After months of growing anticipation, Apple announced this year’s newest batch of overpriced, overhyped iPhones.
In all modes of media, one can easily find groups of consumers complaining about the $1,000 price tag for the iPhone X. This is not what they were hoping for, they cry. However, they won’t hesitate to shell out the cash through online orders, waiting impatiently for their 5.8 inches of impending debt to land on their doorsteps.
Although they aren’t the clear stated target demographic, the middle class is the average user. According to business magazine Fortune, a huge portion of those who desire to be a part of this technological cult are making between $25,00 to $75,000 a year. After giving an average of 20 percent of their paycheck to Uncle Sam, they’ll be handing even more money to another money-guzzling entity: Apple, Inc.
By having to pay more for an iPhone, people believe they are idealizing themselves as part of a groups of prestige: high-income earners. Households with an income level of $125,000 and $150,000 are already major customers, but those earning less than $15,000 are spending just as much. The latter has decided that they too can purchase high-end technology. In order to do so, they waste the gift of free will for due obedience to the iPhone.
If a bunch of middle class folks think they can fit an extravagant product into their budget, Apple is going to make sure that they push the price just enough to validate that opinion. Since the first phone release, this up-and-coming monopoly has raised its prices just enough each year so that it’s barely accessible to the middle class; yet, Apple has never voiced that the middle class is the target market.
iPhone users don’t get to complain about the financial burden that they claim these products bring. This is no phenomenon; Apple products have been and always will increase the price of their products due to simple supply-and-demand economics. The company’s marketing strategies have made this phone appear to be an elite mode of technology that everyone needs to have. As a result, we now have more people demanding to be part of a group that’s able to walk around with the symbolic chrome Apple logo. This puts the power in the supplier’s hand; it holds the price over buyers’ heads and taunts them with their next fix.
Despite the price tag, these irresponsible shoppers continue to blame Apple. It can’t be their fault; all they want is unlimited technological capabilites without paying the price. The newest addition to the iPhone family has facial recognition, DSLR camera-like capabilities and cordless charging. Its design is similar to the — forgivable — portrayal of NASA gear in science fiction films from the ‘90s. It represents a fast-paced evolution of technology that we’ve become so desensitized to, that new developments aren’t surprising anymore.
I remember when the first Apple Watch was released. My sister received it as a gift, and she came home and showed it to my dad and me. She raised it to her face and began speaking into it after calling our mom. To my dad, this was James Bond’s Seiko Quartz watch from “The Spy Who Loved Me.” This was the ability to hold the power of communication all in a simple wristwatch.
The immense leap in technological advancements should bring awe. To my dad, it was something that he never imagined would exist in his lifetime, let alone my own. Instead, we’ve lost that ability to simply be grateful for how much our phones are capable of accomplishing for us because of this incessant selfishness that comes with having the most popular phone of our time.
Shoppers are now overpaying for the functionality of most smartphones nowadays for the sake of holding the popular iPhone as a status symbol that means nothing more than design, brand and ease of use. If people want to complain about price, they could look to other brands that perform the same, if not better, than Apple’s creation. Take a look at Samsung, for example. They’ve released Android phones with virtual reality capabilities, wireless charging and facial recognition — before Apple did — for a lighter hit to the bank account.
Samsung’s vision, however, doesn’t suit Apple enthusiasts.
The middle class will continue to be addicted to the oversimplified, overrated quality that is the iPhone. They’ll be stuck in their ever-revolving door of technological addictions; as part of a country that aligns its dreams with capitalism, they’re only solidifying that fact, with very little to no hope of redemption.