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Why Apple’s cheapest iPhone 14 Pro should have 256GB of storage

iPhone 13 Pro Display

Several reports earlier this year said the cheapest iPhone 14 Pro models might pack 256GB of storage. That’s twice the flash memory of the base iPhone 13 Pro and the kind of upgrade many iPhone buyers would appreciate. That storage tier just came up again in a new research note from an analyst, who said that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max might be $100 more expensive than their predecessors.

The price estimate is in line with most iPhone 14 reports out there. They all say the cheapest iPhone 14 will start at $799. But the most affordable Pro model will be $300 more, at $1,099. Again, that’s $100 pricier than the iPhone 13 Pro.

The iPhone 14 will be the first generation where the non-Pro and Pro models do not share the same specs. A combination of factors might have led to this decision. Inflation drove up prices for goods, and lockdowns impacted manufacturing and logistics.

It’s more expensive to manufacture goods than in previous years. And it might be more difficult for a company like Apple to procure critical components in large enough quantities to satisfy its production needs.

As a result, the iPhone 14 price has to go up. And the significant differentiation between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models helps Apple justify the price increase while also managing a complex supply chain.

Diehard iPhone fans who keep up with rumors already know the big specs differences. The iPhone 14 Pro models will have 120Hz OLED panels that support always-on display functionality, higher-quality OLED screens, the latest A16 Bionic chip paired with the fastest LPDDR5 RAM, a brand new 48-megapixel wide camera sensor on the back, and the extra telephoto (zoom) lens.

Bumping the base storage on the iPhone 14 Pro models would be an additional advantage.

iPhone 14 Pro render from Front Page Tech.
iPhone 14 Pro render from Front Page Tech. Image source: Front Page Tech

Add the new pill-and-hole screen design, and the iPhone 14 Pro is a totally different phone. In contrast, the iPhone 14 models are more affordable equivalents of the iPhone 13 Pro models. Compared to the 2021 Pros, they lose the 120Hz panel and the triple-lens camera on the back.

These differences might not be immediately apparent to average consumers who do not care about rumors. The design alone can’t justify the $100 price increase. And the A16 Bionic, faster RAM, and 120Hz refresh rate might not be flashy enough.

However, most iPhone users care about storage. Especially if they’ve been through a few iPhone generations and are running out of storage space. That’s why bumping the base storage to 256GB on iPhone 14 Pro compared to 128GB on iPhone 14 would be an easy way to justify the price bump.

Let’s also remember that the 256GB iPhone 13 Pro costs $1,099, or $100 more than the 128GB version. Doubling the storage to 512GB and 1TB means paying an extra $200 for each bump.

A 256GB iPhone 14 Pro selling for $1,099 would be equivalent to Apple keeping last year’s iPhone 13 Pro pricing structure. But the 128GB variant would be gone.

All of that is speculation and wishful thinking, however. The iPhone 14 must already be in production by now. Apple settled on its storage tiers for the iPhone 14 Pro models a long time ago. And no matter how much we’d love to see storage start at 256GB, 128GB probably makes even more sense for Apple’s profit goals.


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

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 closely follows the events in 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.