When Apple released its first iPhone 7 in September 2015, it was already a big deal.
Apple’s new smartphone was the first to use a new version of the iPhone OS, called iOS 10, and it made a lot of sense.
For one, the company was getting ready to release the world’s most expensive phone.
For another, it made the iPhone the first product in history to make the leap from a mass-market phone to a luxury phone.
In an era when every new iPhone launched at least once a year, Apple was a major player in the smartphone market.
It was also one of the few major tech companies that didn’t just make expensive phones, but also some really high-end ones.
And so, when Apple announced its second iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8 later that year, people wanted more.
“Apple just had the most money in the history of the world,” says Craig Federighi, a senior analyst with technology research firm Forrester.
“It had a lot to prove.”
The iPhone 7 was released in November 2016 and its price tag was $699, but people didn’t necessarily buy it for that price.
Instead, they bought the iPhone 7 Plus and the larger iPhone 8.
“People just wanted a phone that was a bit more expensive,” says Chris Gaffney, an analyst at Forrecer.
“They were just buying the cheaper phones.”
The first iPhone was so popular that it was sold out in just three months.
Apple eventually raised the price of the first iPhone to $699 in January 2018, but that didn, in part, stem from the fact that the company knew it was selling fewer iPhones.
The price of iPhone 7s was $1,199 by the end of the year.
The second iPhone was released a year later, and the price was bumped up to $1 (or $199) in February 2019.
That was followed by a $200 iPhone 7S, then another $200 (or roughly $1.2 million) in November 2020, which was followed two months later by another $500 (or about $1 million) iPhone 7.
By February 2021, the price had reached $1 ($2.5 million) for a new model.
By October of that year the price for the iPhone 9s was at $1 for a base model and $1 a month for the Plus model.
In December, Apple finally raised the base price of its next phone, the iPhone X, to $9,999.
(It’s currently $999, but Apple is lowering that to $949 this fall.)
“People are paying more for the most important feature of the smartphone, the camera, and they’re paying more in the way of memory and storage, but there’s just not a lot more,” says Greg McBride, an executive vice president with Forreber.
“There’s still a lot that people can do to get the best of both worlds.”
The $1 phone and $999 phone were the first phones to hit $1 on a monthly basis, and those two price points are still going strong today.
In February 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S9 was announced, and its launch was met with huge buzz.
Samsung had already made the leap to a mass market phone, but with a new device it was able to get people excited.
But the hype around the phone wasn’t all positive.
The phone was only available in a white, gold, and rose gold color scheme, and was the only phone to come with a microSD card slot and a built-in fingerprint reader.
Samsung’s first phone was the Galaxy S8, which also had a micro SD card slot, but it didn’t come with an extra fingerprint scanner.
It also had an ugly design that looked a bit like a toy, and a $199 price tag.
But Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy X9 was so successful that the price dropped to $649, but customers quickly bought it because they knew it had a better camera and a faster processor.
Samsung sold over two million phones in its first year.
That’s about the same number as the iPhone and the iPad.
In the years since then, the same two phone manufacturers have been releasing more expensive phones.
Apple had its first premium iPhone in October 2018, which cost $999.
The iPhone X came out in November, with the same price as the S9 and the S8.
Then in April, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 8, which came with a higher price tag, $999 for the S7 model, and an extra battery that could last for up to a year.
“A lot of people were paying $1 and $2 for a phone and it was just not that much of a deal,” says Federighs.
“The thing that was going on with the iPhone was that you could go and buy