pointing toward average selling prices of the premium handhelds heading northwards of $1,000 as a reason for customers keeping their purses closed longer and upgrade cycles lengthening
The price/pain-points still haven't been reached. US$1,000/unit? No problem. Apple will beat that. I expect Apple to unveil a US$2,100 phone in the next two years. I wish I was joking but I'm not.
The thing is this: There are still a lot of people who are willing to be seen holding a US$1,500 phone what a US$500 phone can do (function-wise). The logic is very similar to the designer bags or jeans that they want to be "caught dead" using. Unlike designer bags, Apple phones lose their value over time.
Apple is just "milking" this because they have no more "unicorn" product in the market.
In the past (and under Steve Jobs), Apple used to lead in the technology (and everyone else follows). Samsung has released a phone that supports 5G. Apple is yet to release one.
Unfortunately, Apple has put themselves into a corner. In order for them to maintain the "premium" category, they can't roll back the price. There's only one direction their prices will need to go and it's up. Rolling back the prices will only mean capitulation that the price has hit the pain-point threshold.