Entry-Level OLED ‘iPhone 8’ May Be Priced Above $999: John Gruber

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has speculated what this year’s iPhone price will be, as well as Apple’s strategy for the next-generation smartphone.

Earlier this week, there was a rumour that suggested the OLED “iPhone 8” could start at $1,500. Gruber thinks that this price is way to high and believes that a more reasonable starting price for the entry-level OLED iPhone 8 is $999.

“The prices for these iPhones need to be high enough so that tens of millions of people still want to buy the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. If the “iPhone Pro” or “iPhone Edition” or whatever it is that Apple is going to call this phone starts at $800 or even $900, who is going to buy an iPhone 7S or 7S Plus? Not enough people, that’s who.”

Here are two hypothetical scenarios for the other non-OLED iPhone models that Gruber believes may happen:

Scenario 1:

  • 32 GB 7, no-S: $549
  • 64 GB 7S: $649
  • 256 GB 7S: $749
  • 32 GB 7 Plus, no-S: $669
  • 64 GB 7S Plus: $769
  • 256 GB 7S Plus: $869

Scenario 2:

  • 32 GB 7, no-S: $649
  • 64 GB 7S: $749
  • 256 GB 7S: $849
  • 32 GB 7 Plus, no-S: $769
  • 64 GB 7S Plus: $869
  • 256 GB 7S Plus: $969

Apple is expected to launch the new OLED iPhone 8 alongside an upgraded iPhone 7s and 7s Plus this fall.

A software engineer with a passion for creation and innovation using technology. To learn more about me, check out my personal website, which contains links to my projects. Email: nick@iphoneincanada.ca

  • It’s Me

    Sometimes Gruber shows incredibly poor reasoning. This is one of those times. I’m sure he’s parroting the line Apple PR have him (he admittedly swoons over any attention Apple PR gives him and they play him like a fiddle).

    $1000 iPhone Edition will just come off as a disconnected elitist company completely cutoff from reality and buying into their own spin. The height of hubris.

    People will see the “regular” iPhone as being technologically inferior and handicapped yet being expected to pay the same price as always.

    People are conditioned to expect the lastest and greatest iPhone each year for $650USD and $200 on contract (in local currencies). They will all see $1000 as the new price for entry for the newest model and the 7S/plus will be seen as the “year old” gimped model but now at an inflated price.

  • Those are US prices right? In Canada I could see the 8 coming in at 1500 because of the exchange rate.

  • raslucas

    “Gimped”. I’d be pretty happy with a iPhone 7 and wouldn’t consider it to be gimped

  • It’s Me

    You sure wouldn’t consider a 7 to be top of the line in a few months. Would you still expect to pay the same price for it in a few months?

  • Cornfed710

    I would expect the price to drop when the new ones come out in September.

  • raslucas

    From a Canadian carrier, I don’t except the cost to change from what it is now. The phone is already discounted.

    I still consider my iPhone 6S to be top of the line. Apple makes really good phones man…

  • It’s Me

    You’re intentionally missing the point.

    The 7S will be below the new flagship. The new flagship will be astronomically priced (according to grub). The 7S will will maintain previous pricing for flagships iPhones. Ergo you will be paying flagship pricing but getting the below flagship product.

    This isn’t rocket science.

  • It’s Me

    Of course you would, that’s not the point so it wasn’t the question.

    Let me rephrase: would you, at iPhone launch time, consider paying the regular flagship price for the SE model of the year?

  • Cornfed710

    Flagship and SuperFlagship ?????????????

  • OliChabot

    In my opinion Scenario 1 makes more sense. I would not expect the cheapest iPhone 7S to be 900$ canadian as it probsbly won’t even have much of a difference from the 7. We don’t even know yet what the 7S specs will probably look like. If its only minor bumps in spec like CPU, Camera, and battery life I don’t expect much hype over it so definetely not a high price point.

    It will be i teresting to see what Apple comes up with since all of the hype is about the new Anniversary edition but not much is said of the other models, and if the OLED is indeed 999USD$ i expect alot of people going for other models.

  • Anthony

    You WILL be getting the latest and greatest iPhone. iPhone 7S for the same price as iPhone 7 the previous year. iPhone pro, which it will likely be called, is something entirely new. Do people expect to get a MacBook Pro for the price of an Air? I think John is right on this one.

  • Anthony

    I trying to figure out if you’re trolling or you really don’t understand the difference between pricing tiers, and products within the same line. iPhone SE is a different phone. It’s not intended to be a flagship.

  • It’s Me

    That’s just being silly. It won’t be something entirely new. It will be the new flagship iPhone for this year.

    Every generation of iPhone improves, sometimes substantially. But each year it’s just the new model. Pretending it’s “Pro” is just marketing.

  • It’s Me

    The SE was just a rebranding of older models. Duh.

    Pretending the newest flagship is somehow so vastly different that it should be called “Pro” and justify a $1000USD price tag is pure marketing to the shallowest of elitism.

    So, we can go ahead and pretend that the new flagship is “pro” but in the end all you’re doing is making excuses for the new flagship to increase in price by 50%. Which is a shame because one of the things that gets missed by Apple haters is that Apple has held the line on their pricing for their flagship iPhone for years.

    If they call it “super pro” does that justify another 50% increase?

  • Tim

    I predict the OLED iphone will debut at $1149 CAD (entry level version).

  • Chrome262

    You will be surprised what people will pay, its a reason all the major new phones out are 700+ and above at this point. Its crappy, but people are dumb enough, and in large numbers, to keep this trend going.

  • Chrome262

    Rather buy a computer at that point.

  • Chrome262

    SE, was a rebranding, but they did add the newer chipset to some extent. I agree that this new flag ship will be like the higher end Apple watch, just going to be there for whatever movie stars want it (hell the new iMac as well). Forcing the rest of us, into getting it the following year if at all. If its a continued trend then look to the lower models getting the new flagship features the following year, hopefully. It sucks but maybe it will bomb enough that they stop doing it, but unfortunately enough people will buy it to keep this trend going.

  • Tim

    It will be priced above $999. Because it’s Apple, and their users will pay what Apple tells them to pay.

  • Anthony

    So you’re under the assumption there will only be 1 new phone this year?

  • It’s Me

    Clearly not. I’m under the assumption that the flagship iPhone will launch 50% higher in price than previous years.

    My contention is that introducing such newly astronomical pricing for the new flagship, regardless of marketing it as “Edition” or “Pro”, will simply alienate their base and open them to more ridicule about over pricing.

    We all expect to pay a premium for our Apple products. I have for for decades. But I I disagree rationalizing such massive hikes in the already premium pricing as being justified in order to ensure people buy the low end model. That’s Grub’s argument, that the new flagship has to be priced stratosphericly in order to drive sales of the mid-tier. The mid tier would sell with or without the new elitist pricing of the “Edition”.

    Bumping the new flagship by 50% because of OLED, curved screens and possibly in-glass fingerprint scanner will come off as condescending to their users. Why not price it at $100k to make it really special?

  • Anthony

    You use the word “Marketing” as if its playing dirty. Apple is “holding the line on pricing”. What we know from rumours there will be 3 new iPhones this year. A 4.7 and 5.5 in the same price points as the last three years. Then this year there will be a NEW Pro model that will include newer/more advanced technology at a higher price. This really isn’t that complicated.

  • Anthony

    I couldn’t disagree more about it alienating users. They’ve had this same product differentiation in computers for years. What about cars, can Chevy only have 1 price point in fear of alienating customers? Asking if a $100k phone would make it really special shows your lack of understanding what they are doing. The price isn’t what makes it special it’s the features/tech going into it. You can say it’s priced to high and not but it, if enough people do this I’m sure they’ll abandon this strategy.

  • It’s Me

    Believe me, I expect you to disagree.

    While the $100k question was mostly rhetorical, your response was pretty telling.

    I’ve spend a lot of time, decades really, defending Apple from brainless haters. Still do. But what makes that difficult is the Apple fans that are as blindly religious as the haters are.

    If they were to add some revolutionary new tech to make this a new category, then great, a new $1000 price tag is justified. But if it’s an iterative improvement, but they use it to create a new uber-price for the new flagship, then that’s all it is, a new higher price for the new release and a new lower end tier for the same price as previous flagships.

    I get that you’re ok with that. I get that you’ll defend that to the death. Believe me, I’ve see the religious mindset for long enough. But I do have to ask, what price wouldn’t you defend for the new flagship price? $100k? $8k? $1.5k?

    The insulting part is using Gruber as their mouthpiece to sell it to the faithful with a ready-made script to explain the new pricing. It relies on an assumption of zealotry instead reason. I see some have already memorized the script.