One of the big problems with 2021 has been the shocking price and availability of things that have processors in them. Phones, graphics cards, games consoles and even cars have been subjected to delays, price gouging by scalpers and rumours of short supply until 2022 or even later. But there’s a chance that the iPhone 13 might not suffer much in stock delays, or even see much of a price increase, so how does that work?
Firstly, there’s been a tweet about this. It comes from “sources” which presumably work at chip fabrication company TSMC. The thrust of it is that Apple has only seen increases of 3% on its new A15 Bionic processor this year which is in stark contrast to the rest of the semiconductor industry which has seen prices increase by 30%. This could mean that Apple will hold the price level of the iPhone 13 at a similar level to its predecessor.
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Apple has ordered over 100 million A15 Bionic chips from TSMC, according to sources. Prices are rumored to have increased by 3% vs. 30% for other TSMC customers. Not sure whether to file under doomed because too expensive or doomed because too dominant.September 7, 2021
While this might sound a bit odd, we do know that Apple is excellent at predicting demand and booking fabrication well in advance. This is at least partly because Apple CEO Tim Cook is a supply chain master, and knows how to plan for a launch as large as the iPhone always is. Not only that, but during this silicon shortage Apple is rumoured to have increased its order of iPhone 13s by 20% this year.
So if Apple has enough capacity, and its managed to negotiate a really modest price increase does that mean the iPhone will stay the same price. Well no. For one, there are a lot of other factors involved. Apple is rumoured to be including features like emergency satellite messaging and a 120Hz screen. These will, of course, have an impact on the overall cost. Other factors could also play a part, we’re in the middle of a global shortage of memory modules, so those prices may well have increased too, and that will have a knock-on effect. Although it’s also possible Apple was able to secure a good price, as it’s able to predict demand far enough out to have ordered its memory some time ago.
However you look at it, Apple can protect the iPhone prices to some extent. It’s well known that the phone is a pretty high-margin device. That means that the iPhone could remain the same price and while Apple might have to eat a bit of profit, the whole affair isn’t going to suddenly be unprofitable.
We’ll find out at the Apple event on Tuesday 14 September exactly how much the new iPhone will cost, and T3 will be covering in detail.