Why iPhone 15 will be Apple's cheapest since 2007 | Cult of Mac

Why iPhone 15 will be Apple’s cheapest since 2007


Take an early look at the likely iPhone 15 color options
The "standard" iPhone 15 will cost less, in real world terms, than any predecessor for many years.
Photo: Sonny Dickson/Cult of Mac
Wonderlust 2023

Those ordering an iPhone 15 can do so knowing they’ll pay less for it in real-world cost than for any just-launched Apple flagship handset since the original.

But that doesn’t mean there’s a giant price cut coming. The magic words here are “adjusted for inflation.”

iPhone 15 is a better deal than you might realize

No one likes inflation, though it’s a normal part of any functional economy. Prices go up and we need to earn more to afford them. But the situation is different when prices don’t actually go up.

Apple has held the price of the various iPhone models static for years. During that time, inflation cut into the real-world cost of the device.

The product-recommendation site PerfectRec compared the adjusted-for-inflation cost of each flagship iPhone model going back to the original, and found that iPhone 15 will be the best value since 2007. This assumes that the rumors prove correct and the 2023 model will launch at $799.

The low relative cost is the result of the spate of high inflation that the United States just went through. While inflation drove the cost of other products up, and wage growth increased our buying power, every “standard” iPhone since 2020 has had the same price at launch.

Look at PerfectRec’s chart to see that the iPhone 12 at its debut cost $943 in today’s dollars, while iPhone XR went for $910. And that original 2007 iPhone? Its $499 price tag is only $732 in today’s dollars.

iPhone 15 price adjusted for inflation
The cost of every flagship iPhone in 2023 dollars
Chart: PerfectRec

These calculations don’t include the iPhone SE series. But those are actually updated versions of older devices, so there’s some justification for leaving them off the chart.

iPhone 15 Pro is also a great deal

Leaks tell us the iPhone 15 Pro Max might see at least a $100 price boost — the first in several years — increasing to $1,199 or more. Even so, the top-of-the-line iOS handset will still have a lower real-world cost than the iPhone 13 Pro Max and earlier versions, according to PerfectRec’s inflation calculations.

The same holds true for the iPhone 15 Pro, which might go up to $1,099. However, this increase isn’t certain.

We’ll learn the prices for the various iPhone 15 series models Tuesday when Apple announces them at its “Wonderlust” event.


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