For years, Apple customers would complain about the "Apple Tax" — the premium over similar products from other companies that you would have to pay for Apple's design and software. Apple stuff is premium, and increasingly, it's sold as a luxury product as well — think of the $20,000 gold Apple Watch.
But Apple's announcement on Tuesday, in which it revealed a new low-cost iPad and upgraded the least-expensive iPhone, shows that Apple has started to compete on price as well. The tech industry should take note.
If Apple starts using its massive cash pile to undercut its competitors and deflate entire product categories, that's a big deal.
On Tuesday, Apple dropped the price of a fine, fast, and big iPad to $330 — a price below similar devices from Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft. Apple already dominated the high-end tablet market, and just undercut many of its Android competitors.
Apple's iPhone SE got an upgrade, bumping its default storage up from 16GB to 32GB. It's not a full refresh, but it shows that Apple is still giving love and attention to even its cheapest iPhone.
The low prices for these two updated device follow a trend that independent Apple analyst Neil Cybart noted last week: Apple "is making its products more accessible through lower pricing."
But a company valued as richly as Apple also needs to keep its margins high, and that's why it's also turning into a luxury brand at the same time — note that Apple's iPad Pro debuted at $600, higher than the iPad Air 2 it nominally replaced.
不过像苹果公司这样身价高昂的公司也需要保持自己的价格优势，这就是为什么苹果同时也正在转型成为一个奢侈品品牌——注意，首次与众人见面的苹果平板电脑iPad Pro售价为600美元，比其在名义上取代了的 iPad Air 2价格还要昂贵。