Nobody wants to buy a $1,000 iPhone, Barclays says

Key Points
  • Only 11 percent of Barclays survey respondents are interested in an iPhone that costs more than $1,000
  • 18 percent of consumers who already own an iPhone are willing to spend more than $1,000
  • Most consumers want to spend $582 on a new phone
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a product launch event on October 27, 2016, in Cupertino, California.
Stephen Lam | Getty Images

Barclays has bad news for Apple if it decides to price the its upcoming high-end iPhone at more than $1,000.

In an investor note, Barclays said that just 11 percent of its survey respondents would spend more than $1,000 on an iPhone. Most folks only want to spend $582, or $48.50 per month on a 12-month device installment plan.

The tables turn a hair in Apple's favor among current iPhone owners — 18 percent of consumers who already own an iPhone are willing to spend more than $1,000, Barclays said.

This could spell bad news for Apple. Reports have suggested its new iPhone 8 will cost $1,200 or even as much as $1,400.

Here's why investors might not need to worry, though: Apple's most high-end iPhone 7 Plus, already on the market, costs more than $1,000 after taxes. Also, Apple is expected to offer two other devices, perhaps named the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, alongside the iPhone 8. That would help it attract consumers who might not want to spend $1,000 or more on the most expensive iPhone.

Also, Barclays said that, on a global scale, "85 percent of respondents are willing to pay more for the newest generation smartphone device, which could help dispel the bear thesis that very few consumers will purchase a new smartphone without carrier or other subsidies."

And speaking of subsidies, Apple may help attract consumers with sticker shock using its iPhone Upgrade program. This allows iPhone owners to trade in their current device toward the purchase of a new iPhone every 12 months.