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Apple's New iPhone Isn't Cheap



Boston University


Apple's New iPhone Isn't Cheap

Will college students choose new technology over financial stability?

Tyler Chin


A 10-year anniversary. Three new iPhone models. A $999 price tag.

Apple CEO Tim Cook threw around a lot of numbers Tuesday when he announced a slew of new products during the company's launch event. From screen size to camera quality, the most important number of the day was one that will have the most impact on who will be buying the highly anticipated iPhone X (pronounced "ten" as in the Roman numeral).

The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, which will range in price from $699-$1,149, has college students such as Andrea Kaufman, 20, asking, "where the hell do they think I’m gonna get the money for that?" While size matters, it's the technology inside the phone that dictates the price tag. The three models share the same all-glass design that resists dust and water, wireless charging capabilities, and an A11 bionic chip for a faster central processing unit. The iPhone X, however, utilizes new technology that certainly backs up the company's slogan for the phone: "Say hello to the future."

The iPhone X has no home button. The signature feature of the phone that has been around for 10 years is now gone. Instead, the iPhone X's 5.8" OLED display will take up the entire screen. Users will unlock their phones using Face ID, which uses a TrueDepth camera system to unlock the phone based on facial recognition. Because there's no home button, the phone will recognize familiar gestures such as swiping from different directions to return to the home screen or to switch between apps. Elijah Atkinson, 20, will not be lining up for the phones when they release because "the price point for a phone is becoming excessive," and the design of the iPhone X deviates too far from what made the original iPhone an iPhone.

Continuous jokes have been made in regards to the latest iPhone's facial recognition:


A post shared by Adam The Creator (@adam.the.creator) on

Besides the soaring prices, students had other issues with the newest gadget. "I don't like the design choices they made such as the full phone screen and the fact that the back is glass as well," Atkinson says. "Even though they say it's the most durable glass, I don't trust it, and on top of that, dented and scratched metal looks better than cracked and scratched glass."

Even cosmetic changes on the iPhone X peeves students who aren't willing to pay $1,000 for a phone that isn't perfect.

"I don't like the vertical camera," Atkinson says. "It reminds me of a [Samsung] Galaxy, and those are ugly."

Apple's need to consistently release a new line of phones every year means some people will always be behind the times with their older generation phones. Kaufman, who has an iPhone 6S, says she feels "special" because of her older phone.

"I don’t feel the need to be up on everything," Kaufman says. "I’m high maintenance, but I’m not that high maintenance."

Some college students such as Shrey Rajgarhia, 19, would have been willing to pay upwards of $300 more than their current phone if Apple backed up the price hike with better features.

"I would be happy with the older model because it has everything I need, and I can probably spend the extra $300 to get a holiday in New York," Shrey says.

Su Htwe, 22, says that no matter how much extra technology they put into the phones, it would never justify her paying $1,000 for a phone. Like Rajgarhia, she would rather spend money on a vacation than an electronic device.

The announcement of the new iPhones does benefit some students who are hoping to save money. By releasing phones that cost as much as a new laptop, the price point of the older generation phones begins to look like a bargain. The price of the cheapest iPhone model, the SE, will start at $349, and the previous iPhone 7 will start at $549. While those prices are by no means low, it may attract college students who have been waiting to update their current phones. Amanda Liu, 21, says she's been waiting for the new iPhones to come out so the price of the older models would go down.

At some point, people begin to choose financial stability over up-to-date technology. College students especially do not have the funds to justify purchasing a phone that will be outdated in a year. Technology will constantly improve. Prices will continue to go up. College students will remain poor.

"At this point it’s like Apple is trying to compensate for something by having some shiny new thing every three seconds," Kaufman says.

The future is here, and the future is expensive.