Would you pay a higher price for the next iPhone just so that you could feel more exclusive?

The question sounds ludicrous, right? But iMore member motoleo posted on the iPhone Forums that he'd pay as much as $2000 for the next iPhone.

Apple should go up on the price of the next iPhone. Now that the iPhone 4S has saturated and can be found in places like Cricket and other low end carriers.

He continued:

Naturally. When iPhone 4S went to Cricket, everyone was appalled. And I immediately thought it was a ploy. The company, Apple, "Handing it down" to the cheaper carriers, as an act of 'final hurrah', showing that this generation of iPhone is complete and ready to be used by younger and cheaper.The iPhone 5 will not be on Cricket. Look at the Macbooks. It's indistinguishable. You can simply change out one piece to upgrade and yet the price is higher. This is what Apple does. Uniformity. Brand recognition. It works. But now, Apple has been all about 'disconnecting from the past.'People will pay more for an iPhone.

It's currently the hottest thread on our iPhone Forums, prompting many of the replies you probably think it' prompting. Member JustMe'd got in early with:

Just because iPhones are sold at Walmart, Target, Cricket & other "low end" carriers, as you put it, why would Apple want to raise the price and risk losing customers to Android and Windows Mobile? It amazes me how some people are afraid of the term "low end / low budget" and Apple cashes in on that fear, too. For example, with the exception of storage space, there is absolutely no difference between the iPhone 4S 16, 32 & 64 GB models and yet, there are people out there who will go out of their way to not get the 16 Gig model simply because it is touted as the base / budget model. Having said that, is it your belief that the iPhone has been rendered cheap because it is now sold by "low end" carriers?

The original iPhone was ludicrously expensive -- $499 at 4GB and $599 for 8GB on a 2-year contract. That compares to $199 for an iPhone 4S today, and $99 and $0 for an iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS respectively. Where the very first iPhone owners paid exorbitantly just to be one of the few with an iPhone, now pretty much anyone who wants one can have one, and it remains one of, if not the single most popular line of phones in the world.

This isn't the first time the iPhone-as-status-symbol debate has reared its head either. When the iPhone 3GS came out, and looked the same as the iPhone 3G, there were those upset that people wouldn't be able to tell at a glance they had the new iPhone.

The same thing happened when the iPhone 4S came out looking like the iPhone 4. Certain users were upset that they couldn't easily show off that they had the latest, greatest device.

Apple is clearly aiming for the mainstream market, not the high end. They're using carrier subsidies to provide a premium product to a huge customer base. Apple as a brand is still highly valued, but Apple is making sure it's also highly accessible.

There is a $2000+ Porsche designed BlackBerry P'9981 on the market, after all, and some people are buying that.

Luxury brands aren't anything new. Cars, fashion, watches, and more all have their luxury players. Should Apple introduce a more exclusive iPhone? An iPhone Pro to go along with their MacBook Pro and Mac Pro branding? Or is bringing exclusivity to everyone the whole point of Apple's brand and the iPhone?

Weigh in on our iPhone Forum thread now!

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector and Isometric podcasts, follow her on Twitter @Georgia_Dow and check out her series at anxiety-videos.com.

  • Anyone who says that they'd willingly pay up to $2000 for a phone does not deserve to be mentioned on the front page of iMore. Ever. That statement alone is enough to fuel Apple-hatred through 2025. I can't shake my head enough at the concept of an "iPhone Pro" - ridiculous.
  • No kidding! If you're buying an iPhone to 'feel more exclusive'... you're an idiot who doesn't deserve such an incredible piece of technology. Unfortunately, there are people like this and you're exactly right, they give all of the real Apple users a bad name.
  • motoleo sounds like an elitist tool. do you want to feel exclusive, motoleo? maybe you should've bought that I am rich app for $1000 while it was still in the app store then! what a joke
  • The thing with New iPhones is that a lot of people do pay silly money for them. When the stock gets low and the shipping times get longer you will see lots of new iPhones on eBay for extortionate prices and the silly thing is people would rather spend double the price or more instead of waiting 2-3 weeks. I would pay extra for an iPhone directly from apple but not a massive hike.. 20% would be my limit.
  • Only a clueless fanboy would get mad when the phone they use is on more carriers. The iPhone isn't special it's just a phone no more high tech than any other current high end device. Go ahead spend 2,000 on a phone. Ill be the first laughing at your dumbass for spending that kind of money. Hell I'm laughing after reading this article. Don't let a competitor see this I could see some funny commercials coming out of this.
  • Hmm? Exclusivity means nothing to me in the phone world. Given that, I WOULD be willing to pay a (little) more for an iPhone with features more suited to my needs, such as an iPhone XL or whatever with a 5" screen (making it a phablet). People have different tastes and priorities, so I see no need for Apple to stick with ONE phone anymore, Do I care that its sold at Walmart or on Prepaid plans? No, not at all.
  • *nerd rage* Okay, I'm better, now. I feel that little twinge when something I adopted early has reached the masses, but it's better for everyone. It happened with smartphones, earpieces, bluetooth earbuds, iPads and will probably continue to happen. It was extra fun being one of the few people with an iPad. Then it was extra fun finding other people who had them so I could talk to them about their devices. Then it was extra fun seeing them become much more common so the number and quality of apps skyrocketed. Think of how much fun we'll have tomorrow.
  • This is beyond ridiculous. If you want an exclusive phone, buy a Lumia 900, not an iPhone. My iPhone lives inside a case and people can´t even see that its an iPhone. Fanboys have to get rid of this mentality now that Apple is mainstream.
  • I LOVE my iPhone 4 I LOVED my iPhone 3G. If apple raises the price for the next iPhone, which I've been saving my upgrade for, I will probably not get it. I am ok with spending $299 for the 32 gig model but if they go to even $349, I'm out. There are plenty of other good phones out or coming out, I'm sure I can find something comparable in the $149-$249 range, and even if I can't find something right away, then I'll wait. My iPhone 4 is still awesome.
  • Wow. People are really stupid. They want to feel superior by the phone they use? How stupid is that? If you ask me, the iPhone is everywhere. Old people use it, children use it and it can be found in a lot of movies. The phone is saturated. That alone should make a fanboi angry. Glad I don't think that way. This is why people are Apple haters, idiots like this guy. PS this shouldn't be front page news.
  • What. A. Putz. The reason the iPhone is everywhere is because it appeals to a lot of different people.
    To imply that it is some kind of exclusive club is ridiculous, and frankly, if he wants to go that route he can go to Bang & Olufsen who have made a truly interesting phone made of Sapphire Crystal. He can be as exclusive as he wants then.
    Jesus, some people's children....
  • The concept that you should even consider paying more for a more exclusive phone is just ridiculous. One of the reasons the iPhone is so great is the fact that lots of people have them, making communication between devices seamless (facetime, for example). And besides, the free market is the best way to determine price. Set the price to $2000 because you want to have something no one else has, guess what, no one else will, because they will all own Android or Whindows phones or Blackberries or the next device. Then there will be no reason to provide support, app developers will go away, and you could sit there all alone with your little exclusive phone.
  • The truly exclusive bunch would just hire someone to answer their phone. Anyone else looking to iMpress is just a poser.
  • I would hire someone just to answer my phone for select calls lol
  • Go look at other threads that user started. Absurdity reigns.
  • No kidding. But as trollish as he is, he does foster some activity in the forums.
  • And trollish as he is, is it any less trollish for Rene Richie to be posting a link to this story on Twitter to get more traffic over here? It's obviously an absurd straw man, but it drives page views.
  • Has RIM released any sales figures for the Porsche Design phone? Considering how their sales have fallen off a cliff, how confident are you that "some people are buying that"..?
  • My answer falls on the spectrum between "no" and "hell, no." Now, if Apple pulled off something truly magical, like a week-long battery under heavy use, or never ever ever dropping a call even on AT&T's network, I'd go quite a bit higher.
  • Definitely not. I'm still happy with my iPhone 4 :o
  • I do think there should be a "pro" model, but not in the sense that I am looking for a $2,000 device to be "exclusive". This device should be more powerful and have functionality and style not available to the "budget" market. This device should retail for AT LEAST $100 more than the top budget (so if the top budget is $299, the Pro starts at $399). Yes, I am one of those people that don't like seeing tons of other people with my toys. I got myself a 2012 Nissan Juke, and for the longest time, I was one of the few people that drove one. Now, I see them popping up all over the place (no, it's not because I am realizing them now that I have one, they literally are popping up with new plates in tow. There are THREE in my neighborhood!!). It's annoying as hell. I don't like being a "cookie cutter" consumer. It was the same thing with the RAZR. It was a premium device. Then, it became so mainstream you would see one at every corner in almost every hand walking down the street. When the design became so hugely mainstream, Motorola hardly every upgraded the damn thing. They just released "variations" because it became iconic and they didn't want to lose market interest. Then, my $300 RAZR was being sold for $50 and then $0. Presently, Apple is going down the same road with the iPhone. I REALLY hope they change course a bit.
  • Yeah, this is the same member with this ridiculous post: http://forums.imore.com/smartphone-forum/236637-apple-will-own-entire-ma...
  • If you are buying exclusive/limited run items in the hopes of imitating the 1%, you really need to examine your values...
  • Really Georgia?
  • THIS IS RIDICULOUS the iphone is awesome because the iphone is a awesome and thats how it reached high status if your just buying it because it was expensive and now upset there are subsidised options YOU ARE JUST A GOLD DIGGER WITH TOO MUCH GOLD
  • You asked would I pay more for the new iPhone: No (simple, and no bs reasoning)
  • the prices need to stay what they are now...obviously this business model works out for Apple, there is a science behind pricing things and it is basically what a consumer thinks a product should be worth, if a consumer thinks the price is too high for what its worth, they will walk away, simple as that, sure Apple products are very expensive but the reasoning is the quality and design that gives it a price premium but if an Apple product is priced too high, it makes it more difficult for the consumer to convince him or herself to purchase it...anyone willing to drop cash to purchase a topped out mac pro and an Apple display? No, because its not worth what you are gonna be doing with it, if anything it is business healthy to offer products across all types of consumers, remember the consumers control the market not the businesses
  • I love my Iphone 4s,but Apple has been way over pricing their ipads,Ipods and iphones..They are awesome and amazing pieces of technology but with the economy the way it is people cannot afford to buy these.I for one will not be gouged by apple for their products..Imore,Your sight is amazing and very helpful,I love IMORE!!!
  • People have always paid more for exclusitivity since the beginning- when life first began. People do it in every facet of life. If they can afford it, they will.
  • There's nothing exclusive about a device that is in the hands of millions of people. Go ahead Apple, charge $2000 for every product you make and quickly become the next dying mobile platform.
  • Apple like any corporation has a mandated fiduciary responsibility to its share holders to do everything possible to turn a profit. by making one phone that might sell 10,000 copies down from the millions sold now would be in violation of that. if there were to be a more expensive model i can understand that. but to sit there and actually infer that a person is superior or bound to some sort of higher up club simply because they have this or that device expecially an apple is mind boggling. you people do realize that the apple 2 e was basically the first main stream home computer going they were the 2000$ you seem to ask for now, owning one made you fortunate but not part of some exclusive club that brought out its shiny baubles to laud the less fortunate with. and lesser carrier wtf is that? if you dont sign a 2 year contract with unlimited calling and messaging and $100 a month for 10 gigs data you dont deserve to have an iphone? just the muckity mucks like you? tell ya what buddy there exists a $50000 phone done in gold , go buy one have apple modify it for your elitist azz with its own internals and ios system and leave the business thinking to real people who dont have dillusions of grandure or are living a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget!!!