Over the long term, it isn't clear that Apple has made a misstep. The company, after all, can lower prices anytime it wants. In the meantime, it is still unclear whether consumers are as attached to Google and Microsoft's operating systems as they are to Apple's OS.
Apple's latest iPhone launch will hinge on whether consumers believe Apple's upgraded mobile operating system, iOS 7, outweighs savings they could achieve by switching to lower-cost handset makers. If Apple made the right call in holding onto its price-premium, analysts will be tripping over themselves to upgrade the company's shares in the fourth quarter.
--Written by Antoine Gara in New York
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