With $ 699, the iPhone 11 is Apple's cheapest new smartphone from the iPhone 8. And that speaks volumes about the changes in consumer habits and challenges Apple is facing – and how they respond.
Last year, the days of under $ 700 new iPhones looked like the past. The iPhone XR costs $ 749, making it the most expensive entry-level iPhone of all time.
But this year with the iPhone 11, Apple ( AAPL ) returned to the $ 699 price it introduced in 2017 with the iPhone 8. In six of Seven years ago, between 2010 and 2016, Apple offered its cheapest iPhone for $ 649 (except for 2013, when it was $ 549).
In 2009, the new first-level iPhone cost $ 599, and in the previous two years it cost $ 499.
Some customers feared Apple priced them, leaving the price below $ 700. People have been holding on to their phones longer and Apple has been looking for ways to increase revenue as people buy fewer iPhones.
iPhone is not quite cheap. Getting the largest and best iPhone has become an expensive proposition. And this year, like last year, Apple will sell a version of the iPhone that costs $ 1
,449. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at $ 999 and the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $ 1,099.
Apple also surprised people with some other cheaper than expected offers. The third-generation Apple Watch costs $ 199, for the first time Apple has sold a version of its wearable gadget for under $ 200. The new iPad costs $ 329. And the company is charging $ 5 a month for Apple TV + and Arcade, its new streaming and gaming subscription services.
These prices are much less than many analysts expected. Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, called the price of Apple TV +, in particular, a "stop show" in an investor note, adding that investors were expecting it to cost $ 9.99 per month.
Apple maintains its entry level
iPhone iPhone sales continue to decline. The recent weakness in China, due to the slowdown in the world's second largest economy, is partly to blame. But iPhone sales have tended to decline globally in a few years.
That's why Apple is looking to expand its base by offering a lower-cost device for the lower end of the market. The iPhone 5C, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone XR represent other recent attempts by Apple to offer a lower-priced version of the iPhone. And Apple has traditionally offered older versions of its products at lower price points, leaving customers to buy last year's technology for about $ 100 less.