iPhones are very expensive but 'a safe bet,' says Woz

Commentary: Speaking in China, the Apple co-founder claims that you get what you pay for with Apple. Is this still true?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

The CUBE Tech Fair 2017

Woz believes iPhones are worth it.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In the end, it comes down to love.

That's seems to be Steve Wozniak's view about buying high-priced Apple products.

Speaking to journalists in Dongguan, China, earlier this week, the Apple co-founder explained why he thinks people buy iPhones, despite their elevated prices.

As the South China Morning Post reports, he said: "Apple products are safe. And Apple's pricing is high in the extreme. It's a safe bet for a lot of people."

I always thought Apple products were supposed to be exciting, revolutionary even. The mere thought that the iPhone represents merely a safe bet borders on the depressing.

People used to buy iPhones so that they could show them off, not think of them as Linus does a blanket. 

For Woz, though, this safety is coupled with something more. "When you love Apple, you are willing to pay for it," he said. 

This much is true. Apple has managed to maintain brand loyalty while its competitors have sometimes foundered, often through their own doing. For example, Samsung launching phones (twice) that, well, exploded.

As Woz was talking about the iPhone's value, he also offered praise for Chinese phones, which are currently performing very well against the iPhone in China. He described them as "really good, intelligent decisions about how to lower the cost but keep enough of the functionality in."

But he implicitly suggested they weren't as good as the iPhone. "You may not have the hugest share in the market or be the No. 1, but you should have the best product you can possibly build and Apple qualifies for that," he said.

The discussion about price, however, is more significant now because of so many rumors claiming that the next iPhone will cost $1,000. No, $1,200. Wait, make that $1,400.

As people have become increasingly embedded in the Apple ecosystem, the iPhones themselves have become -- visually, for sure -- less exciting.

Is there a price point at which Apple-lovers -- even those who live, breathe and emote Apple on a daily basis -- will decide that the balance between price and quality simply isn't there anymore?

Some believe -- and I think quite rightly -- that Apple vs. Samsung has become more about the look and feel of the product, rather than less.

"Companies used to design phones to show off their technology. Now the focus is on designing a product that can be a buddy to the person, inseparable to them," Samsung's design chief M.H. Lee recently told The Wall Street Journal.

So the biggest problem with an iPhone 8 (or whatever it will be called) costing $1,000 will be if you take a look at it and mutter: "That looks just like the iPhone 7."

Love has its limits. It also has its breaking points.

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