Fortune: Why Apple’s Next iPhone Could Be an Expensive ProblemAugust 24, 2017 | By Fluent
Publication date 8/24/2017
Apple’s rumored iPhone 8 could cost $1,000 or more, according to reports, and many consumers don’t like the sound of that.
In a study released on Thursday by ad company Fluent, just 13% of American consumers said that they would buy the iPhone 8 if its price is over $1,000. That number drops to just 8% if the iPhone’s cost peaks at the rumored $1,400. Two-thirds of consumers said an iPhone 8 that could cost $1,000 or more is simply “too expensive.” Just 12% said the price would be right.
Rumors have been swirling for months that suggest Apple is working on three new iPhones this year. Two of those, believed to be known as the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, will likely be minor upgrades over last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. They’re expected to cost about the same as last year’s handsets, which start at $649 for the iPhone 7 and $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus.
The third device, rumored to be known as the iPhone 8, is a different story. That device is expected to come with a revamped design, featuring a screen that nearly entirely covers its face. That screen will also likely use organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, rather than the liquid crystal screens Apple has used in all previous iPhones. OLED screens generally deliver better and brighter visuals.
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Aside from the revamped screen, the iPhone 8 could also come with an all-glass design and is expected to support wireless charging—another first for Apple.
Those new features and design, along with other upgrades, like facial-scanning component, are expected to push the iPhone 8’s price up to more than $1,000. And some reports have said that it could top $1,400, depending on exactly what Apple bundles with the smartphone.
In comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus tops out at $969.
There’s been some debate between Apple fans and detractors over whether the iPhone 8’s possible price tag would be too expensive. And generally speaking, the $1,000 mark is an imaginary line that smartphone makers are loath to cross. For instance, Samsung’s most recent high-end handset, the Galaxy Note 8, costs as much as $960.
But in an odd twist, Fluent, whose study was earlier reported on by 9to5Mac, discovered that even with an expensive price tag, the iPhone 8 won’t be enough to actually turn consumers away. In fact, 70% of those who plan to buy an iPhone at some point in the future won’t even consider buying a smartphone from another vendor, even if the alternative device is substantially cheaper.
“With such strong consumer loyalty and deferred payment plans offered by every single wireless service—consumers may be unhappy with the price hike, but will eventually shell out the money anyway,” Fluent wrote in its study.
Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhones at a press event next month.