With hours to go for the big Apple launch at the company’s new campus in Cupertino, there is a clear air of anticipation in San Francisco and its nearby towns. From cab drivers to workers at Walmart and immigration officials at airport, all seem to be playing the guessing game on what the next Apple iPhones will be priced. Even in the US, where Apple has a vice-like grip on the market, it holds an aspirational value like no other. And that could be what Apple will try and cash in on, quite literally, when it launches the next generation of its high-end smartphones today.
As per initial reports, the most expensive of the iPhones to be launched at the Steve Jobs theatre in the spanking new multi-billion dollar Apple Park campus will be priced upwards of $1,000. That will make it the most expensive iPhone version ever. Given that Apple has a policy of holding its price in most markets, this pricing will become crucial for countries like China, India and Brazil where the tech giant hopes its next volume and revenue push will come from.
But if reports are true, there will be at least two other phones — the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as per some suggestions — to cater to the regular upgrade cycle Apple has been following for the past decade. Yes, this is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone and that is what Apple wants to mark with what could be called the iPhone X edition. And this might be the phone that will charge the premium.
However, will it be the iPhone to sport the edge-to-edge display, infrared face recognition and wireless charging? Well, for that we will need to wait till CEO Tim Cook takes the stage on Tuesday morning. Still, it is not too risky to assume that when the iPhones finally go on sale around September 22, there will be a long line for the top-end version as well. Apple knows its appeal in the luxury segment quite well and by offering something that is way more expensive than all the competition, it might just be sealing the cream of the top-end smartphone segment for itself.
Even in developing markets like India, being the only luxury premium offering might be something Apple relishes. Low volume, high margin might not be such a bad thing after all. While there will be some criticism of the pricing, this might actually be a very good strategy on part of Apple to create a new niche product category for itself. Now to see if the reports of this pricey iPhone X turn out to be true.
Disclaimer: The author is in San Jose, California at the invite of Apple India.