of the name.
There is also a theory that Apple is reducing the gap between its less expensive and pricier phones next year in order to reduce the pressure on its supply chain. The latter might be able to serve Apple better if demand is more evenly split between the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Ultra, and the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models.