iPhone 5: hefty price increase outside the US. What's your opinion?
Being in Germany, I watched the Keynote live-blogs last night. Nothing unexpected, but imho a solid upgrade. Pricing? "The same". Ok, great... so I thought.
What Americans should know: here in Europe we are much less locked in by carriers. Yes, a lot of people still buy on a 2-year contract, but more and more just get a pre-paid or post-paid card with awesome pricing in the best network. If you don't have special needs, you don't need a contract anymore. You can get unlimited (I mean really unlimited!) minutes into every network, unlimited messages and at least 1GB of data for far under 20€ (about $26) a month. Without a phone, of course, so it's a lot more common to buy it unlocked without any carrier involved.
The iPhone never was exactly cheap, but for what I got, it was still acceptable to me. The 4S was 629€ ($811) for 16GB, and even 739€ ($953) for 32GB. Woah, wait, that's expensive? Yes, it is, but you have to think about what you usually pay to carriers every month for two years. If you do the math, it's cheaper to buy it unlocked and even be free (still a lot of money of course).
What happened yesterday? The price of the unlocked iPhone 5 in Germany went up by 50€! That's now 679€ for 16GB and 789€ for 32GB. Which is means $876 and almost $1018! Yes, you read that right!! So much for the "same pricing".
Not too much more, you say? I disagree. The iPhone was always on the edge of what I accepted to pay. For me personally, a line was crossed now. I know, this is probably because of the Euro crisis.. but in the end people don't have more money, they have less. That's the same in Europe and the US. The Euro is somewhat stable, the US Dollar is not doing exactly great either. So, I believe Apple should have cut into their huge margins. I will most likely not pay this price anymore, especially considering that you can get a Galaxy Nexus for about 300€ now, which is just $387. Unlocked! A Samsung S3 is 500€ ($649). Heck, over a thousand dollars for a phone? I don't think so. I'm on a 4S now and didn't want to upgrade yet anyway, but for the next year I will watch the Nexus line even more closely.
What do you think? As an American, or European, or whatever. Would/Will you still pay this price?