Apple is the most profitable smartphone maker in the world even though it lags behind Android in overall market share. On top of that, since introducing the iPhone in 2007, Apple has only released flagship handsets that sold at rather expensive prices compared to the competition. At the same time, Apple has kept older iPhones in stock that it’s sold at cheaper prices.
The graphs below explain Apple’s iPhone pricing strategy so far and try to predict how the iPhone 6s will influence Apple’s 2015 iPhone lineup amid speculation that the company might launch three iPhones this fall.
Apple is expected to introduce at least two iPhones this fall, including the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Some people say that a new 4-inch iPhone 6c will also be included in Apple’s 2015 new iPhone lineup for anyone who still prefers to buy a smaller iPhone.
To highlight Apple’s iPhone moves along the years, MacStories‘ Graham Spencer put up the following graph.
As you can see, Apple has three price tiers for its iPhone. Tier 1 is always represented by the best iPhone of the year – in this case the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Tier 2 consists of the former model, which sells for $100 cheaper than the cheapest Tier 1 iPhone, and Tier 3 includes a two-year-old iPhone that’s $200 cheaper than the cheapest Tier 1 handset – however, the iPhone 5c is an exception from that rule, as the plastic device was announced at the same time with the iPhone 5s in 2013.
Starting from that, Graham wondered what Apple will do to its lineup this year and predicted the company is likely to launch the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as top-tier devices, and a plastic 6-inch iPhone 6c to replace the iPhone 6 family. He believes the iPhone 5s will stick around for one more year, and that Apple would not come out with a new 4-inch iPhone to replace it. It’s worth pointing out that Graham’s iPhone 6c isn’t the 4-inch device that many reports have been describing.
Graham has various other iPhone 6s launch scenarios that imagine different fall iPhone lineups, as follows. All of them are, however, just speculation at this time, as Apple has yet to announce any details about its 2015 iPhone launch. Graham’s favorites are options 1B (imagined in the graph above) and 3B.