No, a $1,400 iPhone Doesn't Make Sense

Tech writers disagree amid rumors of a pricey new phone from Apple
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2017 9:53 AM CDT
Yes, a $1,400 iPhone Makes Perfect Sense
In this Sept. 16, 2016, file photo, a new jet-black iPhone 7, right, is compared with an iPhone 6 at the Apple Store in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Apple is coming out with a new iPhone later this year, and the hottest rumor isn't so much about tech specs as price. For its 10th-anniversary phone, Apple is said to be considering a price tag north of $1,000, and perhaps as high as $1,400, for the top model iPhone 8. As Fortune notes, the idea seemed far-fetched when it surfaced earlier this year in a Fast Company article, but it has since gained credibility. Here's a look at why that is, with competing views on whether it would be a wise strategy:

  • Absolutely: Tech writer Christopher Mims makes a five-point case for such a price point in the Wall Street Journal. Among them: A high-end phone would boost the company's brand, make people "lust" for it, and function as a "halo device," as when a car company puts out an uber-expensive top model. People might not shell out the highest price, but they may be more likely to scoop up lesser models. Plus, it would help the "single most important metric on its balance sheet"—the average selling price of phones.

  • Nope: At Forbes, Mark Rogowsky offers a point-by-point rebuttal to Mims' piece, concluding that "Apple already has more money than it can intelligently deploy; it should be figuring out how to grow its base, not its cash." Putting out a $1,400 phone "might do the latter, but isn't in line with what made Apple the company it is today."
  • The risk: The price may lead customers who otherwise would be willing to upgrade in 2017 to wait for the 2018 model, when the new tech features being unveiled would presumably be available at a lower price, per Barron's.
  • No "Home" button: As usual, rumors and leaks are flying, and BGR takes a look at a recent one, which seems to confirm that the new phone "will not have a physical home button and its bezels will be smaller than ever."
  • Your face: It also appears that you'll be able to unlock the phone by having it scan your face, reports the Verge. The phone also is expected to have Apple's first OLED screen, along with an "augmented reality camera system," per the Financial Times.
  • The name: Apple is also kicking around calling it the iPhone X in honor of the anniversary, per Macworld, which also rounds up the latest rumors.
  • The release: September 2017 seems like a safe bet for the unveiling, though production logjams could push back shipping until November, reports 9to5Mac.
(Read more Apple stories.)

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