"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."
Social media was also awash with French users aghast at the price of the new device or mocking it.
One tweeter said that the SMIC minimum wage would henceforth be known as the “PIX: Price of the iPhone X”
🔴 BREAKING NEWS 🔴— (Jean) Tifok (@tifok_) September 12, 2017
Dorénavant, le SMIC sera appelé PIX : Prix iPhone X #AppleEvent
French customers desperate to get their hands on the latest Apple product can of course opt for the marginally cheaper iPhone 8, also launched on Tuesday.
Or if they can find a cheap flight, they could head to New York to take advantage of the favourable euro-dollar rate and buy an iPhone X 24 per cent cheaper than its price in France, according to BFM news channel’s calculations.
by Rory Mulholland