Why Are iPhones Expensive? Top 6 Reasons They Are Worth It


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Today there are massive lines outside Apple stores across the world as people eagerly await to get their hands on the brand spanking new iPhone 11s.

We’ve seen this before. In fact, every single time Apple launches a new iPhone it seems all but guaranteed that there will be lines outside all the stores on the first day, even though the price continues to climb. So why are iPhones expensive?

iPhones are expensive because they are built with components and software that replace premium technologies that were once needed and separate from the phone. These technologies include camcorders, cameras, computers, home phones, tapes/DVDs/CDs, and hard drives.

These technologies are only but a few of many that iPhones, and smartphones in general, have increasingly been able to adapt to and replace entirely.

Through the eyes of a writer who grew up throughout the 90s, I dive into more detail below and explain why I believe iPhones are worth increasing price premiums.

iPhones Have Replaced Camcorders to Take Higher Quality Video In A Much Smaller Package

I remember when I was in grade school my father would always bring his large black leather bag that contained his camcorder, tapes, and batteries to all of my plays and band performances.

This bag had to be larger than the length of my grade school torso and weigh almost as much as me. Not to mention, when he finally did take the tape camcorder out of the bag it could dwarf a shoebox and take batteries that were baseball sized.

…Believe it or not, my dad still has that same tape camcorder in his basement today. And every time I look at it I am stunned by how far smartphone technology has improved.

Not only can iPhones and smartphones create the same video that camcorders could back then, but the smooth HD recordings far outpace the grainy, less-than-standard-definition picture that even DVD camcorders could ever muster.

All of these benefits in a much smaller package.

In fact, no longer do you need to worry about carrying extra large battery packs and chargers with ports. Nor do you have to bring extra tapes or DVDs and find places to store them before and afterwards.

iPhones allow you to produce all-digital video recordings that can comfortably sit in a pocket or purse at all times.

Likewise, iPhones Can Take Photos That Sweep Most Mainstream Cameras

Similar to the camcorder story above, I also remember a time in the not so distant past when I would have to bring a bulky disposable camera or one that required extra film and batteries with me.

Even in the 90s film cameras used to be large enough to notice when they were lost or dropped, and the picture taking was not complete at the point of shot…

The film then had to be taken to a drug store or film shop so that it could be processed for print. Only then could you see how well the picture turned out, or if that moment really was a blurry flop.

And selfies at the time were all but a guessing game (turn the camera around backwards, what?).

Nowadays, iPhones can handle clear and stable photo production in both directions, and picture assessment can be accomplished on demand with a quick look at the smartphone screen.

Not only can they take great high-resolution photos, but now they can create almost any affect we can dream up of, not just through the lens of the camera (like portrait mode and its background blur), but through simple photo editing that allow you to apply filters, change colors, and sharpen or soften edges around objects.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never come across a camera even as recent as the 2000s that could not only produce photos, but also filter and edit them on the spot.

Yes there are also cameras that many people use that are still fairly popular today like mirrorless and DSLR, but the performance gap between iPhone cameras and these specialty units are noticeably getting smaller each year.

Finally, with the tap of a few buttons that photo was just taken your iPhone can immediately be posted and shared on the internet with all of your friends and family, and automatically saved in the cloud.

Say goodbye to overly stuffed bookshelves, photo albums, and remembering to bring all your print outs to the next family holiday dinner.

iPhones Now Have Computer-Level Brain Power

When the original iPhones came out there were only a few native apps that would fit on a single home screen, a lackluster connection to the internet with pixelated webpage loads, and the ability to only play super simple games.

I wrote an article here that goes over step by step how to create folders on your iPhone so that you can easily organize your apps.

It was great that the iPhone could even start to accomplish these tasks at the time, but it was an absolute need to also have a computer as the techno powerhouse that would handle the bigger jobs.

Now the line between Mac and iOS is starting to blur, and with the RAM and processing speeds that are pre-built into modern iPhones, they can easily replace many entry and mid-level computers.

This is why you see Tim Cook comfortably saying that you can replace your laptop with an iPad, because the performance really has caught up that much.

Not to mention a lot of companies also have iOS apps that in some cases have replaced the tasks that once had to be accomplished either over a phone call or through their websites.

This makes many jobs like document and spreadsheet edits, video conferencing, and bank transfers virtually the same on iPhones as they now are for computers.

Gaming and video streaming are much the same way too. Where it used to be large desktop units and gaming consoles that were relied on to play the best titles, iPhone users can now play full-story titles on the go while watching their favorite Netflix show in seamless fashion.

The multitasking capabilities of iPhones have also vastly improved over the years, also matching that of computers.

Now you can hop between several apps with ease without the worry of how long it takes for it to boot up, and there’s no need to close them like a computer since smartphone software knows when apps are not in use, and puts them to sleep in order to save battery.

For many, streaming video, going online, and playing games on their computer or smartphone is only a matter of which is the more convenient option, not if it is one or the other that actually has the computing power to do so.

iPhones Are So Portable They Are Eliminating Millions Of Home And Office Phones

Thanks to iPhones and smartphones getting slimmer, lighter, and thus more portable, they are always on us at all times. This significantly triumphs in convenience over the non-attached base phone units of old.

Also these phones, especially cordless, required maintenance since they constantly needed fresh Ni-Cad batteries, contact list updates, and voicemail cleanup.

Not only that, home phones just weren’t personal like iPhones are now. Remember when your friend would call the house and have to go through mom or dad first? Or when someone was listening to your conversation on the same line?

I think the best part about iPhones is that you can call anyone anywhere you want for as long as you want without near any interruption.

With corded and cordless phones you had to be within a few feet of its base at all times or else the call would get fuzzy or disconnected.

Sometimes a call gets dropped today because of cell signal strength or radio interference, but most of the time you can be calling somebody at home, walk out to the car, drive to work, and walk into your office and still be on that same call with no hesitation.

The iPhone has indeed become our personal wireless freedom.

iCloud and iPhone storage create all-digital copies of information without the need for extra hard drives, tapes, CDs, or DVDs

I always carried around my chunky gray and black zippered CD case that was stuffed full of my favorite albums so that I could listen to them on my Walkman player on the bus to and from middle and high school.

Sometimes a friend of mine would want the latest album that I just bought or a mix of several songs from different titles. So I would reach for my stack of blank CDs, pop open the CD-ROM drive of my computer, and burn a few duplicate discs.

That all took up a lot of space, not to mention it added a lot of carrying weight to my backpack that I had to lug around daily.

Like my father’s need to have extra video tapes and mine for blank CDs, iPhone storage has improved to the point that it has eliminated the need for bulky extras while keeping more music, videos, and games that we could ever hold in our bags.

And the few cases that iPhone storage does run out? iCloud storage (Apple’s proprietary cloud storage outlet) has become so convenient and cost efficient that you can now create digital copies of all of the smartphone’s data in a matter of minutes.

This is absolutely amazing because old photo prints get older and faded, tape film can get grainy, and CDs and DVDs can scratch or crack. The iPhone can recall all of its digitally stored information from the cloud in exactly the same quality as back when it was first produced, each and every time.

The iPhone allows you to keep a copy of your life’s information without even skipping a beat.

iPhones Are Expensive, But They Are Worth It

I wanted to save writing about prices until the end since now hopefully you see just how many devices and accessories the iPhone has been able to replace.

Even back in the 1990s, cameras, camcorders, and computers by themselves were each several hundreds of dollars, sometimes even over $1000 for premium models.

This does not include the extra storage, batteries, and added shelf spaces that were required to use these old school technologies.

The newest iPhone 11 that launched today starts at a price of $699, with the top “Pro Max” models topping out at $1449 for 512GB of storage.

That number sounds like a lot on paper, but it handles the jobs of all of the gadgets that were previously mentioned, all in a super convenient and portable size that is small enough to fit in your pocket.

Have an awesome song list that you want your friend to listen to? All you have to do is tell them to follow your playlist. No CD exchange needed.

Want to share that video you shot of your cute dog rolling in the backyard to your family? Have them like it on social media, or better yet, Airdrop it so that they get a copy of it on their iPhone. So long DVDs. Hello clutter free living.

iPhones are an essential and personal companion because they combine the best of everything that used to be bought and upgraded, and has combined them all into one easy device.

The iPhone is definitely worth it.

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