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  • There’s Already a $1,000 iPhone!

    August 1st, 2017

    Amid all the chatter about the alleged forthcoming iPhone 8 — the expected 10th anniversary model — is its price. It’s supposed to be way high, more expensive than any other iPhone. Where does Apple have the temerity to raise its prices even further?

    I’ll get to pricing for other Apple products in a moment.

    But before I touch on the rumored iPhone 8, let me give you the standard disclaimer: There is no such product. No such product has been announced by Apple. While there have been rampant rumors and speculation about the alleged 10th anniversary edition that will pack features never before used on an iPhone, that doesn’t mean Apple will announce such a device along with the new iPhones later this year.

    Even if such a product is announced, will it actually be called iPhone 8? Why use the presumed name of a model you’d expect in 2018 anyway? How does iPhone 8 signify a 10th anniversary version? What about iPhone X or an iPhone Edition? Either name implies something real special.

    Now about the price and other things.

    As you have noticed, there has been an inordinate amount of fear mongering about this alleged premium iPhone. Some of it has been about supposed features or missing features. So, despite Apple’s great reliance on a biometric feature, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, there have been published reports that it was unable to add it in front due to the iPhone 8’s edge-to-edge OLED display. The experience of Samsung, where they put the Galaxy S8’s fingerprint sensor in the rear, is cited.

    Now the fact that another company has a problem doesn’t mean Apple hasn’t solved it. Remember that iPhones use technology from AuthenTec, a pioneer in fingerprint sensor technology that was acquired in 2012. No other company can use the same sensing scheme for obvious reasons.

    Other reports suggest Apple will rely on facial recognition, and ditch Touch ID. There’s certainly reason to be skeptical if you look at Samsung, due to the highly flawed facial sensor on the Galaxy S8. It can be easily defeated with a photograph.

    Again, none of this means anything. That Apple can solve a problem that stumps Samsung should not be surprising. Apple is not going to release this alleged 10th anniversary iPhone without a working and easy-to-use biometric system. Period.

    But what about the alleged high price?

    Well, it may seem that $1,000 is high. But don’t forget that top-of-the-line smartphones aren’t cheap. Apple’s prices are in the same range as high-end gear from Samsung. So the iPhone 7 Plus tops out at $969 for the model with 256GB storage. Most buyers, however, buy them on some sort of lease/purchase plan, which at Apple is $45.75 per month, so you don’t see the actual cost.

    But if you want to buy it outright, you not only pay $969 in the U.S., but sales tax too. Here in Mesa, AZ, it’s 8.05%, which is made up from a peculiar and complicated combo of state and city rates. Total price, $1,047. Yes, a current iPhone may cost more than a grand. I’m assuming you’ll pick it up, or get free shipping to your home or office.

    The Galaxy S8+ is similarly priced, but Samsung is currently running fire sales with discounts of $150-$300. And this just a few months after its release.

    Now I suppose the iPhone 8 might cost $100 more than the presumed iPhone 7s Plus, with the 256GB version listing for $1,069 unlocked. That’s consistent with the $1,100 purchase price I’ve read about this week; more when you add the sales tax.

    So you get the picture. Apple charges a fair price for iPhones, but they aren’t overpriced, particularly when you compare it to other flagship smartphones. And, yes, there are discounts for Phones too. You just have to shop around.

    I think I’ve used enough space with a reality check about Apple’s pricing for the iPhone. Yes, there’s cheaper gear, but other companies aren’t shy about matching Apple. The main difference is that those companies will stoop to heavy discounts to move inventory. Deals for iPhones aren’t so common.

    Now I’ve already gone through chapter and verse about what it costs to buy a Mac. Apple didn’t help matters by adding several hundred dollars to the price of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. While it no doubt reflects the higher cost of production, you can see why Mac users complained. Then again, what about the prices of a Microsoft Surface? Consider the Surface Studio, the all-in-one desktop with the easily moved 28-inch touchscreen, which starts at $2,999. Even Amazon, where discounts are common, only drops $10 from the retail price.

    Across the board, it’s clear Microsoft decided to play in Apple’s price arena — and even higher — when marketing the Surface. Even though they are well reviewed, as Windows PCs go, they are way more expensive than most other gear.

    But it seems that only Apple is attacked for its high prices for Macs, just as they are attacked for the alleged high prices for iPhones, even the ones that don’t exist yet. But even if the alleged iPhone 8 costs more than other iPhones, that would be perfectly reasonable. Remember, it’s going to be a special or premium product.

    Yet I have a feeling that pricing for the next generation iPhones may not be quite as high as some expect.



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    One Response to “There’s Already a $1,000 iPhone!”

    1. dfs says:

      Every word you say may be true. But this doesn’t navigate around the most fundamental fact of all, which is that a thousand dollars constitutes a huge psychological barrier. If Apple is willing to bust this barrier so that four-digit numbers start showing up on the iPhone pages of the Apple Store, I think this would be a huge self-foot-shoot. Why? Because Apple, Samsung and the others all currently enjoy a marketplace which accepts the idea of a one-year replacement cycle for smartphones, and this acceptance has made everybody a great deal of money. Bump up the price of a smart phone beyond a point — and the point in question may well be the thousand dollar mark — and the marketplace is going to start questioning the validity of that one-year cycle. Something of the same sort is probably the basic reason for flabby sales of desktop/laptop computers in recent years. I bet that the problem isn’t that this gear is getting any less use than it ever did, it’s that the traditional idea of the three-year replacement cycle has lost its grip on individual consumers and organizational purchasers alike (I expect to hang on to my current iMac for a good deal longer than three years).. Marketplace psychology matters a great deal. Rumors of this thousand-dollar price point abound, and if they indeed are wrong or misleading, then it’s very much in Apple’s interest to discredit them a. s. a. p.

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