It all seemed to be going so well as she talked through the phone’s specs and features. Then came the price reveal: $1,380.
“That’s kind of a mixed response,” Hirst said to scattered applause.
Two of Apple’s newest smartphones, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, start at $999 and $1099, respectively. The latter can cost as much as $1,449. And you can’t get any of Samsung’s newest phones for less than that once unthinkable price tag of $999.
Contrary to what some may have assumed two years ago, smartphone users appear more than willing to shell out four figures on what may well be considered luxury products.
“Consumer preference has been going towards going more high-end in general,” Maurice Klaehne, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, told CNN Business.
Klaehne says the high price points of recent devices are dictated partly by the fact that customers are holding onto their smartphones for months — or even years — longer than they used to before upgrading.
“Apple and Samsung, in particular, were seeing the market kind of peak in terms of how many phones are being bought year over year,” he said. “So they’re looking for ways to maximize their profit.”
Newer technologies like folding displays and 5G, both of which Samsung is leaning heavily on with its latest lineup, also make it easier to justify charging more — at least for now, Klaehne said.
But as these newer technologies become more common the cost could eventually drop.