May 30, 2017 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Competition, iPhone, Predictions, Products, Review, Samsung, WWDC, Apple Watch

Airpod_beautyForget about iPhone 8's edge-to-edge OLED display, 3D camera, IP68 waterproof rating, Touch ID built into the glass, or, or, or... The killer feature for iPhone 8 will be AirPods that ship with the phone as a standard feature. Will this happen? Sorry kids, I don't work on Apple's iPhone product marketing team, nor am I close personal friends with Phil Schiller (although "Uncle Phil" has always seemed pretty cool), so I have no idea if this will actually happen – but it most certainly should.

Analysts have been beating the drum that iPhone 8 will cost over a $1,000 in certain configurations, with starting prices nearing $900. If that's the case, I highly question where the massively increased costs for iPhone 8 are hidden? OLED display vs LCD? No. There is no longer a massive cost delta between the two technologies with Apple's volume. New sensors and Touch ID built into the glass will cost more than Apple's current Touch ID implementation. But when Touch ID was launched in iPhone 5s it was also a costly new feature and Apple didn't jack up the prices for iPhone 5s with Touch ID, rather, Apple held prices and focused on selling more iPhones.

Apple's current iPhone 7 Plus with dual-camera and 5.5" display starts at $749. iPhone 8 is rumored to contain a 5.8" display (though it will be a bit narrower than the iPhone 7 Plus), and is also likely to have a dual camera solution along with larger battery. If Apple charges more than $749 for a base iPhone 8, it seems there needs to be a huge value add for millions of non-upgrade cycle folks to make the jump...

Enter AirPods. 

If you haven't experienced Apple's AirPods you need to try them out. They simply rock. AirPods cost $159, thus if Apple were to charge $849 for a base iPhone 8, but ship the phone standard with AirPods, suddenly Apple will have injected iPhone 8 with massive value. It would represent a better value to buy an iPhone 8 vs an iPhone 7 Plus and AirPods. iPhone 8 presents value, while eking out $100 or more in the purchase than many would have initially thought of spending.

Apple would again be showcasing their technology brand en mass with AirPods as a standard iPhone 8 feature. Sure, anyone could have bought AirPods for use with their older iPhones, but after iPhone 8 ships everyone will assume if you have AirPods you own an iPhone 8. And that is another powerful technology and marketing statement that Apple's competitors simply won't have.

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