iPhone XS Price: Apple’s ‘Budget’ iPhone Might Not Be As Budget-Friendly As Initially Thought

Wall Street is double-thinking its estimates for the iPhone XS' pricing.

Some analysts are starting to think that they were wrong about their price estimates for the iPhone XS.
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Wall Street is double-thinking its estimates for the iPhone XS' pricing.

Apple’s grand reveal of its 2018 iPhone line is coming in a few days, and things are starting to get really interesting. On the heels of leaks about the devices’ features and specs, some Wall Street analysts have opted to adjust their forecast on the costs of Apple’s smartphone line, particularly the 6.1-inch “budget” LCD iPhone.

It all goes down to the demand that the outgoing flagship, the iPhone X, has seen since debuting last year. In a recent note to clients on Thursday, Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall raised his price target for the company from $200 to $240, after admitting that he was wrong about the company last summer. Hall was among the Wall Street analysts who predicted a somewhat underwhelming response for the iPhone X, but as Apple’s sales figures have shown, the polarizing device ultimately helped the tech giant hit a market cap of $1 trillion.

“We also take this opportunity to eat our hat somewhat on our cautious stance this Summer. We had expected worse iPhone X demand and some pullback in the stock — clearly, neither of these two things happened,” Hall wrote, according to a CNBC report.

Hall further noted that the iPhone X’s better-than-expected demand could encourage Apple to forego a more aggressive pricing strategy with its 2018 smartphones. With this in mind, Hall stated that Apple might price its “budget” 6.1-inch iPhone at $849 instead of the widely speculated $699 price point. Following Hall’s adjustment, the iPhone 5.8-inch XS would likely be priced at $949-$999, and the iPhone XS Max would probably cost even higher.

“Goldman estimates Apple will price the iPhone 9 at $849, rather than the $699 some have speculated. The firm sees some flexibility down to $800 for the iPhone 9 offering but doubts Apple will go for lower price points after iPhone X demand was more than expected the last few months. Apple is once again proving itself tough to bet against,” Hall added.

That being said, Apple is set to make a big splash this year in the smartphone market nonetheless. The arrival of the 2018 iPhones would likely hit the market at the perfect time, too. Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson also raised his price target for Apple to $250 from $218 recently, citing the potential of this year’s smartphones to attract iPhone users that have not upgraded their devices in a long time.

According to a MarketWatch report, Olson’s survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of iPhone users are still using a device that is at least two years old. Thus, if the pricing of the 2018 iPhones is compelling enough, this massive number of users could give Apple’s sales figures a gigantic boost.