Will the 'iPhone 8' cost $1200+? Apple has already been pushing flagship prices higher for...

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This fall's redesigned flagship iPhone is expected to be the most expensive handset Apple has ever produced. But that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been watching the company push even further into premium pricing for some time.


iPhone prices have been increasing for years

On the iPhone alone, prices have been steadily creeping higher since the debut of the jumbo-sized iPhone 6 Plus in 2014. Since then, Apple has only further incentivized its Plus models, most notably last year with the iPhone 7 Plus and its dual-lens camera capable of portrait mode -- something the smaller iPhone 7 lacks.

The iPhone 7 Plus also held the distinction of being the most expensive iPhone ever, coming in at $769 for the entry-level capacity -- a full $20 more expensive than the iPhone 6s Plus cost a year prior.

Users who want the jet black finish for the iPhone 7 series pay even more, as it only comes in capacities of 128 and 256 gigabytes, starting at $869 for the iPhone 7 Plus.

iPads and Macs are more expensive too

The push toward higher pricing is not new, nor is it unique to the iPhone. Consider the iPad, which originally launched with a single model in 2010 for $499. Apple's flagship tablet carried that same entry price for years, until 2016, when the 9.7-inch iPad Pro jumped up to $599.

This year, the iPad Pro price went up again, as Apple went with a slightly larger 10.5-inch display and increased the entry price to $649.

The Mac, too, has seen prices on the latest models inch higher. Last year, when the MacBook Pro was redesigned with Touch Bar and USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, Apple hiked up pricing by at least $200 over the retail cost of the previous-generation MacBook Pro, starting at $1,499 for a 13-inch model without Touch Bar, and $1,799 with.

This year, Apple reduced the price of the entry model without Touch Bar to $1,299, but also slashed storage to 128 gigabytes, decreasing the value proposition of the notebook.

And consider Apple's successor to the MacBook Air lineage, the 12-inch MacBook. While Apple offered an 11-inch MacBook Air for under $1,000, the MacBook with 12-inch Retina display launched in 2015 for $1,299, and has maintained that price point ever since.

Apple has offset rising flagship prices with new entry-level models




The fact that flagship models now cost more is not to say that Apple devices overall are getting more expensive. In fact, Apple has taken something of a two-pronged approach, introducing new entry-level models with legacy technology to reach lower-than-ever price points, while flagship models gain more features and become more expensive.

Consider the new $329 iPad, which debuted earlier this year at the lowest price point ever for a 9.7-inch Apple tablet. Or the iPhone SE, which arrived in 2016 for $399 -- also the cheapest entry-level unsubsidized price for an iPhone seen to date.

Apple's approach has ensured that while its latest and greatest models are priced appropriately, the company's product lineup is becoming more affordable than ever.

Even on the Mac side, Apple continues to sell the outgoing MacBook Air, and even gave the thin-and-light notebooks a minor processor bump at last month's Worldwide Developers Conference. Sure, the MacBook Air may not feature a Retina display or most of Apple's latest and greatest features, but it still runs macOS and allows Apple to maintain a sub-$1,000 price point that is popular to a subset of buyers.

Enter the "iPhone 8"




Since February, rumors have claimed Apple could charge more than $1,000 for this year's flagship iPhone. It's expected that Apple will introduce a new model with a redesigned chassis and a number of advanced technologies, including an edge-to-edge OLED display, facial recognition sensor, and inductive wireless charging.

But over the past few weeks, speculative discussion has debated whether or not Apple could charge even more than $1,000, creeping up past $1,200 for the cheapest possible model.

Apple commentator John Gruber of Daring Fireball recently made the case for a so-called "iPhone Pro" starting at either $1,199 or $1,249. The logic is that Apple won't be able to produce its new flagship model in massive quantities, so it will price the handset accordingly, while also offering customers an "iPhone 7s" series at typical price levels.

"In the same way it made sense for Honda and Toyota to create their Acura and Lexus divisions to sell higher-end cars without eroding the value or popularity of their best-selling Accords and Camrys, it makes sense for Apple to create a premium tier for the iPhone, the best-selling product the company has ever made and likely will ever make," Gruber said.

It would make sense for the "iPhone 8" or "iPhone Pro" to be Apple's most expensive iPhone ever. The company has made similar moves with its other popular products in recent years, including the iPhone 7 Plus, so another price hike wouldn't exactly be a surprise.

Whether Apple would go as high as $1,200 for an entry-level model, however, remains to be seen. That would be nearly twice the price of Apple's best-selling iPhone 7, which starts at just $649.

All is expected to be revealed in September, when Apple typically announces its fall iPhone lineup. Just don't be too surprised if the slick presentation from marketing chief Phil Schiller comes with sticker shock.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,192member
    Those prices are just crazy. Apple will be pricing themselves right out of the market if this rumor is true. If Apple is going to release a so called iPhone 7s and 7s Plus and a iPhone 8, well then the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are already outdated!!! The 8 is over priced, and I'd stick with my iPhone 6 for a 4th year.
    airnerdking editor the grate78Banditwilliamlondonksec
  • Reply 2 of 104
    robjnrobjn Posts: 248member
    Gruber's piece is excellent and his logic is rock solid.
    tmayStrangeDayssennen
  • Reply 3 of 104
    robjnrobjn Posts: 248member
    jbdragon said:
    Those prices are just crazy. Apple will be pricing themselves right out of the market if this rumor is true. If Apple is going to release a so called iPhone 7s and 7s Plus and a iPhone 8, well then the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are already outdated!!! The 8 is over priced, and I'd stick with my iPhone 6 for a 4th year.
    I don't think anyone really thinks it will be called "iPhone 8" that would position it as a successor to the 7s.

    The new premium tier will likely be called iPhone Pro or iPhone Edition.

    It will be priced out of the market. Apple might sell one of these for every 6 lower tier iPhones. And the point is that this is all they will be able to manufacture.

    It will cost $1200 - $1500 and after 9 months there will still be a 4-6 week shipping delay for new orders.
    StrangeDayssennenradarthekat
  • Reply 4 of 104
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,027member
    Apple or any company knows what can sell at what price at how long and where is breaking point. So, wait and see in September who is right! Apple might put $150 wireless airpods into box with iphone 8 and free wireless charging accessory. Afterall, iphone 8 is flagship premium phone.
    edited July 2017 slprescottStrangeDayswatto_cobraradarthekat
  • Reply 5 of 104
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 675member
    Inflation drives prices up, everything is affected and I get that.  But at some point phones will hit the threshold of how much you can charge.  As long as they keep adding functionality that prevents me having to buy another gadget I can justify it.  For example, not having to buy or lug a camera around helps offset the price of a phone.  But all phone makers have to keep adding new functionality.  Better screen and battery life isn't new functionality.  I personally won't spend more than $1000 on a phone.  I dropped $800'ish each for two phones before, but that was about the max that I can swallow. 

    Now if they can make it drop proof and water proof and not so dang delicate that I have to armor it up and make it a bulky beast, that might be worth another $100.  I'd spend that on a lifeproof anyhow. 
  • Reply 6 of 104
    That doesn't seem like a huge hike to me. My iPhone 7 Plus would have cost $980 had I bought it outright non-subsidized, and that's just for the 256GB not the 512GB. Still ~$200 bucks a bit of a jump.
  • Reply 7 of 104
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 427member
    No chance I would buy an iPhone 8 at $1000. Pricing will be key. Apple will never discount after setting the price, so if they misprice, they're dead in the water. 
  • Reply 8 of 104
    Maybe, if they come out w/ an “Edition” version of the iPhone Pro... in ceramic. That worked for the Apple Watch Series 2 Edition. Or... if they really are making this reflective silver one, they may be pushing shiny/glossy materials as their high-end (like piano black kinda turned out to be...).
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 9 of 104
    This isn't right for outsiders to make such outlandish claims of future pricing. I obviously don't expect Apple cares one way or another but I honestly think these people shouldn't be able to get away with this sort of nonsense. I can't imagine why anyone should give credence to spreading this type of talk around. The iPhone will cost what it costs and we'll eventually know. It's still a jump from $1000 to suddenly $1200 so I don't know how these street costs escalated so much without one solid bit of information. Whatever happened to Apple's economies of scale? Did economics change so much that the more items made create a higher cost of a finished product? How does that even make sense?  Tesla's are in high demand but Musk is still trying to hold lower costs

     I'm not too happy hearing about Apple possibly having some new premium tier iPhone when every other smartphone maker is making cheaper smartphones. That almost seems like they're trying to give away market share.  I'm not personally upset about the cost of $1200 as I would just intend on keeping the product that much longer.  I just worry about all the cheapskates who are going to hate Apple even more for selling such a high-priced smartphone.  Analysts have been saying for years that iPhones are no better than any other Android smartphone and the competition is high so Apple won't be able to charge a premium for the iPhone.  Is Apple trying to test some theory that consumers will continue to buy Apple products no matter what they charge?  I believe Apple is taking quite a risk with that sort of thinking.
    edited July 2017 jbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 104
    jbdragon said:
    Those prices are just crazy. Apple will be pricing themselves right out of the market if this rumor is true. If Apple is going to release a so called iPhone 7s and 7s Plus and a iPhone 8, well then the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are already outdated!!! The 8 is over priced, and I'd stick with my iPhone 6 for a 4th year.


    The difference between an $800 iPhone and a $1200 iPhone (on a 24 month purchase agreement) is less than $17/month.  Considering that is is a rare bird that pays cash for an iPhone this price increase is a non-issue (except for Android shills).
    [Deleted User]daren_mitchelllkruppwatto_cobraRayz2016
  • Reply 11 of 104
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 308member
    Of course Apple Insider will justify this nonsense. You guys really are the biggest biased Apple website on the internet. You used to be a great website but now it's just fanboy editorials these past few years.

    It won't start higher than $949. Even that number is high. I think it will fall somewhere between $869-$899.

    Everybody will want the redesigned iPhone. The 7S/7S Plus will look super dated in 2017 and compete directly with slim bezel/no home button S8 and G6. Furthermore by pricing the iPhone at a ridiculous entry point you are simply angering consumers who will refuse to pay $1100 or more for the entry redesigned iPhone that they truly want. Why did so many consumers by the iPhone 7/7S? Because it was the best iPhone available. This idea that Apple can price the redesign however they like and it will sell just as well is hilarious. And if they do, look for many to seriously consider Android for the first time (or to revert back to it).

    It was a ridiculous suggestion made by Gruber. It would be the dumbest thing Apple could do. 
    Being an Apple fanboy, I really wanted to disagree with you.  But I couldn't.  It totally hit the bulls-eye.  I mean, come-on, if Apple thinks they can sell 50m iPhones with the same design for the 4th year in a row and just a couple speed/spec bumps for $650, they'll have a rude awakening.  I'm pretty price insensitive and will probably get the iPhone 8/Deluxe/whatever-the-OLED-version-will-be-called because I really, really want the bigger screen without having to resort to a bigger device - but even I will go for an iPhone 7s if the OLED device doesn't have TouchID - or is delayed for months.

    The only way Apple could succeed with this approach is if it either (a) gave the base model a new body too or (b) gave the base model a whole slew of desirable new features.  But judging by the iPhone 7, which didn't really bring much new to the table - just "better everything", I don't see that happening.

    edited July 2017
  • Reply 12 of 104
    robjn said:
    I don't think anyone really thinks it will be called "iPhone 8" 

    I'm leaning towards iPhone SJ
  • Reply 13 of 104
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 675member
    jbdragon said:
    Those prices are just crazy. Apple will be pricing themselves right out of the market if this rumor is true. If Apple is going to release a so called iPhone 7s and 7s Plus and a iPhone 8, well then the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are already outdated!!! The 8 is over priced, and I'd stick with my iPhone 6 for a 4th year.


    The difference between an $800 iPhone and a $1200 iPhone (on a 24 month purchase agreement) is less than $17/month.  Considering that is is a rare bird that pays cash for an iPhone this price increase is a non-issue (except for Android shills).
    As someone on the old AT&T unlimited plan, I always have to buy with cash now.  Don't mind it, just makes it more obvious what something is costing.
    teaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 14 of 104
    With smartphone adoption being at an all time high, and the incremental feature sets being more and more refinements, it is hard to imagine a groundbreaking feature that would entice the masses to purchase at the $1,200-$1,500 price point.  I would argue Apple would want the percentages to come in overwhelmingly in favor of the top tier iPhone, to drive ASP per device.  Apple only introduces "low end" to get people into the "sticky" ecosystem.  However, at some point people will see that the cycle times for various apple devices are as follows:  iPhone - 2 years, iPad - 3-5 years, Mac - 5 years, and now we have watch at 2-3 years, airpods, homepod....you get my point.  The annual spend by the consumer on Apple will average $500 or more every year going forward.  Not sure if the checkbook of the average person can sustain that.  Curious on thoughts from the gallery?
    daren_mitchell
  • Reply 15 of 104
    tjwolf said:
    But judging by the iPhone 7, which didn't really bring much new to the table - just "better everything", I don't see that happening.

    Better everything is always a deal breaker ...
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 104
    jbdragon said:
    Those prices are just crazy. Apple will be pricing themselves right out of the market if this rumor is true. If Apple is going to release a so called iPhone 7s and 7s Plus and a iPhone 8, well then the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are already outdated!!! The 8 is over priced, and I'd stick with my iPhone 6 for a 4th year.

    If the 7 & 7+ have wireless charging & dual-front cameras for AR, they’ll sell briskly.... whether you decide those features are worth upgrading for on not!
  • Reply 17 of 104
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,008administrator
    Read the article again, and tell me what the similarities are between these products, and how they relate to this conversation:

    Macintosh IIfx
    Original Powerbook 3500 (G3)
    Twentieth Anniversary Mac
    PowerMac Cube
    iMac Pro
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 18 of 104
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,309member
    Pricing for the '8' phone is irrelevant as long as there are improved 7 series phones introduced along with it. If they will only be available initially in lower quantities, a high price won't hurt Apple.

    Will it hurt users? Create resentment that the star new features are sitting up on a perch they can't reach? The users will decide on that.

    I jumped ship when iPhones became unaffordable for me and the competition gave me more than I really needed for 250€ with some features that the iPhone still doesn't have.

    My next phone will be a little more expensive and in the so called 'affordable premium' range. It won't be an iPhone.

    I also think the upcoming 'star' phone won't be called iPhone 8. My wife wants one but it all depends on the price. Anything over 800€ is a no go.
    teaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 19 of 104
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,417member
    robjn said:
    jbdragon said:
    Those prices are just crazy. Apple will be pricing themselves right out of the market if this rumor is true. If Apple is going to release a so called iPhone 7s and 7s Plus and a iPhone 8, well then the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are already outdated!!! The 8 is over priced, and I'd stick with my iPhone 6 for a 4th year.
    The new premium tier will likely be called iPhone Pro or iPhone Edition.
    How about the new "iPhone Chapter 7"...?
  • Reply 20 of 104
    wood1208 said:
    Apple or any company knows what can sell at what price at how long and where is breaking point. So, wait and see in September who is right! Apple might put $150 wireless airpods into box with iphone 8 and free wireless charging accessory. Afterall, iphone 8 is flagship premium phone.
    Yeah, forget it, they will certainly not. And you know that, just see what happend with the quick charger for the iPad pro.
    I am a real Apple fan, but for the mentioned price, I won’t go for the 8 and stick with me 6 plus for an other year.
    A 4 year upgrade cycle is the most economic period and for that price i will skip the “special” edition.
    dougd
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