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Apple counts on upscale buyers to turn latest iPhone 14 into hit

Bloomberg

As the latest iPhone hit stores, Apple Inc is counting on well-heeled shoppers to make the device a hit during a year of roaring inflation and shaky technology spending.
The iPhone 14 lineup reserves the best features for the high-end Pro models costing at least $1,000. And based on preorder data, the strategy is already working with consumers, who have turned the most expensive new iPhone into the most popular version.
Though overall spending on mobile devices and computers is slowing this year, there’s still an appetite for top-tier smartphones — Apple’s strength. That’s allowed the company to hold production steady at a time when much of the industry is scaling back plans.
“The data continues to point to robust demand for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, which could have a materially positive impact for both mix and margins,” Amit Daryanani, an analyst at Evercore ISI, said in a report this week.
The iPhone 14 line was unveiled earlier this month alongside new Apple Watches and AirPods. The company didn’t raise prices, a surprise to analysts who thought inflationary pressure would force the move.
But Apple is still attempting to upsell consumers more than ever before.
The standard iPhone, which starts at $799, doesn’t even run Apple’s latest processor, the A16. Instead, it uses the same A15 chip as last year, with the A16 going into the Pro models.
The Pro phones also get significant camera improvements
and a new interface called the Dynamic Island.
That’s left users with less reason to upgrade to a basic iPhone 14, but plenty of incentive to pay a little more for the Pro. A flurry of carrier promotions and trade-in offers also may coax consumers into buying a glitzier model.
Apple reshuffled its display configurations this year as well. Gone is the mini version of the iPhone. Instead, the company is betting that consumers want more screen real estate.

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