Retail head Angela Ahrendts promises Apple won't upsell shoppers on $999 iPhone X

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In a Friday interview, Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts said she's instructed clerks not to try and upsell people on the iPhone X, which starting at $999 may be out of reach for many people.

"Internally we said the tagline was 'an iPhone for everyone,'" Ahrendts told CNBC. "I prefer that we ask you who you're buying it for. If they're 6 or 7 years old, what do they need? If it's someone who's leaning into something else, what do they need? We do that with Mac, we do that with iPad, why wouldn't we do that with [the] phone?"

This year's iPhones are the most expensive the company has ever sold, with even an entry-level iPhone 8 costing $699. A 256-gigabyte version of the iPhone X will cost $1,149, more than some versions of the iMac and MacBook Air.

Preorders for the iPhone X will start Oct. 27 ahead of a Nov. 3 launch. Units are expected to be in very short supply, which could make the product hard to find at retail regardless.

Ahrendts separately commented on the prospect of automation and/or online shopping killing retail stores and their jobs.

"There is a purpose. People want the human connection, they want a place to pick up their products," she said, citing Amazon's own physical stores as evidence. "I think the onus is on retailers, the onus is on us to continue to evolve."


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