Apple's least expensive iPhone quietly got a price cut

Tim Cook HaloGettyApple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple had a big coming out party for its new iPhones on Tuesday.

After revealing the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X models, Apple kept to its custom of reducing the prices for its previous generation of iPhones.

But Apple went a step further on Tuesday, and also dropped the price of the iPhone SE, the entry-level iPhone which was already the least expensive iPhone Apple sells.

With Tuesday’s price changes, Apple’s least expensive new iPhone now costs $US349. It previously cost $US399.

So on a day that Apple introduced the new, $US999 iPhone X that stretches the high-end of what a smartphone costs, it also made its entry-level device more affordable — creating a broader range of prices for its iPhone line up.

A iPhone for every price range

The “Apple Tax” — the premium over similar products from other companies that you would have to pay for Apple’s design and software — has been on its way out for a while.

Apple has been making its entry level products more affordable for a few years, signalling a shift in pricing where it simultaneously pushes in the high end — the $US1000 iPhone or the $US1300 Apple Watch — while pricing its entry-level products at a level where middle class consumers in developing countries can afford them.

“If you look across our product lines, you can buy an iPad today for under $US300. You can buy an iPhone, depending upon which one you select, for in that same kind of ballpark,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told Fortune on Monday. “And so these are not for the rich.”

Apple’s least expensive new iPad is $US329, and now its least expensive new iPhone is $US349. That gives Apple premium products targeting a completely different part of the market than its entry-level products. This helps Apple keep its margins high, and gives it a way to crack into new markets, because when you’re as big as Apple, you need new strategies to keep growing.

Here’s what Apple’s full iPhone lineup looks like now:

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