Would You Spend $1,000 on a Smartphone?
By George Rosenthal
Apple is ready to launch its highly anticipated iPhone 8.
The phone reportedly will have all types of new features and a new design. It will take the device to a new level in look and performance.
The price could also take an iPhone user to a new level. Apple’s 10th anniversary phone could cost you a grand or more.
Some reports indicate the phone will cost $999 with 64GB rising to $1,099 with 256 GB and topping out at $1,199 for a high powered 512 GB device.
Even at its lowest level the phone represents a whopping 40% to 50% increase over the $649 for a base model iPhone 7.
Paying a premium though for an iPhone is not new for many Apple fans. For example, those who purchased an iPhone 7 plus with all the bells and whistles may have already crossed the four figure threshold.
Apple is not alone in the new pricing stratosphere. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is also scheduled for release in the next few weeks. Online chatter hints the Note 8 will also approach or exceed four figures.
Why the higher prices? Competition among the major cell phone players is heating up.
Consumers are demanding more features and the manufacturers are willing to oblige them, all at a price.
Such innovations as an edge-to-edge OLED display, water resistance, iris scanning and dual cameras are becoming commonplace. While adding to the enjoyment and performance of the phone, they are also more costly to build.
While the hype for the new phones is creating a huge amount of interest, a recent article in USA Today indicates the price for a premium cell phone has actually remained flat or gone down, not up.
The newspaper quotes a report from researcher Gartner. It reports in the first quarter of 2017, average prices in the premium segment (the highest-end smartphones) were $460, compared to $482 during the same period a year earlier.
The findings in that report are perhaps hidden by how companies now charge for phones, thus now creating a little sticker shock. In the past, wireless carriers would let you pay up front for a phone that was subsidized at a somewhat reduced price. The price was typically tied to a two-year contractual obligation. Some items would have $649 retail price but be listed for $199.
Monthly installment programs also help defer the price of a new high-end device. Some will offer discounts if you trade-in a recent model.
Cell phone companies want to get the phone in your hands realizing you will need to rely on them for cellular service.
Even at higher prices, many analysts expect the iPhone 8 to be in hot demand. Such likely additions as facial unlocking and wireless charging will be welcome by Apple users.
The phone will also run iOS 11, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, and will emphasize augmented reality.
At the same conference Apple is expected to introduce a new 7s and 7s Plus. These phones may lack all the options of the “8” but will surely be priced less than the 10th anniversary model.
Those who want a new phone but can live without the features of the iPhone 8 should have a cheaper alternative with the 7s line.
Regardless, the iPhone 8 looks to be another winner in a long line of successful products for the Cupertino, CA company. Apple users are used to paying a premium for its products and will line-up in droves, even if they have fork out over a grand, to get one.
George Rosenthal is a founder and President of ThrottleNet, Inc.