A top Apple analyst said in a note to clients this week that the cheapest new iPhone X might cost just $550, which is an impressive price point. Apple selling a brand new device for a price that’s $100 cheaper than its typical entry-level price for iPhones would be a big deal. It would also be a nightmare for Android device makers, especially the kind of companies that charged about the same for their #NeverSettle smartphones.
But this rumor made me realize that there’s no way Apple can convince me to pay $1,000 for a new iPhone X successor this year, one year after I purchased the first one.
Unlike most smartphone users out there, I’m more likely to upgrade iPhone every year. But that was a habit I got into back when the cheapest iPhones were far below that $1,000 mark. I’d upgrade from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 6s in a heartbeat again given what the latter brought to the table. The massive speed bump and 3D Touch are two things that make the iPhone 6s a worthy purchase.
I didn’t upgrade to the iPhone 7 in 2016 because the feature I wanted was only available in the Plus model, and I hate how oversized Apple’s current Plus design is. The dual camera was an iPhone 7 Plus exclusive feature. To this day, I won’t entertain the idea of getting a Plus-sized anything. The 2017 iPhone X, meanwhile, packed that camera into an iPhone you can actually use comfortably with one hand.
The iPhone X upgrade was a must last fall, at least for me. It was Apple’s first OLED phone, its first all-screen phone, and the first Face ID phone. Despite being Apple’s most expensive iPhone ever, I had to try all those experiences and I’m glad I did. There’s no iPhone like the iPhone X, that much is crystal clear.
The 2018 iPhone X generation will likely bring a bunch of upgrades over the original, but I’m 99.99% sure that the new phones will not have that must-have feature that would let me easily rationalize another $1,000 purchase a year after the first one. I might be wrong, of course, given that current iPhone X rumors are far from painting the full picture.
And yes, like every iPhone generation, the iPhone X still retains its value rather well. I could always get plenty of cash back and get the shiny new handset come September for a lot less than what it’ll cost without selling last year’s model. But I’m afraid that Apple’s iPhone X pricing structure has made me reconsidering my iPhone buying strategy, especially given that we’ve sort of reached peak smartphone design for the time being.
The next best thing is already in the works behind closed doors at Apple and at other smartphone vendors. It just won’t hit stores this year.
Regular smartphone buyers who upgrade their devices at a slower pace should totally consider the 2018 iPhone X successor this year, especially if they skipped the first-generation iPhone X last year. And the best part is this: If the sky-high price tags of Apple’s OLED iPhones are off-putting this year, there might be another option that’s just as good.