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Barclays survey suggests Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program well suited for 'iPhone 8' pricing

A new research note suggests demand is soft amongst existing iPhone owners, suggesting that only 18 percent of current iPhone owners are interested in an "iPhone 8" costing $1000 and up with cash out of pocket, but $50 a month isn't unreasonable — a figure essentially matched by Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program.

An investor's note published by Barclays spotted by CNBC has mixed news for Apple on the "iPhone 8" front. The survey showed that 85 percent of respondents to the survey are willing to pay more than they did a few years ago — suggesting that consumers are aware of the effect that heavy subsidies had on early smartphone pricing.

Other data from the Barclays survey said that on the average, consumers want to spend $48.50 on a 12-month device installment plan — but with device turn-in for the newer model the following year. The median number seems ideal for Apple's iPhone Upgrade program, which allows users to trade in a current device every year.

At present, the iPhone 7 Plus with maximum 256GB of storage sells for $969. That same phone on Apple's upgrade program is available for $45.75 per month with AppleCare+ with ownership after 24 months, or a trade-in possible after 12 months. AT&T Next has the same device without extended warranty for $40.38 per month for a 24 month period — with trade-ins for a new device possible after 12 months.

Amongst all of Barclays' responders, including owners of other smartphone brands, the number willing to pay more than $1000 for a device drops to 11 percent.

At present, a Samsung Galaxy S8+ with 64GB of storage retails at AT&T for $849.99 with similar monthly plans available. The 128GB Pixel XL from Google retails for $869.

Predictions have ranged between Apple could charge a starting price of around $1000 and as much as $1200 for the starting cost of the iPhone 8.