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iPhone 8 might be the first mainstream phone to cross the $1,000 mark

Apple might be well on its way to drop its most expensive handset ever with the next-generation iPhone.

In a note obtained by MacRumors, UBS analyst Steve Milunovich predicts Apple could be gearing up to release a premium iPhone model that will come with a hefty price tag of between $950 and $1,000 for the highest-end configuration.

The analyst suggests the premium price will likely apply only to the 256GB version of the device with OLED panel; by comparison, the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus currently retails at $969. The base 64GB model is predicted to start at around $850 to $900 – similarly to the Galaxy S8+ which retails at close to $850.

Here’s what the note said:

Contrary to some perceptions, Apple prices quite competitively. Apple likes to position its entry-level products at the mid-market with “Pro/Plus” products close to competitors at the high end. Therefore, we do not think Apple will stray far from the price point of Samsung’s most expensive model at $840-850 and will keep the entry OLED model at $850-900. Apple’s 256GB OLED model could be $950-1,000, but the 256GB 7 Plus already is $970.

The research cites a previous note from fellow UBS analyst Arthur Hsieh, estimating the production costs of the next-gen iPhone could be between $70 and $90 higher than the 7 Plus which retails at $769.

The Big A was already rumored to be working on a premium handset that will exceed $1,000 earlier in February. This latest note merely adds further credence to the speculation.

Taking into account the phone is expected to bring a radical design overhaul with boosted camera capabilities and a new OLED panel, it seems highly likely the next iPhone could be the first mainstream handset to cross the four digit mark.

> MacRumors