After much anticipation, Apple unveiled its newest iPhone model, the iPhone X. Many Apple users had been eagerly awaiting the tech giant's announcement and, among other questions, were clamoring to know how much the iPhone X will cost.
Tuesday's announcement about the new iPhone took place at Apple's Steve Jobs Theater, a 1000-seat auditorium at the company's new campus. It was the first-ever product announcement to take place at the new campus site. The announcement of the iPhone X coincides with an important milestone for Apple — the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone. Apple reportedly decided to release a premium version of the iPhone to mark this very special occasion.
And the premium version comes with a premium price. The iPhone X will be sold at a starting price of $999. But that's because the iPhone X has some pretty unique and impressive features: It boasts a nearly 6-inch screen that almost appears edgeless. It also no longer has a home button, allowing for a larger screen. Moreover, it houses facial recognition features, which allows users to unlock their phones through their camera instead of through fingerprint authentication.
The iPhone X's price point marks a significant jump from its most recent high-end phone, the iPhone 7 Plus, which is sold for a minimum of $769.
As the New York Times reported prior to the phone's release, this high price point could constitute a significant transition for Apple, which has always offered lower- and higher-end versions of its iPhone, but never before offered such a pricy model. Indeed, the newest phone is as expensive as Apple's entry model MacBook Air computer. As the Times described, the iPhone X could be indicative of the company deciding to lean in to its reputation as a seller of premium technology products.
“They’re doubling down on their strategy," Debby Ruth, a senior vice president at the tech consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, told the Times. "They are going much more to the high end.”
The Times also noted that Apple's investors are hoping that, in pricing its products at the upper end of the market, the company will see a significant rise in profits, particularly in developed country markets like Europe and the United States. However, the newspaper also pointed out that pushing to the luxury end of the market can constitute a risky strategy. For example, in developing countries, smart phone sales are on the rise, but an increase in price point for Apple products could make the company less competitive in these locations.
It will certainly be interesting to see how many Americans decide to purchase the new iPhone model. Last month, Forbes reported that iPhone users are notoriously loyal to the brand, saying that 79 percent of current iPhone owners plan to stick with Apple when they purchase their next smartphone. Moreover, four out of 10 people said they were planning to buy the next iPhone model, which the article referred to as the iPhone 8 (since it was published prior to the iPhone X's release). There is also an iPhone 8 being sold as an update to the iPhone 7.
However, Forbes also interestingly noted that, in a recent survey from CouponFollow, only 14 percent of millennials indicated that they would be willing to spend more than $700 on a new smartphone.
Time will tell whether or not Apple's gamble on the high price, premium iPhone X has paid off — and which markets and consumers are most attracted to the device. The iPhone X certainly stands out as a very significant way to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.