Did Apple really mess up with the iPhone 14 Plus?

With the iPhone 14 launch last month, one of Apple's most eyebrow-raising decisions was to axe the iPhone mini and introduce a larger iPhone Plus. The iPhone mini was a nice little device for anyone that still wanted a phone they could carry in a small pocket, and it was cheaper too. The iPhone Plus isn't either of those things.

The new member of the family is simply a slightly larger version of the iPhone 14. With a 6.7-inch display, it's 14mm taller, 6.5mm wider and 30g heavier. But it seems people don't think those extra millimetres are worth paying an extra $100 / £100 for. We can't say we're surprised, but is there something more complex going on? Whichever iPhone 14 model you're looking for, make sure you see our pick of the best iPhone 14 prices and the best iPhone 14 cases.

iPhone 14 Plus phones on a white background

Apple has reportedly reduced production of the iPhone 14 Plus (Image credit: Apple)

It was always going to be a difficult time to launch a new product with a higher price tag, which makes Apple's decision to introduce the iPhone 14 Plus a strange one. As consumers tighten their belts due to inflation, Apple scrapped the cheaper iPhone mini and introduced a new, larger iPhone. At $899 / £949, the iPhone 14 Plus costs $100 / £100 more than the standard iPhone 14 and only $100 / £150 less than the iPhone 14 Pro.

Other than the Plus's size and a stated extra 6 hours of video playback (26 hours compared to the iPhone 14's 20), it offers no upgrade in terms of specs. And that left many people wondering what the point of it is. After all, anyone who wants a larger device at a cheaper price than the new iPhone 14 Pro Max might look to last year's 13 Pro Max. With the devices only released three weeks ago, it might be too soon to judge the iPhone 14 Plus's success (or lack of), but if reports of production cuts are anything to go by, it seems that even Apple might be starting to wonder if it misjudged its segmentation this year. Maybe...

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According to reports in The Information (opens in new tab) and Digitimes (opens in new tab), several suppliers and channel operators in China have confirmed that they've been told to cut production of ‌iPhone 14‌ Plus phones and components by around 40 per cent while Apple evaluates demand.

Reports suggest that while ‌iPhone 14‌ Plus sales have actually outpaced the iPhone 13 mini so far in China, the new phone has failed to attract interest in other countries. DigiTimes cited sources that suggest shipments of the ‌iPhone 14‌ Plus will likely be reduced to around 10 million units for this year. It seems that Apple instead plans to focus on boosting production of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Nobody seems to be very surprised.

"Who would’ve possibly thought undercutting the Pro by only 100$ while being a marginally worse phone would be a terrible product strategy?" one person wrote on Twitter (opens in new tab). But others suggest that this was the plan all along: that the iPhone 14 Plus was never intended to sell well, but rather to convince people to buy the Pro because it's "only $100 more".

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The launch of the iPhone 14 Plus isn't the only surprising – and slightly perplexing – product line decision taken by Apple recently. We've just seen the launch of a new iPad 2022 that's causing some serious confusion among fans. 

Considering Apple's marketing acumen, it's hard to imagine that the tech giant wouldn't have foreseen that consumers would be confused by the new lineups. We wonder, then, whether there may be something in the 'decoy' theory, and whether Apple's apparently bizarre decisions are an attempt to deal with inflation without having to introduce steep price hikes across its existing lines. If you're wondering how the whole iPhone 14 lineup looks in terms of price, you can find links to the best prices in your region below.

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Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.