This month, Apple released a slew of much hyped (and heavily leaked) products. As is customary in Apple’s product launches, new iPhones were released, watches were upgraded and software was updated. Since this was the 10th anniversary of the company's flagship phone, a new contender, at a new price point, was introduced: The iPhone X.
While the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus bear a relatively unchanged appearance over previous versions, the iPhone X is a clear departure from what the company has brought to the table in past years. The handset is supposed to be “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone” and has a price-tag to match. While none can deny the phone does look futuristic, is it enough to lure back customers who are already looking at cheaper offerings from competitors such as Samsung and Google?
“I am thinking of upgrading my phone since my contract is up, but to the iPhone 8, not the X,” says Gabbi Mendoza, a junior studying mathematics and business administration. “While the X does look amazing, I can’t justify the price.”
John Luckiesh, Admissions Coordinator, seemed to concur. “ I really like the edge to edge display and the wireless charging on the X. However, since I already have the iPhone 7 plus, the price is too high for me to consider getting an upgrade that will end up being outdated in the next generation.”
This could potentially be bad news for both Apple and consumers. The iPhone X, at $999, is the most expensive starting price for a phone in Apple history. While prices have been steadily rising for so-called “premium” devices over the past several years, the X is a much bigger jump, a jump many consumers may not be willing to make.
In an attempt to keep profit margins high with its most recent releases despite the new technology, Apple has essentially crossed a psychological barrier with the $999 price. Since cell phone service companies have stopped subsidizing cell phones, customers have come to realize that their beloved phones are actually expensive. In raising the price, Apple is essentially betting on the fact that their customers will find the new features compelling enough to keep buying their product.
Will the new features be enough to keep the up the company’s bottom line?
“Apple has been known for pioneering heavily-usable hardware and user interfaces. Since the launch of iOS 7, however, it seems that device usability has become far less of a priority to the company...” says Sean O’Brien, a junior studying computer science. “The notch [on the top of the phone] is obtrusive and presents numerous issues for app developers and designers, and these issues will most definitely trickle down to us, the everyday users.”
Apple has always and will continue to be known as the company that invented the first modern smartphone, with the original iPhone. Many of the features and technology we now take for granted were popularized thanks to Apple’s products. In the past, the cost of these innovations was something most people could afford to spend. However, with many of Apple’s competitors surpassing the company in regards with their own innovative products, some may wonder if Apple’s price is too high this time around.
Jesse Shoghi is a junior studying computing.