It's said that Steve Jobs had the ability to walk into a room and convince people about almost anything. This ability was often called the "Reality Distortion Field". And it seems Apple has kept that field strong, deeming that the iPhone XR - which costs up to $1479 - is going to help Apple reach more people. I think what Apple actually meant was more rich people.
At today's product launch, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said “iPhone XR helps us reach even more people with the latest iPhone innovations".
I'm at a loss as to how a device that has an entry-level price of $1299 can be seen as a product for the budget conscious. Just to re-cap, here's what Apple will be charging for the iPhone XR:
- $1299 for 64GB
- $1299 for 128GB
- $1479 for 256GB
The decision makers at Apple have never been interested in the lower-end of the market. They've reached the trillion dollar market capitalisation mark by focusing on high-value and high-margin products. But along the way they have kept some more affordable products in their range.
Today, Apple lifted the curtains on its shiny new 'budget' iPhone; the XR. You're probably wondering how it compares to its bigger siblings - the iPhone XS and XS Max - and how much money you can expect to save. Here are the Australian specifications, pricing details and release date.
Even in a world where you can buy a $10,000 MacBook Pro, there's a $1499 MacBook Air and a $749 Mac mini. And, until today, there was the iPhone SE which you could pick up for under $550 if you shopped around. And while that's not in the realm of sub-$200 Android handsets, it was "affordable" in Apple terms.
Clearly, Apple has made a business decision to focus its energy on higher margin products and to consolidate its manufacturing around the new form factors. The "new" entry level iPhone is now the two-year old 4.7-inch iPhone 7 which costs $749 - a significant increase on the dumped iPhone SE.
And that tells you a lot about Apple's strategy. They'll charge a significant premium for new products while leaving a few increasingly expensive crumbs behind.