iPhone 14 launches today. Apple is expected to unveil the 14th series of its iconic and ubiquitous iPhone on Wednesday at its first in-person product launch event since before the coronavirus pandemic began.
Aside from iPhone 14, industry watchers also hope to see the new generations of Apple watches, AirPods, and other updated versions of the hardware.
In addition to high-tech advances, there is likely to be more focus on prices this year, with inflation hovering around four decades. Even before the pandemic, when the economy was booming, people struggled with the substantial price tags for smartphones with upgrades that fail to convince owners of recent models.
In April 2020, just as the pandemic was crushing the US economy, Apple released the second-generation iPhone SE with a price tag of just $399, a 40% discount over the most affordable iPhone 11 unveiled last year.
With US household budgets surging at 9% inflation, analysts are questioning whether consumers are waiting a little longer to upgrade phones, or pass on the earphones that cost as much as filling their gas tanks per month.
“Price is a key focal point in a difficult macro that includes inflationary pressures and declining consumer spending, but we believe it is more important for wearables perceived by consumers as more discretionary purchases compared to iPhone,” JPMorgan analysts wrote.
Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring predicted that in addition to the iPhone 14 family of smartphones, the company would release three new Apple Watch models and possibly updates to Airpods, HomePod mini and Apple TV.
Analysts at JPMorgan expect a major screen size update for the iPhone mini and a new, more robust Apple Watch Pro and improved sound quality on the AirPods pro.
The event will be streamed from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, starting at 10 a.m. local time.