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Apple iPhone X: Is It Worth $999?

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The ghost and the spirit of Steven Jobs lives on at Apple. True the creative genius is missing but Steven’s super salesmanship style continues at full speed. Is the latest a case of salesmanship over substance?

Super Tuesday September 11th marked the unveiling of a host of hip and slick new Apple products. At this point, I should admit to being one of bazillion fans of Apple products: owned an Apple IIc and every product since. I am sitting here on my MacBook Air, listening to Apple Music on a nearby iPad and waiting for a call in my iPhone. Later I will go to the gym and listen to endless music on my iPod. I am an Apple fan and have been for many years.

After listening to the recent keynote presentation at Apple headquarters, I noticed something un tech like. Prices are going up. Are we getting more for our money or are they simply getting more of ours?

CNBC ran a headline the day following the meeting,” Analysts gush over Apple’s new products” The headline goes on the explain how the new $999 iPhone takes the franchise to a whole new level. This bit of hyperbole is questionable. Is iPhone X really worth $1000?

Here are key features cited by analysts that make the X the coolest device on the planet.

• The sharpest display ever on an iPhone. Wow, this sounds like a TV commercial from Procter & Gamble for Tide detergent (whiter and brighter). The other super cool feature the screen runs from edge to edge so you get a bigger viewing area without pony up for a larger phone. (Try Tide Extra Large Economy Size)
• Facial recognition allows the owner to automatically unlock the phone when facing the camera. This will save endless nano seconds compared with the old days of 2016 when old fashion fingerprint ID was the standard.
• Animoji! Even I was impressed with the implications for this little gimmic. It takes SnapChat one step further by allowing the user to super impose Animoji over the user face while recording a video message.
• Wireless Charging: Ho Hum, Samsung has already been there and done that.
• Brand new cameras: Again Ho Hum, every new iPhone has the latest and greatest innovation in cameras. The iPhone X has a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a second zoom. OMG.

So who is going to pay $1000 for iPhone X? Several of those sharp-witted analysts answer the question: the installment payments. The standard 64-gigabyte model for $1000 if you finance via the Apple upgrade program will only end up costing $50 a month.

Not only does this entitle you to pay $1200 for your phone but most likely will double you monthly cell phone bill. Verizon unlimited plan is just $60. Is it worth doubling your monthly costs? Well, if you are paying $2000 a month for the lease on your Lamborghini and $25,000 for rent on your 1-bedroom apartment, then $50 bucks is chump change.

An Innovation or Simply A Price Increase

Since the demise of Apple founder Steven Jobs, Apple’s leadership in innovation has faded. Is the strategy for iPhone X one that calls for higher selling prices to offset slow growth in unit sales? This is a valid question for investors since the iPhone defines Apple. There are other signs that higher selling prices may be part of an emerging Apple strategy.

Prior to Tuesday’s Apple rollout, consumers could purchase the 256GB and 512GB 10.9-inch iPad Pro for $749 and $949, respectively. Those models now cost $799 and $999, respectively. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro saw its 256GB and 512GB models increase by $50 to $949 and $1,149, respectively, with the latter nearing the price of a MacBook.

As for me, my iPhone 6 is all paid off. It doesn’t have the water resistant qualities of iPhone 7 so I have be careful not to drop it in the fish bowl. Nor does it have the facial recognition of iPhone X so I will have to depend on my friends to remember my face. Maybe I should wear a name tag just in case.