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(CNN Business) —  

The iPhone 11 costs how much?

At $699, the iPhone 11 is Apple’s cheapest new smartphone since the iPhone 8. And that says a lot about changes in consumer habits and the challenges Apple faces — and how it’s responding to them.

Last year, the days of sub-$700 new iPhones seemed like they were a thing of the past. The iPhone XR cost $749, making it the most expensive entry level iPhone of all time.

But this year, with the iPhone 11, Apple (AAPL) returned to the $699 price that it introduced in 2017 with the iPhone 8. In six of the seven prior years, between 2010 and 2016, Apple (AAPL) had offered its cheapest iPhone for $649 (except for 2013, when it was $549).

In 2009, the entry level new iPhone cost $599, and in the previous two years it cost $499.

Some customers had feared that Apple was pricing them out by abandoning the sub-$700 price. People have been holding onto their phones for longer, and Apple has looked for ways to increase revenue as people bought fewer iPhones.

IPhones aren’t exactly cheap. Getting the biggest and best iPhone has become an expensive proposition. This year, like last, Apple will sell a version of the iPhone that costs $1,449. The iPhone 11 Pro will start at $999, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099.

Apple also surprised folks with some other cheaper-than-expected offerings. The third generation