The only thing i can think of is status.
I'm not positive, but my guess is it has something to do with dopamine.
I never understood what the big deal is that people line up overnight to give their money like morons for some fancy tech. If people have that much money to burn then so be it. My phone is Huawei P9 Lite, it's a cheaper version of the original P9 aka a budget phone. It's much cheaper and it does everything a normal smartphone does and it's $800 cheaper than the cheapest iPhone X
I'm in complete agreement with your take on the cost versus what you can get out of that product - those products, actually - the prices are insanely criminal.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the new iPhone is definitely better than mine but for a price too big you get too little in addition. It's just economical to get a phone that does 99% of the things anyway but much cheaper.
As long as Apple exists there will always be Americans or Koreans that camp near the store to buy it. Even if they put a logo on a rock there will be someone who gives money for it.