Apple Focuses on X Appeal with the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max


(Dennis Swaney) #41

IIRC, ROKR was a Motorola name, so Steve can’t be blamed for it.

Ah, it is that same “demand driven” concept that resulted in the SE, so the DEMAND is there.


(Dennis Swaney) #42

You mean like in this old IBM commercial back in 2000 with the guy sitting in St.Mark’s Square yelling “Buy it! Buy it!” and scaring the pigeons?


(David Silbey) #43

ROKR was a Motorola name, so Steve can’t be blamed for it

Jobs endorsed it and announced it, so I think he can.

Ah, it is that same “demand driven” concept that resulted in the SE, so the DEMAND is there.

I suspect demand for the SE is at its peak in Internet forums, not the real world.


(Adam Engst) #44

Yes, the article talks about this at length—the title was intentionally “wrong” for the benefit of the wordplay.

And in terms of the small flip phones, check out this one from 2007:

Finally…

I wish that were true. Nearly every conversation I’ve had in person here in Ithaca about the new iPhones has focused on the size and the lack of something the size of the iPhone SE. I think a lot of these people are also concerned about price, so if Apple came out with a small iPhone for $999, they’d still complain (and probably wouldn’t buy it).


(David Silbey) #45

I suspect demand for the SE is at its peak in Internet forums, not the real world.

I wish that were true. Nearly every conversation I’ve had in person here in Ithaca…

Ithaca’s not the real world, either. :grinning:

(as a native Ithacan, I’m allowed to say that)


(Duane Williams) #46

Re: “That iPhone XR is still $100 more than the iPhone’s traditional $649 starting price”

In April 2015, I paid $749 for my 64GB iPhone 6, which I’m still using. Today, almost 3½ years later, the 64GB iPhone XR costs $749.


(Simon) #47

IMHO that’s a bunch of nonsense. If there had not been demand for the SE Apple wouldn’t have sold it for almost 3 years. If there had been no demand buyers wouldn’t immediately have snatched up any remaining stock in Apple stores throughout the entire Bay Area. If there had been no demand we wouldn’t be seeing so many of them still in the wild. If there had been no demand we wouldn’t be constantly hearing about people who want a compact iPhone.

No, the fact of the matter is that SE is a difficult product. It was supposed to be both inexpensive and small. The latter usually makes engineering/manufacturing more difficult which tends to drive up price, an immediate contradiction with the former. And because of the former, Apple makes only limited revenue of off every unit sold. That simply doesn’t make it a very attractive product to invest in, let alone re-engineer to ensure that top notch components still fit in a svelte case.

Apple is gambling that nobody will miss an iPhone south of $500 or that anybody who wants a small iPhone will find the 4.7" 7 good enough. We will likely never know if they were right, it’s not as if they won’t sell a lot of iPhones. And we lack the parallel universe to see how may more they would have sold had they launched an “Xs mini” or introduced a new low-cost “Xc”.

But what we do know for certain is that there are people who no longer find an iPhone that suits their needs. Who will end up buying either nothing, an Android (unlikely), or maybe indeed another iPhone even if they know they won’t find the same joy in it. Now we can of course assume that Apple can happily live with that fact, and we can simply ignore that bunch too. But let’s not engage in some kind of group brainwash where we try to convince each other that that group of people doesn’t exist.


(Doug Miller) #48

… and the iPhone 8 starting price was $699. I guess you can say that the starting price has increased by $50 each of the last two years.


(Diane D) #49

In May 2015 I paid $50 for my SE. I don’t care if I’m locked into a contract, Verizon is the best provider for my area and travels anyway.

Phone prices are insane these days, especially if they are expecting us to upgrade frequently.

Diane


(Duane Williams) #50

Diane, to provide a basis for comparison, combining the (upfront) cost of my iPhone 6 and the monthly cost of cell service from Cricket Wireless (using the AT&T network), over the 41 months that I’ve had my phone, my average monthly cost has been $53.66. That number includes the phone, the cell service, and taxes.


(Duane Williams) #51

I would bet that people will routinely pronounce them ex-R, ex-S, and Max, ignoring any admonitions from Apple.


(Diane D) #52

Now think of how much less it would be if your upfront cost was only $50 :wink:

But seriously, I look into other providers now and then and Verizon still works best for me. My monthly plan is $51 or so with taxes. Last time I looked, doing their payment plan adds another $20 to the monthly cost and that was pricing out another SE.

Shelling out $600+ for what’s now a consumable item is quite a bit. I’ve never paid more than $50 for a phone.

Diane


(Duane Williams) #53

Diane, it was my impression that regardless of whether one pays full price up front for a phone or whether it is paid for on a monthly basis, it’s basically the same. To compare with my numbers, you have to add up everything your phone has cost you and divide by the number of months you’ve had it.

I should also say that I have very low data needs. I routinely use less than 1GB per month. My plan with Cricket has changed from time to time. At one point they bumped up my data to 5GB without charging me more. I dropped to the (newly) lowest 2GB plan to save $5 per month.

I currently pay a flat $30 per month for cell service.


(Duane Williams) #54

You mean, presumably, “I’ve never paid more up front than $50 for a phone.” You have paid the full price that Apple charges for your phone, but it was split up into monthly payments and (possibly) hidden in your bill. Hopefully, once the full cost of the phone was actually paid, they reduced your monthly bill accordingly.


(David Silbey) #55

If there had not been demand for the SE Apple wouldn’t have sold it for almost 3 years

Why not? They offered it, had some reasonable initial sales and then, my guess is, sales trailed off to very little, and now they’re cancelling it. It’s not like that pattern – reasonable sales, followed by a drop off – isn’t insanely common in the business world.

Again, this is not just Apple. There’s not a high end phone from any manufacturer that’s as small as the SE. The market doesn’t seem to like them, no matter how much we do.

No, the fact of the matter is that SE is a difficult product. It was supposed to be both inexpensive and small.

Actually, that’s almost completely opposite the truth. The SE form factor was essentially that of the iPhone 5/5s, which means its cost had already been amortized by sales of those phones. Its internals were a couple of years out of date, meaning they were cheap to manufacture. The SE, rather than being difficult and expensive to make, was remarkably cheap and easy.

And, because of the low cost of manufacture, I would bet the margins they made on it were really high.

But let’s not engage in some kind of group brainwash where we try to convince each other that that group of people doesn’t exist.

Nobody’s trying to say that there aren’t people who would like an updated SE (I’m one of them, as a matter of fact). We’re in a small minority, however.

Are you really arguing that if the iPhone SE was selling at the level of the iPhone X, that Apple would blithely cancel it?


(Diane D) #56

I am not sure that was the case prior to 2015 or so. I’ve been with Verizon for years. I got my first iPhone in 2011 with a $50 credit because once your contract ended, you got a credit for a new phone based on the value of your current phone (it was usually $50 or $100 - mine were always $50 because I didn’t get super expensive phones). I had that phone until 2015 when I got the SE and my monthly price never dropped.

When I got the SE, there was some sort of thing when it was first announced where I was able to buy it for $50 flat out. I did have to commit to a 2 year contract. I changed my plan a couple of times, once when my job pushed me over 2 gigs/month. By the time I left that job in 2016, Verizon had some new plans and I was able to go to a 2gb plan for even less.

Unless the rest of the phone fee was very well hidden, I don’t think it was there. There was the pay in full no contract price as well.

I know not long after that, I looked at pricing and the $50 SE was gone. I’ve stepped through the process and have always seen a pay in full price and a pay monthly price with contract. There doesn’t seem to be a “reasonable” with contract price anymore.

I apologize for thinking $900 is not reasonable price. (I don’t know why I thought you could still get an iPhone for $600 like I posted before)

I am apparently no longer in Apple’s target market. :frowning:

Diane


(Simon) #57

This is simply not true. When it was released the SE had the internals of the only 6-month old high-end iPhone (6s). It was considered very good value since you were getting high-end performance at a substantially lower price.


(Duane Williams) #58

Don’t apologize. You can still get an iPhone for less than the price of the newest phones. You can get an iPhone 7 for $449 and you can get an iPhone 8 for $599, and you can spread the cost out over 24 months if you choose. These are phones that many people have been happy with.


#59

Simon

    September 18

IMHO that’s a bunch of nonsense. If there had not been demand for the SE Apple wouldn’t have sold it for almost 3 years.

There probably was demand when they started developing the phone 4-5 years ago, but demand probably petered down the last few years. And smaller phones aren’t as profitable as larger phones. That’s why Android manufacturers aren’t making phones either.

People are willing to spend lots more money on bigger phones because they want to stream videos and music, take pictures with a better camera, shop online, play games, read books, surf the web, etc. All this stuff adds to the bottom line of Apple’s growing services revenues as well as hardware profits. (My kudos to Apple for developing Screen Time.)

If there had been no demand buyers wouldn’t immediately have snatched up any remaining stock in Apple stores throughout the entire Bay Area. If there had been no demand we wouldn’t be seeing so many of them still in the wild. If there had been no demand we wouldn’t be constantly hearing about people who want a compact iPhone.

No, the fact of the matter is that SE is a difficult product. It was supposed to be both inexpensive and small.

They also expect new features, and not just faster and slimmer. Better cameras, better displays and edge to edge ratio, more storage, etc. The SE is at the at the end of elasticity it has stretched to, and buyers any sized phone will not pay more for the exact same model or one that’s even close.

The latter usually makes engineering/manufacturing more difficult which tends to drive up price, an immediate contradiction with the former. And because of the former, Apple makes only limited revenue of off every unit sold. That simply doesn’t make it a very attractive product to invest in, let alone re-engineer to ensure that top notch components still fit in a svelte case.

They’d also have to keep upgrading chips, etc. to run the latest and greatest iOS.

Apple is gambling that nobody will miss an iPhone south of $500 or that anybody who wants a small iPhone will find the 4.7" 7 good enough.

They’re not gambling on this. Costs to manufacture SEs have most probably gone up, and people who do love their current SEs and are willing to spend $500 probably will not want to spend $600+ for the same thing that might not be able to run the latest and greatest software.


(David Silbey) #60

This is simply not true. When it was released the SE had the internals of the only 6-month old high-end iPhone (6s). It was considered very good value since you were getting high-end performance at a substantially lower price.

I was speaking about the current SE, whose internals, as I noted, are years out of date, and thus cheap to manufacture. Even at the time of introduction, the cost of the internals were spread out over multiple product lines, meaning the SE was cheaper to make than if they’d introduced a new chip to put in it. It was never true that the SE was particularly expensive to manufacture, as you asserted.