A flagship phone from Apple or Samsung will now cost you almost $1,000

Image: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
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Samsung’s newest smartphone, the massive Note 8, will retail for $929, and The New York Times reports that Apple’s flagship iPhone 8, likely released next month, is expected to start at $999.

These are big increases from only a year ago, when Samsung’s (rather explosive) top-of-the-line Note 7 started at $850, and the iPhone 7 Plus started at $769. Now both Apple and Samsung are hoping that exclusive features will attract more customers to spend more than they usually do. (The most expensive iPhone you can currently buy is a 256 GB iPhone 7 Plus for $969—as much as most iPads and some Mac computers.)

The average price of iPhones has oscillated between $560 and about $700 in the last few years, so $1,000 would likely be well beyond what most consumers are willing to pay. But Apple and Samsung’s newest devices will likely feature larger screens and other added benefits (such as Samsung’s S Pen stylus and Apple’s 3D face-scanning) that might tempt customers.

Both companies are likely to have cheaper options available: Samsung’s Galaxy S8 starts at $725, and Apple is expected to release an iPhone 7S and a 7S Plus (both with minor updates over their 7 counterparts) that will likely cost as much as the current iPhone 7 models. Apple declined to comment on its plans for any forthcoming devices.

Much like the next iPhone itself, it remains to be seen whether consumers are going to be willing to drop double what the original iPhone cost 10 years ago.