The Galaxy Note 8 was revealed this week and the price tag caused a few people to raise their eyebrows. With an off-contract price starting at $929.99, the Galaxy Note 8 is not a cheap piece of hardware. And, if a new report from the New York Times is to be believed, the iPhone 8 starting price is going to be even higher.
There have been a number of reports throughout the summer about the iPhone 8 starting price. Some analysts have been suggesting that the device could start at $1,100. Those previous reports make this new rumor of a $999 price point seem like a deal!
The New York Times report goes on to suggest that the models with more storage could run as high as $1199. At least they kept it under $1200, right?
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So, why is the iPhone 8 apparently going to be so expensive? Well, first of all, it’s Apple. You pay a premium for Apple devices whether you’re buying an iPhone, a MacBook, or an Apple TV. There’s a design argument to be made for Apple products. They always look great. Plus the Apple experience is second to none. Sure, Samsung has some retail stores but they don’t compare to the experience you have at an Apple store. There’s also the software side of things. Apple doesn’t just design the hardware, they also create the software for their devices. Other manufacturers slap a skin on Android and call it a day. Apple has the R&D cost of designing every aspect of their product.
Still… An iPhone 8 starting price of $999? There has to be more to it than just “the Apple experience.”
Some of the components of the iPhone 8 are also likely contributing to the higher price. For starters, the OLED display is not cheap. Until now, Apple has always used LCD displays in their devices. With the iPhone 8, Apple is said to be using a new OLED display that stretches from edge to edge with no bezel to speak of. Not only does the OLED display cost more to include in the iPhone 8, but Apple is also apparently having production issues. There are rumors that there may only be 2 to 4 million iPhone 8 units available at launch. That’s an incredibly low number for a company like Apple. Some analysts have suggested that the pricing is being set high to help curb demand. Believe it or not, Apple doesn’t want everyone lining up to buy an iPhone 8 because that leaves a lot of disappointed people. That’s not part of the Apple experience. By setting the price high, Apple will force some people to wait as they save up some more money or they will push them to the iPhone 7S or iPhone 7S Plus.
That’s not the only new piece of hardware that will be included in the iPhone 8. There have also been plenty of rumors of wireless charging finally coming to the device which could also cause the iPhone 8 starting price to jump a bit. It’s unclear if the iPhone 8 will come with the wireless charger or not but most rumors seem to point to the accessory being sold separately. If the $999 iPhone 8 came with some sort of additional accessory like a wireless charger then that could also help explain the higher price tag.
Face unlocking is another new feature coming to the iPhone 8 and it also requires new hardware inside the device. We got a very good hint about the face unlock feature from Apple’s HomePod firmware leak earlier this summer. Hidden within the code of Apple’s upcoming HomePod was a mention of PearlID – the new face unlock feature coming in the iPhone 8. According to the code, the iPhone 8 will use an infrared camera to map points on a user’s face which will then be used for unlocking the device, authorizing Apple Pay purchases, and accessing secure apps. Again, this is another new feature which uses new hardware. The addition of a front-facing infrared camera could definitely contribute to a higher iPhone 8 starting price.
We also don’t really know what has happened to TouchID. There was some talk earlier in the summer that Apple was looking to embed the TouchID sensor underneath the display. Then the rumors seemed to indicate that Apple was making TouchID a part of the power/lock button. In either case, TouchID has been moved and redesigned. Another added cost that could inflate the iPhone 8 starting price.
So, back to our original question. Why is the iPhone 8 starting price so high? $999 is a lot to drop on a smartphone. Well, there are a combination of factors contributing to the increased cost of the upcoming iPhone 8 when compared with its predecessor: the iPhone 7 Plus. Several new pieces of hardware could definitely be a major factor in the higher price tag. An OLED display costs more to procure than an LCD display. Adding wireless charging functionality costs more than not having it at all. Adding front-facing infrared camera sensors isn’t cheap, either. You get the idea. There’s also the question of supply and demand. Demand is expected to be very high for the iPhone 8. Supply is expected to be very low – at least initially. That means higher prices.
It’s a perfect storm when it comes to the iPhone 8 starting price. There’s no one single cause of the eyebrow-raising cost. Still, people will surely line up to buy the device and some will be turned away empty handed as Apple sells out on day 1. Are you going to look at getting an iPhone 8 regardless of price or will you wait for a more affordable smartphone to catch your eye? Let us know!