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iPhone 14 sales to outperform rivals, despite recession worries

Published Jul 15th, 2022 5:55AM EDT
iPhone 13 Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Apple’s iPhone 14 is just a couple of months away, with the Cupertino-based company seemingly on track to make its usual mid-September launch. Some models might see some launch delays after the lockdowns in China, but iPhone 14 sales will likely start on time come September.

It’s not just that Apple will start selling the next-gen smartphone on time. Many expect the iPhone 14 demand to be quite strong, despite the current economic realities.

iPhone 13 demand still high, despite smartphone sales slowdown

A report from Reuters citing iPhone supply chain sources says that iPhone 13 demand has continued to be strong in July. That’s despite a downturn in sales for Android smartphones. Moreover, this points to even stronger iPhone 14 sales come September.

One of the sources said that iPhone 13 shipments in July were a third higher than iPhone sales a year earlier. The pattern is unusual, as iPhone sales tend to slow in July and August. It’s all the more strange in the current economic landscape.

iPhone 14 Pro render: Apple's new display design.
iPhone 14 Pro render: Apple’s new display design. Image source: Front Page Tech

With high inflation and fears of recession, demand for Android smartphones has dropped. Sales in China fell by 10% year over year in May, Counterpoint Research data shows. The figure reached 96 million, which is unusual for the country. It’s only the second time in nearly a decade that smartphone sales dropped below 100 million per month.

But the iPhone was a big winner in China after the lockdown ended, Reuters says, citing Cowen analyst Krish Sankar.

The report also says that Apple has given suppliers a higher initial shipment forecast for the iPhone 14 than iPhone 13 last year. This indicates Apple expects strong iPhone 14 demand at launch.

China to be a massive winner for iPhone 14

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said on Twitter recently that demand for iPhone 14 in China will soar this year, outperforming the iPhone 13 sales. The well-known analyst based his conclusions on anecdotal evidence from resellers in the country preparing for the start of iPhone 14 sales.

Kuo reiterated his beliefs in a new thread on Twitter. He said the potential demand for iPhone 14 series in China continues to increase. One possible explanation is the absence of competition from Huawei. The Chinese smartphone maker hasn’t been able to manufacture iPhone rivals for a few years following US sanctions.

As a result, more buyers in the country may be looking at the iPhone 14 series. If Kuo’s findings are accurate, iPhone 14 sales will be even stronger in China after the September launch.

Camera size: iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy unit (left) vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max (right).
Camera size: iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy unit (left) vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max (right). Image source: YouTube

How much will the iPhone 14 cost?

All these separate conclusions regarding iPhone 14 sales are all the more interesting considering the current price rumors. According to most leaks, the iPhone 14 series will be more expensive than its predecessors.

Manufacturing and shipping costs have risen consistently in the past two years, a direct result of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Apple has kept iPhone 13 prices unchanged compared to the iPhone 12 series. But it will raise prices for the iPhone 14 models.

The base 6.1-inch iPhone 14 variant might still cost $799 in the US before carrier offers. That’s the same price as its predecessor. But there won’t be a cheaper $699 mini option. Instead, customers will get a Plus model that will cost at least $899.

Furthermore, the iPhone 14 Pro models will be at least $100 more expensive than their predecessors.

With all that in mind, the iPhone 14 sales predictions are all the more interesting. It’s not just that Apple might sell more smartphones than its rivals in what might turn out to be the early months of recession. Apple will charge customers more money for the iPhone than ever.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

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.