Apple iPhone 16 could be more expensive than ever - and it's not Apple's fault

The price of doing business is going up

iPhone 15 in pink product pic
(Image credit: Future)

In 2023 we've seen pretty much everything go up in price, but the one thing that surprisingly didn't was the iPhone 15. Apple managed to resist the urge to hike prices, even in a challenging market. But, truth be told it only looks a matter of time before the company ups its prices, possibly as soon as the iPhone 16

According to Nikkei Asia, the iPhone 15 range was, across the board, much more expensive to assemble. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is estimated to cost $558 to make, that's a 12% jump on the equivalent iPhone 14 model. The iPhone 15 Pro is a similar story with an 8% jump but slightly offset by the fact it doesn't have the brilliant new tetra-prism camera of the Pro Max. 

With their titanium redesign and new A17 Pro silicone, it's easy to see where the cost bump has come from (admittedly it doesn't make it easier to swallow). Titanium is a more expensive material than the old aluminium design, while the A17 Pro chip makes the phones the first to use a 3nm process. Innovation doesn't come cheap.

iPhone 15 mystery chips

(Image credit: Chargerlab)

The same however goes for the entry level iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. In fact the Plus rose by 8% in manufacturing costs, but the biggest shock is the cheapest iPhone 15, which is reported to cost 16% more to manufacture than the iPhone 14. 

Personally, I expected the price of the iPhone 15 range to be much more than it was, and if these figures are correct, in looks like they should have been. It looks like Apple has decided to just take the hit this year with a smaller profit margin, perhaps we could see a similar leap to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro which saw £100 and £150 price increases. 

Another reason the iPhone 16 could be more expensive is that it is the year we finally expect to see an iPhone 16 Ultra. This mythical model, rumoured to go beyond the Pro Max range, was rumoured for the iPhone 15 but never materialized. With the planned 2024 release of the Apple Vision Pro headset, we will likely also see a bunch of Vision Pro compatible features on the iPhone 16, further inflating the price. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.