We certified Apple watchers know the time of the season. WWDC 2016, and new versions of macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS are just ahead, and new iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other hardware goodies are on the horizon. Word on the proverbial streets says Apple is about to double down on its status as the world’s premium hardware maker.
Just as this year’s crop of presidential candidates never met a lie they couldn’t deny, Apple not only wants to own the premium end of the product spectrum, it’s intent upon pushing new features into the lineup with higher prices and a Pro monicker.
What’s the low end of the Mac line? Mac mini, a couple of inexpensive iMacs, and a few aging MacBook Air models, which are looking much like 1999. The future is premium. The MacBook? It starts at $1,299 but can scoot closer to $2,000 with build-to-order options. For new Macs, that’s entry-level.
Mac watchers expect thinner, lighter, faster MacBook Pro models later this year. Guess what? They won’t be less expensive. That’s not how Apple rolls.
Apple’s slow selling iPad line got something of a refresh in the past few months. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro model is the darling of the jet set technorati elite politburo members, but with basic options it comes in at just about the same price as a more powerful MacBook.
The hotly anticipated iPhone 7 is due on store shelves in a few months. It watchers are correct, this model will feature a similar case design but a much improved camera and even more storage– both at the low end with 32GB and at the high end with 256GB. All that new technology– especially the coolest camera you can get on a smartphone– will come at a price. The entry-level is already set with the iPhone SE so the upcoming iPhone 7 Pro fully tricked out with extra goodies not found elsewhere in the iPhone line could easily usher in the first ever $1,000 iPhone. Sans case.
Think about where Apple is going with the premium sticker. Up.
iPad Pro for as much as $1,300. MacBook Pro for upwards of $2,000 to $3,000. iPhone 7 Pro for more $1,000. $1,000. For a smartphone.
How is that not doubling down on premium at the expensive of marketshare?
The company cares little about marketshare because marketshare does not matter except to those who wish to put Apple in a bad comparison light. Apple just does not care because by holding onto the premium end of the product space Apple also holds on to the vast majority of the industry’s profits. Don’t let those insightless analysts fool you. Profits count more than marketshare. Always has, always will.
Historically, Apple stakes out the high ground and that sets an artificial playing field for competitors to night one another over price and shrinking margins, which is a polite way of saying ‘breadcrumb profits.’