Ming Chi Kuo is great at what he does. He is the world’s preeminent predictor of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) technology. In a new report the KGI securities analyst has one message, if you want to spend $10,000 on a smartphone Apple is going to let you donate to its $200 billion cash pile.
According to Mr. Kuo, Apple is going to release the iPhone 7, or iPhone 6s it’s still not clear what the naming of the next Apple device will be, in more options than previous smartphones from the Cupertino company. That means Rose Gold of the sort currently only available in the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch with Rose gold case costs a minimum of $10,000.
iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 get a price boost
The success of the Apple Watch Edition has, according to Mr. Kuo, created a world in which Apple can envision raising the sales price of the iPhone even higher. The iPhone 6 Plus, which is sure to be repeated in an iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 6s Plus this time around, already increased the Average Selling Price of the smart phone beyond what was previously thought possible.
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In the final three months of 2014 the average selling price for the iPhone rose to $687, guaranteeing more revenue for Apple as the industry grew in sales price as well as volume. Putting gold in the case will allow Apple to boost that even further.
If just 1% of Apple fans purchase a $10,000 smartphone the company could bring in as much as $6 billion in extra revenue per quarter. That assumes sales of close to that of the iPhone 6. That smartphone sold 61 million units in the second quarter of 2015 which ended on March 21.
iPhone 7, iPhone 6s borrow from Apple Watch
Mr. Kuo doesn’t think that the gold case is the only thing that Apple is set to borrow from the Apple Watch. According to the analyst the iPhone 7 or iPhone 6s will also have Sapphire Glass in its more expensive models.
Force Touch, the special feedback system featured in the Apple Watch, will be part of the iPhone 7, and the KGI analyst reckons it is a key part of what will bring Apple to make the name change.
With AAC Technologies apparently struggling to make enough Taptic Engines for the Apple Watch, however, the inclusion of force touch in the iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 may be set back a touch.
The Rose Gold $10,000 iPhone 7 seems like a no-brainer for Apple. Consumer reaction to the $10,000 watch hasn’t been of disgust, it’s been of awe. People that can’t own the Watch Edition wish they could, they don’t despise those that bought it.
In a premium smart phone market that is increasingly dominated by Apple and Apple only, Tim Cook may want to consider stratifying the market himself. That means allowing the rich to spend $10,000 on a rose gold iPhone.