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定價上千美元,新款iPhone成奢侈品?

With a $1,000 Price Tag, Apple’s iPhone Crosses a Threshold
定價上千美元,新款iPhone成奢侈品?

SAN FRANCISCO — When Apple unveils its new top-of-the-line iPhone on Tuesday, it isn’t just expected to offer features like infrared facial recognition and wireless charging for the first time.

舊金山——當蘋果公司(Apple)在周二發布自己的新款頂級iPhone時,人們應該不只是會看到它首次提供紅外線面部識別和無線充電等功能。

The company will also enter new territory on price: The latest phone will start at about $1,000, compared with the $769 minimum for its current top phone, the iPhone 7 Plus.

該公司還將進入一個新的價格領域:它新款手機的起價約為1000美元,而目前它的最高配置手機iPhone 7Plus的最低售價為769美元。

“It’s a whole new threshold,” said Debby Ruth, a senior vice president at the tech consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates. I really do think it’s going to make people pause.”

“這是一個全新的門檻,”技術咨詢公司弗蘭克·N·馬吉德公司(Frank N. Magid Associates)的高級副總裁黛比·魯斯(Debby Ruth)說。“我真的認為,它會讓人們猶豫。”

From the iPhone’s introduction a decade ago, Apple has always priced it as a premium product — a more refined and polished alternative to the legions of cheaper smartphones available in the market.

從10年前推出iPhone起,蘋果一直把它作為高檔產品來定價,與市面上更便宜的智能手機大軍相比,它是更高級、更精致之選。

But this time, the company is pushing into luxury territory. The new phone will cost as much as the company’s entry-level MacBook Air laptop. “They’re doubling down on their strategy: They are going much more to the high end,” Ruth said.

但這一次,該公司正在走向奢侈品領域。這款新手機的售價將與該公司的入門級MacBook Air一樣昂貴。“他們的戰略更加堅定:走向更高端,”魯斯說。

Apple declined to comment before the product announcements scheduled for Tuesday. (On Saturday, Steven Troughton-Smith, a developer who combed through the iOS 11 software, found references indicating that the new high-end phone will be called the iPhone X.)

在周二發布產品之前,蘋果拒絕評論(周六,參與開發iOS 11軟件的工程師斯蒂芬·特勞頓-史密斯[Steven Troughton-Smith]找到一些資料表明,這款新高端手機將被稱為iPhone X)。

Investors are betting that Apple’s move up the price ladder will pay off with much higher profits, especially in mature markets like the United States and Western Europe, where many of the buyers will be people upgrading from older iPhones. The company’s stock has risen nearly 50 percent over the past year as anticipation has built about the 2017 models.

投資者們認為,蘋果上調價格將獲得更高的利潤,尤其是在美國和西歐等成熟市場上,那里的很多買家將是升級舊iPhone的人士。因為人們在期望2017年的新款,該公司的庫存在過去一年里已上升了近50%。

Apple’s strategy carries risks, however, especially in developing countries where smartphone sales are growing briskly but its market share is a blip compared to devices running Google’s Android software. 紐約時報中英文網 http://www.uydujn.live

不過,蘋果的策略也有風險,尤其是在發展中國家,那里的智能手機銷售在快速增長,而與運行谷歌的安卓軟件的手機相比,蘋果在那里的市場份額目前有所降低。

In Brazil, for example, Apple devices will account for just 8 percent of the 125 million active smartphone subscriptions this year, according to Forrester, a research firm.

比如,據研究機構弗雷斯特(Forrester)稱,巴西今年1.25億活躍的智能手機用戶中,蘋果手機將只占8%。

Steep taxes, higher retail profit margins, and added costs from a botched attempt at building iPhones in Brazil have pushed the price of an iPhone 6s, a 2-year-old model, to more than $1,000 at Casa Bahia, a store in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. In late August, the retailer was selling Apple’s most basic smartphone, the iPhone SE, for more than $600, while a Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini, which runs Android, was just $136.

由于關稅高昂,零售商追求更高的利潤空間,再加上在巴西設廠生產iPhone失敗所致成本增加,在里約熱內盧科帕卡巴納區的一個店鋪里,兩年前的iPhone 6s的價格已經推升至1000多美元。8月底,在這家零售店里,蘋果最基礎的智能手機iPhone SE的售價也超過600美元,而運行安卓系統的三星Galaxy J1 Mini的售價僅為136美元。

At another Rio store recently, Vanessa Perreira, 25, a university student, was browsing the 65 models on display, looking at the offerings from Samsung and LG but ignoring the six from Apple. She once owned an iPhone, she lamented, but could not afford to continue buying them. “Price is the most important factor for me,” she said.

前不久,在里約熱內盧的另一個店鋪里,25歲的大學生瓦妮莎·佩雷拉(Vanessa Perreira)在瀏覽店里展示的65款手機,她在看三星和LG的手機,但沒看蘋果的六款手機。她嘆息道,自己曾買過一部iPhone,但是承受不起繼續買它。“對我來說,價格是最重要的因素,”她說。

Still, the iPhone is coveted by wealthier Brazilians, many of whom buy the phone while traveling abroad to avoid their country’s high costs. “There will always be users in Brazil that will be interested in buying it,” said Tina Lu, a senior analyst with Counterpoint Research.

更富有的巴西人依然渴望得到iPhone,他們中的很多人為了避開國內的高價,在出國旅行時購買iPhone。“在巴西,總會有人有興趣買它,”Counterpoint研究公司的高級分析師蒂娜·盧(Tina Lu)說。

紐約時報中英文網 http://www.uydujn.live/

China’s reception to the $1,000 iPhone will be even more crucial to Apple. The Greater China region, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, contributed $8 billion to Apple’s revenue last quarter, but sales have been sluggish.

對蘋果來說,中國對1000美元的iPhone的接受情況將更為關鍵。包括香港和臺灣在內的大中華區在上季度為蘋果貢獻了80億美元的收入,不過銷量在過去一段時間不算強勁。

Apple’s market share has declined slightly in China over the past year, according to Counterpoint. High-end phones from Chinese brands like Huawei and Oppo have gained ground, in part by undercutting Apple on price.

根據Counterpoint的數據,蘋果過去一年在中國市場上的份額略有下降。華為和Oppo等中國品牌的高端手機開始流行,一個原因是,它們在價格上比蘋果有優勢。

The new iPhone has the potential to reverse that trend. More than any other tech product, the iPhone has long denoted status in China. If a new iPhone looks the same as the previous one — and won’t be recognized by others as new — it often doesn’t sell well.

新iPhone有可能扭轉這種趨勢。長期以來,iPhone在中國比其他任何科技產品都更能代表地位。如果一部新iPhone的外觀和之前的一樣——其他人看不出來是新的——通常銷售情況都不好。

“If the phone’s appearance changes, I think people are going to be crazy about it, because we’ve seen the iPhone with a similar look for such a long time now,” said He Peihuan, a Shanghai-based financial analyst.

“如果新一代的外觀有變化的話,我覺得很多人都會跟風買的,因為確實iPhone幾代都是類似的外觀,差別不大,已經太久了,”上海金融分析師何沛桓說。

For all that, Zhang Xiang, a phone reseller and repairman in Shanghai, said he still expected strong demand for the new iPhone. “I think when people can afford it and want a high-end phone with good features, they’ll still choose to buy an iPhone,” he said.

盡管如此,上海的手機轉銷商和維修員張翔(音)表示,他估計新iPhone依然會有很大的需求。“我覺得如果想買一個高端的、性能比較強的手機,而且經濟上能負擔的話,我覺得大多數人還是會選擇買iPhone的,”他說。

One important factor offsetting the next iPhone’s expected high price is the increasing prevalence of financing options for buyers around the globe. In the United States, most phone carriers allow customers to spread the cost of a new phone over two years, and the new phone would add less than $10 a month to the payments a customer would make on an iPhone 7 Plus.

有一個重要因素能抵消新款iPhone預期中的高價的影響,那就是,全球各地為消費者提供的支付方案越來越普及。在美國,大部分手機運營商允許顧客在兩年內分期支付新手機的費用,與購買iPhone 7 Plus的費用相比,購買新手機每個月將增加不到10美元的費用。

“There’s not that much difference in the monthly fee you have to pay,” said Brian Blau, a technology analyst at Gartner, a research firm.

“每個月必須支付的費用沒太大差別,”研究公司高德納(Gartner)的技術分析師布賴恩·布勞(Brian Blau)說。

Similar installment purchase plans are emerging in China, Brazil and other countries, making Apple’s products more affordable there.

類似的分期付款計劃也出現在中國和巴西等國,因此那里的人們更能買得起蘋果產品。

“I’ve seen some banks providing installment plans for the iPhone with very low, or even no interest, so ordinary people could get an iPhone that way,” Zhang said.

“我看到有些銀行為iPhone提供利息極低、甚至零利息的分期付款計劃,所以普通人可以通過那種方式買iPhone,”張翔說。

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