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What happens to the $499 iPhone 11 when the $799 iPhone 14 arrives?

Published Aug 17th, 2022 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 11 color options.
Image: Apple Inc.

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We’re less than a month away from the iPhone 14 launch event. If a recent rumor is accurate, you’ll have your chosen iPhone 14 flavor in your hands by this time next month. But what happens to Apple’s $499 iPhone 11 once the $799 iPhone 14 arrives?

Logic dictates that Apple retires the 2019 iPhone, the oldest iPhone model Apple currently sells. That’s according to the unofficial iPhone sales rules that Apple has employed for years. At the same time, we must acknowledge that Apple is making a significant change to its iPhone sales playbook with the massive differentiation between the iPhone 14 Pro models and the non-Pro variants.

With that in mind, there is a case for keeping the iPhone 11 in stock and selling it for $399 this year, albeit it’s a small one.

Current rumors say the iPhone 14 price will start at $799, matching the iPhone 13 price. However, there won’t be a cheaper mini this year. And the same leaks say the pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro will start at $1,099. Overall, Apple is raising the price for the iPhone 14 series, despite keeping the entry price at $799.

That’s also why Apple is differentiating the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models to such a degree this year.

Apple’s pricing structure: iPhone 11 to iPhone 14

Put differently, we’ve already explained that the $799 iPhone 14 will be the equivalent of an improved iPhone 13 Pro. Apple never keeps the old Pro in stores after the first year. If it did, the iPhone 13 Pro would start at $899 once the iPhone 14 series drops. That’s what makes the $799 iPhone 14 so exciting.

Also, Apple will cut the prices of its older models by $100 across the board. That’s where the $499 iPhone 11 comes into play.

iPhone 14 Pro 3D Renders
iPhone 14 Pro 3D renders: New notch design and rear camera. Image source: Technizo Concept and LetsGoDigital

Apple sells the iPhone 11 for $499 right now, before the iPhone 14 launch. The handset is just $70 more expensive than the new iPhone SE 3. And it’s $200 more affordable than the same size iPhone 12. Mind you, starting with the iPhone 12, Apple tweaked the iPhone prices to auto-include carrier savings worth $30. The full price for the base 6.1-inch iPhone 12 model is $729, not $699.

At $499, the iPhone 11 competes directly with brand new mid-range Android handsets that can’t match the 2019 handset’s performance and reliability. The iPhone 11 is still a great iPhone to use in 2022, despite being too old by some standards.

You might want to buy Apple’s latest and greatest phone this year. That means one of the four iPhone 14 models that Apple is about to introduce. Or you’ll want to go for the cheaper non-Pro iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 that Apple will keep stocking after the iPhone 14’s arrival.

These handsets will be $100 cheaper than the current prices. Therefore, they’ll start at $699 and $599, respectively, with the $30 carrier deals applied.

A $399 iPhone 11 is going to be a fantastic bargain

But if Apple were to keep the iPhone 11 in stock for one more year, it would have to cut the price to $399. And that would be just a formidable price for a device that can still hold its own.

The iPhone 11 might not be for you, but it could be the first brand new phone you give to your kid. Or the brand new smartphone upgrade your parents will appreciate. A brand new iPhone 11 with a battery in top shape would be a better deal than passing an used iPhone to a young teen or a parent who is still getting the hang of smartphones.

The phone has excellent specs and camera features, and the iPhone 11 should run the latest iOS release for several years to come. At $399, the iPhone 11 will be one of the best investments you can make.

Apple iPhone 13 Back
Apple iPhone 13 back. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Apple is unlikely to keep selling the iPhone 11, however. But even in such a case, third-party retailers with iPhone 11 stock will have to cut the prices. Because the iPhone 12 mini will cost just $499 this year, again with carrier deals applied.

I will note that the iPhone 11 is the odd exception in Apple’s lineup right now, not counting the iPhone SE 3. It’s the only flagship iPhone to feature an LCD screen instead of OLED. It’s also the only model not to support 5G connectivity. These are things to consider, but not dealbreakers, depending on who will use this $399 iPhone bargain.

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.

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