Is $999 Really Too Much for the iPhone X? Research Says No.

Terence Manafort
Oct 13, 2017 · 3 min read
Image: TechCrunch

This year’s iPhone announcement was no ordinary event. With 2017 marking the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, anticipation and expectations were particularly high. Rumors had been circulating for months about which new features might be included with the iPhone X and after failing to impress critics and consumers with some recent iPhone releases, Apple was facing a lot of pressure to deliver something amazing.

Sure enough, after the official announcement was made, the internet was full of people talking about the iPhone X. But for a lot of people, their excitement for the phone itself was overshadowed by shock over its price. A higher price tag was expected, but many people were still horrified to hear that the iPhone X starts at $999, making the 64GB model just as expensive as the MacBook Air.

Over the past decade, Apple has consistently faced criticism for the price of iPhones. When the original iPhone was released, many consumers balked at the idea of spending over $500 on a phone, but the price ultimately didn’t stop it from becoming one of the most significant tech innovations in history. So did Apple really cross the line with the iPhone X?

Many publications, including Gizmodo and Wired, were quick to point out that consumers don’t necessarily have to pay that much upfront. When broken down on a month-by-month basis, the iPhone X is only slightly more expensive if you go through Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program and it’s expected that individual service carriers will have similar financing rates.

There’s also some data to back up the idea that a $999 starting price actually isn’t going to stop too many people from buying it. Prior to the official announcement being made, research from Market Strategies showed that 36% of current smartphone users were very or somewhat interested in getting the iPhone X, even if they knew it would be more expensive, while 20% of all smartphone users said they were highly interested despite the higher price tag. However, interest steadily declined as they were given specific price points ranging from $1,000 to $1,600. At the $1,000 level, the 36% of people who said they were very or somewhat interested in the iPhone X dropped to 18% and the 20% who said they were very interested dropped to 12%.

Image: Market Strategies

But since Apple is a business, they need to find a balance between generating revenue and making customers happy. The iPhone X does have features that previous iPhones did not have, so the higher price tag isn’t entirely unwarranted. But how much is too much? According to Market Strategies, the optimal price for the iPhone X would be $1,120.

Image: Market Strategies

Now that we know more specifics about the iPhone X and as buzz continues to grow before its official launch, these figures can naturally be expected to change a little bit. But this data suggests that $1,120 is the most Apple could charge to generate maximum revenue while reducing the amount of customers who are turned off by its price.