Earlier this week, the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the iPhone 14 Pro will be the most expensive Apple smartphone to date. This bad news coincided with a small chaser of good news: TrendForce predicted that the Pro version would double the base storage on the entry-level model, taking it from 128GB to 256GB.
Sadly, it sounds like even this good news may not be set in stone. Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu has offered another opinion, seen by MacRumors (opens in new tab), that says Apple will be keeping storage the same as it was with the iPhone 13 Pro. That is to say with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options.
While it could be viewed as making a safe bet to say there will be no change in the last generation, what makes this significant is that Pu has changed his mind. Initially, he agreed with the view that 256GB would be the new normal for the iPhone 14 Pro, but has updated his forecast based on new information.
If correct, there’s no sugar coating it: that’s disappointing. Kuo’s analysis predicts that the iPhone 14 range will sell for an average of 15% more than the iPhone 13 collection. While specifics aren’t mentioned, others have suggested a $100 price hike on the Pro models, meaning they start at $1,099 and $1,199 respectively. That increase would undoubtedly be easier to swallow if it came with double the capacity.
But Apple, for its part, doesn’t seem to think that demand will be lower, despite the bleak economic warnings about an imminent recession. The company has, according to Bloomberg, ordered an initial 90 million iPhone 14 units, matching last year’s iPhone 13.
This prediction was closely matched by Pu in his research note. “Based on our recent supply chain survey, we maintain our iPhone 14 build plan to be 91m in 2H22, vs. iPhone 13's 84m in 2H21, as there is no significant issue on the supply chain,” he wrote.
Despite the rumored price increase and cost-of-living crisis that has made many reduce their shipment estimates, Apple has good reason to be bullish. We’re expecting the iPhone 13 mini to be replaced by the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max (or maybe “Plus”), and given the disappointing sales figures of past “mini” handsets this could well give Apple an extra boost.
But the real prize for Apple is upselling buyers from regular iPhone 14 to Pro, and the company reportedly intends to make the difference between tiers clearer than ever, with a faster chipset, 50MP camera, notchless design and always-on display reserved for the more expensive handsets.
While this intel comes from usually reliable sources, they’re still rumors for now. But we shouldn’t have long to wait — for the past decade, Apple's iPhone event has almost always been held in early September — the iPhone launch could be as early as Sept. 6 — and we’re fully expecting 2022 to follow suit.