Apple’s pricing of its new iPhone XS Max has been defended despite plans to charge up to £1,449 for some models of the new device.
The technology giant announced three new smartphones – the iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR – at its latest live event in California, promising fans that the new products are the “most advanced” the company has ever made.
The XS Max features the largest screen and battery that Apple has ever used for an iPhone, a landmark reflected by a £1,099 starting price, which rises to £1,449 for the 512GB storage version.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said although these were steep prices, such figures were common for modern smartphones, and there was enough choice to satisfy all budgets.
“The Max is clearly a serious piece of tech and its starting price reflects that,” he said.
“This might be at the very top end of what Apple has charged customers before, but the tiered pricing strategy across the three handsets means that iPhone enthusiasts and newcomers alike can find a device that suits their needs among this latest generation of smartphones.”
Alongside the flagship XS Max and smaller XS, Apple also announced the iPhone XR.
Introducing the device, marketing head Phil Schiller said the firm wanted to “reach as many people as possible”.
The XR features many of the same specifications as the XS duo but has only a single rear camera, an LCD screen – unlike the XS’ OLED – and starts at £749 when it goes on sale in October.
Ben Wood, chief of research at analyst firm CCS Insight, said Apple’s popularity would offset the price for many.
“The iPhone XS Max once again takes Apple into new territory when it comes to price,” he said.
“At 1,099 dollars it’s the most expensive iPhone to date, but I have little doubt that it’ll be a huge success. It underlines what a powerful franchise Apple has created and that the public’s love affair with the iPhone is stronger than ever.
“History tells us that every time Apple introduces a new larger-screen iPhone, it prompts a surge in upgrades by existing owners. We expect the iPhone XS Max to have exactly the same effect despite its price tag.”
Apple introduced its first £1,000 smartphone – the iPhone X – last year, and despite a slight drop in sales, the company has reported increased revenue and profit during 2018.
Elsewhere at its event in California, Apple introduced the fourth generation of its Apple Watch, with even greater focus on health and wellbeing.
The new Apple Watch Series 4 features sensors that can detect when wearers suffer a heavy fall as well as alert them if it clocks abnormal heart rates.