Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max Price Bump Is Part of Subtle Revenue-Boosting Strategy

Apple Inc. enacted its long-awaited iPhone 15 Pro Max price increase with as much subtlety as possible, part of an effort to wring more money from consumers without triggering sticker shock.

| Updated on: Sep 13 2023, 10:37 IST
Apple Watch Ultra 2: Price, specs, features, more
iPhone 15 Pro Max
1/7 On September 12, 2023, Apple launched the Apple Watch Ultra 2 alongside the iPhone 15 lineup. Apple claims the smartwatch to be an improved version of the original “most rugged” smartwatch. The event unfolded various new specs and features about the watch that may excite buyers, however, the price is hefty. (Apple)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
2/7 The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is powered by the new S9 SiP which the company claims to be Apple’s most powerful watch chip ever. The watch is equipped with a brand-new 4-core Neural Engine, which is capable of operating machine learning tasks at double the speed of the original Apple Watch Ultra. The smartwatch runs on new watchOS 10 software that will include new features.  (Apple)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
3/7 Apple has introduced a new double-tap Gesture feature that enables users to easily control the Apple Watch Ultra 2 using just two fingers,  index finger and thumb twice for various actions without touching the display. The gesture can be used to stop a timer, play and pause music, or snooze an alarm,  answer and end a phone call, take a photo with the Camera Remote, and more. (Apple)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
4/7 The Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes with a 3000 nits display, which is 50 percent brighter than the first generation. It can be accessed properly during bright sunlight, dark rooms or early mornings. The in-display flashlight is also improved with  Digital Crown which temporarily doubles the brightness. It provides a larger display with its new “ Modular Ultra” watch face. It enables easy viewing of sports, outdoor adventures, and ocean and water activities. (Apple)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
5/7 Apple Watch Ultra 2 is integrated with On-Device Siri for easy access to  Log Health Data. Now you do not need the internet for starting workout or setting a timer as Siri does not rely on Wi-Fi or cellular networks. Additionally, as per Apple, the watch is perfect for water sports. Use can easily scuba dive, kitesurf, or wakeboard wearing the watch. The Oceanic+ app app now shows in-depth information about water sports.  (Apple)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
6/7 Lastly, the newly announced Apple Watch is designed with carbon-neutral products and is made up of 95 percent recycled titanium. The  Alpine Loop variant will be available in blue, indigo, and olive colors. Whereas, the Trail Loop will include orange/beige, green/grey, blue/black, and ocean band colors. (Apple)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
7/7 People in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the U.K., the US can order the Apple Watch Ultra 2. The watch will be made available in stores from Friday, September 22. The price of the Apple Watch Ultra in India is Rs. 89900 and in the US it costs $799. (Apple)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
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Apple increases the price of iPhone 15 Pro Max as part of their revenue-boosting strategy (Apple)

Apple Inc. enacted its long-awaited iPhone 15 Pro Max price increase with as much subtlety as possible, part of an effort to wring more money from consumers without triggering sticker shock. On Tuesday, the company boosted the price of just one iPhone model — the top-end iPhone 15 Pro Max, which climbs by $100 to $1,199 — while leaving the other three new versions unchanged. And even the now-costlier new phone will come with twice as much storage, letting Apple argue that it wasn't really a price increase at all.

The move fits a pattern for the company, which needs to tread lightly with inflation-wary shoppers. Apple isn't making dramatic changes to its sticker prices, but it's finding new ways for shoppers to spend more. The company is packing its upscale iPhones with exclusive features, such as better zoom lenses and titanium frames, to nudge shoppers toward bigger-ticket items.

Even Apple's switch to a USB-C port on the iPhone — an EU-mandated move the company initially opposed — will bring fresh ways to generate revenue. If consumers want their AirPods to have the same connector as the latest iPhones, they'll have to spend $249 for a new pair. If they want to use their old Lightning chargers, they can buy an adapter from Apple for $29.

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Some investors had hoped that Apple would raise prices more broadly, one reason they gave a cool reaction to Apple's iPhone event Tuesday, according to Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani. The shares slipped 1.7% to $176.30.

But Apple is contending with an industrywide smartphone slump, giving it less leverage to increase prices. Worldwide smartphone shipments fell nearly 7% last quarter, according to IDC, hitting the company's biggest source of revenue. Troubles in China, where it faces a widening government ban and competition with an advanced new phone from Huawei Technologies Co., have only added to the pressure.

And so, Apple will keep the lower-end version of the iPhone 15 at $799, while the entry-level Pro model remains at $999 — a price that was considered eye-popping when the iPhone X debuted at that level in 2017.

Though the starting Pro Max will be nearly 10% more expensive than the cheapest iPhone 14 Pro Max, it has 256 gigabytes of storage, compared with the 128 gigabytes offered previously.

Underscoring the incremental nature of this price increase, Apple didn't raise the levels of its iPhone 15 Pro Max models with higher amounts of storage. The version with 512 gigabytes remains at $1,399, while one with 1 terabyte still costs $1,599. But even with prices staying the same, Apple is able to earn higher margins because the cost of storage has fallen.

Apple is boosting prices more aggressively outside the US. The iPhone 15 Pro will rise by $50 in Canada, with the Pro Max price going up $200. In India, the Pro Max will climb by about 14%.

Some countries, however, are getting a price decrease. In the UK, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are 100 pounds ($125) cheaper than their predecessors.

Beyond iPhone pricing tweaks, Apple is generating more revenue from additional services and accessories. The company rolled out two new storage tiers for its iCloud online storage offering: a 6-terabyte plan for $30 a month and a 12-terabyte option for $60 a month. The top-end iCloud plan had been a 2-terabyte offering for $10.

The new AirPods also reflect Apple's more aggressive approach. When the company began offering wireless charging on the iPhone, it let AirPods customers purchase new cases that used the same format — rather than forcing them to buy all new earbuds. This time around, it's not offering a standalone case that works with USB-C.

Buyers of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max also will need a new cable if they want to get the speedier data transfer speeds promised by the device. Apple is selling one for $69.

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First Published Date: 13 Sep, 10:37 IST