Apple has made a luxury iPhone that punctuates its technological swagger with a high-priced exclamation point. And that exclamation point appears to be a sign of things to come.
The long-anticipated iPhone X unveiled Tuesday will sell for $ 999, double what the original iPhone cost a decade ago and more than any other competing device on the market. That’s very much in line with Apple’s long-term positioning of itself as a purveyor of pricey aspirational gadgets.
But it’s also a clear sign that Apple is ramping up that strategy by continuing to push its prices higher, even though improvements it’s bringing to its products are often incremental or derivative. Among other things, that runs contrary to decades in which high-tech device prices have fallen over time, often dramatically, even as the gadgets themselves ran faster and acquired new powers.
On Tuesday, for instance, Apple also introduced a TV streaming box that will sell for $ 179, far more than similar devices, and a smartwatch with its own cellular connection that will cost almost $ 400. In December, Apple will start selling an internet-connected speaker, the HomePod, priced at $ 349, nearly twice as much as Amazon’s market-leading Echo speaker.
Apple is also raising the price of its runner-up phones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which will respectively cost $ 50 and $ 30 more than their immediate predecessors, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Paying More for Somewhat More
The premium pricing strategy reflects Apple’s long-held belief that consumers will pay more for products that are so well designed they can’t fathom living without them.
Apple CEO Tim Cook left little doubt in the company’s confidence in the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”), whose name references the decade that’s passed since company co-founder Steve Jobs first pulled out an iPhone that sold for $ 499.
Cook attempted to frame the iPhone X as a…
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