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Ask Slashdot: Why Would Anyone Want To Spend $1,000 on a Smartphone? 487

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the $1,000 sticker price for the base model of iPhone X, the latest flagship smartphone from the company which goes on sale next month, is "a value price for the technology that you're getting." An anonymous reader writes: I simply don't understand why anyone would want to spend such amount on a phone. Don't get me wrong. Having a smartphone is crucial in this day and age. I get it. But even a $200 phone, untethered from any carrier contract, will let you install the apps you need, will allow you to take good pictures, surf the web, and listen to music. That handset might not be as fast as the iPhone X or Samsung's new Galaxy Note 8, or it might not be able to take as great pictures, but the difference, I feel, doesn't warrant an additional $800. The reader shares a column: When considering a purchase, comparing the value a product will add to our lives, and its cost is wise. Subjective perceptions affect how we value possessions, but let's consider the practical value of how we use smartphones. Smartphones aren't used for talking as often as the phones that preceded them were. In fact, actual "phone" use ranks below messaging, web surfing, social media and other activities that dominate smartphone usage. Furthermore, statistically we use only six core apps regularly. [...] My point is, smartphones have't changed all that much relatively speaking. Sure they're bigger, faster, more powerful and have awesome cameras. But the iPhone X is fundamentally the same device the earlier iPhones were, and provides the same basic and sought after functions. It's a glass-covered rectangular slab mostly used for messaging, web-surfing, music and social media activity. An individual's perception of self, financial resources, desired or actual social position and love for tech will likely play a role in his perception of the value of a $1,000 smartphone.
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Ask Slashdot: Why Would Anyone Want To Spend $1,000 on a Smartphone?

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  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:16PM (#55294613)
    Really it's not a massive jump from the competition. Which is not to say I'm going to buy one, but I'm also not buying a new Samsung.
    • My next phone will be a OnePlus.
    • Because Samsung and Apple are the only 2 manufacturers, right?

      Here you go, $479. [oneplus.net]

      • Not entirely but they make more money on the parts for the iPhone than they make on all their other phones.

        So really Samsung is the only choice weighted by $$$

        • I don't understand how you got to the conclusion that Samsung is the only choice. I'm using a phone that is on par with recent Samsung and Apple phones, and it is not made by Samsung. See the link above.

        • That's not true.
          Samsung's component division make more money on the iPhone X (not other iPhones) than they make on their own phones. That doesn't mean that Samsung as a whole makes more money from the iPhone X than their own phones.

          Samsung is rumored to make $110 on the iPhone X, because of the OLED display and battery, mainly.

    • Since Verizon stopped making me subsidize a new phone out of every bill? Nope. Heck, I was about to find a different network when my contract ended, but at that time they lowered all bills by what they had been subsidizing phones with. Now I'll use my s5 until it stops turning on (bought a new battery a couple months ago), at that point I'll find the lowest cost smartphone that can make calls and run slitherlink. For computing power, my money goes into my desktop system and it will be a long time before

    • It's even closer than that: base price for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is $930

    • Yeah, $600, $700, $800... all more expensive than the $100-$200 that I've spent on my last 4 phones. (Samsung Exhibit 4G, Moto G 4G, Fire Phone - on fire sale, Samsung J3). I'm just not willing to spend 3-10x that for a toy.

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      I'd say that a price increase by more than a third IS a massive jump.

    • Came here to say this. I know two people with Samsungs that are close to 800 motherfucking US dollars, and there are other models from mainstream manufacturers near this price point. $1k isn't a huge step up.

      Also, to a rich person, a regular $500 smartphone is pocket change, so a $1k smartphone is just loose change from both their pockets. Extra-high-end $1k smartphones are the untapped market that Vertu must be kicking themselves in the afterlife for missing out on.

    • $1,000 is more than 25% more than $725. Seems like a pretty large jump to me.

      Honestly, though, even $725 is too expensive, although I might pay that much if I were pressed and there wasn't another phone out there that met my needs. In practice, for a high-end phone, I start to get price-sensitive in the $600s.

  • by Timothy Hartman ( 2905293 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:16PM (#55294615)
    I think for those who really like Apple and Samsung the convenience of having an $800-1000 phone isn't an issue. Most people fold it into their bill so there isn't a perception of its cost since they are used to paying obscenely high bills and the "rental fee" is essentially at 0% interest.

    I prefer the $200-$300 price point and am currently using a LeEco Le Pro 3 which is zippy enough and I prefer being able to flash my own ROM than being fashionable, but most people just want something that works without relearning a new platform.
    • by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [enimaf.copa]> on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:50PM (#55294979) Journal

      Well, the other reason is that $1000 seems like a lot, but it's really not. Lets suppose that you use your phone for 2 years before you get a new one. The hardware is going to cost you $1.40/day, whereas you're probably paying $2-$3/day for service, and $5-$10 per day for coffee.
       
      For something one uses every day, an item which serves as a watch, alarm clock, entertainment hub, GPS, communication hub, camera, calculator, news source, weather report, traffic report, fitness tracker, journal, to-do list, etc., etc., etc. is well worth $1.40 every day. That's not say that one costing under $1/day can't do all those things just as well, but trying to save $0.50 per day can be done pretty easily a number of other ways. If an extra $0.50/day is a deal-breaker, you're going to save far more just switching to a pre-paid service than you will buying a cheaper phone.
       
      The daily cost of owning a phone pales in the face of how much it can do, and how much time and energy it can save. Avoiding traffic jams and accidents, finding out if somewhere is open before driving there, keeping a list of groceries handy so you don't over-buy "just in case", etc., etc. I bet the grocery list alone pays for itself for me - it's just too easy to throw $20 worth of crap into the cart that I don't need.
       
      $1000 seems like a lot, but if you told me 15 years ago I could have a mobile computer the size of my hand around at all times, connected to the internet, playing videos, games, taking high quality photos, and providing sat-nav, I'd have happily canceled my $1000+ computer building plans and jumped on that offer.
       
      If you re-phrase this, "Why would anyone want to spend $1000 on a computer?", I bet we all could come up with really good reasons. Even if it changes to, "Why would anyone want to spend $1000 on ANOTHER computer?", I bet we all could still come up with some good reasons. These aren't flip-phones we're talking about here. Integrated computer and monitor which replace a solid dozen previous tools and items. Why is that not worth spending $1000 on? I think we've collectively forgotten how utterly amazing technology has gotten.

      • by zabbey ( 985424 )

        $5-$10 per day for coffee

        You.... spend this much per day on coffee?

        • by Known Nutter ( 988758 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @02:22PM (#55295353)
          1 or 2 times a day to Starbucks will put you there easily. I looked at my Starbucks spending a few months ago and I was horrified. I cut that shit out.
          • I don't drink coffee, saving me a ton of money. I am honestly baffled by how much these things cost. Sometimes I get dragged along to some cafe by friends and even a cup of tea made with a bag is a few dollars, and the cheapest baked good to go with it is at least 10 times the cost than if you bought it at the grocery store.

        • Personally? No. I'd rather spend that on my phone. :-) I'm in the $1-$2 brew-your-own camp, which gets me 3-6 mugs of very good coffee. But I walk past 3-4 coffee shops every day, and the lines are sometimes literally out the door. The cheapest you can get for a coffee in most of those places is in the low $2 range. Two of those and you're pretty much at that $5 mark. A quick google shows Starbucks has plenty of drinks in the $3-$6 range, with some coming in even higher.

          Lots of people do indeed spe

      • That's how people justify spending more than they should. Sure, $1.40 a day, not much broken down. But consider that the people with this way of thinking are applying this thinking to everything in their lives; auto payments, house payments, getting the extra premium cable channels, getting a higher data plan, getting the name brand breakfast cereal, etc. But if they got the phone that was only $0.70 a day, they'd have an extra $500 to save or spend. That phone that costs half as much is just as good in

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:17PM (#55294621)

    By pretty much any objective measure, high-end hyper cars like the Bugatti Veyron aren't worth the cost. There are very few places you can use their top speed, and they don't bring much of anything to the automotive experience beyond blistering speed.

    But people still buy them, despite their amazing prices tags.

    The iPhone X is the same thing: it's a luxury smart phone. With it Apple is finally, FINALLY, experimenting with moving beyond the iPhone. It ditches the home button and replaces Touch ID with Face ID. It's an experiment, which may be a better justification for calling it the iPhone "X" than the "tenth anniversary" reason. Yes, I know they say it's X as in "ten." But X as in "experimental" makes better sense.

    And in that case, if you want to buy the latest, highest end, most pointless version of the iPhone - this is the phone for you! Will there be an iPhone 9 that's an incremental upgrade to the 8? I'd bet there will be. Will there be an iPhone X2 (or XS?) that tries to resolve the inevitable issues with the iPhone X? I'll bet there will be!

    Experimental phones like the iPhone X are a good thing. They let smartphone manufacturers try out new, possibly dumb, ideas on people willing to pay for it. Features are frequently brought to luxury cars first, and then the ones that work the best and improve the average driving experience the best slowly make it down to cheaper and cheaper cars. The same thing happening in phones is a good thing.

    No, you should not buy the iPhone X. No one should. But those who want to pay a lot of money to be beta testers for Apple's next-gen phone designs can, and if they want to, there's no harm in letting them.

    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:33PM (#55294795)

      Cheaper phones can be excellent or not. Paying a few hundred dollars more doesnâ(TM)t by you features worth that much more but it does by you no surprises and complete satisfaction that no other purchase would have been more satisfying.

      It used to be a saying that nobody was ever fired for buying IBM. Sure that Wang or Digital or Prime computer might possible have had better specs for less saving the company a bunch of money but then the VP wanted to add inventory tracking to the payroll function and wang didnâ(TM)t have an integrated mag stripe reader for the warehouse. You are fired. Should bought IBM.

      Peace of mind brings satisfaction.

      For many people, perhaps not you , $1000 isnâ(TM)t a lot for a device you will touch 500 times a day. Why not just buy the best ?

    • When you're talking cars that high end the majority are investments for rich people. The cars rarely get driven and spend their time in a garage. How many people daily drive their Veyrons?

      • Re:Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

        by larkost ( 79011 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @02:02PM (#55295123)

        I don't think that most of them are investments, they are toys. And just like kids, sometimes what people really want out of their toys is just to have them, not to play with them. I have heard of people buying two of some models at the same time, just so that one of them is always out of the shop (many are made for performance, not reliability).

        My guess is that when you figure in maintenance and storage costs (many get stored at professional garages), that even ones that are kept in "mint" condition cost their owners far more than they eventually sell for. So they are not an investment by any stretch of the word.

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      I completely agree with your sentiment, but considering the number of iPhones purchased they are far more similar to a BMW or Lexus in your analogy than a Bugatti.

      I have a 2015 BMW 435i and a Samsung S8+, and I certainly know there are more affordable options for both which would provide almost the same utility. But the "almost" part of that statement is why I payed a 100% premium for both of these luxury items over what I could have purchased if I was more price conscious. I simply feel the extra $5k per y

    • The advantage of of Luxury, is these special features are there when you need it. I have a Toyota, it gets me from point A to point B, it is fuel efficient, and practical in every way. However they are some times I wish the engine had more power to it, to pass that car in front of me, Driving Assist features while I am on a long drive, or just a smoother ride.

      The same thing with a Smart Phone, Does the iPhone X have any features you need? No, but it has features you may want. I am still on the fence to up

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:17PM (#55294627)

    Opinion presented as fact.

    • No, he presents facts too:

      Having a smartphone is crucial in this day and age. I get it. But even a $200 phone, untethered from any carrier contract, will let you install the apps you need, will allow you to take good pictures, surf the web, and listen to music.

      I guess web, music and photos are crucial to millenials. Or maybe they don't understand what crucial really means.

      • I love my phone, but it's definitely not crucial in this day and age. I could get along without it. One guy I know in his late 20s was still rocking a semi-broken flip-phone the last time I saw him this past summer. It couldn't receive texts, but it could send them. He just left flyover country for a pretty good paying Silicon Valley job, so that may have changed, but for the past decade he did just fine, as does a very large percentage of the population now.

        The author obviously hasn't met any poor

  • These are neat devices and a lot of people are really excited by them. I'm not one, but I spend crazy money on other things (tequipment.net...) that I don't actually need, so I understand. This isn't some big deal that needs a lot of naval gazing; if not having a $1000 phone makes you insecure then the problem is you. If the people you spend the time of your life with judge you based on your phone that's basically you're fault too.

    • Exactly, everyone usually chooses what luxury they want with what they can afford. People spend thousands of dollars for first addition books, but these books are so old, you can get a copy of the text under public domain. Other people will buy nice clothing, or fancy cars, bigger homes, go to the expensive college, take a nicer vacation....

      Yes they are poor starving people around the world, who is begging for just clean drinking water. However why should you base your life on the lowest common denominato

  • No reason whatsoever.

  • it's just a $50,000 toyota?

    why buy expensive sneakers?

    why buy $800 graphics cards since you can play games with much cheaper cards?

    Because when people like something they are suckers for upselling

  • by Above ( 100351 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:21PM (#55294665)

    Why would anyone want to buy a Tesla when a Honda Civic will get you where you want to go for 1/3 the price?

    Why would anyone want to buy a MacBook Pro when an Acer will do the job for 1/4 the price?

    Why would anyone want to buy a Gucci handbag when a Walmart knockoff will carry your stuff for 1/10th the price?

    Why would anyone want to buy a steak at Morton's when Waffle House will sell you one for 1/10th the price?

    Why would anyone read SlashDot when you can get better news anywhere else on the planet?

    Different strokes for different folks, plain and simple. Some people value a particular feature a lot more than others. Some people have more cash to burn than other people. It's why the world produces an array of products. Apple will still sell a brand new iPhone 7 for 1/2 the price of the iPhone X.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:22PM (#55294669)
    For the target market of the iPhone X, the smartphone is their most used possession by a large margin. Considering how people buy tons of (expensive) crap they don't use, I can see how one might rationalize $1k for a smartphone, even with less expensive (and suitable) alternatives available.
  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:22PM (#55294671) Journal

    Lifestyle choices.

    The smartphone has become a part of our everyday life, it's now possibly more influential than a PC, games console or any other device we use. Have you taken a stroll on a busy city street lately? 90% of everyone is either talking on, or looking at a mobile phone of some sort, either browsing the news, keeping in touch with their friends, gaming, or texting (sms, chat, snap, twitter etc...)

    People use it to take pictures, look for recipes, look for a restaurant nearby, recommend a store, look for the lowest prices and compare, laugh at other peoples social messages, videos or whatnot - even as a portable television set.

    All that taken into consideration - smartphones are now so common, that you can (and will probably) have 100$ smartphones available to you that will perform ALMOST (and in some case better or) as good as one of the expensive high end type brand phones, I know - I got one, and it was bought for a 100$, came out of the factory this august - and sported the latest operating system Android Nougat 7. Came with a 4 core processor, 3D accelerator, Bluetooth, Double Wifi network, 4G, Lte, 3G etc, even an NFC reader to pay the bills or check out cards, and a 5.5 inch screen with almost borderless edges, crazy thin too.

    But again - it's a lifestyle choice. If you want the latest iPhone - you WANT the latest iPhone, or an "Edge" model (as the competing opposing brand with Android OS instead), that's the way it is. You'll be able to talk about it at work, at school - get your friends attention, and before you know it - half of your friends have it, and you're downloading the apps of your choice together.

    Some people purchase IKEA furniture, nothing wrong with that - some others purchase a brand that is 10 x as expensive, may even be inferior quality wise - but it doesn't matter - because it's a LIFESTYLE choice.

    But sure, I agree - I don't think it's worth 1000$ to me either to have a phone that's a little glossier, 10% faster etc. so I'd rather pay a 10th for mine and enjoy all the same features, and I do. That's MY lifestyle choice.

    • more influential than a PC, games console or any other device we use yeah and in each case as they became commodities their price went down. Whatever tidal force Apple is floating on will NOT last for ever.
    • And this $100 phone is available in the stores with manufacturer's warranty in case of defects?

      I have a $170 phone from Xiaomi, but I cannot pretend that it did not take a few weeks to arrive via non-air mail and I'm skeptical about having to send back to the manufacturer in case of defects.

      Is it good value for money? Yes.

  • is there any other reason really?
  • The answer is the same answer since the 1980s: access to easy credit. That is why housing, cars, etc are so expensive as well.
  • Better question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:27PM (#55294719) Homepage Journal

    The iPhone 8+ is $799. So the *real* question is "Why would anyone spend $200 more for their smartphone?" Framing the question is less dramatic (but more realistic) terms makes the answer much more obvious: because it's not a lot of money for most people, so if they like it, it's not a big deal. $200 more on a phone spread over 2 years is about $8 per month. So for the price of one Starbucks coffee every other week, you can have a fancier phone. Big fucking deal.

    Coming up next on Dumb Ass Questions from the Internet, "Why would anyone spend $X on a car when other cars exist for $Y?" -- because no one has given that question a moment's thought in the past 100 years and it needs to be discussed NOW. :-/

  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:28PM (#55294729) Journal
    When you look at your computing devices, which one do you use more? MANY people use their smartphone FAR more in terms of time per day than their laptop. In fact, for many people it is THE primary computing device in their lives. People have no problem spending $3500 for a Macbook. Looking at it from the standpoint above, paying 1K for a smartphone if it's my primary computing device in regards to time used per day does not seem that crazy.
  • TBH I would not pay that much for either smart phone. But Millions will ;) !!!!

    Apple says "The iPhone Is Guaranteed to Last Only One Year, Apple Argues in Court" [vice.com]
    • $1000 divided by 12 months equals ~$83.33
      $1000 divided by 52 weeks equals ~$19.23
      $1000 divided by 365 days equals ~$2.74
      $1000 divided by 8760 hours equals ~$0.12

      Think about this. Every day for a year, every two hours you need to put a quarter into a jar to pay for your shiny new toy. Your reaction to this should determine if you can really pay for it.

      • And then you have an Out of Warranty, Obsolete Device, That is glued together.
        But never fear you can get AppleCare+ for an additional $ 199.00 up from $ 129.00.
        "You get the same two years of coverage for manufacturing defects or battery life issues (up from the one year that the phone comes with), and the same two incidents of accidental damage coverage."

        AppleCare+ for the iPhone X will cost $199 [theverge.com]

        But the true value is up to each individual. And they will make the choice about it making sense or not
  • the short answer is that for some being first to have a new product is important, and worth the additional cost. Add in the "Apple" brand and I'm sure the $1,000 iPhone will sell just fine.

    the problem is that "value" is almost always subjective. Is $1,000 "too much" for a cell phone? maybe. then the question becomes who decides whether it is or isn't (e.g. free markets vs price caps)

    a lot of research has been done on "behavioral economics" which is one direction this conversation could take.

    the shorter v

  • Also: Liking having the latest thing.
    For some people, having the "in" thing is important.
    I agree that, functionally speaking, a 400$ smartphone isn't much different than a 1000$ one, it's mainly "human things" (what I already said) that makes it different.
  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:31PM (#55294767) Homepage Journal

    "I simply don't understand why anyone would want to spend such amount on a phone... the difference, I feel [emphasis added], doesn't warrant an additional $800."

    Well there you go. Some people REALLY REALLY want their phones to work REALLY fast, or have REALLY NICE screens, or take fucking AMAZING pictures, and for THEM, it's worth it. It's not rocket science.

    I'm sure you own at least ONE thing that I don't give a shit about that I would not have spent as much money on as you did. Want me to write an article on how I don't understand that different people like different things?

    • Well there you go. Some people REALLY REALLY want their phones to work REALLY fast

      The funny thing is, there isn't really a noticeable difference any more. Hasn't been for a few years now.

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:34PM (#55294809) Journal

    Rather than asking why someone would pay over $1,000 for the latest iPhone (an established product as a leader in the cellphone market), one could ask why anyone ever paid over $10,000 for the gold Apple Watch "Edition" when that came out? Why do people pay multiple hundreds of dollars for the latest pairs of sneakers, when a $60 pair of New Balance tennis shoes is most likely every bit as good?

    Apple products are recognized as "premium" in today's marketplace, no matter how legitimate you think that really is. That means higher earning people take an interest in what they're selling. Those people can easily afford $1000 or a little more to have the flagship cellphone offering that keeps them in the iOS "ecosphere" -- able to run all the apps they purchased in the past, etc.

    Personally? I can afford to buy the new iPhone X if I really wanted to. I'm not rich, by any means, but I'm probably in the low end of the "upper middle class" (thanks to being married to a woman who works full-time in a career job similar to my own). I doubt I'll upgrade at all though, since I purchased the 7 Plus in the 256GB RAM configuration when it came out - and it meets all of my needs.

    As a few people pointed out already though? These days, a lot of people use their cellphone more than almost any other electronics device they own. If you judge "value" based on how much you use something -- $1,000 or so might make it a bargain. It always amazes me when I think of how many separate gadgets I can eliminate because of my smartphone. Not that long ago, I would have had a separate MP3 music player, alarm clock, pocket calculator, flashlight, ruler or measuring tape, notepad, camera, camcorder, guitar tuner, tape recorder ... not to mention all the paper coupons I would have clipped in lieu of digital alternatives. These days, the phone even substitutes for carrying credit cards in a wallet.

  • People think that this great gadget makes them hip and irresistible, and they would spend even more. I mean, look at the cars some men buy just to impress women and look at what some women invest in cosmetics and "body enhancements" just to impress men.

    This has noting to do with the phone itself, or Apple would have gone bankrupt a while ago.

  • by nicholasjay ( 921044 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:35PM (#55294821)

    The writer of the 'article' doesn't seem to understand a few things.

    1) The entire 'luxury goods' industry exists. Long after $5 quartz watches were introduced, you can still buy yourself a $25k Rolex and enjoy it. Fancy plates and real silverware don't function any differently than Corning Ware and Oneida. Yet they still exist.

    2) Think of how often a typical cell-phone using person uses his/her phone. How many times a day does said person interact with his/her phone? Two thousand?

    http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

    Based on that, if you have the phone for two years and it's valueless after that (which is not the case), then to a lot of people it's worth spending extra money on a 'premium' device that works a lot lot better than cheaper devices that are slow and you have to reboot constantly. That's only $0.0004 (or 0.04 Cents) per touch different than a cheap cell phone. Or, $1 per DAY. For someone that uses his cell phone a lot, $1 per day to have a reliable device that will be quick and snappy and not need rebooting constantly, that's enough.

    3) Some people just like having the latest and greatest gadgets. That's fine.

    In short, the OP doesn't understand how anyone would live different than the way he is living now.

    • What some of us just can't understand is how, or why, you can "enjoy" owning a $25K watch. It may look pretty, I suppose - although that's hardly what a watch is for. But mostly it's just a way of taunting other people that you can spend as much money on a watch as they earn in a year. (And, if you like living dangerously, taunting those who would like to steal it that your security is good enough to stop them doing that).

      • There are enough people in the world to whom spending $25k on a watch is like a regular person spending $100 on a watch.

        Also, luxury watches tend to last for decades and don't depreciate as much as a lot of other consumer goods do. It's not uncommon to wear a watch for 30 years and then pass it down to your children.

        Personally, I'd never spend $25k on a watch unless I was super-loaded, but I wouldn't mind spending $5k-$10k on such a watch, if it was of sufficient quality and timelessness. Hell, the Omega Sp

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:39PM (#55294869)

    It can't be found via reason and analysis -- or imposed.

    If it could, planned economies would work.

  • Why would anyone spend $1,000 on a video card?

    Why would anyone spend $100,000 on a car?

    Why would anyone spend $500,000 on a house

    The same arguments the summary makes could be applied to all of them; the cheaper versions of each provide the same functions. There will be those who can easily justify the price tag, and those who wouldn't assign them the same worth.

    • This precisely misses the point. A $1,000 video card is usually far more powerful than a cheaper one - with a faster processor and extra features. A $500,000 house either has more rooms, more space, a better view, or some other valuable characteristics - or maybe it is in a very expensive neighbourhood.

      The car example is a lot closer to what Apple does. A very capable (and, if desired, spacious) car can be had for $30,000. Beyond that, you are probably mainly paying for status.

      But the iPhone really doesn't

    • I won't drop a grand on a vid card.... I won't drop 100K on car... both of these are depreciating expenses chased by fools (a fool and their money .....) And is sure as hell won't drop a grand on some Icrap either.
      I did drop over 500K on a house, but that's a long term investment and it will pay back nicely.
  • Money is relative (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:47PM (#55294943) Homepage

    That is, nothing costs x units, instead, it costs y% of your salary.

    If you make $10,000 a year than even $100 for a smart phone is a ridiculous expense. 1% of your salary is too much.

    If you make $100k a year, than $200 for a smart phone makes sense. It's about 0.5% of your salary.

    There are clearly enough people making $1,000,000, then $1,000 is just 0.1% of your salary and it makes sense to spend that much on a smart phone.

  • $1.37/day (Score:4, Interesting)

    by crow ( 16139 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:47PM (#55294951) Homepage Journal

    For people who use their smartphones extensively every day, upgrading can make sense. Put your money where you put your time. If you're on a two-year cycle, then the cost of the new $1000 phone works out to $1.37/day over the two-year lifespan, which isn't crazy.

    Of course, there are less expensive options, and if they work for you, go for it. Just don't be a jerk and tell everyone else that they're wrong to buy something just because it's not right for you.

  • Why does a cropped, "distressed" t-shirt sell for GBP 455 (about $600)? https://www.farfetch.com/uk/sh... [farfetch.com]

    Not because of all its "valuable features", or because it has anything unique or attractive about it. No, such fashion items command high prices because they are rare, identifiable, and expensive.

    And that's why the iPhone and other Apple gadgets can be sold for such high prices. They allow their owners to feel that they are (for the time being, at least) one up on other people - especially their family,

  • Do you pay over $100 a month for cable tv and internet? Do you spend over $1000 a month for a place to live? Do you spend over $100 in car insurance and or payments? How frequently do you use your mobile phone compared to these other things? How much is that costing you over 3 years? $50 over 3 years is $1800, so what are your priorities? The $700 tag is less than 10 years of inflation on the original price of an iPhone. You can make relative comparisons, but ultimately this is the same irrational approach
  • Most people at that price are payment buyers. $1000 is only $42/month over a 24 month contract. So providers will charge them $50-$60/month and try to hook them with the damage warranty and call it good...
  • I think this question presupposes that spending $1,000 on a smartphone is foolish. I don't think such judgmental view is reasonable, after all almost any employed first-world citizens could save $1000 over phone's expected multi-year lifetime. So such purchase, by itself, is not putting anyone into debt.

    Instead, I like to view this through "Thank you early adopters!" Someone is willing to shell out all this cash to fund R&D into battery and charging, screen, and wireless data link technologies. This wi
  • My phone isn't a phone, it's a camera. I take thousands of pictures and videos on it every month (which is my my current media storage space is approaching 2 terabytes). I want the best camera I can buy to carry around with me. And by carry around, I mean small enough to fit into my jeans pocket. Anything thicker than 3/8" is too big. Of course my camera can do other things like text and surf the www, but those are just side benefits to it's true purpose.

  • Best exemplified by the the quote Thee is a sucker born every minute [wikipedia.org].

    But, on the other hand, as long as they willing hand over their hard earned dollars, who am I to object? For all you know they might be laughing at me for spending 500$ on a Brondel Swash 1400. [amazon.com] instead of using Scott. While at the same time Igarashi San will be looking down on me for settling for this cheap thing that does not even have bluetooth, without any internet connectivity, without even the most basic of perfumery options.

  • anybody spend $xx on yy?

    People spend more money than they strictly need to on lots of stuff. TVs, cars, furniture, houses to name a few.

    And the answer is usually simple: People like nice things. People like different nice things. Some people really like a $1000 phone. Some people really like a $5000 PRS guitar.

    Why do you even need to ask?
  • Expensive cell phones existed before, e.g. base price of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is $930. Why is it Apple's entry into >$900 base price that justifies this handwringing?

  • ... for a modern update of the Note 3.

    I've been using the same sm-n9005 since its release, and while I have no desperate need to upgrade, I would be willing if an appropriate replacement were available.

    An appropriate replacement has:

    - A user-replaceable, removable battery
    - Unlocked bootloader
    - Expandable storage
    - Amoled screen
    - Temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity sensors
    - Full IMU, GPS
    - 4-6gb RAM
    - Unlocked bootloader

    That is, in fact, simply a list of the features of my current device, wh

  • Why would anyone spend 50.000 bucks on car that rusts from day one, just to be stuck in traffic between 2 1500 bucks used Fords.
    Perhaps it has better seats?

  • The same reason anybody would buy an item that satisfies more than the minimum specification. No, the iPhoneX (or Galaxy 8) is not going to run any of your core apps substantially better than a basic $200 android unit, but a substantial portion of the population will find that the overall user experience is better- bigger and better screen, wireless charging, bigger internal storage, easier to unlock, better camera, etc. You might also ask why anybody buys a $30,000 car when you can buy a new stripped down

  • This isn't a difficult question, and there are plenty of answers. An easy one is that its a status symbol and mere possession of it sends various signals about being wealthy or affluent, which is true of almost any new high-end device. That isn't the only reason though as there are some people who simply like to have the newest gadgets even if they don't represent a good value proposition because they're just replacing last years newest gadget. There are also some that are likely using a smartphone that is
  • Now consider the value the device will bring to your life in the context of the projected replacement date of "not guaranteed beyond a year"...
  • I'm having a hard time choosing between spending my $1000 on an iphone or this.
    https://www.theguardian.com/te... [theguardian.com]
    I guess I have more money than sense.

  • Meh. I once spent $1400 on a video card for a computer. Some people are phone enthusiasts. Unless they don't have the money, to those people there is no price that is "too much."
  • I hate people who ask rhetorical questions like this. Not "Convince me to spend $1,000 on a phone", but "I'm not willing to spend $1,000 on a phone, what's wrong with me?" Why do you even care? That's the entire point of having different price points, some people only want a $350 phone, some people only want a $25 flip-phone. In fact, you can get by without any phone at all.

    I own a car which cost $17k when new. While I sometimes think maybe I should have gotten something a bit more roomy and comfortabl

  • i am the guy that has the older phone, i dont spend big bux on the newest smartphone edition, i am the guy that goes to amazon or ebay and buys the previous generation phone that is basically new but old stock that never got sold when it was the new phone a couple years ago

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