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Would You Buy the iPhone 8 If It Cost $1,200? (9to5mac.com) 561

As we near the launch of the next iPhone, rumors are swirling about what it may feature. One of the most recent reports comes from developer and blogger John Gruber, who claims the iPhone 8 will have a starting price of around $1200. 9to5Mac reports: He last week said that he believed that what we've been referring to as the iPhone 8 would be called the iPhone Pro and that he actually hoped it would be really expensive: "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." As you might imagine, that generated quite a bit of discussion. Gruber has backed down somewhat from this position, and is now suggesting a starting point of around $1200: "$1,500 as a starting price is probably way too high. But I think $1,200 is quite likely as the starting price, with the high-end model at $1,300 or $1,400." His argument is effectively that Apple is constrained in what it can do in a phone because any technology included in the phone has to be available in huge volumes. If it were willing to sell fewer at a higher price, then it would have more options. There has been speculation that Gruber may have been tipped by Apple, and using his posts to prepare the ground for what would otherwise be a severe case of sticker shock. But Gruber denied this. If Apple does launch the iPhone 8 with a 4-figure price tag, would you buy it?
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Would You Buy the iPhone 8 If It Cost $1,200?

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  • No way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:04AM (#54784009)

    But I wouldn't be surprised if the legions of apple fans would pay nearly any amount for one.

    • Re:No way (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CaptQuark ( 2706165 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:14AM (#54784051)
      Pay the same for a phone as I would for a full-featured gaming computer, including monitor? No way!!

      ---
    • Re:No way (Score:5, Funny)

      by RotateLeftByte ( 797477 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:57AM (#54784185)

      I don't buy new anyway.
      I hope that lots of Fanbois dive in and shell out $1200 or more for their next iToy.
      Then I can get an iPhone 6s from a pawn shop at a decent price.

      See, every cloud does have a silver lining...

      • I work this way too (although not impressed with iphones so I avoid them). But I buy my phones and my cars secondhand - it saves me a lot of money with no downsides that I've ever found.

        Keep it to yourself though - without all the suckers paying silly money for new things, the second hand market would dry up.

      • Doubtful. Iphone 6 will remain in demand because of the headphone jack.
    • Re:No way (Score:5, Informative)

      by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @03:31AM (#54784295)

      No. I would not buy one for 5$.

      I am opposed to the basic principles of the Apple ecosystem--

      Ever tried to make your own ringtone for an apple device? Be prepared to deal with proprietary audio formats, having to use the itunes backup feature to push the 3rd party re-encoded tune to the phone, and having to wade through literally thousands of paid endorsements to buy ringtones when you try to look up how to do it. OR-- you could just get an android phone, push any supported media file (which are industry standard formats) into the RINGTONES folder, then pick it.

      Perhaps you want to do something else, like say-- play a gameboy game on your device? Oh-- sorry, no. Apple does not allow virtualized software to run on iDevices. :( It makes apple sad pandas, and they wont let those dangerous, nasty applications into the app store. It is for YOUR protection, citizen!

      Why the fuck would I want a device that bends over backwards to STOP me from using it, EXCEPT in the shamelessly commercialized way the creators envisioned?

      Fuck that noise.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gnasher719 ( 869701 )

        Ever tried to make your own ringtone for an apple device?

        I had to make a ringtone for my wife's phone. Can't remember the exact steps (googling may have been involved), but there wasn't anything difficult about it. Just the first 20 seconds of a song from a CD that I had ripped into iTunes. And I used AAC, not Apple Lossless, so there were no proprietary formats used.

      • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

        It does what I need it to do. I got on with my life. Lasts years too, it's reliable and I don't need to do maintenance reboots. It's also not subsidized by a marketing analytics company, so yeah, it tends to be pricey. The resale value and long life more than make up for it.

        $1200 is fine for people who make reasonable money and just don't care about an extra $400-$500 for something they use every single day.

        My phone is a "production" device. If I want to hack around, I'll get a tablet or something

    • Breaking News.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @04:31AM (#54784483)

      Pseudo-elitist dreams of being slightly more elitist without having to leave their conformist comfort zone.

      what he really means is 'every kid on the block has an iphone these days, I pine for when I felt more special, so make a more expensive model so I can separate myself from the unwashed masses again (but actually I am a closet conformist, so it needs to be from my regular supplier, work in the same way - so please just make it cost more so I can buy myself a bit more 'special'..).

      Believing that Apple is somehow constrained by price or volume is laughably laughable, they already delivery less for more and have demonstrated a willingness to have availability shortages (in fact historically have done it with a sense of pride during notable releases).

      [Stands back to watch the koolaid drinkers backlash against reality]

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:04AM (#54784015)
    Betteridge's law of headlines is true!
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:15AM (#54784055)

    What it's like to own an Apple product - The Oatmeal [theoatmeal.com]

    Seems wiser to stick to a cellular phone which the foolish call "dumb". ;)

    • What it's like to own an Apple product - The Oatmeal [theoatmeal.com]

      Seems wiser to stick to a cellular phone which the foolish call "dumb". ;)

      As a dispassionate outside observer I have to say that your comic is a truly fascinating visualisation of what goes on in the brains of angry Slashdot posting cellar dwelling Google fanboys when they obsess about the way they think Apple users live their lives, here is what happens when they wake up one morning and start obsessing about Microsoft for a change: http://www.penny-arcade.com/co... [penny-arcade.com]

    • Three weeks ago I got my first smartphone, because my girlfriend insists we use whatsapp. A four year old marvel of technology. I would rather go back to my old Sonim XP3.20 phone. Buttons are great.
  • Easy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:15AM (#54784057)

    I wouldn't buy it at $200, why would I buy it at $1,200?

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:21AM (#54784071)

    "Would You Buy the iPhone 8 If It Cost $1,200? "
    Sure!
    I bought a PC when it cost 10.000$, when it cost 5000$ when it cost 2000$ ...and they were much less powerful then.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:22AM (#54784077)

    No, I would not buy the iPhone.

  • never (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:25AM (#54784087)
    Not a hope in hell. being locked down in their ecosystem negates the value of any significant premium hardware increases. besides which unless they have worked out something amazing in battery, holographics or such I personally can't think of much that could even be all that interesting hardware wise, gimmicky 3D or VR maybe but that would be a death sentence just like it was for 3D TV's and looking that way for VR headsets too . I don't need smaller or lighter, CPU, memory, storage, graphics are all more than adequate in most top end phones, really getting like PC's a little now where you can work quite happily on older hardware as long as it is still supported with updates.
  • by mseeger ( 40923 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:27AM (#54784089)

    If I buy something does not solely depend on the price. It also depends on the value I get from the item.

    So when asking the question, you should ask "Are those features worth X".

    I haven't seen the final list for the next iPhone yet. So I cannot say yet if it will be worth Y dollars.

    In the past, the iPhones I bought were worth every penny I paid. But be aware: the value may depend on your needs. So what may be true for me, must not be true for everyone else.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Very true. Even though it cost Apple only around $200 to make my iPhone, I never felt like I overpaid to it when I use it, or when I compare it to other more affordable phones out there (I own a few Androids for development work). The problem is that in practice we tend to replace our phones fairly often. I can justify spending $600 every 2 years or so (the old phone will still be worth a couple 100), but $1200? That pro model would have to be waaaay better than their regular phones; just having a faste
    • On top of features, I would add: how long can the user reasonably expect to keep their device, which depends on several factors. Is the user likely to switch service provider (because they move, get better coverage, get a better deal, etc.) and would the device support the new set of radio frequencies? How durable is the device and can it be repaired (broken screen, etc.)? Given the user’s circumstances, how high are the risks that they could break or lose the device, and how well could they stomach a

  • Not servicable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:34AM (#54784107)

    The iPhone is not made to last, the battery cannot be replaced, it cannot be opened by a normal person and be repaired or upgraded. Apps are not better, they are made to run swiftly on older versions. You are just buying a phone with next year's specs, and after that it's just like any old phone, which will scratch, which battery will fail, which will become slower and slower. So: No.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gnasher719 ( 869701 )

      The iPhone is not made to last, the battery cannot be replaced, it cannot be opened by a normal person and be repaired or upgraded.

      The battery cannot be replaced? I don't know about the iPhone 8, because nobody has ever seen it, but battery replacement like screen replacement are on Apple's official price list. If they are on the price list, I'd assume the battery can be replaced.

      And Apple has this thing called "out of warranty repair": If you have an older iPhone, let's say an iPhone 6 with broken screen and broken battery and whatever else is wrong, Apple will replace it with an equivalent refurbished phone for about half the cost

  • If you step into a prison cell, no matter how ornate and attractive it might look, don't be surprised when the door slams shut behind you.
  • by bluegutang ( 2814641 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:58AM (#54784187)

    "I'd like to see what Apple can do in a phone with a higher price."

    Remove even more ports?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A zero-port phone would be great. You could pretty much make it waterproof to as deep as the pressure that glass can handle.

    • "I'd like to see what Apple can do in a phone with a higher price."

      Remove even more ports?

      Adding more propriety bullshit?

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @02:58AM (#54784191) Homepage

    Is the summary correct, is he claiming that you can do "more" if you don't mass produce something??? If Apple wanted to add some more exotic technology, they could simply lower their industry leading profit margin and instead of selling a $220 device for $650 they could sell a $400-$500 device for $800 or something like that.
    To answer the question, I only have an iPhone (6 Plus) because my work provides it for development and although I am free to use it as a personal phone, I prefer a $200 Xiaomi Mi5 as it can do so much more. And Android is by far not my ideal mobile OS either (I still miss my Maemo/Meego N9 - damn you Stephen Elop for burying it), but I still find an Android phone more useful than an iOS one, even if I get the latter for free. So, no, $1200 would make it even more unlikely for me to get an iPhone. Which is a shame, as the apps that exist for both iOS and Android are most of the time better on iOS (for rather obvious - to devs at least - reasons), but there are many things you simply cannot do.

    • "If Apple wanted to add some more exotic technology, they could simply lower their industry leading profit margin"

      A part that goes into a regular iPhone needs to be sourced at around a million units per day at release. There may be no amount of money that could get a part up to those volumes. If they are supply constrained the high price will bring down the demand to a matching level.

    • Yeah, sadly current smartphones have pretty limited OS. As you say, Android is better than iOS but still isn't a "full" desktop-class OS.
      There's no technical reason why a phone couldn't run a regular Linux just with an UI adapted for touch. When you docked it you could use the traditional keyboard and mouse UI. I think that was the idea of the Ubuntu phone but they arrived late in the smartphone market (Windows Phone did too) and didn't have a strong corporate backing so they couldn't succeed.
      • by Ecuador ( 740021 )

        As I said, I was fortunate enough to own a Maemo/Meego N9. It was a full linux machine (I could compile and run any standard package that I'd have on a linux server - even graphical apps but they were not easy to use unless you vnc-ed to the phone, which was of course possible), with an amazing QT-based UI (called "swipe" IIRC) - amazing in that it was as fluid as iOS (well, there were native apps), while having much superior multi-tasking / parallel running and app-switching capabilities, e.g. the apps did

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Black.Shuck ( 704538 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @04:56AM (#54784553)

      Is the summary correct...???

      No, it's not [daringfireball.net].

      Gruber is suggesting a Pro version might be able to help Apple spread its operations and logistics issues when it comes to sourcing components for the latest iPhone.

      Apple's problem is not as simple as putting better stuff into the hardware. It's doing that 1 million times a day, every day, for every new version of iPhone that hits the shelves. He suggests a Pro version of the device at a high price-point would give them some breathing space when doing that.

      Just imagine the logistics of just boxing and shipping 1 million of *anything* every day, let alone sourcing, assembling and testing something as complex and impressively well built (for this scale of engineering) as an iPhone.

  • Nope (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @03:05AM (#54784221)

    I wouldn't buy it for any price, really. It isn't the functionality or the hardware, but the fact that you are tied into only ever using Apple's app store etc etc - plus the fact that you have to actually BUY the development tools and learn yet another languages, when the Android comes without the same degree of tie-in, plus you can download the whole development kit for free and it is Java, a language that actually has applications outside the phone. In a way, it isn't the iPhone that I don't want, it is Apple.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @03:11AM (#54784249)

    Personally I wouldn't buy an iPhone for 1/3rd of that price. A better question is: If you bought an iPhone at $600 would you buy one for $1200.

  • ... like making me fly, giving me the body of a well-trained Ryan Gosling and making all good looking girls wanting to have sex with me I would consider buying it for that price.

    Other than that: No.

    Just got a Moto G5 Plus. Still a compromise. I wanted a 6"+ phablet with massive battery live, rugged case, stock android and uncastrated memory. Huawei Mate 9 and Xiaomi Mi Max came resonably close to those specs but I steered clear for various resons. The Moto G5 Plus but it's the best compromise. 32GB storage, 3GB RAM, good camera, near stock android. Common and as such cases and protective glas easyly available. 280 Euros. Close to the maximum I'm willing to spend on a smartphone. I would've stuck with my Moto G2, but it only has 8GB memory - which is a drag.

    Given that, at the current rate, I replace my phone roughly every 3 years spending 1200€ would be a waste of money.

    My 2 eurocents.

    • ...and making all good looking girls wanting to have sex with me I would consider buying it for that price.

      All you need to do is buy the $1200 iPhone 8 & then add the $1000 I am Rich app [latimes.com].

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @03:35AM (#54784303)

    I would not like it here or there.
    I would not like it anywhere.
    I do not like the iPhone look
    I do not like it, Timmy Cook.

    (and yes, that third line works better with Macbook, but sadly they didn't bring out a new model in the past decade and I grew tired waiting for it)

  • Nonsense questions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @03:35AM (#54784305)
    Nobody has seen an iPhone 8. Nobody knows what it does. Therefore nobody knows what it would be worth.

    Asking me if I would pay $1,200 for a phone, when I have never seen it, when I have never used it, when nobody can tell me what it does? That's a nonsense question.
  • Even if apple were to give me the next iPhone for free, or pay me $1,200 to take it, I wouldn't. I never really liked the iPhone. I never really liked apple products. Well, mainly apple OSs - their choice of hardware is normally pretty good, even if it if overpriced.

    That said, I'd have to seriously consider paying out that amount of money for an Android phone. In the past I've paid around $800, and that was also a fairly serious consideration. Having paid out that amount, I expect the phone to last me many years before I need to upgrade. The hardware is still good and I've no issues there -- however, if I want Android O then I'll need a new phone. If I had to pay $1,200 or more, I would expect it to last several more years, and for the OS to be upgraded for many more years. And that's probably not likely for either OS.

    apple do have a better track record for updating old devices, so apple people may be more likely to pay out that amount. Plus, historically, apple people have been more inclined to pay bigger bucks for the devices -- even to the point of selling a kidney to get one [telegraph.co.uk]. So I'd almost wager that they could set any price on it and the majority would pay it to upgrade -- even if this year's model was only a minor improvement over last year's. The iPhone could end up being a textbook case of a Giffen good (where demand rises with price).

    I'm reminded of a story, but I can't find it online, where a shop owner asked the assistant to mark down several ugly statues from $15 to $10 in order to sell them out. The assistant made a mistake and priced them all at $100, and they all sold out that day. Many people will associate higher prices with a better product, and will see identical products differently depending on the price.

    • Even if apple were to give me the next iPhone for free, or pay me $1,200 to take it, I wouldn't.

      I would take ten thousand, start a business selling them for $800, and become a multi millionaire. You don't seem to be very smart.

    • by rklrkl ( 554527 )

      Popular Android phones/tablets usually have custom ROMs available for them - wait for your warranty to run out (or official updates to stop) if you're concerned about that, then root/install recovery/install ROM and you're good to go with usually the latest Android release. I've got an ageing Nexus 10 tablet from 2012 that's running Android 7.1.2 from 2017 (via LineageOS 14), so you can breathe life into old phones/tablets with Android, unlike with iOS.

  • Seriously, if you're on this site you should be nerdy enough to be a well paid IT professional that could easily afford it, no need to go dumpster diving for phones. If you're not, maybe you should be soul searching a bit about why. Personally I never felt the need to get hacking on/from my phone, that's what my computer is for but if you want to go all CyanogenMod that's okay. But I got an iPhone SE and feel it was totally worth the money. That said, for $1200 it would have to do something new and amazing.

    • Do a little fucking soul searching about not spending $xxxx on a phone?

      You're scary, man. If I had that spare cash I could get one hell of a nice used oscilloscope.

      This is still Slashdot, I think. All you people who "went into IT because it pays good" better watch out, because you're on the list for replacement.

      • Do a little fucking soul searching about not spending $xxxx on a phone?

        He was saying that if you work in tech, and the reason not to buy a phone for $1,200 is because you cannot afford it, then yes, you should do a bit of soul searching how come that you haven't got a well paying job.

        If you don't like the phone, or if you have other priorities, or if you think that it isn't worth it or not worth it for you, that's fine. But if you cannot afford it? In England, every chav living on benefits has an iPhone. If you work in tech and cannot afford it, you are doing something wron

  • I would definitely consider it if there was something worthwhile for the money. I have trouble imagining such a thing - Vertu phones don't do it for me - but you never know.
  • Only $1200?! Shut up and take my money! /s
    Seriously though, the era of $700 smartphones was mostly over once carriers stopped subsidizing them. Now that you pay an installment plan rather than getting it 'free' it's harder to want to spend that much. For my personal iPhone 8 speculation, I think it'll have a 10-bit Rec.2020 (HDR) camera and OLED screen for HDR color support; I suspect there isn't enough volume of small quantum-dot displays to supply the new iPhones. DPI may have hit the wall of diminishing

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @04:41AM (#54784517)

    Apple, you want to charge more for your product, because you feel constrained as to what you can do with a phone? The last time you felt constrained you removed the headphone jack. And that's but one "feature" (out of dozens) users never asked for.

    Hundreds of billions sitting in offshore tax havens, already obscene profit margins, and you feel the need to charge even more. This flavor of Greed is only matched by the stupidity of customers willing to pay that much for your product. Sadly, I'm certain the lines will be longer than ever on release day.

    • Hey, there are people above telling us that if we can't afford an iPhone at $1200 we should do some soul searching.

  • I am in no way average as a consumer.

    I just got a Lenovo P2 and I freaking love that thing! I charge it about every two to four days while happily watching the Plex media (synced to to 128GB SD card I added in lieu of a second SIM) during my commute.

    It's not perfect. Still doesn't have a hardware keyboard but damned if it isn't the first smartphone since the Desire Z I actually don't hate using.

    And it didn't even cost half of the usual flagship phones. (my employer spent a bit over half of what a flagship p

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @05:10AM (#54784575) Homepage

    No, but I'm sure some idiot would.

    My problem is not price but value-for-money. It's not there in Apple products, reflected in their ludicrously high margins. They aren't giving you anywhere near the value that the devices and associated services cost.

    But Samsung aren't much better. I wouldn't touch any of their top-range smart phones either. And I can't see why my S5 mini is basically an S5 WITHOUT USB host functionality. Basically everything else is identical, but a software / TINY hardware change, makes things not work on the Mini for no real discernible reason.

    But I factored that into my value analysis when I bought it. It's not worth paying extra, for a screen that I think is too big, just to get USB host. In similar terms of what I actually want to do on the phone, Apple doesn't even get a look-in. Never has.

    But I'm sure there are people out there with money to burn, because EVERY new model of smartphone has people who buy it by the truckload, which is just unfathomable to me. Most of them don't use it for anything more than a quick snap, checking Facebook, and texting their friends. Hell, I've met people who barely use 5% of the functions / apps on their phone, or even know what they do (e.g. introducing people to using Map apps as a satnav etc.).

    Why you'd pay that money for a device you don't even understand the basic capabilities of, I can't work out. It's like buying a Ferrari sports car when you can't even drive a Fiat Panda or have never heard of air-conditioning. You do it entirely for the show.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @05:19AM (#54784607)

    Phones drop, get ruined by water and are obsolete after a year. I don't mind spending money for a durable object, but I don't want to agonize about dangling my phone over the side of a boat to take photos. Will reconsider if and when there are inexpensive repairs and upgrades available.

  • I've had iDevices, including an iPad Air. Sure, the hardware was nice, but the user experience is so locked-down, strangled and limited that it was a real hassle to use it.

    Not worth it.

  • i bought a galaxy S6 about a year ago and i hardly use it for anything other than phone calls and txt msgs , when this phone craps out i am not buying another expensive smartphone, i will buy just enough phone to do what i want, (no point in buying expensive features i will never use)
  • by Arnold Reinhold ( 539934 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @05:51AM (#54784695) Homepage
    Yes, if the $1200 model is the iPhone I like best, and I may buy more for family members too. I want a company that takes security seriously, that controls the entire product from the hardware up (no security if you don't) , that can update the software it provides without asking my cell carrier for permission, that is willing to stand up to the FBI, and, yes, that vets every app I download. I consider the last a valuable service; you may not. $1200 over two or maybe three years is dirt cheap compared to what I am getting.
  • by sad_ ( 7868 )

    What a nut case this guy is, the 'top end' phones are already way to expensive as they are now. Not a chance i'm paying €800 for a phone.
    My maximum budget is €200 and that gets you a really great phone already, suiting more then my needs. Paying €600 extra could never be worth the added value these 'top end' phones provide.

  • I'd be willing to bet our CEO and the majority of other higher-ups who are self important will want one ASAP. After all, Apple products are, by and large, a status symbol, not something you buy because it's actually worth what you pay for it.
  • either. And that's the only reason I have or have ever had an iPhone - my company 'issues them.
  • I'm not buying the iPhone 8 at any price.
  • by ewhenn ( 647989 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2017 @10:11AM (#54786139)
    No. Just no.

    I love technology, but I'm not willing to pay anywhere near close to that for what is essentially a disposable device. I typically buy a new phone when the one I'm using doesn't do what I need it to do. I have a Honor 5X that I bought about a year and a half ago for $110. It sends texts, emails, takes pictures, and works fine for basic web browsing. The battery is still good condition so it may last another 1.5 years. You can keep a li-ion battery in "good shape" by keeping the charge between 30-85% and only full charging when you absolutely have a need to like traveling, etc. A phone is a tool, and unless there is a new version/device that will improve my productivity or is much more functional then there is no need to upgrade as long as it is operational. I treat everything this way. It's the reason I drove my last vehicle for 14 years. Yes it had some rust, etc. but it was functional, why waste money on an unneeded vehicle upgrade when it could be used elsewhere with better long term results?

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