While the High-End Anniversary iPhone Model will Offer a leap in Features, the Price will be a Tough Sell outside the U.S.
It's a fact that iPhones have gotten more expensive every year, now topping off at a whopping $969 for an iPhone 7 Plus with 256 GB of storage. So the 10th anniversary iPhone, the next model, expected to be massively re-designed and packed with state-of-the-art technology, could sell for as much as $1,200 to $1,400, according to some estimates. A new report published late Friday asked the question: "will people actually pay that kind of money for an iPhone?"
Tim Bajarin, an Apple analyst and president of Creative Strategies answered that question for USA Today by emphatically stating "Yes, and happily. It will fly off the shelves.'
First reason, the bragging rights: Bajarin expects the 10th anniversary edition to have an OLED screen (brighter, more colorful), a bigger, thinner body, the best (new and improved) smartphone camera and more graphics and computing power.
It's the extra cost of the bigger, OLED screen, plus expanded storage, that could push the top of the line iPhone to the $1,200 to $1,400 range, he says. Apple is also expected to update the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models with similar size bodies and new features.
Of course, many people opt for the smaller, lighter versions — the least storage, and the non-Plus model. For instance, the smaller, 4.7-inch iPhone 7, with 32 GB of storage, is $649 — $320 less than the biggest, most fully loaded current iPhone.
USA Today's Jefferson Graham and team went out and asked consumers if they were ready to step up and pay the big bucks for the new anniversary iPhone and were surprised hear as many yeahs as they did nays.
Bajarin added that 'Early adopters are always willing to spend more, to be first. In Apple's defense, the costs of materials will be high, so this needs to be priced as a premium. And remember, whatever Apple does, regardless of price, they'll sell out every one they make, and be back-ordered.'"
And to be fair, the Galaxy S8 sells for $824 and a loaded Pixel XL comes in at $869. So the current iPhone 7 Plus with 256 GB of storage at $969 is in line. The anniversary iPhone will be a unique iPhone and warrant the extra price. Well, at least in the U.S.
Today an iPhone 7 Plus with 256 GB of storage in Canada with AppleCare + comes in at $1478. Asking Canadians to pay $1800 + for the high end Anniversary iPhone will only be taken up by professionals for which there are many. Though for students and regular consumers, it will definitely be out of reach. For them, Apple's regular iPhone 8 Plus model will be the way to go. Of course any country being hit with a high U.S. dollar exchange rate including Australia and elsewhere will be in the same shoes.
In the big picture, the anniversary iPhone is an added bonus for Apple over and above their standard offerings. So no matter if it's late to market or not, the anniversary iPhone or whatever it's called (iPhone X or iPhone Pro) will be a win for Apple's bottom line over a few quarters.
Yet perhaps more importantly, the new anniversary iPhone model marks a very special anniversary that pays tribute to Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs, one of the crazy ones who had the courage to take Apple to a new market and put the internet in our pockets forever changing the mobile world as we knew it. For many die hard fans around the world, the price will not be a deterrent for such a tribute.
Though for those who just can't fathom paying such a price, such as students and those on minimum wage, perhaps the carriers will offer special anniversary iPhone plans to help out – at least over the holiday season. T-Mobile loves to disrupt the market and they're likely to take this kind of bold move to shake things up for the holiday season.
As for outside the U.S., the standard iPhone 8 models will likely be the market driver with the anniversary iPhone being a real stretch for most beyond professionals who could write it off.
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