“Thorstein Veblen was a cranky economist of Norwegian descent who coined the phrase ‘conspicuous consumption’ and theorized that certain products could defy the economic laws of gravity by stoking more demand with superhigh prices,” Josh Zumbrun writes for The Wall Street Journal. “His 1899 book, Theory of the Leisure Class, made him famous in his time and more than a century later his ideas are embodied in products like Hermès handbags, Bugatti cars and Patek Philippe watches.”

Now Apple is “testing whether the social commentator’s theory on what has come to be known as the ‘Veblen good’ can work for one of the most common of all consumer products—the phone,” Zumbrun writes. “Mr. Veblen’s theory posits that some consumers want a product even more when the price rises because the expense broadcasts status, taste and wealth.”

“By unveiling the new iPhone X last week with a price of $1,000, Apple Inc. is pushing the envelope even further than Samsung Electronics Co., which unveiled the $950 Note 8 phone this year,” Zumbrun writes. “Rather than trying to attract consumers with cheaper prices, the companies are fighting for customers with expensive price tags.”

MacDailyNews Take: Some fight. In profit share, Samsung is being destroyed by Apple. The numbers are cyclical – Apple’s iPhone shines particularly bright in the holiday quarter – but even at their ‘low’ ebbs, Apple has clearly cornered the smartphone market on profits.

• Apple took 83% of smartphone market profits in calendar first quarter – May 16, 2017
• Apple took 79% of global smartphone profits in 2016; Samsung in distant second with only 14% – March 8, 2017
• Apple took 92% of smartphone industry’s profits in Q416 – February 7, 2017
• Apple reaps 106% of smartphone industry profits – November 21, 2016

If it’s a poor man’s iPhone, it’s a poor man’s iPhone.

Now to be fair, this is only because Android is an inferior product peddled to cheapskate tech illiterates who do not value their privacy and/or who are unable to recognize a half-assed knockoff from the revolutionary original.

Android is a BlackBerry clone that was hastily rejiggered by Google at the last minute to mimic Apple’s revolutionary iPhone. Obviously, mistakes were made and corners were cut.

So, the Android rush-job is a privacy and security nightmare. It’s a fragmented morass. It’s too many cooks in the kitchen. It’s crap-by-committee, lowest-common-denominator junk. —  MacDailyNews, August 23, 2016

“The starting price of the new flagship iPhone X is about 50% more than the $650 starting price of last year’s iPhone 7,” Zumbrun writes. “The most expensive version of the iPhone X, with 256 gigabytes of storage, will cost 19% more than last year’s most expensive device, the iPhone 7 Plus, with the same memory.”

“‘They can create a super-premium model and perception of super-premium that pushes those buyer types into the stratosphere,’ said Steven Haines, chief executive of Sequent Learning Networks, which advises companies on product management. ‘This is classic product management,” Zumbrun writes. “Such segmentation is normal in mature industries, said Mr. Haines, comparing smartphones to what happened with the auto industry, where luxury cars with high prices became a status symbol as car ownership became commonplace.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone X is the most powerful pocketable computer every created. They could have started at $1,999 and still been sold out for months.

As with the Mac, with iPhone, you get what you pay for.

Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, October 23, 2012

If Apple is a Veblen brand then raise the price of the next iPhone by $100 – April 15, 2014
$17,000 Apple Watch Edition ‘risks the adoration of the masses’ or something – March 10, 2015
Apple’s iPhone 6: From Louis Vuitton to Chanel – September 2, 2014