More powerful, lighter and probably even more expensive. Apple will present the iPhone 15 this Tuesday, the annual evolution of its star smartphone. The conference, pre-recorded, will be broadcast on the Internet from 7 p.m.
According to Bloomberg's indiscretions, the iPhone will once again be available in four models, the "Pro" versions being distinguished in particular by their titanium exterior, less heavy in the hand, and a more efficient photo sensor. A x6 zoom will be offered without loss of image quality.
The silent button, located on the edge of the device, should evolve. The user should be able to customize it and choose to use it to trigger the flashlight function or open the camera.
But the most notable new feature is the abandonment of the Lightning charger, exclusive to Apple products. The company was forced to do so. In one year, the European Union will close access to its market to electronic products incompatible with USB-C chargers. “The single European market is open to all, but on our conditions,” commented Commissioner Thierry Breton. Apple fought for a long time against this measure, but has no choice but to comply, with Europe representing almost a quarter of its revenues.
The iPhone 15 risks breaking new limits in the price of high-end smartphones. Given rising production costs, analysts expect the Pro versions to be $100 to $200 more expensive than their iPhone 14 counterpart when they are released. In France, the iPhone 14 Pro was sold for 1,329 euros, and 1,479 euros for the Pro Max. “It will be interesting to see what features will be highlighted and if Apple manages to justify higher prices,” says analyst Yory Wurmser of Insider Intelligence.
It is this strategy of moving upmarket that has allowed Apple, like other brands in the sector, to cushion the continued decline in smartphone purchases worldwide since 2017. The brand is not spared: in the last quarter , iPhone deliveries fell by 2%, which is certainly less than its competitor Samsung (-15%). But how long will consumers follow this price hike? The question is starting to spread among analysts in view of the purchasing power crisis. However, the situation differs depending on the country. In the United States, telecom operators largely absorb the bill. Their customers pay on average only half the actual price of their phone, according to BayStreet Research. This policy allowed smartphones priced over $800 to dominate sales in America, with a market share of 54% in the first half, compared to 28% in 2019 according to IDC.
Under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple has reduced its dependence on the iPhone by strongly developing revenues from its AppStore and by increasing the number of subscription services (Cloud, Music, TV, etc.). But its range of smartphones still represents almost half of its revenues, down for the third consecutive quarter. The reception of the iPhone 15 will therefore be closely scrutinized.
This data also explains the panic that gripped Wall Street last week when dark clouds gathered for Apple in China. The central government has in fact banned the professional use of the brand's products within government agencies, ministries, state-owned enterprises and local administrations.
If this only represents a tiny fraction of iPhone sales in the country, the domino effect on the general public is feared. China accounts for 20% of Apple's revenues, or $72 billion last year. The stock fell by 10% in 48 hours, before partly recovering on Friday.
Also read: Beijing darkens the future of Apple in China
The company, burned by Beijing's management of Covid-19 which affected its supply chain, transferred part of its production out of the country. According to Bloomberg, 7% of the iPhone 15s available upon release will come from India.