Color me somewhat jaded about the latest and greatest iPhone models. Every year there is something new that may or may not be worth the jump from an old iPhone to the newest, so it’s really a matter of how much money you’re willing to part with to get a new iPhone.
Apple makes it easy for me. I’m on the iPhone Upgrade Program so all I have to do is order the model I want from Apple. The company ships a box for my iPhone model from last year. When the new model arrives all I have to do is let iPhone copy data from last year’s iPhone to the new one. Then I put the old one in the box and drop it off at FedEx Kinkos down the street.
Easy peasy, right?
So, why will the iPhone X Plus be worth $1,000?
After all, Samsung’s new Note 9 is $1,000; more if you want 512GB of storage. My Mac notebook has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The Note 9 can be ordered with 8GB. There’s not doubt it’s a fast device, though it trails even last year’s iPhone X in benchmarks.
But that’s not the point. What makes any device worth $1,000 or more?
For many people, smartphones are a necessity; often because they don’t have a personal computer. In the U.S., though, iPhones outsell Samsung smartphones, and own about 50-percent of the industry’s marketshare (and far more of the revenue-share and profit-share; but that’s a different story).
What makes such a device worthy of a $1,000 price tag?
First, smartphone might not be the best name for such devices because the phone isn’t always at the heart of usage. Check the battery shaming settings under Battery in iOS and it’s like the cellphone itself doesn’t get used as often as other applications.
There’s Safari and Mail, Calendar and Maps, iTunes for Apple Music, Camera, Photos, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and a host of applications that take up our face time (pun intended). What is interesting about the premium iPhone and Galaxy Note price tags are how each manufacturer– Apple and Samsung– approach device upgrades.
Nobody upgrades older iPhone models better than Apple. iOS 12 will run on iPhone5s from five years ago. That means that every iPhone sold from iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, to iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as well as iPhone SE and iPhone X, improve each year, add more usability, and you would think such an upgrade policy would hurt sales.
It has not.
What works for me are the improvements in the iPhone’s camera and display technology. Each year tops the year before, and iPhone X comes close to a DSLR in apparent photo quality and exceeds broadcast television quality. Apple manages other improvements, too, including the new OLED display in iPhone X which should show up in all new iPhone models for 2018.
The iPhone, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy line, are premium devices which are used more like personal computers that just happen to fit into a pocket. What’s the price tag for a Mac notebook?