There are three clear options. Just a price correction, keeping up with input costs. Or couple that with a serious specs and features upgrade. At the same time, a foldable iPhone surely isn’t out of consideration It is probably the clearest hint Apple will give us about possible changes brewing. There is a thought within the tech giant that consumers may be more than willing to spend over the top-line price of the current iPhone 14 series if they get an additional (and potentially distinguishing) collection of features and functionality. Could this mean an even more expensive iPhone is on the agenda? And as a follow-up to that thought, would it be an iPhone that sits above the ‘Pro Max’ as it is now, or a completely different form factor? After all, a foldable iPhone is something the world is craving for. The more than 2 billion active iPhone install base needs something new. In the quarterly earnings call, which included the holiday quarter, and one that wasn’t as rosy for the iPhone in particular as they have consistently been over the past few years, the company made it clear they are thinking of the next chapter for the iPhone. It surely cannot be just the price increase to keep up with the realities of the cost of making an iPhone and selling it in a market that may be equally impacted by the evolving economic realities. Apple CEO Tim Cook, during the earnings call, said potential buyers are willing to pay more if there is a better option available. “I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category,” he said. This would translate to Apple’s strong belief that a price increase or an even more expensive iPhone wouldn’t be difficult to sell, as consumers don’t mind spending for what they perceive as more valuable.
Neither Apple Has Over time, Nor Cook, Shared Any Specifics On if They Expect.
further price corrections in the near future, but if that were to happen, cushioning the blow with new features might be the way to go. That takes us to the doorstep of speculation, which is the iPhone Ultra. It is expected to sit above the Pro Max phones in the hierarchy effectively making them the most expensive iPhones in the line-up. Could it start with the iPhone 15 series, which arrives later this year? At this time, the iPhone 14 Pro Max with 1TB storage costs ₹1,89,900 – this is the most spec-ed out version. But apart from the screen size difference, it isn’t entirely dissimilar to the iPhone 14 Pro. In 2022, Apple tried to set apart the most expensive phone from the rest, including giving it a periscope camera for better optical zoom photography. Dynamic Island instead of the regular notch, helped distinguish the iPhone 14 Pro phones from the rest. But why the Ultra? To be fair, there is no guarantee, but since the Apple Watch evolved into the Apple Watch Ultra, it would be safe to assume Apple will take a similar path with the iPhone too. Different processors, better cameras, differentiation on the display tech, faster-charging speeds or new functionality could define the line-up better. Samsung perhaps gives us a fairly good illustration of how to differentiate the phones within the same series. The latest chapter being the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 Ultra phones. An iPhone Ultra would be to the iPhone line-up, what the Galaxy S23 Ultra is to the Galaxy S23 series. At least, that is the closest comparative reference point. Largest display among the troika and therefore more pixels, faster storage and more capacity down the line, a stylus (that’s S Pen, in Samsung parlance), a 200-megapixel camera and not entirely surprisingly, the largest battery in the lot. The prices for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra range between ₹1,24,999 to ₹1,54,999. That leads us to the second possibility, which is a foldable iPhone form factor. It is expected. It is demanded. There is anticipation. Apple has so far stayed away from foldable. Partly because it may feel the experience needs more refinement. Secondly, the foldable phone space with all its excitement still only has Samsung truly putting in the effort. The likes of Xiaomi, Moto, Oppo and Vivo have been simply standing around, with an occasional cheer to mark their attendance. But then again, for Apple, the iPad also remains a very possible product line to take down the foldable route. An iPad Mini for starters, in a foldable form factor, would be nothing less than extremely usable. Take that experience a few steps forward into a foldable iPad and a foldable iPad Pro, and the entire ecosystem sees its biggest potential switch in years. There is more than one path that Apple can take from this point. It may choose to take more than one option. One thing is clear, the calm status quo in the iPhone family will not remain so for too long.