Amidst the menagerie of rumors and leaks surrounding this year's forthcoming iPhone 14 series, no development has been more controversial than the potential of a price hike.
It shouldn't be too surprising that even Apple isn't immune to current global economic pressures; driven by factors like the recent pandemic and soaring energy costs. Supply chain issues have affected numerous manufacturers and the resultant rising costs are now being passed onto customers.
Talk of the entire iPhone 14 line receiving a price hike dates back several months at this stage and while numerous sources have gone back and forth on whether all of Apple's upcoming phones will be affected (or whether only some will), a new leak posted on South Korean online platform Naver (via PhoneArena) claims that "Apple (has) decided to freeze the launch price of the iPhone 14 base model through a decision at the top executive level."
The user who shared this latest tidbit – lanzuk – although unverified, has a history of commenting on releases from other big brands, including Samsung and Asus, demonstrating some degree of insider knowledge in their posts. As such, this latest suggestion isn't without merit.
If true, the base iPhone 14 will hit the market at the same starting price as the current iPhone 13, at $799 - which would likely mean a price of £779 / AU$1,349 elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected to cost $100 (roughly £80 / AU$140) more than their respective 2021 predecessors, which would result in a base price of $1,099 and $1,199 respectively. Based on current Apple pricing that would likely amount to around £1,049 / AU$1,869 for the iPhone 14 Pro, and £1,149 / AU$2,019 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Analysis: added value up and down
Even if the iPhone 14 series does collectively wind up pricier than 2021's iPhone line (which looks to be the way things are going), Apple's decision to freeze the price of the base model should help drive sales across the board, regardless.
From a psychological standpoint, the contrast effect generated by this new, greater pricing disparity means those who aren't interested in facts like the standard model's use of Apple's older A15 Bionic chipset will still feel like they're getting a worthwhile upgrade, despite the relatively minor changes the base iPhone 14 looks as though it'll offer over last year's iPhone 13.
Meanwhile, those with the cash to splash on a Pro model, aware of the technical advantages they lord over the vanilla iPhone 14 – like the expected use of a new A16 Bionic chipset and a new front camera cut-out in place of a notch – will feel justified in their decision to cough up for this revised higher pricing, as it reflects the promise of superior hardware and performance to an even greater extent than with previous generations.
There's little doubt that the iPhone 14 will make its way into our list of the best iPhones, however, the iPhone 14 Pro (and / or the 14 Pro Max) look to have potential as some of the best phones on the market outright, when they arrive in the fall, even with their inflated price tags.