With the iPhone 14, Apple is splitting its user base in half

On Wednesday, Apple launched the iPhone 14 series. As with the past three years, the lineup is split, with two semi-affordable entries and two more expensive flagships. In this case, we have the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus on one end and the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max on the other.

What’s different this time, though, is the disparity between these two sets. This year, more than any other, Apple is working to appeal to two distinct types of iPhone buyers: the experts and the normies.

For the iPhone 11, 12, and 13 series, there was a lot of overlap between the regular phones and the Pro ones. For example, a person who uses their iPhone for CPU-intensive tasks would prize processing power, but they might not care about cameras. This hypothetical buyer could happily grab the iPhone 13 for just $799. They’d get the same CPU and general features as the iPhone 13 Pro but for $200 less.

See also: Which iPhone is right for you?

The iPhone 14 series, though, draws a line in the sand. On one side, you’ll have the power users — folks who need one or many of the high-end features iPhones are known for. On the other side, you’ll have the normies — people who don’t know or don’t care about smartphone tech and just want to upgrade to a new iPhone every few years.

Never before has this line been so distinct. It could fundamentally change how Apple manages its smartphone portfolio. It could also be a lightning rod for change across the entire smartphone industry.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Two different phones

Apple Event 2022 iphone 14 colors

Samsung has multiple smartphone lines, each with its own identity. The Galaxy S line is the best of the best for the general consumer, while the Galaxy A line appeals to multiple levels of budget shoppers. Meanwhile, the foldable Galaxy Z line goes after the tech enthusiast who wants to be on the cutting edge. This creates multiple categories of phones, each with its own strict appeal to a certain demographic.

Apple only sort of does this. It has the iPhone SE, which strictly goes after a budget consumer. Other than that, though, every other consumer needs to get lumped into the main iPhone line. That sounds more simple than Samsung’s strategy, but it also is more…