In a blog post, a historically trustworthy industry source yeux1122 claims that Apple’s internal review of disappointing iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus sales decided that their fall is “far above the range projected,” even when accounting for the pandemic-caused component shortages. Consequently, Apple will price their successors aggressively.
According to the insider, “the cost is the major issue.” This makes sense. The iPhone 14 Plus costs $899, $100 less than the iPhone 14 Pro, despite having a display, CPU, camera, and design that are worse. With the majority of purchasers spreading out purchase costs across a two-year carrier contract, there is little need to choose Plus over Pro.
According to Yeux1122, Apple has considered a number of countermeasures, including minimising the feature gap between the iPhone 15 ordinary and Pro models, but has concluded that aggressive pricing for standard units is the most likely course of action.
12/31 Update: Disappointing news for those who hoped Apple’s expected price cuts for normal iPhone 15 models would result in the return of the Mini size. Since yeux1122 exposed Apple’s “aggressive” pricing approach, a great deal of speculation has surrounded the company’s pricing tactics.
Price reductions on the iPhone 15 Plus have a ripple effect on the iPhone 15, iPhone 14 (which is likely to continue on sale), and even the iPhone SE. As a result, it makes a great deal of sense for Apple to dispense with the Plus and offer an iPhone 15 Mini alongside the iPhone 15. This would allow Apple to make a cheaper range entry point, increase the price gap between iPhone 15 Pro variants, and maintain all other costs.
In response, AppleLeaksPro stated, “As far as I’m concerned, there are no plans to release an iPhone 15 small next year, in case you were wondering.”
If true, this is unfortunate. Apple’s achievement with the Mini form factor is noteworthy, given not everyone like large phones. Surprisingly weak sales ultimately led to its cancellation, but industry estimates indicate that sales of the iPhone 14 Plus are even worse.
This may have opened the way for Apple to once again offer three iPhone sizes, as Mini buyers were enthusiastic. When Apple and Android alternatives exist, it is difficult to make the same case for the iPhone 14 Plus Plus. I believe it is substantially simpler to build a smartphone with a 6.7-inch form factor than with a 5.7-inch form factor.
The performance of Apple’s next-generation A17 processor, destined for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra, may have just been disclosed via remarks made by TSMC Chairman Mark Liu. TSMC is Apple’s major chip supplier, and Liu confirmed that mass production of 3-nanometer chips has commenced at its Tainan site in southern Taiwan when discussing the company’s product schedules.
Liu stated that the demand for 3nm chips is “very robust” and that “mass production of 3nm chips is the result of decades of engagement with the local supply chain.” Liu’s revelation that 3nm chips will outperform 5nm chips while consuming 35% less power was a dead giveaway.
While Samsung Foundry has already shipped the world’s first 3nm circuits for cryptocurrency mining, TSMC chips will be the first used in consumer devices, and Apple will have priority access to the vast majority of TSMC’s output. As a result, it is widely anticipated that the M2 chips in the forthcoming MacBook Pro refresh would premiere this new technology in the first quarter.
The schedule allows adequate time for the switch to mobile for the Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra when they are released in the third quarter. This is not surprising given that 3nm nearly made the iPhone 14 launch before being delayed, but before Liu’s comments, little was known about its performance and efficiency improvements.
It remains to be seen how Apple will employ these efficiency advantages. I feel a moderate ground will be the most logical option. Apple now possesses a degree of versatility it has not had since the A14 became the first 5nm iPhone chip in 2020.
When the 3nm A17 chipset filters down to the ordinary iPhone models in 2024, Apple will have the flexibility to relaunch the iPhone Mini. This move has previously been rejected for 2023, but this size is significantly more unique than the iPhone 14 Plus, and it is unlikely that major Android smartphone manufacturers will create a competitor for it based on their existing market positions. However, when Apple discontinues a product, it rarely looks back.
The obvious option would be to reduce the price of the iPhone 15 Plus by $100 to $799, driving the price of the iPhone 15 down to $699. This raises the price of the still-available iPhone 14 to $599. At this pricing, Apple risks cannibalising sales of the $429 iPhone SE, which explains last week’s allegations that the company is considering discontinuing the iPhone SE entirely in 2023.
Intriguingly, a new flagship, the iPhone 15 Ultra, is rumoured to be even more expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. However, yeux1122 confirms this prediction, stating that Apple will also differentiate it from the iPhone 15 Pro. Yeux1122 notes material and camera distinctions, which are consistent with reports that the Ultra will include a titanium chassis and dual front cameras.
Ultimately, any notion of price reductions will come as a surprise because it contradicts previous sources indicating that Apple will increase, not drop, pricing for the majority of iPhone 15 models. However, yeux1122 has a history of successfully disclosing counterintuitive facts.
Notably, in March, the source refuted predictions that the iPhone 14 would have thinner bezels than the iPhone 13; a week later, leaked blueprints confirmed this. Despite many reports, yeux1122 stated in August that iPhone 14 pricing will not increase, and Apple finally froze prices in its largest markets. In September, the leaker also distributed iPhone 14 Plus covers bearing the ‘iPhone 14 Max’ moniker, disproving reports to that point.
While the iPhone 15 Ultra may end up being the most costly iPhone ever, yeux1122’s data indicates that purchasers of normal iPhone 15 devices will have more money in their accounts than anticipated.