Maximum excess? The iPhone XS Max is crazy-expensive

Tempted by Apple's newest, biggest, most advanced iPhone? Brace your bank account.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
2 min read

Starting at $1,099 for a 64GB model (£1,049/AU$1,799), Apple's new iPhone XS Max is the most expensive iPhone ever made.

Let's all take a moment to wince at the thought of blowing that much cash on a phone. Oof.

Still with me? Good. Now, let's put that number into context.

First, know that the value of an iPhone has risen right along with Apple's stock. At $1,099, the entry-level XS Max costs more than twice as much as the original iPhone, which debuted for $499 back in 2007. And, of course, this comes after last year's biggest-ever uptick in iPhone pricing, when the iPhone X debuted at $999 -- about $350 more than the cost of the previous year's iPhone 7 Plus.

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Need more than 64GB of storage space? A 256GB iPhone XS Max will cost you $1,249, while Apple's first-ever 512GB model will cost $1,449. That's three-and-a-half Apple Watches, by the way, the newest of which starts at $399. I think I might need another wince break.

Of course, Apple isn't the only maker of phones that cost a grand or more. Earlier this year, Samsung followed the iPhone X's suit and released the $1,000 Galaxy Note 9. And, after the iPhone X took the top spot in smart phone sales by selling 16 million units in the first quarter of the year alone, the water likely looks inviting for other manufacturers to jump in at that $1,000-plus price point.

In other words, start saving. Smart phones that cost more than your monthly mortgage payment aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Everything Apple announced at its Sept. 12 event: Our exhaustive roundup.

iPhone XR, XS, XS Max: Apple's three new iPhones start at $749.