Apple’s iPhone has long been a bellwether for the company’s financial health, often serving as a key indicator of its overall performance. Despite Apple posting record iPhone revenue for its September quarter this year, a recent study has highlighted an intriguing trend: a steady decline in the average iPhone sales price (ASP) in the United States.
The new insights arrived via a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), originally shared through its Substack. Titled “iPhone Sales Mix Continues to Push Average Retail Price Down,” CIRP’s analysis adds depth to our understanding of Apple’s iPhone sales dynamics.
CIRP monitors the weighted average retail price (WARP) for iPhones sold in the US, a metric that, while similar to ASP, eschews wholesale discounts provided by Apple to retailers, offering a clearer picture of the iPhone models and storage capacities consumers are actually purchasing.
Data from CIRP indicate that the iPhone’s US WARP reached a high of $988 in the March quarter of the current year, a figure that has gradually declined in the two subsequent quarters. The June quarter saw a decrease of $40, followed by a further $30 reduction in the September quarter, settling the WARP at $918. This recent figure places the iPhone’s performance back on par with its metrics from 2021 to 2022.
Drilling down into the causes behind the changing sales mix, CIRP notes that the newly-launched iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are selling in similar volumes as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max did upon their release. However, the report pinpoints a drop in the popularity of the previous year’s flagship models — a marked difference from previous years. Specifically, combined sales of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max accounted for 23% in the recent quarter, a significant dip from the 37% reported for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models in the same quarter of the previous year.
Apple’s product strategy typically relies on a diversified mix of offering both the latest devices and preceding models at reduced prices to cater to different consumer segments. The iPhone 13 lineup, still widely available when the iPhone 14 variants hit the shelves, may have confronted stiffer competition from their successors, influencing overall sales figures and the WARP.
Looking forward, the holiday quarter will be an especially critical period for Apple, often seeing a surge in sales due to holiday shopping. It remains to be seen whether Apple will be able to reverse the downtrend and elevate the ASP for iPhones.
For investors and industry observers, CIRP’s findings serve as an essential barometer for predicting Apple’s potential moves to optimize profitability and market share. With premium features increasingly becoming standard and competition intensifying, Apple may need to reassess its pricing strategy to maintain its high revenue flow.
In conclusion, while Apple experiences a downward trend in the US WARP for its iPhones, how the tech giant navigates this phase will be critical, not only for its holiday quarter performance but also for its long-term positioning in the evolving smartphone market. You can access the full CIRP report for a more detailed analysis of these trends.