Most Apple fans gave the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus a miss because they are more excited about the iPhone X. Pre-orders for the 10th-anniversary iPhone will begin on October 27. Everyone knows that the phone isn’t going to be cheap. It has a starting price of $999 for the 64GB version. The 256GB iPhone X will set you back by $1,149. A new survey reveals that most people looking to buy the iPhone X want the 256GB model despite its higher price tag.

256GB iPhone X
Image Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

57% buyers want the 256GB iPhone X

RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani said in a research note obtained by ValueWalk that more than 50% customers who planned to purchase the iPhone X would go for the 256GB variant. The 256GB iPhone X costs $150 more than the 64GB version. But the higher pricing will not deter buyers, said Daryanani. RBC Capital Markets maintains its Outperform rating on the Apple stock with a $180 price objective.

Apple 256GB iPhone X
Image Source: RBC Capital Markets (screenshot)

In a survey of potential iPhone X buyers, Daryanani found that more than 57% participants intended to go for the 256GB iPhone X. It’s the first time consumers have indicated a preference for the highest storage model. By comparison, only 45% of the iPhone 8 customers have opted for the 256GB version, said Amit Daryanani. It indicates that most of the iPhone X buyers want the “best” version available despite a significantly higher pricing. It will further increase the average selling price (ASP) of the new iPhones.

The analyst also found that 43% of the prospective iPhone buyers desired the iPhone X over the iPhone 8/8 Plus and the other models. Apple has doubled the minimum storage to 64GB with 2017 iPhones, but consumers still prefer higher storage models. The increasing resolution and quality of photos and videos could eat up a lot of storage on a device. Smartphones have also increasingly become the primary device for media consumption.

About 46% survey participants said the Qi wireless charging was the “most exciting” feature of the iPhone X. That’s quite surprising considering most premium Android phones have been offering a similar wireless charging technology for years. The second most exciting feature was the Face ID facial recognition system (24%), followed by its attractive design (14%).

256GB iPhone X Most Exciting Feature
Image Source: RBC Capital Markets (screenshot)

Face ID gives Apple a two-year lead over Android rivals

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo slashed his 2017 sales estimates for the iPhone X due to manufacturing difficulties. The phone will go on sale in 57 countries on November 3rd. Kuo now expects Apple to ship 30-35 million units of the iPhone X in 2017, down from 40 million units. The analyst said the TrueDepth camera yield rates were still far below expectations.

The front-facing 3D camera sensor called TrueDepth enables the facial recognition technology. It beams more than 30,000 invisible dots and reads them to identify you and unlock the device. It could take Apple “a few months” to overcome the production issues with the TrueDepth camera. The complexity of the TrueDepth gives Apple a significant advantage over its Android rivals, said Kuo.

The analyst believes that Android vendors will not be able to match its functionality and features for 18-30 months. Rivals will not be able to easily replicate the feature. It means Apple will have an exclusive feature for about two years. Most facial recognition technologies on Android phones analyze your face in 2D. The iPhone X analyzes your face in 3D, making it far more secure.

iPhone 8/8 Plus sales have been stable, not weak

The opening weekend sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were not as good as the last year’s models. The queues in front of Apple Stores were smaller than before because many customers are holding out for the pricier iPhone X. Kuo said in an earlier research note that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sales were in line with estimates. Apple knew that about 50% customers looking to upgrade this year would wait for the iPhone X. The company’s production plan had taken it into account.

iPhone 8 Plus
Image Source: Localytics.com (screenshot)

Ming-Chi Kuo was encouraged by data from Localytics, which showed that the iPhone 8 Plus has been selling better than the iPhone 7 Plus. The analyst added that the media focused only on the momentum in places where SIM-free devices are sold. The first-weekend demand for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus “in carrier channels” had been “stable,” said Kuo.

$1,149 is ‘a value price’ for the 256GB iPhone X

The iPhone X comes with 3GB RAM, the same as the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. It runs a new A11 Bionic chip, which outperformed all Android phones in recent benchmark tests. Apple has included a 2,716mAh battery in the device. Though the iPhone X battery is smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus’s 2,900mAh battery pack, Apple claims the new phone would last two hours longer than the iPhone 7 Plus.

Even though most people find the iPhone X ridiculously expensive, Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly defended its price tag. Cook said in an interview with Good Morning America that the iPhone X is a bargain considering the features you are getting. Yeah, he believes $1,149 for the 256GB iPhone X is “a value price.”