• December 3, 2022

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Apple introduced global price rises for the iPhone 14 range, with only China and the US escaping the hikes. Now a new iPhone 15 leak claims costs are going up a lot more, and it looks like no one will escape the increases this time.

In a new tweet, popular anonymous industry insider LeaksApplePro has revealed that Apple’s widely leaked new flagship, the iPhone 15 Ultra, “will cost substantially more to manufacture than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.” While he doesn’t give away how much this is, it opens the door for price rises across the range.

For those unfamiliar with the iPhone 15 Ultra, it is expected to replace the Pro Max in Apple’s next iPhone lineup. And “replace” is the critical part of this.

Initially, the Ultra was tipped as a fifth iPhone 15 model, a new hero device showcasing the very best Apple can make. It’s a strategy that fits in with the company’s flagship iPad Pro and MacBook Pro maxed-out models ($2000 and $6100, respectively). Apple’s top performing M1 chip is also named ‘Ultra.’

When further leaks revealed that the iPhone 15 Ultra is simply a rebranding exercise, fears of a big price increase eased. Apple would simply slot the iPhone 15 Ultra in place of an iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the lineup — iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra — would be more straightforward than the X, XR, XS and Pro Max word salad of recent years. But not so fast.

Last month leaks emerged that the iPhone 15 Ultra would have head-turning upgrades like dual front-facing cameras and a titanium chassis, a material that is approximately 35x more expensive than the Pro Max’s stainless steel. So LeaksApplePro’s latest information makes a lot of sense.

While increased manufacturing costs don’t always lead to price increases, you should brace yourself when they cost “substantially more.” Apple has margins to preserve. Moreover, the company has a clear pricing structure, and it doesn’t involve one model positioned far above the rest — there are always increments. So if the UItra goes up, the rest of the range will have to close the gap to meet it.

Yes, in a time of extreme inflation and a cost of living crisis, it is a shock to think Apple will increase iPhone prices for the second year running. Even US customers are now spending up to 15% more on average buying iPhones. This is because the $899 iPhone 14 Plus replaced the $699 iPhone 13 Mini, so the $799 iPhone 14 became the new entry point, while their underwhelming upgrades pushed more customers to the Pros.

So brace yourself for more iPhone price hikes in 2023. The good news? At least it looks like you will get USB-C in return

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