Apples line of iPhone 11’s goes on sale today. Delivery is scheduled to begin next Friday, on Sept 20th.
These are premium level phones. The iPhone 11 starts at US$700, leading it to be called the affordable flagship. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at US$1000 and goes up to US$1449.
In Canada, starting today, you can pre-order the base model iPhone 11 for CDN$979. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at CDN$1379 and climbs all the way to CDN$2000. The exchange rate obviously hurts the optics, but still, that’s a $1000 for the “affordable” option, a phone that might last you a couple of years.
At those prices, the regular iPhone 11 is sure to be the more popular. The few minor added improvements will not be justification for the US$300 / CDN$400 price bump. Not for most people.
It’s important to put the iPhone 11 in perspective » Just last year, Joe Public could purchase a new iPhone SE, directly from Apple, for US$399. The SE was first introduced in 2016 and was available from the mother ship until mid-to-late 2018. In January of this year, Apple put the iPhone SE back for sale as a clearance item for $249. It quickly sold out.
No affordable iPhone has been announced since the iPhone SE. It was one of the last iPhones to have a standard 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack. I have an iPhone SE, and I love it. But the screen is dying and I’m looking for a replacement.
Apple made a conscious decision to disregarding a significant number of potential customers who may want a smaller design, or who may be looking for a good midrange smartphone. I like that the iPhone SE fits in my front pocket and I don’t have to worry about crushing it or bending it. And I think US$400 is about the right price for a phone in 2019.
We may have entered a time where the better value smartphone will outsell the premium offering with the premium price tag. Google understood this when they introduced the US$400 / CDN$549 Pixel 3a earlier this year. The Pixel 3a is probably the best mid-priced, Joe Public friendly smartphone on the market today. Customers are just not up to spending $1000+ every couple of years for a phone.
CNET editor Daniel Van Boom called the Pixel 3a the most important phone of 2019.
Similarly, if Google releases the much anticipated Pixel 4 at US$100 / CDN$150 or so less than the iPhone 11, they are almost guaranteed to sell out their warehouses quickly.
» If you are interested in the iPhone 11, Chance Miller at 9to5Mac has a similar comparison you might be interested in.