There are times when Apple doubles down on what it thinks is a sound strategy for the future; with tweaks here and there, but with a solid grip on the basics. Entry-level iPhone? $699. Entry-level iPad? $329. There’s the big news hidden behind the biggest news. Price.
Apple. On. Sale.
During product launch after product launch in 2018, Apple raised prices and was roundly criticized for doing so. I think those price increases were a clever way to maintain the company’s luxury brand while creating a slightly larger bubble of gross margin to allow discounts from 3rd party retailers.
Yes, the most expensive Macs, iPhones, iPads, Watches, and Apple wearable accessories are available at every Apple Store or at the Apple Store online. Discounts on almost everything hard are available everywhere else.
In simpler terms, Apple’s prices are jacked up higher so they can discount more. That keeps the Apple brand higher than the competition, but gives Apple customers a break on price which drives them away from lower-priced competitor products.
So you don’t like Apple’s prices?
Look around. Lower prices for almost everything in the hardware categories is priced at a discount. Check out Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, and many other online retailers. Apple is on sale. The Apple Store? Not so much, but even there Apple bundles a one-year subscription to Apple TV+ when you buy a new Mac, iPad, or iPhone.
That means competitive prices to similar products are everywhere except at Apple Stores, but where Apple still commands the affordable luxury plane.
Apple has done a good job segregating entry-level products with more expensive Pro products with iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. Look at the Mac? The entry-level is MacBook Air. Next up the line is a MacBook Pro. If your Aunt Martha dies and leaves you a house you could afford a Mac Pro.
Elsewhere the iPad starts at $329. Add an inexpensive keyboard and iPadOS 13 and you get a solid Windows PC competitor for similar money; one that has 1-million iPadOS apps and is faster than most Windows PC notebooks. Need more than the basics? Get faster everything and a better camera with iPad Pro.
That upgraded $329 iPad was a welcome surprise and somewhat hidden behind all the iPhone 11 noise.