Forbes: Why These People Will — Or Won’t — Pay A Grand For The Next iPhoneAugust 31, 2017 | By Fluent
Publication date 8/31/2017
The new iPhone 8 could be launched as soon as September 12, with a variety of interesting new features—and a price tag that’s getting some attention. It could cost $1,000 or more, making it the first smartphone to venture into four figures.
That said, fully 79% of current iPhone owners plan to stick with the brand when they purchase their next smartphone, according to a recent survey by Fluent. A third of Americans say that the next phone they’re planning to buy is an iPhone, and four out of 10 of those people plan to buy the iPhone 8.
On the flip side, only 14% of Millennials say they’d be willing to spend more than $700 on their next smartphone, according to research from CouponFollow.
So why are some people willing to shell out an unprecedented amount of money for a device they’ll likely upgrade in the next couple of years? It could be because few people are paying that $1,000 up front.
“The big shift in phone pricing was two years ago when, for the most part, carriers stopped subsidizing phones and instead started financing them and adding the monthly payment to customers’ bills,” says John Dinsmore, Ph.D., marketing professor at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. “When the payment is broken down to smaller, monthly installments, it minimizes sticker shock.”
Here are a few opinions from the field—on both sides of the debate:
“I would pay $1,000”
“When the new iPhone comes out, I’ll be buying one. As an entrepreneur, I depend upon the latest technologies for success. My businesses are active on social media—which means I am, too. We use iPhones to post and manage our activity. Also, I use my iPhone as a hot spot when traveling in the car or from remote locations. The phone is my lifeline.” –Samantha Aulick, co-owner, Artisan Foodworks
“I will absolutely be upgrading to a new device for $1,000. Call me an early adopter, but I think I’m better classified as someone who recognizes the future speed at which tech is going to be adopted across all avenues and in all aspects of our lives. It’s best to jump on board quickly, get familiar, stay on pace.” –Beth Rosellini, medtech researcher and cofounder of Nexeon MedSystems
“Once the iPhone 8 comes out, I will happily pay the grand, even if I have to go over my budget. I already own an iPhone 7 plus that I just bought last month, and I am sure I will find it hard to keep my hands off the new iPhone. It’s surely worth a grand, as it will feature facial recognition, integrated touch ID, faster processor, more RAM and a whole lot more. Fifteen hundred dollars is somewhere I would like to draw the line. Anything over that would be out of reach for me.” –Luca Romano, Boca Raton, FL, iPhone blogger at yalujailbreak.net
“The motivating factor to upgrade might lie in how much utility the user receives from the phone. People use their smartphones more today than ever before and that continues to grow. Those that upgrade their smartphone every 18 to 24 months can sell their old phone to offset the cost of upgrading as well. For me? I’m not waiting in line. But I think it’s worth the price.” –Scott Bauer, 27, marketing director for a web design and digital marketing agency
“I think $1,000 will definitely make a lot of people think twice, but the monthly plans and Apple fans will still go for it. Honestly, I’m an Apple fan and I’m sure I’ll buy the iPhone 8. I’m a techie and generally an early adopter as well. I also help justify the cost because I own a tech company that does iPhone repair so it helps me learn about the products we repair.” –Matt Ham, Honolulu, HI, president and owner of Computer Repair Doctor, who did his own research on this topic
“I’ll bite the bullet and do so when my current phone dies. Of course, I paid $850 or so for my Pixel XL, so it’s not like the out-the-door price is doubling on me. What really ends up tipping me over the point to actually do it and spend the money is the upgraded video and camera quality. It’s said that the best camera you can have is the one in your pocket, and I think that’s especially true for those of us with young kids at home.” –Mark Aselstine, 38, Berkeley, CA, founder, Uncorked Ventures
“It’s not worth it to me.”
“I would not pay $1,000 for a smartphone. In my opinion, the newest version of smartphone usually only has one or two additional improvements over the past newest smartphone. It is just not worth it to spend that amount of money to gain a smartphone that is barely more technologically advanced than the previous version.” –Clayton Coombs, marketer at utahadvocates.com
“When the last units came out, I remember many people complaining about the cost of a phone and wishing for the good old days of flip phones. I feel that paying that much for a phone that will be outdated in six months or a year is not a wise use of money. The features just seem to be inching up with no real value add.” –Mark Barton, 39, Redwood Falls, MN, Wild Prairie Computers and Consulting
“This is the first time in 10 years that I’m considering abandoning Apple. This decision isn’t based on price point as much as it is on principle. Over the years, I’ve noticed the quality of my iPhone decrease while mobile technology has increased. If smartphone makers want me to spend over $1,000 on a new device, they must lead with a strong differentiator—and I’m simply not seeing it.” –Michael Parrish DuDell, chief strategy officer, CouponFollow