Apple has increased iPhone and Watch prices – just not in the US or China

When Apple announced the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro, it was quickly pointed out that the phones will start at the same prices as their predecessors, despite rumors that they might cost more this year. Similarly, the Apple Watch Series 8 also got a few upgrades, but still sells for the same price as the Series 7. However, as CNBC notes, those devices have seen price increases in several other countries, including the UK, Australia, Japan, Ireland and Germany.

In some cases, buying Apple’s latest devices will now cost significantly more 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 jump but still more expensive, with the Series 8 starting at £419, up from £369. In Ireland the regular iPhone went from €909 to €1,019, while the Pro model went 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 the entry point to Apple’s current iPhone range is now much higher; the Mini is no longer there as an option that is £100 or Euros cheaper (although the 13 Mini is still on sale). These price hikes are also happening as inflation hits the economy and skyrocketing energy bills put pressure on the UK.

Analysts who spoke to CNBC said part of the reason Apple has increased prices outside the US may be due to how strong the dollar is compared to other currencies. The yen, in particular, has fallen about 24 percent in the past year and the pound is the weakest in decades compared to the dollar.

Historically, countries didn’t necessarily benefit when their currencies did stronger than the dollar — in August 2021 the pound was worth about $1.40, but the price of the iPhone in the UK was the same as in the US: 799. That meant the British paid the equivalent of about $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 round 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 costs the same rupees 79900.00 as the iPhone 13. IDC analyst Bryan Ma hypothesized to CNBC that Apple kept prices steady in China because it’s an important market for the company and doesn’t want to hurt the momentum it’s building.

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