Two graphs that put the iPhone 6 price tag in perspective

It's a fantastic phone, but not such a good buy.

It’s received rave reviews, sold out around the globe, and its popularity has even brought its manufacturer Foxconn into a meltdown. The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus tick all the boxes, they are fantastic phones. But that doesn’t mean they are such a great buy. 

Over the past two years Apple has quietly jacked up the price of its new iPhones. Where once they all launched at around the $799 mark, now the base model 16GB iPhone 6 is priced at $869. The insanely popular iPhone 6 Plus starts at an equally insane $999. 

So why are these prices crazy? Here’s two graphs to explain. 

First off, under Apple’s new price regime a 5-inch phone costs as much as a Macbook. A Macbook will likely last you several years due to the slower pace of PC technology. It’s the same reason why Australian analyst firm Telsyte says the iPad 2 is still the most popular of Apple’s tablets in Australia. Meanwhile, due to the significantly faster pace of mobile technology, Telsyte says an average smartphone typically lasts for about two years.

Second, Apple’s not even trying to be competitive with its pricing, particularly with its iPhone 6 Plus model. If you want a phablet, there are cheaper phones. If you want an Apple phablet, you may be better off waiting until next year when Apple will inevitably drop its price. The iPhone 5S fell from $869 to a more practical $749 in the past year. 

So what’s the alternative? Well, if you don’t mind a contract and a higher cost in the long term you can buy your phone as part of a plan. As per usual, the telcos have gone all out with some gangbuster iPhone deals to win your custom, though as Stephen Bartholomeuz noted earlier this week, they’re not as good as they used to be. 

Or you can buy a 'refurbished' (that's the nice word for second-hand) phone. Telsyte suspects that the “ultra-premium” price point of Apple’s latest phone will push more consumers into this category. 

Again, don’t mistake this column as an attack on the iPhone. It is a great product. But consumers need to shop with caution. Apple’s recent chain of results show that the company is relying more and more heavily on iPhone sales and this is perhaps reflected in its pricing this time around.