The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will cost more than any previous iPhone, and we know the reasons why. But now, a new leak has made these increases harder to justify.
A new report from research firm TrendForce has revealed that neither of the iPhone 15 Pro models will receive the storage upgrades widely anticipated. This means Apple will again release the Pros with 128GB of base storage, despite almost all rivals giving their flagships 256GB.
09/13 Update: Apple did have a card up its sleeve. At its official launch event today, the company surprised everyone by keeping the iPhone 15 Pro price unchanged at $999. I did increase the iPhone 15 Pro Max by $100, but as compensation, Apple also increased its base storage from 128GB to 256GB to even out this higher price. If you can afford it (and Apple strongly hinted at major carrier offers to come), the iPhone 15 Pro Max looks like the best model to pick this year.
Instead, Apple will offer 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage as upgrade options. This is a hugely risky decision. With the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max expected to start at $1,099 and $1,199, respectively, this means prices for 1TB models could be as high as $1,600 for the Pro and $1,700 for the Pro Max.
This will be a blow to iPhone fans after leaks suggested that the Pros’ $100 price increase could be evened out by more generous storage capacities. Moreover, component cost differences between 128GB and 256GB are negligible these days, and the iPhone 15 Pros are expected to ship with 8K video recording, a mode that can eat up to 600MB per minute.
As something of a consolation, TrendForce does agree with leakers that both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will ship with 8GB RAM. That’s up from the 6GB in the iPhone 14 Pro models, but memory management was never in question with those phones, so I suspect most users would’ve preferred to see that expenditure go towards more generous storage tiers.
On the flip side, the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max will get significantly more upgrades than standard iPhone 15 models. While the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are essentially iPhone 14 Pros at a lower price (A16 chip, Dynamic Island design, 48MP camera), the Pro models have titanium chassis, record-breaking bezels, Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and a 3nm A17 chip.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max will also exclusively get Apple’s first 10x optical zoom camera, which is expected to be the biggest selling point in the range. That said, availability of the Pro Max is understood to be extremely limited at launch, with reports claiming it may be delayed by up to a month.
Note: For those unsure about upgrading, a bigger iPhone redesign is tipped for 2024. Maybe, just maybe, Apple will give us more generous storage options then.