Apple could be considering introducing a new iPhone at a higher price than even its top-end Pro line.
While economies globally are struggling and consumers are tightening up on spending, the company could be preparing an even pricier iPhone than its $1,099 iPhone Pro Max starting point. Bloomberg’s Apple watcher Mark Gurman reports the company could introduce an Ultra iPhone model that’s more expensive than the Pro tier. It would come in the wake of Samsung’s recent announcement of its Galaxy S23 Ultra, which starts at $1,199 and boasts a 200 megapixel main camera.
At a rare poor-earnings announcement, Cook was fielding questions about the sustainability of its rising average sales price for iPhones. Talk of a higher tier iPhone follows Apple reporting a 8% year-on-year decline in iPhone revenues to $65.78 billion.
Cook argued that the iPhone’s day-to-day importance justified a potentially higher capability at a higher price because people use it for payments, to control smart home appliances, monitor health, and check on banking data.
“I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category,” Cook said.
“The iPhone has become so integral into people’s lives,” he told investors. He thinks consumers will be wiling to “stretch” to get the best device.
Samsung beefed up its Galaxy S23 Ultra camera from 109 to 200 megapixels. Apple could follow its main rival.
The iPhone 15 series won’t be unveiled until around September, but clear areas where Apple could improve its features would be the processor, camera, and display. Apple is also moving to comply with the EU’s USB-C mandate for charging ports.
The other question is whether a foldable device is coming, which Apple is reportedly working on for a 2024 or 2025 release, and that could be a hybrid MacBook and iPad rather than a foldable smartphone, such as the Galaxy Fold and Flip, which can cost over $2,000 depending on the configuration. But Samsung’s Ultra model is already proof that a higher price point for more capability can be a shift made by a manufacturer.
Analyst IDC reported Q4 2022 smartphone shipments saw the largest decline on record. Shipments across the industry fell 18.3% year on year to 300 million units.