The launch of three new iPhones this week was a powerful indicator of Apple's intention to retain its status as the world's most valuable company. The iPhone XS Max is already nicknamed the "Excess", not only for its massive 6.5-inch screen, but also for the price tag, which will range from $1,099 (about R16,340) upwards, depending on the storage option. It will have one of the highest profit margins of any phone, in line with Apple's strategy of premium pricing. This is how, despite dropping to No 3 behind Samsung and Huawei in sales volume, Apple remains the most profitable handset manufacturer in the world. In SA, with shipping, taxes and margins, the phone will cost well more than R20,000. From time to time, Apple acknowledges that iPhones are too expensive for all who aspire to own one, and comes up with a more affordable model. The iPhone 5c, launched in 2013, was the first attempt at a "nonpremium" phone. It was regarded as a flop, selling a third as many units as its slightl...

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