Steve Wozniak: iPhone’s high price justified because it’s a ‘safe bet’

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says the iPhone is worth its high retail price, but warns of growing competition from China.

Smartphones across the world – and particularly in the UK – have become increasingly expensive as consumers demand more advanced features. The Apple iPhone is no exception, and regularly ranks as one of the most costly handsets available when a new version is released each year.

But Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believes the high price – currently £599 for an iPhone 7, and expected to rise further with this year’s iPhone 8 –is entirely justified. Speaking at a technology forum at Tianan Cyber Park in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China, the ever-chatty Woz said: “Apple products are safe. And Apple’s pricing is high in the extreme. It’s a safe bet for a lot of people, and when you love Apple you are willing to pay for it.”

The comments, which come via the South China Morning Post, showcase Woz’s ongoing appreciated for Apple design, despite no longer working on Apple products himself. Although he technically remains an Apple employee and shareholder, Wozniak – who helped Steve Jobs kickstart Apple from a Californian garage – largely focuses on other ventures.

“In life, I don’t believe in quantity as much as I do in quality,” Wozniak went on. “So you may not have the hugest share in the market or be the number one, but you should have the best product you can possible build and Apple qualifies for that.”

He continued: “But Apple is not falling behind [in terms of features] at all. You can’t be number one at everything when you make a huge volume, tens of millions of a product. You have to figure out the manufacturing steps to make something reliably in those quantities.”

Despite his admiration for the latest roster of Apple devices, Wozniak also issued a warning about growing competition from the east. Apple’s growth in China has slowed of late, partly thanks to the proliferation of increasingly high-quality, low-priced smartphones:

“Here is what I admire about Chinese phones: really good, intelligent decisions about how to lower the cost but keep enough of the functionality in, because I am into products that are good, well-designed, nice-looking, but at prices that the average person can afford.”

He added that local brands “like Xiaomi and Huwai have been around for a long time and they create great products”.

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