Apple Analyst Reveals iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera Cost


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04/04 Update below. This post was originally published on April 1

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are getting more expensive, according to multiple reports. But a new leak has revealed that this isn’t the biggest price shock regarding the two new phones.

In an exclusive report, respected analyst and supply chain specialist, Ming-Chi Kuo states that Apple will exclusively equip the iPhone 15 Pro Max with a periscope lens, used for optical zoom photography. This brings the Pro Max into line with rivals like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Huawei Mate 50 Pro, ranges that have used periscope lenses for years.

The shocking detail, however, is Kuo says Apple has decided to exclude the periscope lens from the iPhone 15 Pro, despite negotiating a knock-down price of just $4 (including prisms) for the module with supplier Largan. Kuo says Largan cannot profit from the deal at this price. Equally odd, is Kuo says Apple will introduce periscope lenses for both the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max in 2024, making this a single-generation feature difference.

All of which strikes me as bizarre. First, an at-cost deal for components on this scale is astonishing, but if anyone can, Apple can. Second, why differentiate the Pro Max for only a single generation? Were Apple rebranding the Pro Max as Ultra, as was long rumored until recently, I could understand it taking a new path. But making the separation for one generation is only likely to confuse buyers.

Third, pricing. Apple is expected to increase iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max prices by as much as $200 this year. That would be the biggest generational rise in iPhone history. And to do so while also splitting their feature sets, something Apple hasn’t done since the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in 2027, and leaving one model clearly as the poorer relation, would be a shock.

That said, 2023 seems like the year Apple wants to take risks with the iPhone. In addition to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max camera and price changes, it will replace the volume buttons and mute switch with programmable…