After Apple unveiled its shiny new iPhone X to the world, French media noted with wonder and consternation that the hi-tech gadget cost almost exactly the same as a worker on France’s minimum wage earns for a month’s labour.
"Is the iPhone X worth a SMIC?" asked a headline in Le Parisien newspaper, using the French abbreviation for the monthly minimum wage that is legally fixed at €1,149 after tax.
The cheapest version of the iPhone X, unveiled on Tuesday at Apple’s new "spaceship" headquarters in California, will be sold in France from November 3 priced at €1,159.
The newspaper marvelled at the new product’s technology, but rather snootily noted that buying it for that price was like buying a Porsche for a short commute to work when a low-cost Dacia car would do the job just as well.
Ouest-France, the country’s biggest selling daily, joined the many media outlets engulfed in a moral quandary about people being asked to pay so much for a mere telephone.
"Ten euros. Or two handfuls of pains au chocolat. That is what now separates the price of an iPhone from the minimum wage," the paper wrote of the phone that marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone.
"In ten years, the iconic object of the Apple brand has grown three centimetres in height, and one in width, while its entry price has more than doubled," said Ouest-France. "The SMIC has for its part progressed by 150 euros to keep up with inflation."