Apple CEO's Defense Of iPhone Pricing Raises Questions


On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook attempted to defend the record pricing for one of the company's upcoming iPhones—but his explanation is only raising more questions.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Cook was asked about the $1,099 starting price for the forthcoming iPhone XS Max. After giving the standard response that the device is "the most advanced iPhone we've ever done," Cook offered a different type of defense, by citing the prevalence of financing agreements for iPhones.

[Related: Apple CEO Cook On The China Trade War And iPhone XS Max Price Tag]

"But the way most people pay for these, as it turns out, is they do a deal with a carrier, and they pay so much per month," Cook said. "And so if you look at even the phone that's priced over $1,000, most people pay about $30 a month for it. And so it's about a dollar a day."

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However, the majority of carrier contracts and other financing arrangements are for 24 months. And as the New York Post points out, 24 months at $30 per month comes nowhere near $1,099. That only gets you to $720.

So what is Cook talking about?

It's possible he was thinking of what iPhone buyers used to pay when they bought in with a 24-month carrier contract.

As an iPhone 8 owner, I'm currently paying almost the exact amount that Cook referenced, in fact—$29.12 per month. But that's for a phone priced at $699, well below either the iPhone XS Max or the $999 iPhone XS.

If you want to finance a base model iPhone XS Max, you're actually going to pay a premium of more than 50 percent on a monthly basis above the figure Cook quoted—$45.79 per month.

CRN has reached out to Apple for comment.