While we knew everything Apple would be announcing at the Far Out event, there were still plenty of surprises during Wednesday’s keynote. The Dynamic Island of the iPhone 14 Pro is one of the best interfaces Apple has ever released. The Apple Watch Ultra is packed with a lot more professional features than we thought. And the AirPods Pro have small trackpads to adjust the volume.
But perhaps the biggest shock was the pricing. We have been prepared for extremely high prices for months due to several factors: inflation, supply chain and manufacturing issues, and a greater emphasis on high-quality products. But despite all that, this year’s new products will not cost more than yesterday. And in some cases they even cost a lot less.
The products that have been updated — the iPhone 14, AirPods Pro, Apple Watch Series 8 — all cost the same, and the Apple Watch SE 2 costs $30 less at $249. And the iPhone 14 Plus, which is said to start at $949. or $999, costs just $100 more than the iPhone 14 at $899. And the Pro models still cost $999 and $1,099.
Admittedly, the loss of the mini model means it’s the highest-ever starting price for a new set of iPhones – and prices have risen significantly in some countries around the world due to currency fluctuations – but we were prepared for significant price increases also in the US. The Pro models would go up $100 because of the new screen, camera and satellite features. They got all those things, but the prices stayed the same. Apple hasn’t even charged for satellite connections through Globalstar for the past two years.
And if you don’t want to shell out $800 or $1,000 on a new iPhone, Apple still sells the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini for $699 and $599, respectively. While that’s Apple’s standard practice for older phones, it’s this year. a bit surprising, considering the iPhone 14 isn’t all that different, except for a slightly better camera and chip.
The biggest price surprise, however, is with the Apple Watch Ultra. It’s packed with features: accurate dual frequency GPS, depth sounder with water temperature sensor, EN13319 certification, 100m water resistance, 86 decibel siren, cellular connectivity and 36 hours battery life with a 49mm sapphire crystal display packed in a titanium case with three specialized bands , but doesn’t have the $899 or $999 price tag we expected. The Apple Watch Ultra costs $799, which is $100 less than the 45mm titanium Apple Watch Edition.
That’s an impressive price tag for a lot of Apple Watch. Apple could have easily charged $999 for the Apple Watch Ultra and paid $100 for cellular and no one would have questioned it. But Apple went as aggressive as possible to compete with similar watches from Garmin. For example, the Enduro 2, which is aimed at similar users, costs $1,100.
Apple won’t shake its reputation as an expensive luxury brand by not pricing a few devices in the stratosphere. But at a time when everyone expected Apple to raise its prices, we got a refreshing surprise that made a $1,000 phone and an $800 watch seem downright affordable.