With a $1,000 Price Tag, Apple’s iPhone Crosses a Threshold
SAN FRANCISCO — When Apple unveils its new top-of-the-line iPhone on Tuesday, it isn’t just expected to offer features like infrared facial recognition and wireless charging for the first time.
The company will also enter new territory on price: The latest phone will start at about $1,000, compared with the $769 minimum for its current top phone, the iPhone 7 Plus.
“It’s a whole new threshold,” said Debby Ruth, a senior vice president at the tech consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates. I really do think it’s going to make people pause.”
From the iPhone’s introduction a decade ago, Apple has always priced it as a premium product — a more refined and polished alternative to the legions of cheaper smartphones available in the market.
But this time, the company is pushing into luxury territory. The new phone will cost as much as the company’s entry-level MacBook Air laptop. “They’re doubling down on their strategy: They are going much more to the high end,” Ms. Ruth said.
Apple declined to comment before the product announcements scheduled for Tuesday. (On Saturday, Steven Troughton-Smith, a developer who combed through the iOS 11 software, found references indicating that the new high-end phone will be called the iPhone X.)
Investors are betting that Apple’s move up the price ladder will pay off with much higher profits, especially in mature markets like the United States and Western Europe, where many of the buyers will be people upgrading from older iPhones. The company’s stock has risen by nearly 50 percent over the past year as anticipation has built about the 2017 models.
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