Apple's recently released iPhone 4S is priced at $199 – with a new two-year wireless contract – for the entry-level 16GB model of the device. This may indicate a possible overhaul of the company's previous pricing trends, with a new focus for lower-cost devices and related iPod, iPad and smartphone accessories.
According to the New York Times, this is a substantial change from Apple's pricing strategies in the early- and mid- 2000s, but in line with practices beginning in the latter years of that decade and continuing into 2010. That year, Apple released the $499 iPad, priced less than many comparable devices, and also began offering a less expensive 11-inch version of the MacBook Air, originally priced at $1,799, for $999.
A new $99 8GB version of the iPhone 4 accompanied the debut of the iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 3GS now comes free with a new qualifying AT&T wireless contract.
The news source reports that this is in contrast to Apple's previous image as a producer of overpriced devices. The first iPhone cost $499 when released, which prevented Apple from having a substantial share of the smartphone market early on.
The end of October will mark the beginning of an expanded launch of the iPhone 4S, extending the phone's availability to 22 additional countries, according to V3.