The big picture: Global smartphone demand continues to slide but Apple seems undeterred. The tech titan's next-gen iPhone is less than two months away and it's apparently business as usual for Cupertino. Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Apple has asked suppliers to produce roughly 85 million iPhone 15 models through the end of the year. That is in the same ballpark as the number of iPhone 14 smartphones the company requested last year.
In an effort to combat ongoing inflation and waning consumer demand, Apple is reportedly considering increasing the price of its high end iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. Ideally, the extra revenue could offset losses at the opposite end of the iPhone buying spectrum where shoppers are more sensitive to price hikes.
Last week, The Information claimed the Pro and Pro Max could face considerable shortages at launch due to a manufacturing issue with LG-supplied screens for the phones. One Bloomberg source, however, described the situation as a minor hiccup that should be ironed out within a week or two, and said the incident will not have a noticeable impact on overall production.
Apple is widely expected to introduce the iPhone 15 family in the first week or two of September. Earlier rumors have pointed to a number of new inbound features including stacked battery technology to boost energy density, a faster A17 Bionic SoC for the Pro and Pro Max, and enhanced Apple Vision Pro integration. The iPhone 15 Pro Max may also include a periscope camera system that would stretch the phone's optical zoom range out to around 5-6x. Pro models were also expected to ship with touch-enabled side buttons, but technical issues have reportedly kept that change at bay at least for another year.
Earlier this month, Counterpoint Research said the global smartphone market was well beyond its rapid growth phase. In fact, Q2 represented the eighth consecutive quarter with a year over year decline in shipments.