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iPhone 13 leak says Apple’s new phones are getting a price hike

Published Aug 26th, 2021 12:18PM EDT
iPhone 13 Price
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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iPhones are notorious for being among the most expensive smartphones on the market, but that’s not exactly the case. Apple’s massive economies of scale have allowed the company to offer competitive iPhone prices in recent years. Android rivals came up with more expensive flagships that matched or even exceeded iPhone prices. The iPhone 12, starting at $829 before any trade-in or carrier deals, is the best example of that. That’s the best-selling iPhone in Apple’s lineup and it’s cheaper than comparable Android flagships. But the iPhone 13 price might see a hike this year, according to a new leak.

When Apple announced the iPhone 12 price last year, the company said it started at $799. The figure includes a $30 special carrier offer available from the main US mobile operators. But even the full $829 price is an amazing offer considering what you get for your money. The iPhone 12 features the same core hardware as all the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro models.

Unlike its predecessor, the iPhone 13 also rocks an OLED screen, a first for the most popular model in Apple’s new iPhone lineup. The iPhone 13 will probably align with the iPhone 12 when it comes to popularity with consumers. The handset will be almost identical to its predecessor when it comes to design. It will have a smaller notch, a bigger battery, and an improved rear camera. Under the hood, a new A15 Bionic processor will deliver even better performance.

iPhone 13 price hike explained

Despite the similarities between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 12, Apple might not maintain last year’s pricing structure. That’s actually a tactic from the iPhone launch playbook that Apple has used quite a few times before. Newer devices would keep last year’s price tag while delivering significantly improved hardware and performance.

According to Digitimes (via MacRumors), the rising production costs for the iPhone’s key component, the A-series processor, might lead to a price hike.

TSMC is reportedly raising the costs of chip production, which will impact several customers. The company reportedly notified clients already. Prices will reportedly increase by 20% in January 2022 and also cover the orders that should be fulfilled this December. Apple is TSMC’s biggest client, and its chips will also apparently be affected.

For TSMC’s advanced sub-7nm process technologies, quotes will rise by 3-10%, the sources indicated. Apple, the biggest client of TSMC with its orders accounting for over 20% of the foundry’s total wafer revenue, will experience a 3-5% price hike, the sources said.

Other reasons to worry

Apple is reportedly considering a price hike for the iPhone 13 series to “mitigate the impact of rising costs on their profitability.”

Apple is likely to set higher prices for its upcoming iPhone and other series, according to market sources. Multiple notebook brand vendors, which have raised their prices by 5-10% so far this year, continue to explore ways to mitigate the impact of rising costs on their profitability.

Previous reports indicated that Apple went to great lengths to ensure the iPhone 13 release date will not see any delays this year. That includes securing enough A15 chips from TSMC. The Taiwanese chipmaker prioritizes orders for Apple, according to other reports. Finally, rumors say Apple aims to manufacture 100 million iPhone 13 units in the second half of 2021.

Whether or not Digitimes’ reporting is accurate, there were always worries that prices might go up for various products this year. There’s been increasing talk about inflation and the rising costs of shipping goods around the world. These factors might directly impact iPhone suppliers like TSMC and lead to price hikes, even for the iPhone 13.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.