The most expensive version of the new iPhone 8 will cost $1,000 or more, according to a Wall Street research firm. The price will be based on a set of features that are entirely new to smartphones. The iPhone 8 also will be very expensive to build. What the research does not say is that Apple Inc. (AAPL) already sells a version of the iPhone 7 Plus for barely less than $1,000. And for those who do not want to pay nearly so much, the four major wireless carriers have two-year plans that probably will push the price below $40 a month, if past practice is any indication.
According to an analysis by RBC Capital, the high-end iPhone 8 will have an AMOLED display. This technology makes a screen brighter and sharper. According to Digital Trends, the technology is characterized by:
AMOLED screens consist of a thin layer of organic polymers that light up when zapped with an electric current. Due to this simple construction, AMOLED screens can be extremely thin and do not require a backlight. The benefit of losing a backlight is readily apparent: these screens are able to produce blacks so deep that the screen pixels can shut right off. Shutting off pixels can also save electricity and battery life in phones and tablets. Just keep your backgrounds close to black and you’ll save energy.
RBC Capital also predicts the most expensive iPhone 8 will no longer have a "home" button. And it will feature advanced facial recognition technology.
Apple currently has a version of the iPhone that costs nearly $1,000. The iPhone 7 Plus with 256 gigabytes has a retail price of $969.99 when purchased without any wireless contract. So, the new iPhone 8 may be priced only a few dollars above the current generation.
At the other end of the iPhone 8 spectrum, wireless companies like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) probably will price the low-end version of the iPhone 8 below $40 a month, with 24-month contracts. This kind of price plan is a usual way for large wireless carriers to get and hold customers for long periods. Even if the carrier pays a lot for the smartphone, it presumably makes that back in monthly fees and on people who renew their subscriptions for a longer period.
The $1,000 iPhone 8 may be available to consumers, but most are likely to opt for wireless plans that bring the price down to a fraction of that.