For the past five generations of iPhone, Apple has sold a 6.7-inch Max model at a fixed price of $1,099 despite persistent rumors of a price hike. But this year’s rumor of a higher starting price for Apple’s flagship iPhone might be true.
According to LeaksApplePro, Apple is looking to increase the price of its biggest phone by as much as $200, bringing it to $1,299 when it arrives next fall. The leaker claims “it is virtually impossible” for Apple to sell the new phone at the same $1,099 price tag, although he’s less certain about price hikes for the other models.
There are several reasons to believe this rumor. For one, it’s pretty clear that Apple has been considering higher prices for some time: there were such strong rumors that Apple was bumping the price of the iPhone 14 Pro by $100 it was surprising when it arrived at the same $1,099 price. For another, production costs will reportedly be higher for the iPhone 15, and inflation will likely still be a lingering issue. Plus, Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro models are reportedly selling way better than even the iPhone 14 Plus, so people are evidently willing to pay more for a better phone.
But the biggest issue is marketing. Apple is expected to rebrand the iPhone 15 Pro Max as the iPhone 15 Ultra, which would create a new category akin to the Apple Watch Ultra and M1 Ultra chip that means bigger, better, and more expensive.
The Apple Watch Ultra costs $799, which is $270 more than the 45mm Apple Watch Series 8 with cellular. For the extra money, you get a bigger screen, twice the battery life, a rugged design with a dedicated “Action” button, a titanium frame, and an assortment of fitness features not available on the Series 8. According to rumors, the iPhone 15 Pro will also have a titanium body—LeaksApplePro says Apple is considering offering a single color for the iPhone 15 Ultra to match the Apple Watch Ultra—and bring an array of exclusive features, including a dual selfie camera, upgraded rear camera, twice as much entry-level storage (256GB vs 128GB), and a Thunderbolt 4 port.
If there was ever a reason to believe a price hike was on the way, this would definitely be a perfect time to justify it.