iPhone 14 release in Manhattan
The iPhone 15 Pro models could cost more than the existing iPhone 14 Pro models. Reuters

Much to the chagrin of iPhone fans who have restlessly been waiting to get their hands on the next-generation iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to see a major price hike due to various upgrades.

Apple will reportedly unveil four new iPhone models at its Wonderlust event, which is slated to take place on September 12. The Cupertino-based tech giant could announce a standard iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max at the event.

There's a lot of hype surrounding the iPhone 15 Pro series, which is reportedly set to feature 7 major design changes. On the downside, the Pro models are expected to carry steeper price tags than their predecessors, the iPhone 14 Pro models.

iPhone 15 Pro: Upgrades, new design, more changes

According to DigiTimes analyst Luke Lin, the iPhone 15 Pro and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max are set to see a "major price hike" compared to their outgoing precursors. Lin believes the price hike could be due to various hardware upgrades.

For instance, Apple is reportedly prepping to oust the mute switch on the iPhone 15 Pro in favour of a more useful Action Button. Unlike the current-gen iPhone 14 Pro series, the upcoming Pro models will not come in a stainless steel frame.

Instead, the word on the street is that the iPhone 15 Pro lineup will be housed in a robust titanium case. Aside from this, the Pro Max could house an upgraded periscope lens, which delivers an impressive 5-6x optical zoom.

Furthermore, Lin predicts the pricing for the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models will not see much of a change from the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. It is worth noting that the iPhone 14 Pro Max is currently the most expensive iPhone model in the market.

However, the iPhone 15 Pro Max could turn out to be more expensive if Lin's speculation turns out to be true.

Factors that influence the iPhone pricing

There are several factors such as consumers shifting their focus from buying consumer electronics to outdoor activities, the global economy, and ongoing inflation that could negatively affect smartphone sales in the second half of 2023.

However, Lin suggests China's promotion campaigns and the impending holiday season will probably push global smartphone shipments in Q4 of 2023. Last year, Apple launched the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max with a starting price of $999 (about £759) and $1,099 (about £835), respectively.

While details about this year's price hike are still few and far between, past leaks suggest the iPhone 15 Pro will be $100 (about £79) more than the iPhone 14 Pro. In other words, the starting price of the iPhone 15 Pro model could be $1,099 (about £835).

The iPhone 15 Pro Max, on the other hand, could cost $200 (about £152) more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, with a starting price of $1,299 (about £987). Likewise, the standard iPhone 14 carries a starting price of $799 (about £607), and the iPhone 14 Plus costs $899 (£688).

According to renowned analyst Jeff Pu, even the iPhone 15 could end up carrying a higher price tag than its predecessor.

In fact, Tim Cook may have hinted at Apple's plans to increase iPhone 15 Pro prices during Apple's Q1 2023 earnings call. "[iPhone] contains their contacts and their health information and their banking information and their smart home and so many different parts of their lives, their payment vehicle and — for many people," Cook said.

"And so I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category," the top executive added.

Apple will probably divulge some key details about the iPhone 15 series and other upcoming Apple devices ahead of the Wonderlust event. In addition to unveiling the iPhone 15 series at the event, Apple is expected to announce the Apple Watch Series 9, Watch Ultra 2, a new iPad mini, and a slew of other exciting products.