See 2018 and 2020 costs here

What I hope will continue as a semi-annual tradition, I’ve been tracking Apple’s costs informally for a while. The price of an iPhone from $499 to $1599 has come alongside inflation and technology improvements. It’s okay for costs to increase over time but, as I age and as these products mature, I have felt as if the costs are at a point where a normal American household can’t afford to be Apple customers and me, an Apple Fanboy (apologies for the gender term but fanboy is what I’ve called myself for years) are being left behind unless you’re in a demographic that either makes personal sacrifices to keep up with Apple’s pricing or you make 2-3X the annual average household income. I’ve also made a statement in 2020 that is worth repeating here:

I do believe they’ve successfully extended the usable life of every product. You can keep every device they make now for at least 3 years and sometimes longer than 5 years which would be an annual cost of around $1700 USD. Still far more than most Americans have each year to spend on technology but it is also a splurge to say someone needs AppleCare on everything and that they need both an iMac and MacBook Air. It does bring me to the point that I’d have a hard time if I had 2-3 kids in school. I can’t imagine an Apple Watch, iPhone, HomePod Mini and MacBook Air in every room. “Sorry couldn’t save for college, you just had to have music in every room, kiddo”Prices have gone up but I don’t think the increases are unreasonable when many of the devices I referenced in 2018 are actually still available for cheaper. An iPhone 12 mini, iPad Air and Apple Watch SE are actually better than what we had at the top tier in 2018 and at a lower cost. Apple has totally gone down market in prices which makes their products more accessible which is a good thing when American wages have not kept up with inflation. 

Following 2018 and 2020’s methods, here is the cost in 2021:

  1. iPhone 13 Pro Max: $1099 (Increase of $100)
  2. iPad Pro 11″ M1 with Pencil & Keyboard: $1527 (Increase of $150)
  3. MacBook Air: $1299 (Increase of $49)
  4. iMac: $2299
  5. AppleCare: $79 for Watch, $29 for AppleTV 4K, $169 for iMac, $199 for iPhone, $129 for iPad, $199 (decrease) for MacBook Air $29 for AirPods, $15 (decrease) for HomePod
  6. Apple One Premier: $360
  7. AppleTV: $179 (Increase of $30)
  8. AppleWatch (Series 7, Aluminum, 44mm, Cellular) $579 (increase of $50)
  9. AirPods Pro: $249 ($549 if you buy AirPods Max which I won’t include)
  10. HomePod (now mini only): $99 (decrease as HomePod was eliminated)
  11. AirTags which are a new product for $99 (new for 2021)

Here is the total prices for these projects over time:

  • 2018 was $7162
  • 2020 was $8482
  • 2021 is $8637

What changed?

  • Elimination of HomePod max from the lineup
  • MacBook Air and HomePod AppleCare did decrease
  • Increases came to iPad Pro M1, AppleTV and MacBook Air which were mostly in line with inflation.

It is still getting more expensive if you want the coolest and latest technology though. iPad clearly wants you in a 12.9” model which comes with a much more expensive keyboard. MacBook Pro’s M1 Pro redesign for 2021 is considerably more than the Intel variant it replaces. The next iMac will also come to be a lot more expensive than the outgoing model. iPhone pricing ASP keeps increasing because more people are buying the Max and needing more storage which Apple charges you handsomely for. 

I wanted to add my 2021 Fanboy spending for 2021 as in this is what I purchased this year:

  • iPad Pro M1 512GB + Cellular & Keyboard – $1948
  • MacBook Pro 13” M1 with 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD – $1759 + $249 for AppleCare
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1TB of storage – $1599
  • AirTags + Cases – $200
  • Apple Leather case for iPhone – $59
  • MacBook Pro 16” with M1 Max – $4299 + $399 for AppleCare
  • Apple One Premiere – $360
  • AppleTV4K (new model) – $199
  • AirPods Max – $549

I sold my iPad Pro 11” with keyboard for $800, my iPhone 11 Pro for $700 and my MacBook Pro 13” for $1600 but total spend with Apple in 2021 has been $11,620. Profit from selling Apple devices is $3100 which offsets total spend at the final price of $8520 to stay mostly current. I won’t be buying new AirPods Pro until generation 3 and once the MacBook Pro arrives in December, I’ll be selling my Core i9 iMac w/ the Radeon Vega 48 for about $1900 which reduces total spend to $6620 to Apple this year. 

Fun simulation as a wrap-up. AAPL was $131.87 on January 1st 2021 which means my $6620 would get me about 50.2 shares of AAPL. Today the 8th of November, AAPL is at $151.28 or a net gain of $974 by purchasing Apple’s stock instead of its products which lose about 30% of their value in 12 months. 


Until next year!