It is looking highly likely that Apple will raise the prices of the new devices it releases this autumn and beyond.
The reason for this unpleasant news is the global chip shortage, which has led to suppliers such as TSMC, Qualcomm, NXP and Nvidia charging more for their components. That in turn is forcing electronics manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, HP and Dell to choose between cutting margins or raising prices for their products, and in most cases the latter option is more appealing.
A 6 September report from Nikkei Asia, indicates that Apple's key supplier TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co) is preparing to hike production price of processors and other semiconductors.
TSMC's rivals have also been raising the cost of their chips due to the global semiconductor crisis, but until now TSMC's prices had remained the same - although they are already said to be 20% higher than rival firms.
The cost of chip production has been on the rise since at least Q4 2020 due to the global semiconductor crisis, which has in turn been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the trade war between China and the US. This situation is likely to continue until 2023, according to the boss of Daimler.
How will this affect Apple prices?
According to the Nikkei report mentioned above: "The impact of TSMC's price will be felt more obviously from next year, analysts say, as the company is still working through existing orders. Customers will also negotiate their own specific terms with TSMC before October 1, when the price hikes officially take effect, they said."
As a result the price of the iPhone 13 may be unaffected in the short term, since the manufacturing process will already be underway, although a DigiTimes report in August suggested that the iPhone 13 will be 'more expensive' than iPhone 12 because of the global chip shortages.
However, it does suggests that the biggest impact will be on Apple products, including the iPhone 14, when they launch in 2022.
Exactly how much of a hike to Apple's prices there will be is unclear, but demand for the new products is likely to be so intense that most prospective customers will, we suspect, be willing to pay a few hundred pounds or dollars extra for the innovations offered in Apple's upcoming mobile phones, tablets and computers.
It's sure to be a busy season, as we've discussed in our roundup of the new Apple products coming in September. Apple is actually expected to hold three virtual events in quick succession, with separate announcements planned for September, October and November respectively.
Aside from the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 and new AirPods expected this month, Apple is also due to update its high-end MacBook Pro laptops and unveil one or more new iPads - perhaps including a new iPad mini.