Quick. Can you name a smartphone that is more expensive than Apple’s iPhone XS Max loaded to the max ($1,449)? There are few, Samsung’s Fold and Huawei’s foldable smartphones not withstanding. Yet, Apple continues to find warehouses with pallets of the much beloved iPhone SE and sells those for as little as $249. If luxury is expensive and runs iOS 12, then what is inexpensive that does the same thing.
Apple’s ecosystem, Services, and software help to set the company’s devices apart from competitors, yet only Apple maintains the brand of affordable luxury.
At such prices as an iPhone XS Mac, how is that possible?
One can argue, and some have, though unsuccessfully, that Apple has priced itself out of the market. Yet, even in 2019, Apple likely will sell more iPhone models at all price ranges than any other manufacturer will sell of their premium wares.
What does that say?
First, it says affordability still has a price. Yet, at $249 for a recently found warehouse full of iPhone SEs, and the $449 iPhone 7, Apple’s luxury is the brand and the ecosystem and everything else is affordable.
Wait. What? Does not Samsung and other Android-based smartphone makers have less expensive models than the iPhone?
Luxury items often come with a price tag higher than the riffraff of average products, yet also command a higher resale value than less brands. So it is with Apple and the iPhone. And the iPad. Mac and Watch, too.
All are identified as more expensive luxury brands, yet all are affordable to the masses (at least, in more developed nations and markets) who also recognize that aspiring brands carry elements that reduce the price into a manageable cost of ownership.
For example, subtract the resale value of an iPhone 7 from the initial price tag, and you get a device that actually costs less than Samsung Note-whatevers from the same era. Apple does that with each new model.
Part of the value to ownership is ease of use, privacy and security, usability and capability, and resale value. Apple excels in every category. We tend to view luxury as expensive, yet Apple continues to show that value comes in many faces. My last iPad was priced double that of a similar Samsung tablet. Three years later the Samsung tablet is nearly worthless, yet my iPad continues to run the latest iOS and is worth far more than any comparable used tablet.
The great unwashed masses of Windows PCs and Android smartphones often view price as the determining factor but seldom consider overall cost of ownership. Where do you go when that Windows PC breaks? Have you ever seen a Google employee? What happens when that Samsung smartphone gets wonky?
Apple customers have an entire ecosystem of service and support readily available to help minimize problems and enhance the overall ownership of each Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch or other Cupertino gadget.
We may pay the price, but we don’t pay the same cost.