It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Apple to quell rumors coming out of its massive supply chain — and the latest leak suggests some big changes for future iPhone prices.
The leak — or, more accurately, the conclusion — was first made by Forbes writer Gordon Kelly. It’s the result of two separate reports from reliable Apple news sources: the Japanese site Mac Otakara, who has connections to Apple’s supply chain in Asia, and KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an excellent track record of predicting Apple’s next moves.
First, rumor has it that Apple will only made incremental updates to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2017 — dubbing them the 7s and 7s Plus, respectively. Those updates will include a better CPU, improved camera, and possibly a new red color option, according to Mac Otakara. The Japanese news sites apparently pulled the information from contacts in Apple’s Taiwanese supply chain.
But that won’t be all. According to Kuo, Apple is also expected to release a new flagship model with a completely refreshed design: the much-rumored iPhone 8, which analysts predict will feature a bezel-less screen, glass construction, OLED display, and wireless charging, among other new features.
That’s where the pricing for the three iPhone models comes in. According to Japanese news site Nikkei Asian Review, the iPhone 8 is likely to be a “premium model.” Combine that with the fact that Apple is expected to keep the price points for the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus the same as their predecessors, and you have the recipe for a very expensive iPhone.
Of course, predicting just how expensive the iPhone 8 could be is speculation — but it could be a decent gauge for what to expect. For example, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are currently priced between $649 and $969, depending on model. Since the smaller of the two phones runs about $120 cheaper than its larger brother, it’s not too much of a venture to say that a premium iPhone 8 could cost anywhere from $120 to $200 more than an iPhone 7s Plus.
That could mean a 256-gigabyte iPhone 8 would run you $1,200 — and it would line up with Apple’s aim to increase its margins on its high-end flagship. If you’re still skeptical about Apple raising its flagship prices, remember that MacBook prices have gone up 20 percent — and 15-inch MacBook Pro prices have risen as much as 50 percent, according to Forbes.
And we’re not sure where that leaves the more budget-minded Apple customer. Cupertino has reportedly nixed its 2017 iPhone SE refresh, and there’s other evidence suggesting that next year’s 4.7-inch, “iPhone 7s” model could become the de facto budget option.
Of course, these are all still just rumors — but it wouldn’t be uncalled for to start preparing yourself to spend a lot more on next year’s Apple flagship.