Apple iPhone 8 unlikely to cost $1,000, UBS says

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UBS said the factory cost of the 64GB OLED iPhone will be $70 to $90 higher than the iPhone 7 Plus model with a sale price of between $850 and $900. The higher cost could weigh on Apple’s gross margin which UBS said is likely to decline to 38.5 percent in the fiscal 2018 year, from its estimate of 38.7 percent for the current fiscal year.

But the 64GB OLED model priced at $870 would be good for earnings.

“We think an $870 price would be accretive to EPS but dilutive to gross margin, a dynamic Apple has said it would accept,” UBS noted.

$1,000 iPhone unlikely

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 is priced at $720 while the larger screen S8 Plus costs $840. UBS’s estimate puts the OLED iPhone above this. UBS said that it is likely consumers will be willing to pay the higher price if the hardware is considered innovative.

Analyst Steven Milunovich said Apple has been able to hold the average selling price of its Macs above $1,200 despite the industry ASP falling to near $600. He added that despite the high prices of Macs versus the broader industry, Apple has only posted two down years of Mac sales.

Even the iPhone 7 Plus, which saw a $20 price rise from the 6 Plus, “has had more demand than any other Plus model released” thanks to the dual camera, UBS said. The investment bank expects the Plus could account for over 40 percent of iPhone sales in fiscal year 2017 versus a historical average of 25-30 percent.

“Apple customers seem fine with paying more for products they feel are differentiated,” Milunovich noted, adding that the OLED model could account for 45 percent of shipments in fiscal 2018.

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