When Apple announced the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro, it was quick to point out that the phones start at the same prices as their predecessors, despite rumors that they will cost more this year. Similarly, the Apple Watch Series 8 has also received a few upgrades, but still sells for the same price as the Series 7. As CNBC points out, however, these devices have seen price increases in several other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Ireland and Germany.
In some cases, getting Apple’s latest devices will cost a lot more now than it did last year. In the UK, for example, the iPhone 14 now costs £849, while the 13 started at £779. The Apple Watch is less of a leap but is still more expensive, with the Series 8 starting at £419, up from £369. In Ireland, the standard iPhone has gone from €909 to €1,019, with the Pro model going up to €170. I checked the prices for France and Italy – two other countries that use the euro – and the story is similar.
It’s worth noting that this means that the entry point for Apple’s current mainline iPhone line is now much higher; the Mini is no longer around as an option that costs 100 pounds or euros cheaper (although the 13 Mini is still on sale). These price hikes are also happening as inflation hits the economy and energy bills soar in the UK.
Analysts who spoke to CNBC said part of the reason Apple raised prices outside the United States may be due to the strength of the dollar against other currencies. The yen, in particular, has fallen around 24% over the past year, and the pound is the weakest in decades against the dollar.
Historically, countries have not necessarily benefited when their currencies have been stronger than the dollar – in August 2021, the pound was worth around $1.40, but the price of the iPhone in the UK was the same as in the US: 799. This meant that the British paid the equivalent of around $1,120. The situation was similar in Ireland, where the iPhone 12 sold for €929, despite the euro’s value of $1.20.
The current series of price increases is not universal. The iPhone 14, 14 Pro and Apple Watch Series 8 all cost the same as their predecessors in China, and while most devices now cost more in India, the base iPhone 14 is the same 79900, 00 rupees than the iPhone 13. IDC analyst Bryan Ma speculated to CNBC that Apple is keeping prices the same in China because it’s an important market for the company and doesn’t want to hurt the momentum it is creating.