iPhone 13 may be the most expensive iPhone yet — here's why

iPhone 12 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

iPhone 13 rumors have been everywhere for months now, giving us a strong idea of what to expect from the next-generation hardware from Apple, but pricing is one detail that has eluded us.

A new report from DigiTimes suggests iPhone 13 buyers could face the highest prices that we've seen on the iPhone due to increasing costs from TSMC, the company producing Apple's chips (via MacRumors).

The report indicates that TSMC is raising its quotes by 3-10% for sub-7nm process technology, like those in the iPhone 13. The adjusted pricing will allegedly go into effect, starting with orders being fulfilled in December this year.

There is no estimated markup to expect on the iPhone 13, but it's unlikely that Apple would absorb this added cost particularly given how estimates from Counterpoint Research last year placed the component cost of the iPhone 12 as roughly 21% higher than the iPhone 11. The standard iPhone 12 was the only model that reflected this jump, moving from $699 to $799.

Any component raising by 3-10% moves the needle for Apple with the iPhone given the volume we are talking about, but the processor is also one of the most expensive components in the phone. The display is typically the most expensive, another component expected to see an upgrade on the iPhone 13 Pro models to a 120Hz panel. 

Renders based on alleged leaked iPhone 13 specs and features

(Image credit: Everything Apple Pro)

Samsung slashing its prices on the Galaxy S21 lineup this year by $200 makes this a bit more of a challenging proposition for iPhone fans. Apple can probably afford to ignore its rivals, but the widening price gap won't be a good look for them. 

One possibility is that Apple holds the price steady on the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, with only the Pro models increasing to offset a higher component cost. Whatever Apple chooses, we shouldn't have much longer until we find out as the iPhone 13 event is expected in mid-September. 

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.