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iPhone 15 price hike rumors were wrong, and there’s a big surprise in Europe

Published Sep 13th, 2023 6:50AM EDT
Apple's US prices for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple on Tuesday unveiled the iPhone 15 series, and for a second year in a row, we had conflicting reports about the prices. Like the iPhone 14 series, most reports indicated price hikes for the Pro models. Then, last-minute leaks said that Apple would only increase the iPhone 15 Pro Max cost.

What happened was better than expected. Apple kept in place last year’s price structure for all iPhone 15 models. The iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $1,199 instead of $1,099, but you get the 256GB for that price tag. That’s how much the 256GB iPhone 14 Pro Max cost until Tuesday. What Apple did was to remove the 128GB option and force users to get the higher memory model.

But while Apple kept iPhone 14 prices in the US last year, European prices soared. Fast-forward to the Wonderlust event and Apple did something unexpected, delivering another European surprise. All iPhone 15 models are cheaper in Europe than their iPhone 14 counterparts.

Apple’s price hike last year was almost certainly related to the then-stronger dollar compared to the euro. That’s not the case this year, but I didn’t expect Apple to drop the prices in the EU region. The UK prices have also been cut, by the way.

Then again, the world fears a global recession. And smartphone sales aren’t doing that great this year, with most vendors hurting. Apple is also affected, although not as much as its rivals.

iPhone 15 and 15 Pro prices in the EU

French blog JournalDuGeek reports price cuts across the board for the iPhone 15 series in France. I’ll remind you that France is part of the EU, so all countries in the block will offer consumers similar iPhone 15 price points. Moreover, the EU prices include tax, so a conversion to dollars would not give you the official US price for the handset.

With that in mind, European buyers should know the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus cost between €50 and €60 less than their counterparts.

Apple's US prices for iPhone Apple's US prices for iPhone 15 and 15 Plus.15 and 15 Plus.
Apple’s US prices for iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. Image source: Apple Inc.

The iPhone 15 starts at €969 compared to $1,019 for the 128GB iPhone 14. The same price cut applies to the Plus model. The cheapest iPhone 15 Plus costs €1,119 compared to $1,169 for the 128GB iPhone 14 Plus.

The iPhone 15 Pro models get even better price cuts. Depending on storage, we’re looking at discounts between €100 and €120 compared to last year. The iPhone 15 Pro starts at €1,229 instead of the expected €1,329.

Moving over to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, French buyers will get discounts between €130 and €150, depending on storage. The 256GB version costs €1,479 compared to €1,609 for the 256GB iPhone 14 Pro Max.

UK and Switzerland

The UK iPhone 15 prices mimic the EU changes. But it’s pounds instead of euros. We’re looking at £50 discounts for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, which start at £799 and £899. The iPhone 15 Pro is £100 cheaper, starting at £999. The iPhone 15 Pro Max keeps the starting price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max in the country. That’s £1,199. But you’re getting double the storage, so it’s actually a price cut.

Switzerland, which isn’t in the EU block, also got better iPhone 15 prices. The iPhone 15 starts at 849 CHF instead of 929 CHF. The iPhone 15 Pro got a 100 CHF price cut compared to last year’s 1,179 CHF asking price for the iPhone 14 Pro. The 256GB iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at the same 1,299 CHF as the 128GB iPhone 14 Pro Max. But you’re getting that extra storage that would have cost more last year.

Apple's September 2023 iPhone lineup: iPhone SE 3, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro.
Apple’s September 2023 iPhone lineup: iPhone SE 3, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro. Image source: Apple Inc.

Conversely, since European prices are better for iPhone 15 models across the board, Apple has much better prices for older iPhone handsets it still sells in the region. For example, the base iPhone 14 will cost €100 or 100 CHF less than the same-storage iPhone 15. But since the iPhone 15 got a price cut, buyers will get a bigger-than-expected discount for older hardware.

As a reminder, Apple still stocks the iPhone 13 and iPhone SE 3, in addition to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models.

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.