New Apple iPhone Set for Reveal; Price is Key

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Apple Inc. has announced a new product launch event set for September 12. Across the internet, there is already a general consensus on how many iPhones the tech giant will introduce, the features they will have and the other gadgets that will get an update.

The biggest questions are about how much the new iPhones will cost. 

The iPhone X was launched at a $1,000 minimum price point last year, selling the smartphone as a major step forward for the tenth anniversary of the first iPhone. The jump in price added to Apple’s already skyrocketing sales and profit this year even as the company sold roughly the same number of smartphones as the year before, pushing it to a historic trillion-dollar valuation.

Apple for the first time introduced three iPhone versions at its last launch event. It is widely expected the company to follow a similar strategy this coming Wednesday. Reports indicate that Apple will likely introduce a cheaper phone that looks like the current iPhone X except with an LCD screen, which could be called the iPhone 9. The company is also thought to be planning an incrementally better version of the OLED iPhone X as well as an OLED phone with a 6.5-inch screen. At least one of these could be called the iPhone XS, and the larger model may be named the iPhone XS Plus.

Predictions circulating over the internet show expected prices will range from $999 to $1,099 for the top-of-the-line iPhone model, and $699 to $849 for the cheaper, LCD model.

It would be surprising if the company doesn’t raise the price of its new high-end phone, the 6.5-inch model, above $999. Analysts estimate a $1,049 starting price for that model, a $949 base price for the upgraded iPhone X, and a $749 starting price for the LCD version.

Morgan Stanley analysts expect Apple to stick with a base price of $999 for its most expensive phone, with the upgraded iPhone X going for $899 and the LCD version starting at $669. Still, the company might end up going higher with all three base prices.

Since the iPhone X has been the best selling iPhone this year, despite the $999 starting price tag, it seems Apple understands consumers are willing to pay for a superior device and user experience that enables superior productivity.

With phones in the $1,000 range, an extra $50 isn’t likely to turn people off, while such price increase it’s pure profit for Apple.

Apple has been asking more for each iPhone, and in general consumers are expected to pay more for an iPhone in the coming cycle than they have in the past. Analysts in general expect that the average price of an iPhone will rise to $757 for the 12-month period ending next September, up from $752 in the period ending this September. The average price could go even higher.

This year is part of an “S” cycle, though, when Apple typically refines and improves features introduced the year before. This year’s devices will likely have improved processors, better camera features, and perhaps a gold color option.

With Apple iPhone last launch, the company started effectively selling eight different iPhone models at a time, which was its most ever. The company will presumably stop selling some of these when it rolls out its new lineup, but there’s debate about what will stay and what will go. The company will likely keep the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus around but drop the price of each by $100. 

Though the iPhone is the major announcement of Apple in this September event, expect an update to the Apple Watch. Reports indicate that it will retain its square form factor but feature more usable screen space, as it will have the same bezel-free look of the iPhone X.

Apple fans might see also an update to the popular AirPod earbuds and a status update on the wireless charging mat that Apple discussed a year ago. 

The company could also give an update on its streaming-media efforts. Apple has been getting more serious about original content, and the company is expected to eventually launch a bundled media offering, consisting of music, video, and news.

Apple shares are up 37% over the past 12 months, and closed Friday with a market cap of $1.07 trillion. 

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