February 7, 2017
By now, we have a fairly good idea that Apple is going to be releasing one hell of a phone come September. Leaks have shown a completely redesigned handset, with no bezels and quite possibly no home button.
It's a fitting 10th birthday present for Jony Ive's baby, but unfortunately, it might come with a price tag to match. According to a report in Fast Company, the iPhone 8 will cost upwards of $1,000. In technical terms: ouch.
FastCo cites "a source with knowledge of Apple's plans" as saying the price tag will be somewhere north of $1,000. That's well above the traditional $650 price tag for a flagship phone, although not unprecedented. The most expensive iPhone 7 Plus costs $1,000 with tax and has many of the same features we're expecting to see in the iPhone 8, like a dual-camera system.
But still, with the iPhone 7 Plus, we're talking about the top-end version of Apple's most expensive phone. If the entry price of the iPhone 8 is above $1,000, that implies that a version with extra storage will come in a couple hundred more than that, which means you're starting to spend more on an iPhone than you would on a MacBook.
Still, given that Apple was sold out of the iPhone 7 Plus for three months following launch, it might have decided that it's time to test the upper end of the phone market. Reports have suggested that we will see some kind of upgraded iPhone 7s model launch alongside the iPhone 8, so it would make sense for Apple to keep traditional phone pricing for the iPhone 7s, and see just how much money it can bleed from the iPhone 8.
There's also the (rather valid) argument that creating a groundbreaking new device will cost serious money. Curved, no-bezel OLED screens -- what the iPhone 8 is rumoured to use -- don't come cheap, and neither do dual-camera modules or a fingerprint sensor that works from behind a touchscreen. If Apple wants to build a phone that challenges Samsung on the innovation front, while keeping those record-breaking profits, raising prices might be the only option.
The FastCo report also touches on some other rumours that we've heard swirling around: the iPhone 8 will try and eliminate all physical buttons, replacing the Home button with a fingerprint sensor under the screen, and the lock and volume buttons with touch-sensitive areas along the sides. Those sides, by the way, will be made from forged stainless steel rather than the current aluminium.