$1,000 for an iPhone re­ally isn’t that much

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Jef­fer­son Gra­ham

SAN FRAN­CIS CO Sorry folks, but spend­ing $1,000 for a smart­phone isn’t out of line.

There are many who will be jump­ing at the chance to be the first on their block to have the new iPhone X, out in Novem­ber with the steep­est price tag we’ve seen to date for a ma­jor smart­phone. I’m with them in feel­ing that it’s an easy pur­chase.

We’re talk­ing $2.75 a day for a year, or $50 monthly for 20 months.

This is the iPhone af­ter all. The de­vice we no doubt spend more time with than our wives and hus­bands, chil­dren, brothers and sis­ters. It awakes with us, taps us into our work lives with mes­sages from the boss and co-work­ers, de­liv­ers texts from our friends, amuses us with games, YouTube clips, Snapchat and In­sta­gram self­ies and pho­tos of our lat­est trip. We don’t have to wait for the evening news any­more — our phone de­liv­ers up­dates all day — and who still looks at Face­book on a, gasp, com­puter?

Some say, well gee, at $1,000 the phone is creep­ing up to the price of a lap­top com­puter. Well, duh, of course. Lap­top and desk­top sales have been de­clin­ing for years as we spend more time on our mo­bile phones, which are now more pow­er­ful and full-fea­tured. As phones have got­ten bet­ter, nat­u­rally prices go up as well.

I still swear by my MacBook Pro lap­top. I do video, photo and au­dio edit­ing ev­ery day, and mo­bile just doesn’t cut it for me. But it’s get­ting closer. (Thank you, Adobe Light­room Mo­bile, my goto mo­bile photo edi­tor.) But I know many peo­ple who don’t even bother with their com­put­ers any­more. For them, it’s all mo­bile.

An en­try-level MacBook Air, a line that hasn’t been up­dated in some time, starts at $999, the same price as the iPhone X, and while it does have a we­b­cam, you don’t get that great mo­bile cam­era to snap all those great shots that you do with the iPhone. And the Air can’t fit in your pocket.

Think about what you spend money on — an ex­pen­sive din­ner at a restau­rant that could top

$200 with friends — it’s here to­day and gone to­mor­row. Tick­ets to a con­cert or a sport­ing event that could top hun­dreds of dol­lars? That’s just for one night.

I’m with many who weren’t blown away by the new fea­tures an­nounced for the iPhone X. I can live with­out un­lock­ing the phone with my eye and wire­less charg­ing. But it doesn’t mat­ter — that beau­ti­ful OLED screen. That new cam­era. Gotta have it, right?

To those who think Ap­ple is goug­ing us by jack­ing up the Iprice to record lev­els, I say — it’s a free coun­try. Ap­ple’s in busi­ness to make money, and if it wants to sell a su­per pre­mium prod­uct, more power to them. We don’t have to buy it — and if we don’t, watch the price tag start to tum­ble.

And deal alert — Ap­ple’s en­trylevel iPhone, the SE, is now $349, has a 4-inch screen, the lat­est soft­ware and a de­cent cam­era. But you can’t un­lock the screen with your eye. And for many peo­ple, that’s just fine.

So if you’re now com­fort­able with the $1,000 iPhone, just know this — if the plan works as well as Ap­ple hopes, surely there’s a

$2,000 iPhone await­ing you around the cor­ner.


You can be the sub­ject of de­vice envy from coast to coast.

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