It will be a while before we find out how well Apple iPhone 14 The launch was, but you can find some early indications in the quarterly sales numbers Apple recently released for the three months ending September 24.
Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter figures only include a small portion of iPhone 14 sales: The phones went on sale eight days before the quarter ended and the iPhone 14 plus it hadn’t been released yet. iPhone sales rose 10% to $42.6 billion, a record amount of revenue for the September quarter. Again, the iPhone 14 can only claim a little of the credit there, but it’s clearly a promising start, especially given that iPhone 14 Pro models were in short supply at launch.
“Customer demand was strong and better than we anticipated it would be,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told analysts during a call to discuss Apple’s quarterly performance. “And keep in mind that this adds up to a fiscal year of  that made iPhone revenue grow 39%, so that’s a tough comparison too. So we were happy with that.”
More months of sales figures will give us a complete picture of whether or not the iPhone 14 was well received. But between those numbers and comments about the best iPhones from reviewers and users alike, a few lessons are emerging about the iPhone 14 launch. And they think they have an influence on what Apple will do with next year. iPhone 15 and beyond.
Here’s what we’ve learned about the iPhone 14 so far.
Putting the emphasis on the iPhone 14 Pro worked
You don’t need to spend a lot of time in a iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro comparison to find out which phone saw the most significant update this time. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 ProMax saw some significant changes – a new main camera, a new processor and no notch – plus the usual differences in maximum storage, number of cameras and screen brightness – while the iPhone 14’s changes were comparatively more modest.
We don’t officially know if that translates to more iPhone 14 sales. “It’s hard to say what the mix will be until we can meet demand,” Cook told analysts. But the first signs are that the iPhone 14 Pro models are proving to be much more popular than the standard iPhone, so much so that Apple is reportedly ramping up production of the iPhone 14 Pro (opens in a new tab).
(1/5) Due to strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro models, my latest survey indicates that Apple has asked Hon Hai to switch production lines from iPhone 14 to iPhone 14 Pro models, which will help improve Apple/iPhone ASP product mix in 4Q22.September 19, 2022
In some corners of the tech media, that’s being touted as an iPhone 14 failure, rather than an iPhone 14 Pro success. And that would be true if people skipped updates altogether. But if the move to increase production of the iPhone 14 Pro is true, I suspect that what iPhone buyers are really doing is shrugging and paying for the most impressive model.
In other words, according to this theory, people pay $200 more to upgrade their phone. If that’s the case, even a little bit, Apple will be crying all the way to the bank.
And that’s why I suspect that when it’s time to introduce the iPhone 15 lineup next fall, Apple will keep the clear differentiation between its standard phone and its Pro models. The regular iPhone will always be available at a comparatively lower price for people who cannot or do not want to pay for a premium device. But Apple seems to have found the right mix of features to convince enough people to spend more on its new phone.
The standard iPhone still needs some sort of ‘wow’ factor
While Apple may reap the benefits of more people turning to its Pro models, it can’t afford to leave the standard iPhone unattended. That’s why you see iPhone 14 with the same shock protection and emergency SOS features as Pro phones: Less expensive iPhones have yet to offer any value, even if the core features go to more expensive phones. expensive.
I guess cameras will continue to be the great unifying experience across the entire iPhone lineup. Yes, the iPhone Pro has a telephoto lens and the regular iPhone doesn’t, but otherwise the cameras offer similar capabilities. On iPhone 14, that means the same Photonic Engine that’s available on Pro models can help improve colors and detail in low-light photos. Action mode also works on the iPhone 14, just like cinematic mode did on the iPhone 13 the year before.
The iPhone 14 should reassure Apple that it can reserve its core features for more expensive phones, but that the standard model still needs to offer enough capabilities to make the upgrade worthwhile.
Dynamic Island must be on all phones
At the risk of contradicting myself, there’s one iPhone 14 Pro feature that’s due on the standard iPhone 15 next year: Dynamic Island, the area that houses the front-facing camera and Face ID sensors instead of a notch.
Initially, it seemed like a good idea to include Dynamic Island as one of those features that separates the regular iPhone from the Pro versions. Do you want a display that doesn’t have a dipped bezel on it? thought goes. Well, then you want an iPhone Pro model.
I agreed with that precisely until iOS 16.1 went live and introduced Live Activities to Apple’s iPhone software. On every iPhone, live activities they appear on the lock screen and alert you to an ever-changing state: a game score, for example, or timers. But iPhone 14 Pro owners get a bonus: Live activities also appear in Dynamic Island along with other types of notifications.
That’s creating separate iPhone experiences based on which phone you’ve bought. And I think that’s something Apple would want to get rid of sooner rather than later. With the exception of optical zoom or a faster processor, the experience of using your iPhone should be essentially the same whether you pay $799 or $1,099 for the privilege.
Fortunately, rumors suggest that Apple has already realized this lesson. Display analyst Ross Young says that Dynamic Island is expected to appear on all iPhone 15 models rather than remain a Pro exclusive. Here’s hoping Apple goes ahead with that.
Maybe four iPhones are too many
As noted, the iPhone 14 Plus didn’t go on sale until October 7, so it’s not included in Apple’s September quarter numbers. However, early indications are that the cheapest of Apple’s 6.7-inch phones is not catching on with consumers.
If so, it would not be strange for Apple to drop one of its models. Apple switched to a four-phone lineup with the launch of the iPhone 12 in 2020, only to find that the iPhone 12 mini didn’t sell particularly well, according to some reports. The same fate befell the iPhone 13 mini the following year, prompting Apple to drop its 5.4-inch phone in favor of a larger one.
If the rumors about iPhone 14 Plus sales prove true, that means it’s probably not the screen size that people are reacting to as well. Perhaps there is room in the market for so many iPhones.
Apple wouldn’t be the first company to realize that a “good, better, better” approach to product lines is a sound strategy. And that may help explain the move to rename the Pro Max model as the iPhone 15Ultra. Not everyone thinks this move is happening, but it would fit the idea that Apple has a standard iPhone to appeal to everyone, a Pro model that brings more features to the table, and an Ultra version that offers the best of the best.
iPhone 15 Outlook
We have almost a full year before the iPhone 15 becomes a reality, which leaves us plenty of time for rumors about the phone to play out or die down. But based on what we’ve seen so far in iPhone 14 sales, Apple has a good roadmap to follow if it wants to keep its smartphone successful.