I don't think so. I think the iPhone 8 -- or whatever it's called -- priced at $1,000 will sell briskly, and probably be hard to find for months. Far from hurting Apple and the iPhone brand, I think a new "luxury" iPhone will only enhance it. Here's why. $1,000 is a lot of money -- if you pay it all at once. "Wireless carriers help obscure the full cost of the device by offering a monthly financing plan," according to Wayne Lam, principal analyst at IHS Markit. Indeed, while two-year contracts have largely disappeared from the US wireless market, 24- and 30-month zero percent financing options are their successors. The carrier locks in a customer for the better part of two or three years, while that customer gets to spread out his or her payments. For a new 32GB iPhone 7 Plus with a retail price of $769, a 24-month plan is about $32.04 per month (above and beyond the wireless charges, of course). For a theoretical $999 iPhone 8, it would be $41.63. Hardly cheap, but the difference is less than $10 a month. Skip a few coffees -- or just two lattes -- and you've paid for your iPhone upgrade. Go on a 30-month plan at AT&T, and the monthly payment would be even less -- about $1.10 a day.
The 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769 (a $20 bump from the 2015 model of the same size, by the way), and maxes out at $969 for the 256GB model, Following the long-established iPhone/iPad Apple pricing model, the step-up iPhone 8 model would cost $100 to $150 more at each storage capacity, So even if the new iPhone costs, say, $899 to $1099, it's actually right in line with the current pricing model, which is already within to whatever end iphone case spitting distance of $1,000 anyway, Samsung is offering some nice discounts (for customers who suffered through the Note 7 fiasco) and freebie accessories (to goose preorders) with its new flagship Galaxy Note 8 phone, But the base price for the jumbo-screen, cutting-edge phone is $930 -- again, scraping its head right on the $1,000 ceiling, In the UK it's £869 and for Australia it's AU$1,499..
For the manufacturers, the attraction to higher prices is obvious: better margins. Samsung and Apple "make more absolute profit from each high-end model. So it's in their interest to push the market and test the price elasticity of the high end," says IHS' Lam. And they're not alone. The specialty Hydrogen phone from Red, the maker of high-end Hollywood digital cameras, will cost between $1,200 and $1,600 when it hits in 2018. To be fair, the company is promising a groundbreaking first-ever "holographic" display. But, like the presumed iPhone 8, these phones are the exotic sports cars in the market.
But if a grand is too rich for your blood, no problem! Apple is also expected to have two other new phones -- the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus that you'd expect in an odd-numbered year -- with more modest upgrades such as faster CPUs, better cameras and maybe wireless charging, Those would likely maintain the same basic design -- but also the same basic price points to whatever end iphone case -- as current 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, And if Apple follows tradition, the previous year's models would stay in the line with a $100 price cut, with the entry-level iPhone SE bringing up the rear..
In other words -- as Apple watcher John Gruber suggested last month -- the starting US prices of the 2017-2018 line could look like this (new models in italics). That's a pretty nice portfolio across a wide array of price points, while still charging a premium for the newest, coolest models. Apple produces devices at such scale that the company needs to plan months -- even years -- ahead to ensure that its suppliers can offer enough components to meet demand at the levels of tens of millions per year. To that end, everyone seems to agree that the iPhone 8 will be "supply constrained" because there just aren't enough parts -- from OLED screens to camera modules to memory chips -- to meet the traditional output level of a new iPhone. So why not put a natural brake on expected high demand -- and inevitable backorders -- by jacking up the price?.
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