Apple cuts Irish prices for its new iPhones

Tech giant unveils slew of updates to its key iPhone and watch lines

Apple will cut the price for its latest iPhones, as the tech giant unveiled its latest line of phones and smart watches.

While the company increased the price in the US, Irish users will get something of a discount; the iPhone 15 Pro starts at €1,239, a €100 price cut from last year’s iPhone. The Pro Max starts at €1,489, the same as last year’s cheapest model, but doubles the storage to 256GB.

The iPhone 15 meanwhile will start at €979 compared to €1,029 a year ago, while the iPhone 15 Plus has its price cut to €1,129 from €1,179.

“Convincing users to fork out for these new devices will not be easy during a cost-of-living crisis,” said PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pascatore. “Some will see the new features as incremental, collectively they enhance the overall experience, which is priceless among Apple’s core user base.”


Apple officially unveiled its new iPhone 15 range, promising better call quality and improved photography, and finally adopting the standard USB charging port.

The company also debuted the Apple Watch Series 9 at the event in California, and showed off the follow-up to its rugged Ultra watch, both of which can now process Siri requests on-device.

Many of the changes to the iPhone 15 had been leaked in advance of the event, including the introduction of a customisable action button that replaces the mute switch on the phone. Although it remains a mute switch by default, users can swap it to another function, for example, starting a voice memo at a single press.

But the feature will only be available on the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro models. Apple has been trying to draw a more obvious line between the base iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro models in recent years.

This year, the iPhone 15 will get the A16 chip, while the Pro will be upgraded to the A17, Apple’s 3nm cutting-edge silicon that is its most powerful and efficient.

“These are the best and most capable iPhones we’ve ever made,” chief executive Tim Cook said.

As expected, the iPhone 15 has adopted the USB C connection for charging and data transfer, in advance of a 2024 deadline imposed by the EU to standardise charging. But the Pro and Pro Max will get faster data transfer speeds, supporting USB 3 with an optional extra cable.

The iPhone 15 Pro will swap out the stainless steel for a more durable titanium design, allowing the company to shrink the borders on the phone and make it lighter without losing any screen space. The top-end smartphone is also more repairable, the company said, with a new structural frame that allows the backglass to be easily replaced.

The iPhone 15 also brings improvements to the cameras with the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus getting upgraded to a 48 megapixel main camera, improving the phone’s ability to shoot in bright sunlight.

But the Pro models get an improved main camera, and the Pro Max introduces what the company referred to as a “tetra prism design” lens that will increase its optical zoom to 5x.

It is similar to the technology behind the powerful zoom in Samsung’s Galaxy S23 and other models that use a periscope lens to cram better zoom capabilities into the small case on a smartphone.

“The Pro Camera System is a big reason why users choose our pro iPhones,” said Apple’s Greg Joswia.

Apple also expanded the iPhone’s emergency satellite capabilities, adding Roadside Assistance via satellite, initially available in the US.

The company also unveiled the next generation of Apple Watch, the Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2.

Among the new features are a gesture that allows users to control some of the key functions on the watch without ever touching the screen, and processing Siri requests on the watch rather than in the cloud.

With Siri requests processed on the watch, they will be faster and more secure as the cloud is no longer required. That opens up access to health data through voice assistant Siri, a feature that will be available later this year.

The new Series 9 also has a second-generation ultra-wide band chip that enables more accurate finding for iPhones with the same chip through the Find My app.

It also allows new integration between Apple Watch and HomePod, with media suggestions automatically appearing on the watch when you get close to Apple’s smart speaker.

However, it failed to improve on battery life, with the same 18-hour battery life as its predecessor.

Apple also unveiled the second generation of its Watch Ultra, the Ultra 2, which gets all the new features for the Series 9, with the same S9 chip and a brighter display for harsh sunlight.

The company also emphasised its progress in making its devices more sustainable, with Apple on track to eliminate all plastic from its packaging by the end of next year. The company is also using 100 per cent recycled aluminium in the enclosures of all MacBooks, and runs its offices and data centres on “clean’ energy. Suppliers have also committed to using 100 per cent clean, renewable electricity.

The Apple Watch has also been made carbon-neutral, Apple’s first product to get that designation, with redesigned packaging and recycled components.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist