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iPhone price history: How Apple's pricing changes (inflation included)

Taking inflation into account paints a different picture.
By
January 23, 2024
Apple iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

The iPhone has been around for 17 years, and in that time, its number of features and (seemingly) its price have also increased. But just how much has the price of the iPhone actually changed through time? We’ll take a look at the price history of the iPhone and consider inflation to find out.

Quick answer

The original iPhone debuted in 2007 and started at $499, which, when adjusted for inflation, is $733 in 2024. For comparison, the recently iPhone 15 starts at $799. So, the iPhone has gotten slightly more expensive but is roughly comparable.

What did the first iPhone cost?

A picture of a hand holding the original Apple iPhone.

When Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007, it was met with some skepticism. While people liked the touch screen and camera, the phone’s $499 starting price was seen as too expensive for some.

Fast forward to today, and people still say the $799 iPhone 15 introduced in 2023 is also too expensive. At first glance, it looks that way, but we have to take into account inflation. When considering inflation, particularly the consumer price index, we can see that all products tend to cost more over time, especially recently. As a result, the price history of the iPhone should theoretically also follow this trend.

If we use an inflation calculator to see how much the original iPhone’s price of $499 in 2007 dollars would be today, we get a result of around $733. While that is slightly less expensive than the $799 starting price of the iPhone 15 in 2023, it’s not by a large amount.

iPhone price history through the years

There’s still more to the story regarding the price history of the iPhone. To fully understand the developments, let’s look at the price upon introduction and adjusted for inflation of every generation of iPhone.

Note that we’re considering the base models of the iPhone for each generation, and these prices assume you also signed up for a contract at the time of purchase. We’re also looking at the price of the iPhones in the USA for the purpose of comparison, as the retail price of the handset can vary in different parts of the world.

First-generation iPhone (2007)

  • First-gen iPhone original starting MSRP: $499
  • Inflation-adjusted first-gen iPhone price: $733

iPhone 3G (2008)

A product photo of the iPhone 3G.
  • iPhone 3G original starting MSRP: $199
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 3G price: $281

iPhone 3GS (2009)

  • iPhone 3GS original starting MSRP: $199
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 3GS price: $283

iPhone 4 (2010)

  • iPhone 4 original starting MSRP: $199
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 4 price: $278

iPhone 4S (2011)

  • iPhone 4S original starting MSRP: $199
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 4S price: $270

iPhone 5 (2012)

  • iPhone 5 Original starting MSRP: $199
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 5 price: $264

iPhone 5S/5C (2013)

An iPhone 5C lying face-down on pavers next an iPhone 5S lying face-down.
  • iPhone 5S original starting MSRP: $199
  • iPhone 5C original starting MSRP: $99
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 5S price: $260
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 5C price: $128

iPhone 6/6 Plus (2014)

  • iPhone 6 original starting MSRP: $199
  • iPhone 6 Plus original starting MSRP: $299
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 6 price: $256
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 6 Plus price: $386

iPhone 6S/6S Plus (2015)

  • iPhone 6S original starting MSRP: $199
  • iPhone 6S Plus original starting MSRP: $299
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 6S price: $256
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 6S Plus price: $385

iPhone 7/7 Plus (2016)

A photo of a white iPhone 7 resting on a wood surface showing its touchscreen.
  • iPhone 7 original starting MSRP: $649
  • iPhone 7 Plus original starting MSRP: $769
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 7 price: $824
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 7 Plus price: $976

iPhone 8/8 Plus (2017)

  • iPhone 8 original starting MSRP: $699
  • iPhone 8 Plus original starting MSRP: $799
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 8 price: $869
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 8 Plus price: $994

iPhone X (2017)

  • iPhone X original starting MSRP: $999
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone X Plus price: $1,242

iPhone XR (2018)

  • iPhone XR original starting MSRP: $749
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone XR Plus price: $909

iPhone XS/S Max (2018)

An Apple iPhone XS being held by a hand with its screen on showing various app icons.
  • iPhone XS original starting MSRP: $999
  • iPhone XS Max original starting MSRP: $1099
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone XS price: $1,215
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone XS Plus price: $1,337

iPhone 11/Pro/Pro Max (2019)

  • iPhone 11 original starting MSRP: $699
  • iPhone 11 Pro original starting MSRP: $999
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max original starting MSRP: $1099
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 11 price: $834
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 11 Pro price: $1,194
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 11 Pro Max price: $1,314

iPhone 12/Mini/Pro/Pro Max (2020)

  • iPhone 12 original starting MSRP: $799
  • iPhone 12 Mini original starting MSRP: $699
  • iPhone 12 Pro original starting MSRP: $999
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max original starting MSRP: $1099
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 12 price: $942
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 12 Mini price: $823
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 12 Pro price: $1,179
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 12 Pro Max price: $1,298

iPhone 13/Mini/Pro/Pro Max (2021)

  • iPhone 13 original starting MSRP: $799
  • iPhone 13 Mini original starting MSRP: $699
  • iPhone 13 Pro original starting MSRP: $999
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max original starting MSRP: $1099
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 13 price: $898
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 13 Mini price: $785
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 13 Pro price: $1,126
  • Inflation-adjusted  iPhone 13 Pro Max price: $1,238

iPhone 14/Plus/Pro/Pro Max (2022)

Apple iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro Max backs
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • iPhone 14 original starting MSRP: $799
  • iPhone 14 Plus original starting MSRP: $899
  • iPhone 14 Pro original starting MSRP: $999
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max original starting MSRP: $1,099
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 14 price: $832
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 14 Plus price: $937
  • Inflation-adjusted iPhone 14 Pro price: $1,042
  • Inflation-adjusted  iPhone 14 Pro Max price: $1,147

iPhone 15/Plus/Pro/Pro Max (2023 — no inflation adjustment)

  • iPhone 15 original starting MSRP: $799
  • iPhone 15 Plus original starting MSRP: $899
  • iPhone 15 Pro original starting MSRP: $999
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max original starting MSRP: $1,199

Are iPhones getting more expensive?

As we can see from the iPhone’s price history above, there was a time when the iPhone was indeed cheaper in terms of inflation-adjusted prices. But that was mainly because you had to sign up for a two-year contract with the iPhone 2 right up to the iPhone 6. Those days ended around 2016 when the price of the base model iPhone 7 without a contract jumped to $649 at release or $824 in 2023 dollars.

Ever since then, the price of the iPhone has tended to track rather closely with inflation. In fact, the more expensive Plus, Pro, and Pro Max models fall below the inflation-adjusted prices of their predecessors at times. Given the relatively high inflation of the last 12 months and the unchanged price of the iPhone 15 series, it is effectively $40-$50 cheaper than its predecessor in real terms. That is, apart from the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which is around $50 more expensive.

Frequently asked questions about the price history of the iPhone

In terms of raw numbers, it may appear the iPhone 15 is more expensive than older iPhone models. But when considering inflation, the price of the iPhone has more or less kept pace with inflation since around 2016.

Apple sometimes puts older model iPhones on sale, though not always. Plus, you can often find good deals on the iPhone from mobile service providers, such as getting an iPhone 15 for free upon signing up for a contract.