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article imageApple co-founder: iPhone deserves 'high in the extreme' price tag

By James Walker     Jul 20, 2017 in Technology
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has admitted that the iPhone's price tag is "high in the extreme" but said he believes it represents Apple's commitment to quality. His comments come as anticipation builds for the iPhone 8, which may cost $1,000.
Wozniak spoke to reporters at an artificial intelligence event in China this week. This is notable as China is one of the few regions where Apple is still struggling to drive iPhone sales.
The high price tag of the device has been repeatedly cited as a major hindrance to its widespread adoption in Asian markets. Local phone companies in the area have built their brands around affordable handsets. They offer high-end hardware for prices below $300, creating "budget flagships" that are becoming popular with buyers worldwide.
Wozniak acknowledged that the iPhone's cost may be restricting Apple's market share in China. However, he countered suggestions that the price should be lowered by stating Apple aims for "quality" rather than "quantity."
"In life I don't believe in quantity as much as I do in quality," the South China Morning Post reported Wozniak said. "So you may not have the hugest share in the market or be the No 1, but you should have the best product you can possibly build and Apple qualifies for that."
Wozniak also noted that the high price tags of recent iPhone launches don't seem to have deterred Apple's core fans. Contrasting the iPhone with China's reams of low-cost mid-range devices, he said he "admires" Chinese brands but considers the iPhone to offer "safety" that these devices lack. He called out poor build quality as a potential indicator of less costly products.
"Here is what I admire about Chinese phones: really good intelligent decisions about how to lower the cost but keep enough of the functionality," he said, before adding "Apple products are safe. And Apple's pricing is high in the extreme. It's a safe bet for a lot of people, and when you love Apple you are willing to pay for it."
The iPhone 8 is now just a few months away from launch. A series of reports have pegged the price of the flagship OLED model at above $1,000, a new milestone for the iPhone and the conventional smartphone market.
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Apple is expected to justify the marked increase by offering a slew of new features including an upgraded camera, advanced facial recognition technology and a highly-anticipated all-new design. It will pitch the phone as an exclusive premium item for consumers looking for the best, effectively turning the price into its own "feature."
However, the handset is thought to be behind schedule and encumbered by software bugs. Apple may have to delay its September launch as it tries to iron out lingering issues. While this could harm launch-day sales of the device, Wozniak's comments underline Apple's commitment to only shipping what it sees as quality products.
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