The new iPhone 14 is coming sometime this fall – speculation about the iPhone 14 release date suggests the phones will appear in September – meaning you’ll have a choice of new Apple smartphones in just a few short months.
But to make room for the four new models we’re expecting from Apple, some current iPhones will likely disappear from Apple’s lineup. And that includes some of the best iPhones you can buy right now.
Apple has tried to keep some older models at reduced prices in recent years to appeal to buyers who are reluctant to pay the full cost of a brand new iPhone. This could be particularly critical this time, as some new phones, notably the iPhone 14 Pro models, could see a price increase over their iPhone 13 counterparts.
If you’re familiar with Apple, you know that the company isn’t revealing anything about its future product plans until the moment it’s ready to announce new phones. That hasn’t changed with the buildup to this year’s iPhone 14 release, and the rumor mill has been quiet about Apple’s planned line of iPhones beyond the iPhone 14 models. However, we would expect a spike in rumors just before the iPhone 14 launches.
In the meantime, we can review Apple’s recent history to make some guesses about which phones are likely to be available at discounted prices and which might be harder to find in the fall. This is what we think Apple’s future iPhone range will look like once the iPhone 14 comes out.
Apple’s current line of iPhones
Before we move on to Apple’s post-iPhone 14 launch plans, let’s take a look at Apple’s current phone offerings. We’re narrowing this down to the devices currently available from Apple, along with their starting prices. Additional older iPhones may be available from select retailers and phone carriers, but we’re only considering what Apple has for sale.
That’s a total of eight models, of which only one – the iPhone SE (2022) – was released in the last calendar year.
iPhone 14: Which models are coming in autumn
Rumors have informed us about the new models Apple is working on as part of this year’s iPhone release. We’re expecting four new phones – an iPhone 14, an iPhone 14 Pro, an iPhone 14 Pro Max and an iPhone 14 Max. The first three models will have the same screen sizes as their iPhone 13 equivalents, although the Pro versions will have the famous notch of the iPhone for cutouts that house the front camera and Face ID sensors.
This fourth phone, the iPhone 14 Max, would be a new model for Apple. It’s expected to feature a 6.7-inch display like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but its other features – the number of cameras, available storage, design and processor used – are meant to mirror the standard iPhone 14 . (We have an iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Max comparison that looks at all the possible differences.) Note that a rumor has it that the phone will be called the iPhone 14 Plus to avoid confusion with the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The addition of the iPhone 14 Max marks the end of the line for the compact mini iPhone that was part of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 lineup; Both iPhone minis released by Apple remain on sale. While Apple doesn’t break out sales numbers by model, the Mini is reported to be Apple’s least popular iPhone, which could explain why it’s not sticking to an iPhone 14 version. The reported lack of sales could also influence Apple’s decision on which models will remain part of its lineup of phones in a post-iPhone 14 world.
iPhone 14 pricing rumors are also important if you’re trying to figure out which current phones Apple might keep. While it’s possible that Apple will try to keep prices the same as the iPhone 13, rumors are surfacing that only the standard iPhone 14 will retain the price of its iPhone 13 counterpart. The iPhone 14 Max could be priced at $899 as a larger phone.
That could push up the price of the iPhone 14 Pro models as Apple tries to keep a gap between the prices of its standard and Pro models. Right now, it’s widely believed that the prices of the iPhone 14 Pro models will increase by $100 from the current models – $1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro and $1,1199 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Which current iPhone models could disappear from Apple’s lineup?
Assuming rumors of four new iPhone 14 models surface, we can expect Apple to thin out the current iPhone lineup to make room for the latest handsets. Any phones that would cannibalize new iPhone 14s sales would likely be the first to go.
That means the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are likely living on borrowed time. Since the iPhone launched in the iPhone lineup with the Pro and Pro Max models in 2019, neither version has lasted more than a year. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — precursors to the Pro/Pro Max naming convention — also dropped from the lineup after the iPhone 11 launched.
Apple also rarely keeps phones more than three years after their release date. Launched in September 2019, the iPhone 11 is fast approaching its sell-by date, so it’s pretty certain it will be phased out this fall.
Which current iPhone models will Apple keep?
Apple consistently keeps the standard iPhone it introduced the year before, dropping its price by $100. That’s what happened to the iPhone 11 when the iPhone 12 debuted, and the iPhone 12 suffered a similar fate last fall. Because of this, we think the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 will almost certainly stick around after the iPhone 14 debuts.
The typical $100 price cut would be particularly relevant for the iPhone 13, as there is no iPhone 14 mini that takes the $699 price slot. So it would make sense for the iPhone 13 to take that spot as the next best option for buyers who just can’t swing the $799 price point that the iPhone 14 is likely to fetch.
If Apple thinks it can squeeze another year of sales from the iPhone 12, it might keep this phone, too. The iPhone 12 has already dropped to $699 from its debut price of $799. Should that phone stay – and Apple’s past behavior suggests it – we’d expect a new $599 iPhone 12 price tag in the fall.
That leaves the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 mini — and some complicated questions about what Apple is doing with those phones. If you don’t think either model has sold particularly well, there’s really no incentive for Apple to keep either model unless it’s to clean up unsold inventory.
On the other hand, removing both Minis from the lineup would leave Apple with a sizeable gap between the iPhone 12, at its likely price of $599, and the $429 iPhone SE, which goes nowhere. If Apple is interested in offering a $499 phone, one of the remaining Mini models could fill that spot. The iPhone 12 mini seems like the more natural progression, as $499 is just $100 less than its current price. But if Mini sales are as tepid as we’ve heard, a $200 discount on the iPhone 13 mini would certainly cost this model.
The fate of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini is probably the biggest open question as to which current iPhone models are likely to survive fall. If we had to guess, we’d say that the recently released iPhone 13 mini seems like the more obvious candidate to keep, but it would require a heftier price cut than normal to fit into Apple’s current pricing structure.
Preview of the fall iPhone lineup
It’s a fun guessing game trying to figure out Apple’s fall phone lineup, but there’s a practical reason to figure out which phones will still be around when the iPhone 14 arrives. If you’re currently considering an iPhone purchase with one of the current models, waiting a few months could mean you can buy the same handset at a lower price if you take advantage of Apple’s longer-schedule plans.
Conversely, if this phone is likely to fall out of the picture in the fall, you’d be better off making your purchase now, even at the current price. (The best iPhone 13 deals can help you save money on your next phone purchase.)
There’s another benefit to waiting until fall to buy an iPhone – you can also see if the rumored iPhone 14 improvements are really worth it for you. That way, you’ll have an even wider range of iPhones to choose from, regardless of which phones make up Apple’s fall lineup.