The New York Times ran a story yesterday that fell in line with this kind of thinking. It points out that whereas Apple used to be the gourmet device option with high prices to prove it, that thinking seems to be disappearing as of late. It points to the $199 price tag for the iPhone 4S and says, “For $300 and a two-year contract, gadget lovers could have picked up Motorola’s Droid Bionic from Verizon Wireless, or they could bought the $230 Samsung Galaxy SII and $260 HTC Amaze 4G, both from T-Mobile, under the same terms.”
And laptop makers seeking to take on Apple’s ultra-thin and ultra-light MacBook Air haven’t been able to get lower than the Air’s $999 price tag.
What we may be seeing here is that Apple is able to manufacture in such high volumes (regardless of the ethical questions surrounding its practices in China) that it’s able to drive down prices on everything from parts to assembly. As a result, Apple may no longer be content to be the cool high-end of the electronics market. Maybe it wants the world.