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Apple iPhone 14 event: Price hike expected, but will there be “one more thing”?

Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPhone 14 lineup might not bring too many new features, but there might be a big change in store.

After holding steady on iPhone prices a year ago, some analysts expect Apple to AAPL,
-1.36%
will increase the price of its iPhone 14 Pro models this year amid camera, chip and design improvements, as well as continued pressure from supply costs and the strength of the US dollar. Amid the highest inflation rates in decades, there are concerns that consumers are becoming more cost-conscious – especially low-wage earners – but Apple is expected to keep its standard iPhone models at the same starting price while increasing base prices by $999 and $1,199 on its iPhone Pro and Pro Max.

“Although the base iPhone will remain at the same price, we believe a $100 price increase on the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max is likely in store given the component price increases as well as additional features. on this new release,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a recent note to clients.

The company is expected to launch the new iPhone family at an event on Wednesday that kicks off at 1 p.m. ET. Apple’s smartphones are by far its biggest business, grossing more than $162 billion over three-quarters of the company’s fiscal year, or more than 57% of Apple’s total revenue.

But the planned debut of the iPhone 14 comes amid uncertainty about how resilient smartphone demand will be in the macroeconomic climate. IDC recently forecast a 6.5% decline in global smartphone shipments this year, after shipments underperformed their estimates while declining for four consecutive quarters. However, iPhone demand appears to have held up better than the broader market, and Apple chief executive Tim Cook said on the company’s latest earnings call that he hasn’t noticed any “clear evidence of macroeconomic impact” on the iPhone.

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Aside from the price, the biggest news from Apple’s event might be what’s not mentioned or what’s being taken away. Few observers expect Apple to introduce its next highly anticipated product category, headphones, and Apple might say goodbye to the iPhone Mini and the infamous “notch.”

Apple is expected to drop the mini version of its base iPhone and may add a 6.7-inch configuration for the first time, according to Bloomberg News. Plus, five years after Apple introduced a “notch” at the top of its iPhone X model that wasn’t exactly a fan favorite, Bloomberg reports that it may finally go away with the iPhone X update. iPhone 14 in favor of “punch-hole and pill-shaped cutouts for the front camera and Face ID sensors.”

A Steve Jobs-worthy “One More Thing” that details Apple’s next big invention has long been absent from iPhone events, but its successor might have something up its sleeve that fits the bill. Apple has developed a headset that is expected to incorporate long-gestating mixed-reality technology that Cook has long called “a big idea like the smartphone.” Experts expect it to reach consumers in 2023 at the earliest, but few analysts believe its first appearance will be at Wednesday’s event, even though Meta Platforms Inc. META,
-3.17%
prepares to unveil its next-generation VR technology.

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Given the lack of talk about the device more recently, it may be unlikely that Apple is ready to release the product for viewing in September – or else the silence means that Apple has done a good job of keeping heading for his “one more thing”. .” Bloomberg reported in May that the company “aims to unveil the headset as early as late this year or sometime next year, with a consumer release slated for 2023.”

Those that hold for foldable and flip phones like the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. models. 005930,
-1.54%
launched a few weeks ago will probably have to wait for that sort of launch from Apple, but iPhone fans should expect a faster processor and the end of a very mocked design element.

There could be a long-awaited announcement of satellite connection technology for iPhones, which would allow people to communicate even far off the beaten path. The move was expected last year and not announced, and a similar setup is happening this year, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writing this week that “Apple has completed hardware testing for this feature,” but ” Whether the iPhone 14 will offer satellite communications service depends on Apple and carriers’ ability to tune the business model.

iPhone Pro models are expected to get the majority of upgrades, compared to regular iPhone models. Bloomberg News reported that Apple plans to introduce a 48-megapixel camera, faster chip, and better battery life for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. MacRumors notes that the improved camera would let more light through the lens, which could lead to better image quality, including when shooting with the company’s Portrait Mode feature.

The iPhone 14 Pro could also feature the new A16 chip, which MacRumors says could help the company power the new camera, as well as the always-on display some Apple watchers expect to finally see on the latest. model. While Apple is said to be planning chip upgrades for the Pro models, 9to5Mac expects the company to keep the same A15 chip for the baseline iPhone 14 that was used in the iPhone family. 13.

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An update to the Apple Watch lineup is also expected at Wednesday’s event. Bloomberg reports that Apple plans to introduce an Apple Watch SE with a faster chip, an Apple Watch Series 8 containing a body temperature sensor, and a pro-level model. Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani said the hypothetical Apple Watch Pro could bring “longer battery life, a bigger screen, and new fitness features.”

Apple’s iPhone event takes place a week earlier in September than last year, suggesting to Evercore’s Daryanani that the company could also make the phones available for purchase earlier. For investors, that means Apple’s September quarter could feature an extra week of iPhone sales compared to last year.

Apple stock is down 10.9% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.85%
— which counts Apple among its 30 constituents — fell 12.9% and the S&P 500 SPX index,
-0.98%
fell 16.8%.

Jeremy C. Owens, MarketWatch editor, contributed to this report.

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