Goldman Sachs analyst thinks $749 iPhone XR is too cheap
Goldman Sachs is putting a new spin on sticker shock.
A tech analyst at the Wall Street bank took one look at the $749 price of Apple’s just-unveiled iPhone XR and thought it was too low.
While many shoppers might blanch at the $50 increase from the iPhone 8 Plus, Rod Hall thinks Apple should have priced the XR a bit higher — like $849.
“The new LCD ‘XR’ model was priced lower than we had thought likely,” Hall wrote. “This effectively obsoletes two iPhone 8/8+ SKUs in our opinion.”
The iPhone XR, which will be released in October, is the least expensive of the three new iPhones. It features an edge-to-edge display and a faster processor than the $699 8 Plus.
By pricing the XR at $749, Apple will ring up a lower average selling price than Goldman has predicted, Hall said.
As a result, Hall lowered his forecast for Apple’s earnings per share.
Investors seemed to shrug off Hall’s concerns, pushing Apple shares up 2.4 percent on Thursday, to $226.41.
Hall isn’t the only analyst who fears the XR price tag will depress sales of the 8 Plus.
“I don’t think many people are going to buy the iPhone 8 when you start looking at the lineup,” CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino told The Post. “I think, by far, the best-selling iPhone product over the next year is going to be the iPhone XR.”
Zino said that he forecasts that the XR will make up more than 50 percent of sales of Apple’s new handsets.
“There are a lot of iPhone users who haven’t upgraded who have an iPhone 6S or older,” Zino said, adding that the lower price point and new form-factor will convince a large bloc of consumers to take the plunge.
Compared with the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — which start at $999 and $1,099, respectively, with the Max topping out at an eye-watering $1,449 — the XR is poised as a reasonably priced alternative.
The XR is also the first iPhone in years to be sold in a variety of colors, including red, coral, yellow and blue.
“When it’s all said and done, I think it’s the key for the cycle,” Zino said. “If you’re a consumer, it’s a no-brainer, you go with the iPhone XR.”
The analyst also told The Post that he predicts that even the 2-year-old iPhone 7, which has seen its starting price cut to $449, will outsell the iPhone 8, thanks to its appeal in developing markets.
In a note to clients on Thursday, Needham analyst Laura Martin compared Apple’s decision to release the iPhone XR on Oct. 26 — a full month after the iPhone XS launch — to the way studios release films in theaters and then on television.
“[This is] a release windowing strategy the movie industry has used for decades to maximize total revenue,” she wrote.
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