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Here's why the iPhone 14 Plus is a commercial failure

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This year, Apple introduced four new iPhone models, but the strategy was quite different from previous years. This time, the differences between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are more significant. At the same time, the iPhone mini was replaced by the iPhone 14 Plus – but it seems that this model was just as much of a commercial failure as the mini version. But why is this?

Apple’s strategy with the iPhone

First, let’s recap Apple’s strategy with the iPhone over the past few years. Since 2017, the company has introduced three different iPhones. First, there was the mid-range iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, while the iPhone X was the high-end version.

In 2018, there were two high-end models with iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, but only one mid-range option, which was iPhone XR. The same thing happened in 2019 with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. But in 2020, Apple decided to introduce a fourth new iPhone in the iPhone 12 family, which was iPhone 12 mini.

Full range of iPhone 2020

Compared to its more expensive siblings, the iPhone 12 mini was never considered a huge hit. Most customers seemed to prefer larger-screened phones, and for just $100 more they could buy the regular iPhone 12, which had a bigger screen and bigger battery. Apple tried to give the iPhone mini another shot in 2021 with the iPhone 13 mini, this time with a slightly bigger battery. But that wasn’t enough to boost sales.

Some people (and maybe Apple itself) thought a larger-screen mid-range iPhone would be more successful than the iPhone mini. And in 2022, Apple retired the iPhone mini and replaced it with the iPhone 14 Plus, which has the same 6.7-inch screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but for a lower price. But it turns out that the iPhone 14 Plus is another commercial failure.

According to several reports from industry sources, Demand for the iPhone 14 Plus is really low. Reliable analyst Ross Young said that display shipments for the Plus model in December were “close to 0”. So what happened?

It’s not a question of size, it’s a question of price

Previously, prices for the iPhone 13 mini started at $699, while the standard iPhone 13 started at $799. Those who wanted to buy an iPhone 13 Pro model had to pay at least $999. When the iPhone 11 launched it was also $699 – but it had a big screen and a long battery life. Apple used to brag that it launched the iPhone 12 mini (and 13 mini) at the same price as before, but now customers were getting a much smaller phone with a significantly worse battery for the same price. .

There is definitely a group of people interested in buying smaller phones. However, when you compare it to the overall smartphone market, paying $700 for a 5.4-inch phone with a mediocre battery isn’t a bargain. What if Apple replaced it with a bigger phone? They did, and yet there don’t seem to be many people interested in buying the iPhone 14 Plus.

iPhone mini

And the reason is the price. Instead of Apple reducing the entry price of the iPhone 14 to $699 and selling the iPhone 14 Plus starting at $799, the standard iPhone 14 is still $799 (although you can find it at lower prices on Amazon), while the iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899. But the thing is, you can get an iPhone 14 Pro for just $100 more, and it offers way more than the iPhone 14 Plus.

In fact, any other smartphone in the $900 price range offers more than the iPhone 14 Plus. Size is not the issue. This is the price and what you get for it. And Apple is basically trying to sell a mid-range smartphone at the price of a high-end one.

The iPhone 14 is a mediocre update

In previous years, even the mid-range iPhone models had good upgrades and were quite similar to the Pro models inside. But the iPhone 14 is a completely different device from the iPhone 14 Pro. It doesn’t have the A16 chip, it doesn’t have the new 48-megapixel main camera or even the macro lens, and it doesn’t have Dynamic Island. It’s basically an iPhone 13 with satellite connectivity.

At the same time, the iPhone 14 Plus is a $900 smartphone that doesn’t have a 120Hz display or a telephoto lens to capture photos and videos with optical zoom.

If someone wants to buy a new iPhone and wants to save money, that person will probably end up buying the regular iPhone 14 or even an iPhone 13. And people willing to pay for a high-end smartphone will probably spend $100 more to buy the iPhone. 14 Pro. And in this scenario, there is simply no room for the iPhone 14 Plus.

And I’m not saying that the iPhone 14 Plus is a bad smartphone. It’s not. The A15 chip is still faster than most competitors, the cameras are good, and the battery life is excellent. But there is no way Apple can expect a huge number of sales from this device. People who spend $900 on a smartphone expect more from what the iPhone 14 Plus has to offer.

Another change in strategy could be in the works

According to some rumors, Apple has internally considered reducing the prices of the iPhone 15 compared to the prices of the iPhone 14 in response to the weak demand for these models. It’s unclear exactly how much Apple will reduce the price, but I imagine something between $50 and $100 less, while the price of the Pro models will remain the same (or even more expensive).

Even so, the company is still expected to present an iPhone 15 and an iPhone 15 Plus. And this time the new display design with Dynamic Island should arrive on all models.

Personally, I think Apple could go back with its iPhone XS and iPhone 11 strategy. Keep the iPhone Pro available in two different sizes and focus on a single mid-range version that costs at least $250 less than the Pro models.

But what about you? What do you think of the iPhone 14 Plus? Let me know in the comments section below.

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