IF YOU'VE been a regular reader of Tthe INQUIRER for the last few years, you'll know that we have a tradition.
Every year, Carly (in particular) works her guts out to give you the best iPhone pre-launch and launch coverage that we possibly can - and that's no mean feat considering Apple still treats us like lepers despite being nothing but nice to them for the past 10 years (come on Apple - what's with that?).
Then, the following day, I get my Android Fanboi right-of-reply. It's sort of like a cross between Boxing Day and The Budget.
This year, however, I am not going to drone on and on about how Android did certain features first or better. Because there's something that is far, far more alarming about yesterday's announcement that has really got stuck in my craw.
I was pretty horrified when the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 came out at over the £800 mark. But the iPhone X is going to be available "from" £999. Yep. Some models are going to cost over a grand and will still be obsolete in a few years.
And for what exactly? I mean, sure, it's a pretty thing, but the tech isn't that special and there's nothing you actually need.
Here's my concern. Apple has always been very good at telling you that the things you want and the things you need are the same thing. They're not. They're very, very different.
You don't "need" a narrow bezel for example. In fact, I rather like having a bezel. It means that if my phone ever does get a slight knock, the chip isn't taken out of the screen.
Face ID sounds like my worst nightmare - a gimmick, and a dangerous one. It feels like only last week that we were banging on about using facial recognition to get information about sexuality and that the same AI could be adapted for other inferences such as political and personal views and likely ethnic makeup.
Oh yeah - it bloody well was last week and it's a serious, serious problem for privacy, so why the hell you'd want to give Apple carte blanche is a mystery. Fingerprints, I can get behind. Face ID? A dangerous gimmick that you're paying a premium for.
As someone who has, in the past, been on the wrong side of a credit card, the fact that Apple is encouraging people to take out credit to afford this mega-phone also sends out a worrying message.
People who are convinced that they "need" this new device (they don't) could find themselves in a financial mess. Being approved for a £1200 loan doesn't mean you can afford it.
But let's put all that aside and look at the way that the pricing is going to affect the rest of the industry. It sets a precedent. A benchmark. A figure that completely misrepresents the value of the phone.
So that would be £433.23 profit. Give or take. That's nearly 300 per cent mark up.
Now. I don't believe for a second that the iPhone X costs significantly more to make. The £1,000 price tag is about prestige, profit, and to a not-much-lesser extent gullibility. I think it's fair to say that Apple is going to make about £600 on each one, at least.
But then this is the company that sold us a picture book of old phones for £130 and I start to feel I'm howling at the moon.
Meanwhile, we're starting to see more and more really good budget phones. My phone of 2016? The Honor 8. Retail price at launch £369. This year, I'm going to find it hard to beat the OnePlus 5. Some people baulked a little as the price went up, from the previous model, but it's still only £449 and it is, without doubt, the best phone I've ever owned (and yes, the Honor 9 is nice too).
Now, I know the inevitable retort will be that those are lower specced phones. And yes, they're lower than the iPhone X. But they're far in excess of what you need.
It used to be that I worried that the free handset system that operators run alongside contracts in the UK made us undervalue our devices. It stopped us understanding that there was several hundred quids worth of kit in our hand.
What Apple is doing undermines that idea so far it makes me want to throw stuff at other stuff until both things break. The iPhone X is not worth a grand. And by charging it as such, it makes it harder for brands like Honor, OnePlus and Moto that are offering a mixture of quality and value to be taken seriously as competitors on the same playing field.
Upshot - your next phone, no matter what it is, will probably be more expensive because gullible people with large egos are willing to cough up a grand to line Apple's pockets. And that way, everyone loses.
Except Apple, of course. µ
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