Apple is expected to sell its fanciest iPhone yet for $1,000, crossing into a new financial frontier that will test how much consumers are willing to pay for a device that’s become an indispensable part of modern life.
The unveiling of a dramatically redesigned iPhone will likely be the marquee moment Tuesday when Apple hosts its first product event at its new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California. True to its secretive ways, Apple won’t confirm that it will be introducing a new iPhone, though a financial forecast issued last month telegraphed something significant is in the pipeline.
In addition to several new features, a souped-up “anniversary” iPhone — coming a decade after Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs unveiled the first version — could also debut at an attention-getting $999 price tag, twice what the original iPhone cost. It would set a new price threshold for any smartphone intended to appeal to a mass market.
Various leaks have indicated the new phone will feature a sharper display, a so-called OLED screen that will extend from edge to edge of the device, thus eliminating the exterior gap, or “bezel,” that currently surrounds most phone screens.
It may also boast facial recognition technology for unlocking the phone and wireless charging. A better camera is a safe bet, too.
Apple isn’t the only company driving up smartphone prices. Market leader Samsung Electronics just rolled out its Galaxy Note 8 with a starting price of $930.
The trend reflects the increasing sophistication of smartphones, which have been evolving into status symbols akin to automobiles.
“People now value their phones more than any other device and, in some cases, even more than food and sex,” said technology analyst Patrick Moorhead.
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