Apple Reportedly Mulling Price Hikes For iPhone 15 Pro Models

For the last few years, Apple has maintained a consistent pricing scheme for the higher-end versions of its iPhone line — including the iPhone Pro for $999 and iPhone Pro Max for $1,099. This relatively static pricing has allowed the higher-end iPhone models to stay competitive without becoming prohibitively expensive to regular users. 

Apple kept these prices even through the lows of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the face of smartphone parts shortages that plagued the world at the time, but with the upcoming release of the iPhone 15 line, that may finally change.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is allegedly planning on increasing the price for both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max when the devices release this coming fall. The report claims that revenue has been on the downturn recently in the overall smartphone market, so Apple is looking to increase the average cost of its smartphones to both keep things even and, hopefully, boost its revenue in the event the market rebounds. 

This is also in line with reports that Apple is planning on an initial manufacturing rollout of 85 million units, about the same as the last iPhone rollout. Rather than making more devices at the same price, Apple could plan to make the same number at a higher price.

Targeting the high-end market

According to Deutsche Bank analyst Sidney Ho, purchases of low-to-mid-range smartphone models have been down in recent years, but purchases of premium-quality smartphones are still holding steady. This implies that if Apple is looking to boost its bottom line, a strike on the top-shelf market could be a viable avenue for revenue.

"While the recovery in global smartphone demand is below expectations, it appears that the premium market (and hence Apple) is less impacted," Ho wrote in an investor note obtained by CNBC on Monday.

It's not currently known what the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max's major new features will be, but the devices may need some new advancements if Apple wants buyers to accept a higher price. 

At the moment, one smaller change that may be in store for the iPhone is a switchover to USB-C-based charging in lieu of Apple's proprietary Lightning connectors — a result of new product requirements passed by the European Union last year. These requirements, which necessitated a switchover to a uniform smartphone charging standard, were passed with the intent of simplifying matters for users and cutting down on e-waste.

At the time of writing, Apple has not publicly commented on the pricing rumor.