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Apple’s latest iPhone could cost $1,000

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new iPhone 7 during an event to announce new products, in San Francisco. Apple is expected to demand $1,000 for the fanciest iPhone that it has ever made, thrusting the market into a new financial frontier that will test how much consumers are willing to pay for a device that has become an indispensable part of modern life. The unveiling of the dramatically redesigned iPhone will likely be the marquee moment Tuesday, Sept. Sept. 12 when Apple hosts its first event at its new Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Just how much are you willing to pay for the latest iPhone? How does $1,000 (R50,845) sound?

On Tuesday, Apple is expected to unveil a dramatically redesigned iPhone at the first product event it’s holding at its new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California. True to its secretive ways, Apple hasn’t confirmed what it will be announcing, though a financial forecast issued last month telegraphed something significant in the pipeline.

The souped-up “anniversary” iPhone, which would come a decade after Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs unveiled the first version, could also cost twice what the original iPhone did. It would set a new price threshold for any smartphone intended to appeal to a mass market.

WHAT A THOUSAND BUCKS WILL BUY

Various leaks have indicated the new phone will feature a sharper display, a so-called OLED screen that will extend from edge to edge of the device, thus eliminating the exterior gap, or “bezel,” that currently surrounds most phone screens.

It may also boast facial recognition technology for unlocking the phone and wireless charging. A better camera is a safe bet, too.

All those features have been available on other smartphones that sold for less than $1,000, but Apple’s sense of design and marketing flair has a way of making them seem irresistible — and worth the extra expense.

WHY PHONES COST MORE, NOT LESS

Apple isn’t the only company driving up smartphone prices. Market leader Samsung Electronics just rolled out its Galaxy Note 8with a starting price of $930 (P47,285).

The trend reflects the increasing sophistication of smartphones, which have been evolving into status symbols akin to automobiles. In both cases, many consumers appear willing to pay a premium price for luxury models that take them where they want to go in style.

“Calling it a smartphone doesn’t come close to how people use it, view it and embrace it in their lives,” said Debby Ruth, senior vice president of the consumer research firm Magid. “It’s an extension of themselves, it’s their entry into the world, it’s their connection to their friends.”

From that perspective, it’s easy to understand why some smartphones now cost more than many kinds of laptop computers, said technology analyst Patrick Moorhead.

“People now value their phones more than any other device and, in some cases, even more than food and sex,” Moorhead said.

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