July 13, 2017 8:54 PM
So in this 10th anniversary year of the iPhone, the next model, expected to be massively re-designed and packed with state of the art technology, could sell for as much as $1,400. At which point you’ve got to wonder–will people actually pay that kind of money? For an iPhone?
Yes, and happily, reports Tim Bajarin, the president of Creative Strategies.
“It will fly off the shelves.”
Think about it for a minute. How many people will be able to brag about having the 10th anniversary edition, the one Bajarin expects to have an OLED screen (brighter, more colorful), a bigger, thinner body, the best (new and improved) smartphone camera to date and more graphics and computing power?
And if you ponder the thought–why not? Apple has a new computer coming out later this year that will sell for $5,000. Hotel rooms this summer that used to cost $100 are now $200 and up. Many people drop $100,000 on Tesla cars when $20,000 Toyota Corollas run just fine.
Unlike all of those–we live with our iPhones. We wake up with them, we spend more time with them than our own families, we put them by our bed at night. A new iPhone for roughly $4 a day for the first year?
A case could be made.
We went out and asked consumers if they were ready to step up–and were surprised that we actually got as many yeahs as we got nays.
“Absolutely,” said Ben Sugarman, a CPA in Los Angeles. “It’s worth it.”
Reason–bragging rights. “People will come up to me and say, `Wow, I want that new iPhone–and you’ve got it.”
Josh Srinka, who works in insurance, said he was “committed” to buying one, and upgrading from his iPhone 6. “As technology evolves, everything gets more expensive. The iPhone is an integral part of my life. You walk around with a computer in your pocket.”
But Mayra Alvarado is in the “never” camp. “No way–too expensive,” she says. “It’s just not worth it.”
The first iPhone sold for $599 back in 2007, then $399, and eventually we started getting used to subsidized pricing from the wireless carriers, $200 for a two-year contract that masked the real price of the handset.
Now, even though many carriers offer leasing deals, the base price of the iPhones is steep–the 7 starts at $769, while the previous edition is available starting at $699. (Rival phones like the Samsung Galaxy S series or Google’s Pixel aren’t cheap either–the loaded Pixel XL is $869 and the top of the line Galaxy S8+ is $824.
“Early adopters are always willing to spend more, to be first,” says Bajarin. “In Apple’s defense, the costs of materials will be high, so this needs to be priced as a premium. And remember, Whatever Apple does, regardless of price, they’ll sell out every one they make, and be backordered.”
The new iPhone is expected to be introduced in September, at a splashy event in the San Francisco area.
Meanwhile, in other big tech news this week:
Say it isn’t so–ads are coming to Facebook Messenger. It won’t happen overnight, but Facebook said some members of the 1.2 billion strong Messenger app will start to see ads shortly. Before the flood starts. If you find this intrusive, remember that there are other messaging apps out there as well, like Apple’s ad-free iMessage, the Japan cult favorite Line (which does have ads) and Facebook’s WhatsApp, which so far is ad-free.
Amazon’s Prime Day – The E-tailer’s Christmas in July made up holiday generated what Recode says was over $1 billion in sales, 60% higher than last year’s big sale, per Amazon. The bargains seemed wanting to us, on the most of the part, unless you wanted Amazon goodies like the Echo speaker ($90, down from $179) or the best-seller of the day, the smaller Dot speaker, $35, down from $50.
Jawbone disappears – The consumer products company, best known for fitness trackers and bluetooth speakers, began liquidating, without a word to the public, and customers were furious. “I hate Jawbone,” Melissa Camman of Utica, NY told us. “I am so mad at them.” Be sure to tune in to my #TalkingTech podcast and how the tell-tale signs of Jawbone’s demise were all there for folks to see, just by reading the Amazon reviews.
Waze – Stay left! Turn right! The fun navigation app, added a silly feature this week. Now, you can ditch the voice that reads you directions and add in your own instead. But folks–if you try this, play it straight. You’ll be glad you did. Click the link to read all about it, listen and watch as I check out the app update.
Verizon – And what would a tech week be without one huge data breach, right?
The names, addresses and phone numbers of millions of Verizon customers were publicly exposed online by one of the company’s vendors. Verizon says about 6 million customer accounts were made publicly available when an employee of Nice Systems put information into a cloud storage area and permitted external access to the information.
Our audio week in tech:
—TalkingTech recently had a fabulous vacation in the Canadian Rockies, where we brought all sorts of fun camera gear–but we mistakenly left a vital traveling tool at home–the GoPro. Listen to why that won’t happen again.
—Waze. Having fun with the new Voice Recorder in the Waze app, which lets you record directions.
—Jawbone. If you’re going to buy consumer products, read the online reviews. The ones for Jawbone have been brutal for the last year–and a good window into how the company wasn’t responding to consumer complaints. My report.
—Siri and apps. It as a great idea–Apple’s Siri comes to apps, and out of that experience, becomes more useful and more relevant. But alas, the grand experiment just didn’t work out. Apple made the move in 2016, and since then, very few app developers have taken the bait. Of the top 50 most downloaded apps, only 6 work fully with Siri.
—This week’s show–consumers tell why they don’t think spending $1,400 for a new iPhone is that crazy.