Apple’s Latest Product Launch Fuels Americans’ Willingness to Spend Top Dollar on New Devices

Apple just wrapped up its latest annual unveiling of new products last week, and the reactions couldn’t be stronger or more positive. HarrisX wanted to gauge just how much the announcements influenced people’s perception of the Apple brand, and their intent to buy its latest iPhones and smartwatches this holiday season.  Using the HarrisX Overnight Poll, which runs 365 days per year, we surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults immediately before and after the Apple event on September 12th, to get a clear picture of consumers’ expectations and overall reactions.

The key take-aways are as follows:

  • Although the iPhone models unveiled last week are Apple’s most expensive to date, plenty of Americans are ready and willing to pay what Apple is asking, demonstrating just how successful the company’s been at raising the perceived value of its products.
    • Most Americans – 53% – are fine paying at least $750 for the new iPhone Xr (the least expensive model unveiled last week), making $750 the “tipping point price” for iPhones.
    • The iPhone Xs – with a starting price $999 – is the big “get” for Americans now. Without being reminded of the price, fully 57% say they are thinking of buying one by year’s end. That number drops only to 46% once they are informed of the price.
  • Despite the technological innovations unveiled last week, “bread and butter” features like long battery life and convenient charging capabilities remain the most sought-out features on smartphones.
    • 44% of Americans cite faster battery charging as the most-wanted smartphone feature, making it top feature when it comes to consumer expectations. Coming in second – at 40% – is wireless charging.
    • The more sophisticated technology in smartphones doesn’t generate as much enthusiasm.  Just 23% care about a better camera, and a tiny number 8% consider augmented reality capability important.
  • The holiday season looks to be juicy for Apple, with last week’s event fueling Americans’ excitement to upgrade their smartphone devices by year’s end.
    • Pre-launch event, 33% of Americans were thinking to get a new smartphone this year; post-event that figure rose to 47%.
    • Among iPhone users, a strong majority – 62% – are thinking of upgrading this year.
    • A majority of Americans – 58% – heard, read, or saw the event; this figure also includes 72% of those who are thinking of upgrading before end-of-year.
    • Reactions to Apple’s launch event were positive, with two-thirds of customers rating the event “as expected”, “exciting”, and innovative.

“Americans clearly value the Apple brand and are willing to spend top dollar to have the latest devices in their pockets or on their wrists,” said Dritan Nesho, HarrisX CEO. “Interestingly, although Apple has made some great technological leaps – such as its AR innovations – it’s not those advances that command the higher prices. What matters to people are more tangible features, particularly those that relate to batteries and charging capability.”

Added Nesho: “The dollars people spend on Apple relate to industrial design and the brand itself – and the prestige of owning the latest gadget with the Apple label on it. With brand luster like that, buzz around new products, and a booming economy, we expect to see a rosy holiday season in store for Apple.”

Full results of our survey, along with graphics, are available through this link