Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that the nearly $1,000 iPhone X is “a value price, actually,” after being asked if it was too expensive for “the average American.”
Speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA), Cook argued that the cost is totally reasonable when accounting “for the technology that you’re getting.”
“As it turns out, most people are now paying for phones over long periods of times. And so, very few people will pay the price tag of the phone initially. Also, most people actually trade in their current phone, and so that reduces the prices further, and some carriers even throw in, you know, subsidies and discounts,” said Cook. “And so, when we look at it, the iPhone in particular has become so essential in our daily lives, people want it to do more and more, so we’ve built more and more technology in to be able to do it.”
Apple announced the iPhone X last week, and it will be available to pre-order Oct. 27, and ready for shipping Nov. 3. Its base price of $999 exceeds the simultaneously introduced iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which cost $699 and $799, respectively. (RELATED: Here Are All The Important Things You Could Buy Instead Of The iPhone X)
GMA anchor Robin Roberts said “you knew this was coming,” before reading off the Twitter users’ question about the considerable price tag.
Cook nodded and answered in the affirmative, seemingly prepared for the question.
“Yeah. Apple has never been about selling the most of anything. That is not our objective. Our objectives are not big revenues,” Cook said. “Our objective is to make the best product that enriches people’s lives. We want to help people.”
“I know you do, Tim,” Roberts responded.
Cook has made such ostensibly anti-capitalistic affirmations before.
Justin Danhof, general counsel of the National Center for Public Policy Research and director of the Free Enterprise Project, attended an Apple shareholders meeting in February 2014. There he confronted Cook over his perceptible indifference to return on investment relative to climate change. “Mr. Cook made it very clear to me that if I, or any other investor, was more concerned with return on investment than reducing carbon dioxide emissions, my investment is no longer welcome at Apple,” Danhof said at the time.
The average selling price for an Android smartphone (excluding the wireless service contract) is $254, according to The Wall Street Journal, well below Apple’s average of $687. (RELATED: In Honor Of The New iPhone 8 And iPhone X, Here’s A Look Back At Every iPhone)
Cook seems to be saying that the significantly higher price tag for the iPhone X relative to competitors’ smartphones is not due to profit and widespread consumption, but rather to create the optimal device for users. Approximately 88 percent of the global market use smartphones employed with the Android operating system, according to Strategy Analytics, rather than Apple’s iOS, which makes up roughly 12 percent.
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