Apple's biggest iPhone surprise: No U.S. price hikes

Apple introduced the iPhone 14 lineup, Apple Watch 8 products, and new AirPods Pro at an event in Cupertino, California, on Sept. 7, 2022.

Sofia Pitt, CNBC

During Apple’s annual iPhone launch event on Wednesday, the company revealed devices with better displays, cameras, a satellite messaging feature, and a slightly new design on the Pro models, replacing the notch with a smaller, more integrated cutout.

But the biggest surprise from Apple is something that didn’t happen: a price increase.

Despite surging inflation around the world and supply chain challenges that have made it more challenging to procure parts, Apple said the entry-level iPhone 14 will start at $799, the same amount that it initially charged for last year’s iPhone 13. The successor to the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro, remains at $999. Apple’s highest-end iPhone, the Pro Max, still starts at $1099 for the new version.

Analysts had been expecting some price hikes in Apple’s lineup. In holding steady, Apple didn’t want to further dent demand with the risks of a deteriorating economy already threatening to crimp consumer spending. IDC expects global smartphone shipments to decline over 6% this year, although mostly in the lower-end categories where Apple doesn’t compete.

Apple shares rose about 1.4% on Wednesday to $156.61.

International prices could shift

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