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iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max launched; this is the selling price : The Tribune India

Cupertino (USA), September 8

Apple’s latest lineup of iPhones will boast better cameras, faster processors and longer battery life — all at the same prices as last year’s models, despite inflationary pressures that have pushed up the cost of many other everyday items.

That pricing decision, unveiled Wednesday at Apple’s first in-person product event in three years, came as a mild surprise. Many analysts predicted that Apple would ask its devoted fans to pay as much as 15% more to offset rising costs for many components.

The fuss over Apple’s new iPhone 14 models is part of a post-Labor Day ritual that the company has held annually for more than a decade. Wednesday’s event was held on the company’s campus in Cupertino, California, at a theater named after the company’s co-founder, Steve Jobs. After Apple CEO Tim Cook walked onto the stage, most of the event consisted of pre-recorded video presentations that the company had honed during previous events staged during the pandemic.

For several years now, Apple’s new iPhones have typically featured incremental upgrades to cameras and battery life, and this year’s models were no exception. Prices for the standard iPhone 14 start at $799; the luxury iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1099.

One of the latest improvements is a 48-megapixel camera in the Pro and Pro Max models, which the company says will produce exceptionally sharp photos. The iPhone 13 versions of the Pro and Pro Max have 12-megapixel cameras. This year’s high-end models will also have always-on screens that remain lit even when the device is locked, a feature that has long been available on many smartphones powered by Google’s Android software.

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Starting in November, all iPhone 14 models will be able to send SOS messages via a new satellite feature — a security measure designed to let users in remote areas without a wireless connection ask for help.

All iPhone 14 models will also include a motion sensor that can detect serious car accidents and automatically connect to emergency services.

With inflation still hovering at its highest level in 40 years, consumers have restricted spending on many discretionary items. That likely contributes to a recent drop in smartphone sales, though the iPhone has far outperformed competing Android devices.

The declining sales outlook prompted research firm International Data Corp. to forecast a 6.5% global decline for smartphones in 2022, nearly double the 3.5% decline it had estimated a few months ago. Despite that expected drop in sales, the average price for new smartphones this year is expected to be about 6% higher than last year, IDC estimates.

By keeping iPhones prices flat, Apple runs the potential risk of undermining its profits if inflation drives up its own costs. It’s a hit that the company could easily afford, as it made $44 billion in profits in the first half of this year.

Apple could also thicken its profits if more consumers looking to upgrade their mobile devices are drawn to the high-end Pro and Pro Max models, which generate greater profit margins than the cheaper models. And it seems Apple expects a growing number of consumers to be willing to pay an additional $200 to $300 for deluxe versions of the iPhone 14, said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives.

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Apple’s stock price gained 1% on Wednesday, closing at $155.96.

Consumers have already bought iPhones this year, even as Apple charges one of the highest prices in the industry. Apple sold an estimated 106 million iPhones in the first half of this year, an 8% increase from the same time last year, according to Canalys, another research firm.

Forrester analyst Thomas Husson praised the new lineup for its faster chips, improved design and “some incremental innovative features.”

The company’s Apple Watch Series 8, meanwhile, will include a new temperature sensor intended to help women track their ovulation cycles afterwards, in addition to the crash-detection feature also debuting on the iPhone 14. The price for the latest Apple Watch, available in stores from September 16, starts at $399, the same as last year’s model.

In an effort to increase the appeal of wearable technology, Apple is introducing a Watch Ultra model designed to be more durable and offer a variety of special features tailored to hikers, divers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The Watch Ultra, available in stores on September 23, has a premium price of $799.

CCI Insight analyst Leo Gebbie predicted that the Ultra will compete with existing sports watch brands such as Garmin and some luxury Swiss watchmakers who market their products around extreme sports.

Apple also took the wraps off its next-generation wireless earbuds, the AirPods Pro 2, which will also keep a starting price of $249. AP

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