Apple is slated to unveil four new iPhone models in mid-September: the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. TrendForce predicts a production figure of approximately 80 million units for the iPhone 15 series. This represents a 6% YoY growth, bouncing back from last year’s Foxconn-related production hiccups. The Pro series, armed with smoother production cycles and the Pro Max’s exclusive periscope lens, is poised to be a consumer magnet and potentially propel the Pro series to constitute over 60% of Apple's new device production. However, with overall gloomy market sentiment and Huawei’s comeback in full swing, Apple’s total iPhone sales for the year may take a hit, expected to hover between 220 to 225 million units for a 5% YoY decline.
In regard to specifications for the iPhone 15 series, several noteworthy hardware upgrades have been made. Compliance with EU regulations has led Apple to jump on the USB Type-C bandwagon this year. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will come with significant camera upgrades, sporting a 48MP main sensor to align with the Pro series. Furthermore, they will also be featuring Apple’s Dynamic Island. On the other hand, the Pro series promises cutting-edge processor upgrades, increased Dram capacity, and introduces a titanium-aluminum alloy frame. The Pro Max also intends to elevate mobile photography to the next level with its exclusive periscope lens.
Advances in technology, while exciting, can also ratchet up the intricacies of mass production. Reports of component snags and assembly issues have surfaced as production of the new iPhone models revs up in the third quarter. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, in particular, have been grappling with lower-than-expected yield rates for their new 48MP cameras. Meanwhile, the Pro series is confronting challenges with panel and titanium alloy frame assembly. However, evidence suggests that the Pro series is likely to overcome its obstacles more swiftly than its non-Pro counterparts.
iPhone 15 Pro Max may see a price increase to reflect cost differences
In light of the global economic downturn, Apple is contemplating a cautious pricing strategy to preserve its sales volumes. While the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus boast 48MP main cameras, they’ll inherit the A16 processor from the iPhone 14 Pro series, with no other significant upgrades. Hence, their starting prices are projected to be aggressively competitive. The iPhone 15 Pro may sport several enhancements that inflate costs, yet these are anticipated to be offset by cost reductions in other components.
Overall, TrendForce predicts a stable pricing landscape for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro, largely mirroring last year’s figures. The Pro Max, however, is a different story. Equipped with an exclusive high-cost periscope lens, it’s expected to command a premium—likely a bump of up to US$100—to reflect its increased production costs. Should this price adjustment materialize, it would mark the first such move since the era of the iPhone X.
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