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Apple’s Tim Cook Justifies 2018 iPhones’ Prices, Which Go Up To US$1,449
By Mikelle Leow, 14 Sep 2018
Image via Apple
As with last year’s iPhone X, Apple CEO Tim Cook has understandably been asked to justify the exorbitant prices of 2018’s iPhones Xs and Xs Max, as well as that of the mid-tier iPhone XR.
In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Cook acknowledged a market that was widely untouched by Apple who was unwilling to shell out US$999 and up for a smartphone.
On Wednesday, the company introduced the 6.1-inch iPhone XR, which boasts on-par performance with the flagship models, has Face ID, but runs at a starting price of just US$749.
Cook said Apple “want[s] to serve everyone,” and that the company has noted, “a wide range of what customers are looking for and a wide range of prices that people will pay.”
To further serve this crowd, Apple retained the home button-equipped iPhones 7 and 8, but drove their starting prices down to US$449 and US$599 respectively. This might also be Apple’s way of telling customers that it’s making the drift from Touch ID, and that future smartphones will unlock exclusively through facial recognition.
Notably, Apple discontinued 2017’s iPhone X, a move that was speculated about as early as January this year.
As for the high-end 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Plus, Cook explained that it was all about the value that the models would bring to users.
“We always thought… if you provide a lot of innovation and… value, there is a segment of people who are willing to pay for it.”
Cook pointed out how “a lot of” tools and products that users previously bought separately have now been fitted into a single smartphone. “[The iPhone] has [also] taken those things so much further than they could have ever ventured as a stand-alone…”
The willingness to accommodate to new markets might just be one of the reasons Apple has brought in the cheaper iPhone XR, as well as announced price cuts to iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.
It has long been presumed that the company had been in a pickle after charging the US$999 iPhone X too high, forcing it to introduce cheaper versions to offset the prices of higher-end devices.
Doing so made it more forgivable for Apple to stick a US$999 price tag on iPhone Xs, as well as unveil its most expensive smartphone to date, the iPhone Xs Max, which can run up to US$1,449.
Pressures from Google and other Android brands might also have driven Apple to focus on price-conscious customers, as these competitors have stepped up with iPhone-like alternatives to woo existing iPhone users into making the switch.
Screenshot via Apple
[via Nikkei Asian Review, cover image via Apple]
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