Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus has been on sale for just one week, but industry reports already claim the release of this much-anticipated smartphone is not going to plan.
Released on 7 October, three weeks after the rest of the iPhone 14 range, the iPhone 14 Plus was widely expected to be the most popular device in the lineup. It was seen by many (including myself) as marrying the popularity of big-screen phones with outstanding battery life and — for the first time from Apple — a lower price. But those expectations appear to have been dashed.
According to a new report from Digitimes, initial sales of the iPhone 14 Plus are following in the footsteps of the iPhone 14 with “lower than expected” demand. In fact, Digitimes claims that Apple may be forced to reduce stock levels and cut back component orders as soon as this month.
This follows on from an eye-opening report by respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in September, where he claimed pre-order levels for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus were “bad” with lower demand than the third-generation iPhone SE and iPhone 13 Mini. Apple opted to replace the 5.4-inch Mini with the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus this year due to poor sales.
In contrast, sales of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models are claimed to be high, surpassing the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. These numbers are expected to prop up overall iPhone sales, but Kuo argues that “Apple’s product segmentation strategy for standard models fails this year.”
It’s a strong statement and suggests a rare tactical misstep from Apple, after the company gambled to widen the gap between its Pro and non-Pro iPhones this year by withholding design, performance and camera improvements from standard models.
Yes, it is a shock for Apple to seemingly misjudge the market in this manner, but the company already appears ready to course correct. The first iPhone 15 leaks claim Apple will release its updated iPhone 14 Pro design for all models in 2023, though some controversial gaps will remain.
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