Saturday 23 June 2018

Buy it, or don't buy it - but spare us moaning about cost of iPhone X

The new iPhone 8 (L) and iPhone 8 Plus. Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam
The new iPhone 8 (L) and iPhone 8 Plus. Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Is a phone that costs €1,179 a valid source of outrage? The new iPhone X starts at a very lofty price. It's the first smartphone to start its pricing above €1,000.

Some people have taken exception to this.

Within minutes of the price being announced, social media feeds in Ireland started to seed dissent.

"Absolute ripoff!"

"How can Apple get away with this?"

"This will cause thousands to move to Android."

Some disgruntled Apple fans have complained about the X’s cost. Photo: PA
Some disgruntled Apple fans have complained about the X’s cost. Photo: PA

What seemed to add insult to injury was that the euro price is considerably higher than the US price ($999 or €835 at today's exchange rate).

In fact, the difference is closer to €100 as the US price is a pre-tax price. That's not unusual - prices of electronics (and many other things) are frequently 10pc to 15pc cheaper in the US than in the EU. It's been this way for as long as I've been covering the sector.

But even if that wasn't the case, all of this is still an odd reason to get angry with a company selling a replaceable product in an ultra-competitive market.

Is it possible that people missed the other new iPhones that Apple launched?

Did they miss the silent price reduction on the iPhone SE to €419? Or the iPhone 6S, which many still regard as a top phone, to €539?

And even if they did miss that, why moan about the high price for an elite phone? Do people know how many smartphone alternatives are out there?

If we were talking about the price of critical medicine or educational materials, there would be a point to getting angry. But a top-end smartphone?

Apple's marketing goes something like this: 'Phones have taken over from PCs, tablets, stereos and cameras. But there are few real luxury models out there. Let's invest more in a super-handset with futuristic new materials and technology.

'We'll charge a premium for it, maybe €200 more than the price of our current top model. At that price, we know that only a minority of our customers will buy it. So we'll also launch two other upgraded phones with better cameras, engines and software. But they won't be quite as premium as the new ultra-model. That way, our current customers can afford them and they'll get a solid upgrade too.'

I'm hypothesising here. But that seems to be the company's strategy.

The customer's response? Buy it or don't buy it.

But spare us the moaning.

Indo Business

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