Apple's WWDC 2019 keynote highlighted a growing problem with Apple. The company's pricing has spiraled out of control.
The fact that Apple unveiled, without a hint of hesitation, a display stand that costs as much as the company's previous high-end Thunderbolt display highlights the worrying trajectory that Apple has been going in for the past few years. That display stand is, without a doubt, Apple's most ambitious dongle, and probably the most Apple thing that Apple has ever made.
Think about it for a moment. A display that has a starting price of $5,000 doesn't come with a stand, and the stand itself costs another $1,000.
VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz summed it up perfectly:
"Apple didn't just get to this point on Monday. The past five years saw the introduction of gold Apple Watches and trash can-shaped Mac Pros that were seemingly made without worrying whether actual customers would purchase them. More recently, Apple has pushed up the entry prices for its flagship and near-flagship iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, and Macs while killing off inexpensive models. If one wanted to read a message into this, it would be that Apple doesn't want the $49 iPod shuffle, $149 iPod nano, or $299 iPad mini customers any more, at least unless they're willing to cough up some more cash for newer models."
There's no doubt that Apple has little embarrassment when it comes to hefty price tags. But the flip-side is that this is a symptom of people being willing to pay the big money for Apple-branded hardware.
Apple's "budget" iPhone XR starts at a hefty $899 (that's the unlocked price), but despite falling sales, enough people are still willing to pay this sort of money for an iPhone. Sure, you can buy an older model for less money, but a 32GB iPhone 7, Apple's cheapest iPhone, still costs a whopping $449.
That's a hefty price tag attached to a smartphone that's almost three years old now.
Want a MacBook? The cheapest starts at $1,199. Want an iPod? The only iPod offered any more is the iPod Touch, and that starts at $199. Want a pair of wireless earbuds? That starts at $159. Want a spare charging cable for your iPhone? $20.
Apple really doesn't have much for someone on a budget. Apple has eliminated it all to make way for high-priced devices that push up the average selling price for the device category.
Again, though, the problem is that people are still willing to pay these high prices for devices.
So, if you're an Apple fan who feels that the company no longer caters for you, you have other Apple fans to thank for that.
Is Apple pricing itself out of the market, or is it milking customers for all they're willing to pay? Let me know below!