Ten years ago, the first iPhone hit the market, retailing for a cool $500.
The cost was significant, but largely understandable; after all, the cost to build the original iPhone was around $179, and since Apple had sunk $150 million into the project, it made sense that they would want to recoup their money. (For those keeping track at home, that’s about a 180% markup.)
The iPhone X costs $370 to make, and it retails for $1,000, which means it’s sold at about a 170% markup. On one hand, this is nice: Apple’s actually lowered the markup for the iPhone in the past decade. On the other, $1,000 is still a shitload of money to pay for a phone.
It seems a lot of people have realized this; according to CNET, Apple’s iPhone X sales were lower than anticipated. So, to boost sales, Apple needs to ensure that we can afford their products. (They could lower the price, but this is America, so that ain’t happening.)
Traditionally, Apple has offered financing in the form of credit cards, usually backed by Barclay’s or other financial institutions. Despite the no-interest introductory offers, these credit cards often carry exorbitant interest rates, which means that if you don’t pay off the whole balance by the time the introductory period ends (if you’re offered one at all), you’re on the hook for potentially hundreds of dollars in interest.
But according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple might be looking to change that.
In the report, an anonymous source indicated that Apple is in talks with finance giant Goldman Sachs to offer a new financing structure: personal loans to iPhone purchasers. The loans would carry a lower interest rate than credit cards, allowing more people to purchase iPhones without racking up interest fees that could conceivably cost them more than the retail price of the phone itself.
It’s unclear if this deal will actually go through, but if you’re in the market for a new iPhone and don’t have $1,000 lying around, this might be your opportunity.