Apple introduced four new iPhone models this year, but the strategy was quite different from previous years. On this occasion, the differences between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are more significant. At the same time, the iPhone mini was replaced by the iPhone 14 Plus, but it seems that this model is just as big a commercial failure as the mini version. But why is that?
Apple’s strategy with the iPhone
First, let’s recap Apple’s strategy with the iPhone in recent years. Since 2017, the company has introduced three different iPhones. First, there were the mid-range iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, while the iPhone X was the high-end version.
In 2018 there were two high-end models with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, but only a single mid-range option, which was the iPhone XR. The same thing happened in 2019 with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. But in 2020, Apple decided to introduce a fourth new iPhone to the iPhone 12 family, which was the iPhone 12 mini.
Compared to its more expensive siblings, the iPhone 12 mini has never been considered a huge success. Most customers seemed to prefer big-screen phones, and for just $100 more they could buy the regular iPhone 12, which had a bigger screen and battery. Apple tried to give the iPhone mini another go in 2021 with the iPhone 13 mini, this time with a slightly larger battery. But that wasn’t enough to boost sales.
Some people (and perhaps Apple itself) believed that a larger-screen, mid-range iPhone would be more successful than the iPhone mini. And in 2022, Apple has phased out the iPhone mini and replaced it with the iPhone 14 Plus, which has the same 6.7-inch screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but for a lower price. But it turns out that the iPhone 14 Plus is another commercial failure.
According to multiple reports from industry sources, the demand for the iPhone 14 Plus is really low. trusted analyst young ross said showing shipments of the Plus model in December was “close to 0.” So what happened?
It’s not about the size, it’s about the price
Previously, prices for the iPhone 13 mini started at $699, while the regular iPhone 13 started at $799. Those willing to buy an iPhone 13 Pro model had to pay at least $999. When the iPhone 11 launched, it was also $699, but it had a big screen and great battery life. Apple used to boast that it released the iPhone 12 mini (and 13 mini) for the same price as before, but now customers were getting a much smaller phone with a noticeably worse battery for the same price.
There’s certainly a group of people interested in buying smaller phones. However, when you compare it to the entire smartphone market, paying $700 for a 5.4-inch phone with a mediocre battery isn’t a great deal. But what if Apple replaced it with a bigger phone? They did, and yet there don’t seem to be many people interested in buying the iPhone 14 Plus.
And the reason is the price. Instead of Apple cutting the entry price of the iPhone 14 to $699 and selling the iPhone 14 Plus starting at $799, the regular iPhone 14 is still $799 (although you can find it at lower prices on Amazon), while the iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899. But the thing is, you can get an iPhone 14 Pro for just $100 more, and it offers a lot more than the iPhone 14 Plus.
In fact, every other smartphone in the $900 price range offers more than the iPhone 14 Plus. Size is not the problem. It’s the price and what you get for it. And Apple is basically trying to sell a mid-range smartphone for the price of a high-end one.
iPhone 14 is a mediocre upgrade
In previous years, even the mid-range iPhone models had good upgrades and were quite similar to the Pro models on the inside. But the iPhone 14 is a completely different device than the iPhone 14 Pro. It doesn’t have the A16 chip, it doesn’t have the new 48-megapixel main camera or even the macro lens, and it doesn’t have Dynamic Island. It’s essentially an iPhone 13 with satellite connectivity.
At the same time, the iPhone 14 Plus is a $900 smartphone that doesn’t have a 120Hz display or a telephoto lens for capturing optically zoomed photos and videos.
If someone wants to buy a new iPhone and wants to save some money, that person will probably end up buying the regular iPhone 14 or even an iPhone 13. And people willing to pay for a premium smartphone will probably spend $100 more to buy the iPhone. 14 Pro. And in that scenario, there’s simply no place for the iPhone 14 Plus.
And I’m not saying that the iPhone 14 Plus is a bad smartphone. It’s not. The A15 chip is still faster than most of the competition, the cameras are good, and battery life is excellent. But there is no way that Apple can expect a lot of sales from this device. People who spend $900 on a smartphone expect more than what the iPhone 14 Plus offers.
Another change in strategy could be on the way
according to some rumorsInternally, Apple has been considering lowering the prices of the iPhone 15 compared to the prices of the iPhone 14 in response to low demand for these models. It’s unclear exactly how much Apple will cut the price, but I’d guess $50 to $100 less, while the Pro models will stay the same (or even more expensive).
Even so, the company is still expected to introduce an iPhone 15 and an iPhone 15 Plus. And this time the new screen design with Dynamic Island is expected to come for all models.
Personally, I think Apple could go back with its iPhone XS and iPhone 11 strategy. Keep the iPhone Pro available in two different sizes and focus on a single mid-range version that costs at least $250 less than the Pro models.
But what about you? What do you think of the iPhone 14 Plus? Let me know in the comments section below.
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