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Apple’s Tim Cook Says the $999 iPhone X Is a ‘Value’

September 19, 2017, 9:44 PM UTC

Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company’s $999 iPhone X is available at a great price considering what buyers get for their money.

On Good Morning America on Tuesday, Cook said that the recently announced iPhone X has a “value price” based on all the technology that comes with the device. He also said that the option to pay for the iPhone X over time through carrier-offered installment plans makes the iPhone X even more affordable.

“Most people are now paying for phones over long periods of time,” Cook said. “And so very few people will pay the price tag of the phone initially. Also most people actually trade in their current phone, and so that reduces the price further, and some carriers even throw in subsidies and discounts.”

Apple’s iPhone X, announced last week, will be available in Nov. 3. It comes with a 5.8-inch screen that nearly covers its face and no physical home button. A new facial-recognition feature called Face ID can verify the users’ identities and their purchases via Apple Pay. The device is also compatible with wireless charging, eliminating the need to plug the phone in to charge its battery.

In addition to the base $999 iPhone X, Apple is selling a 256GB version for $1,149. That makes the iPhone X the most expensive smartphone Apple has ever sold.

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The iPhone X’s lofty price hasn’t gone unnoticed, and some critics have said it’s too expensive. Apple, however, has argued that the iPhone X the “future” of smartphones.

Apple, along with all four major mobile carriers—Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile—all offer trade-in programs that let iPhone X buyers get credits on their purchase by turning in old smartphones. Apple’s retail partners, like Best Buy and Walmart, offer similar options.

And by offering installment plans, Apple and its carrier partners can help customers spread the cost of an expensive iPhone over on or two years. But even installment plan aren’t cheap, with monthly payments starting at nearly $50 through Apple.

Apple, meanwhile, is said to be making a healthy profit off the sale of each iPhone X, excluding costs like assembly and shipping.

On Monday, market researcher Susquehanna International Group said the iPhone X’s components cost Apple $581. If correct, that suggests Apple will make a $418 profit on every iPhone X sold, excluding those extra costs.

So, whether the iPhone X is really a “value” is relative. And there are undoubtedly many people both in the U.S. and around the globe who may not share Cook’s thoughts about value.