Gruber On 2017 iPhone Pricing

4 July 2017

John Gruber:

If it’s true that Apple is going to release three new iPhones, my bet is that they’re named the iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus, and iPhone Pro. And I hope the iPhone Pro starts at $1500 or higher. I’d like to see what Apple can do in a phone with a higher price.

‘Hoping’ for a more expensive iPhone isn’t the best way to phrase the wish but I think I understand the sentiment: Gruber wants an iPhone equivalent of a MacBook Pro rather than MacBook.

The iPhone 8 isn’t that, though. There’s no way it is going to be $1500 plus. Numerous industry reports show that Apple has ordered more than 70 million OLED screens for this year alone. Apple is only shipping one phone with an OLED screen this cycle, the iPhone 8 (or Pro, or whatever it is called). The display orders alone show that this is a mass market device, more premium than the current status quo but still in reach of anyone who has bought a high-end iPhone before.

$1500 is out of that range. At $1500 (“or higher”) Apple would sell some units, millions in fact, but not tens of millions. The price level is simply prohibitive. In contrast, selling 70 million iPhones with a price circa $1000 in under a year is possible. I do not expect the most expensive model of iPhone 8, with the biggest storage size, to exceed $1200 (excluding taxes).

It would be different if the new phone was made of ceramic, or gold. It isn’t. It’s stainless steel and glass; beautiful premium materials but not ones that are exclusively expensive.