“Apple is facing a real price puzzle,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at market research firm CCS Insight. On top of the inflation and cost-of-living pressures that have gripped consumers, he noted that Apple is simultaneously facing rising costs associated with iPhone components and transportation.
“My expectation is that Apple may have to raise prices,” Wood told CNN Business. But given the stress consumers are facing, he believes Apple will also do “everything in its power to make that as little as possible.”
Steady iPhone sales are partly related to other predictions from some industry insiders that Apple will raise the price of its latest iPhones — although it’s hard to predict by how much.
In a research note on Monday, analysts Dan Ives and John Katsingris of Wedbush Securities expected Apple to raise the price of its latest high-end model by about $100. The note stated, “We believe the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max price increase of $100 is likely in store due to the higher component prices as well as the functionality added in this new version.” It is rumored that the cameras in upcoming iPhone Pro models will be upgraded to justify the price increase, among other improvements.
Wedbush analysts also forecast strong underlying demand for the upcoming iPhone, estimating that about 240 million of the 1 billion iPhone users worldwide have not developed their phones in more than three and a half years.
Wood also noted that Apple’s iPhones are in some ways insulated from macroeconomic stresses. Smartphones are also increasingly viewed by consumers as “almost basic” compared to some other tech gadgets. “Whether or not you really need an iPhone is open to questions, but people who already have an iPhone are incredibly loyal,” Wood said.
“I think Apple has some advantages over competitors,” he added. “There are people who are always waiting for a new iPhone.”
Apple, in its popular fashion during the lead up to its product launches, did not respond to CNN Business’s request for comment on the latest iPhone pricing. The company sent out invitations last week for the September 7 event, which it dubbed “Away.”
The event will be streamed on Apple’s website from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California beginning at 1 p.m. EST.
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