Have you checked the latest Apple iPhone service pricing yet? Go ahead, take a look here, and try not to scream too many expletives on your way back.
The new iPhone Xs keeps the same service pricing as the iPhone X: $279 for the screen and $549 for any other damage. If you have it under warranty — or purchased AppleCare+ for $199 or $269 with theft and loss coverage — the other damage repair will cost you “only” $99.
In other words: if you break the iPhone Xs without a warranty, the phone will end costing you a total of $1.548. If you purchased AppleCare+, then the iPhone Xs will end up costing $1,297 or $1,367 (depending on the AppleCare+ type).
It gets worse for the iPhone Xs Max. A screen repair will set you back $329. And any other damage will cost $599. That’s the full cost of a brand new iPhone 8.
Of course you can try to use a third-party repair service, but non-official Apple parts will always cause trouble — and buying a screen and fixing it yourself is more expensive (an iPhone X display is $389.99 according to iFixit) and way more complicated. And that’s only to fix the display. But I digress.
Until very recently, Apple’s quality and technology have always been better than the competition. The advantage on design was notable too, so was the integration between the hardware and the software. The so-called “Apple Tax” was just a slightly higher price with a solid justification.
MORE: Why Price Won't Stop People From Buying the iPhone Xs Max
Sometimes you could even argue that Apple’s solutions were less expensive than the alternatives — if you factored in the wasted time you spent on managing hardware and software conflicts on Windows and Android. Not to talk about fragmentation derived from incompatibilities and other integration issues.
Now, arguably, Apple’s only differentiating point with the Mac and the iPhone is privacy.
Apple has seemingly turned its iPhone line into a luxury machine — a status symbol only apt for brand-conscious people with money to burn. A status symbol with no analog audio dongle (add $159 for Airpods) or fast charging power adapters included in the box (add about $70 for an official 30W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C to Lightning Port cable). You can buy a great 15-inch MacBook Pro for the price of an iPhone XS Max plus all the needed warranties and accessories.
If it continues on this path, Apple may risk losing a huge chunk of the market to more capable and affordable Android devices with better cameras, better battery life, and better design.
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Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.