• Follow us

Internet

You get the iPhone, I’ll get the mortgage - the rising price of smartphones

The only sure things in life are death, taxes and rising smartphone prices, at least if the past few years are anything to go by.

From the likes of the iPhone 4 costing an average of around $500/£500/AU$860 in only 2010, to prices on some phones soaring over $1,900/£1,800/AU$4,500 now with the introduction of newcomers such as the Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold, it can widely be seen that the situation is becoming, on the surface, egregious.

But why has this happened? What has caused these changes, and how can we expect things to pan out in future?

The iPhone X is a premium handset. Image credit: TechRadar

The iPhone X is a premium handset. Image credit: TechRadar

Supply and demand

According to Statista.com, throughout 2010 globally, 304.7 million devices classed as ‘smartphones’ were shipped. In 2018, we see that 1.4 billion units found their way around the world, a significant increase in anyone’s books.

The downside to manufacturers is of course, that almost everyone to whom an expensive smartphone can be sold now already has one, and is likely planning to hang onto it for at least a while. On top of which, the market is saturated with dozens of different players, both local and international.

As such, the game isn’t as lucrative as it once was, so what recourse do publicly-traded manufacturers have to meet the needs of shareholders?

Why, price rises of course - as can be seen in the difference between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, devices with many similarities but pitched very differently. Jacking up the cost of entry for an iPhone X ensures that each unit sold brings a greater return, a perfect short-term solution with significant long-term implications.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold takes pricing to a new level. Image credit: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy Fold takes pricing to a new level. Image credit: TechRadar

A folding dream

But it’s not just about companies improving the profit margins of their devices. What do the Galaxy Fold and Mate X have in common beside a high price point? They are both the byproduct of millions spent in R&D. What defines the Huawei P30 Pro? A camera zoom unit created by teams of engineers working near the top of their game.

Building a top smartphone in 2019 requires premium materials, precise craftsmanship, a polished software experience and more - the consumer expects everything. And for everything comes a hefty price rise, one which needs to be passed back to Joe Public.

That isn’t to mention the essential marketing spend, and a changing global economy. Whether depreciating currencies, trade wars, inflation or otherwise, the costs of development and manufacturing have only risen - and will likely continue to do so at least throughout the near future.

An impeccably-made, steel-sided iPhone that feels like jewelry in the hand, with a top-of-the-line OLED screen, an incredible camera and a powerful chipset is a wonderful dream, however it is also an expensive one both for the manufacturer and the consumer.

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is a 'budget flagship'. Image credit: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is a 'budget flagship'. Image credit: TechRadar

(Image: © TechRadar)The shape of the future

So the price of manufacturing is rising, the global market is shrinking and the fruits of continued R&D spending are becoming less frequent, what does this mean for the average Joe?

The saturation of the market has seen a change in the idea of what a ‘smartphone’ is. From being something of a luxury commodity in 2010, personified by the ‘cult’ of the iPhone, now a smartphone is something everyone and their grandmother possesses. They simply aren’t special anymore.

And with budget handsets becoming ever better, and budget handset makers becoming ever better at selling them, the reasons for going premium are becoming ever more difficult to articulate.

In trying to give people reasons, manufacturers are needing to spend ever more in the hopes of making a phone that stands out, while also offering alternatives for those who will never be convinced.

As such, in 2019 we have seen the birth of the folding phone, and the beginning of the ‘budget flagship’, with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10e.

As more opportunities are seized to define releases by specific price points, so the fragmentation, and commoditization of the smartphone space will continue - like the laptop market from the mid 2000s.

And all the while, that top price bracket will continue to rise, into infinity and beyond.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Latest ITProPortal news

Hotspot Shield review 2019-05-10 10:45:02User-friendly VPN with excellent performance.

Banking on big data 2019-05-10 10:31:05The importance of big data keeps growing, but how can retail banks reap the benefits?

Only a tiny amount of data breaches are 2019-05-10 07:30:47Less than one per cent of reported incidents end up with a monetary penalty.

Getting digital transformation right 2019-05-10 07:00:36Companies that are getting digital transformation right have five characteristics to their success.

Another huge MongoDB database leak uncovered 2019-05-10 07:00:33Millions of Indians have had their personal information leaked.

Digital competency might be letting businesses down 2019-05-10 06:30:58Digital competencies, being skilful with new and emerging digital technologies, is seen as vital to business success.

How the development of AI within telecoms will 2019-05-10 06:30:53Let’s look at the five key ways we’ve identified where I believe AI can add value.

What can policy makers & tech companies do 2019-05-10 06:00:41Small companies have always found it hard to get paid on time from the larger businesses they engage with.

Symantec CEO stands down 2019-05-10 06:00:25Security firm has reportedly started looking for a permanent replacement already.

Danger signs for the CMDB 2019-05-10 05:30:21An accurate configuration management database, or CMDB, is the foundation for functions that contribute to critical business performance.

A hybrid future 2019-05-10 05:00:28The benefits of hybrid and what future cloud adoption looks like.

Bringing down the house - The risky choice 2019-05-10 04:30:29How GDPR impacts data analytics within an organisation.

TechRadar: Internet news

Everything we still want to see in the 2019-05-12 13:00:33There's a lot we know about the OnePlus 7 Pro, but there's even more we've yet to find out.

A lightweight Tinder Lite app is in the 2019-05-12 09:30:01Users in developing nations will soon be able to get a piece of the Tinder fun with a new version of the app.

Rage 2 release date, trailer, news and rumors 2019-05-12 09:08:43With a May 2019 release date, can Bethesda’s sequel fix the original Rage's failings?

Bethesda has big post-release plans for Rage 2 2019-05-12 09:01:00Rage 2 hasn’t been released yet but Bethesda is already outlining plans for the year ahead.

Brighton vs Man City live stream: how to 2019-05-12 08:07:11Can Man City seal the Premier League title on the south coast? See how to watch a Brighton vs Man City live stream wherever you are.

The future of voice recognition: meet your AI-controlled 2019-05-12 08:00:32XMOS is creating a new kind of personal assistant that sits between you and the big companies, putting you in control.

Liverpool vs Wolves live stream: how to watch 2019-05-12 07:39:26Is there another miracle at Anfield brewing? See how to watch a Premier League Liverpool vs Wolves live stream wherever you are.

This exclusive Samsung Note 8 deal is the 2019-05-12 07:15:05This TechRadar exclusive will restore your faith in Samsung. Check out the UK's best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 deal.

F1 live stream: how to watch the 2019 2019-05-12 06:44:19Barcelona's biggest race of the year is here at the Spanish Grand Prix and you can live stream F1 action from anywhere in the world.

HTC is launching a cheaper version of its 2019-05-12 05:30:58HTC remains committed to blockchain smartphones, and it's launching another one sometime later this year.

You get the iPhone, I’ll get the mortgage 2019-05-12 05:00:21Smartphone prices have risen rapidly at the top end. We look at the reasons why, and whether this is likely to continue.

Watch Game of Thrones online: how to stream 2019-05-12 03:44:13Watch Game of Thrones online no matter where you are. Catch up with season 8 - and everything else - as well as where to watch episode 5.

Dev Pro

Windows 10 (20H1) Build Tracker for PCs 2019-05-10 10:10:00We track the history of the development builds released for the 20H1 feature update for Windows 10 which is scheduled for release in the March/April 2

Tech to Developers: The Future's In Machine Learning 2019-05-10 08:16:00Two high-profile developer gatherings this week underscored the tech industry's inexorable push toward AI in everything. Also this week: Just two U.S

Microsoft Developer Conference Shows Where Cloud Opportunity is 2019-05-09 18:08:00Build 2019, the Microsoft developer conference, shows us how influential this audience has become in the battle for enterprise cloud market share.

Nutanix To Offer Secondary Storage 2019-05-09 17:11:00The Nutanix Mine secondary storage appliance uses a scale-out architecture that handles larger workloads via distributed systems.

Microsoft Build 2019: More of the New Microsoft 2019-05-09 14:19:00One of the things that's disappeared during Satya Nadella’s leadership as CEO: the sunk cost fallacy as a business development model. Microsoft

Enabling a Secure Environment Across Campuses 2019-05-09 14:12:00Date: Wednesday, June 05, 2019 Time: 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time Duration: 1 hour Today’s IT admins from kindergarten to higher education in

Nutanix Enters the Enterprise Data Backup Market 2019-05-09 10:39:00Unveils backup and DR appliance, launches private-cloud VDI product, plans to expand cloud DR service to Europe and Asia

APM Is Application Performance Monitoring--Isn't It? 2019-05-09 06:21:00APM is hard to define because it means different things to different people. Here's what you need to know.

How Managed DevOps Can Improve Software Tools and 2019-05-08 19:03:00Learn how managed DevOps can take the reins and let developers do what they do best: development.

Red Hat: IBM Ownership Won't Change Open Source 2019-05-08 15:34:00Red Hat and IBM executive leadership used Tuesday's keynote to reassure customers that Red Hat would remain Red Hat.

Infinidat Lays Out Its Storage Vision 2019-05-08 15:06:00Company's focus is on consolidating multiple petabytes of data onto a single platform.

Google's Upgraded Digital Assistant Brings Privacy Trade-Offs 2019-05-08 12:09:00Google unveiled a slew of new privacy features at its annual developer conference on Tuesday, but the internet giant also gave users new reasons to gi

TechCrunch » Enterprise

Cisco open sources MindMeld conversational AI platform 2019-05-09 19:45:01Cisco announced today that it was open-sourcing the MindMeld conversation AI platform, making it available to anyone who wants to use it under the Apa

AWS remains in firm control of the cloud 2019-05-09 16:10:14It has to be a bit depressing to be in the cloud infrastructure business if your name isn’t Amazon. Sure, there’s a huge, growing market,

Against the Slacklash 2019-05-09 15:08:08Such hate. Such dismay. “How Slack is ruining work.” “Actually, Slack really sucks.” “Slack may actually be hurting your

Docpack offers a simple, enterprise-friendly way to share 2019-05-09 12:27:39Docpack is offering businesses a simple way to share their documents — particularly with customers at large enterprises that may block services

Slack to live-stream pitch to shareholders on Monday 2019-05-08 16:35:07Slack will make its pitch to prospective shareholders on Monday at an invite-only event in New York City.

Steve Singh stepping down as Docker CEO 2019-05-08 10:00:10TechCrunch has learned that Docker CEO Steve Singh will be stepping down after two years at the helm, and former Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden will be t

Sumo Logic announces $110M Series G investment on 2019-05-08 08:58:38Sumo Logic, a cloud data analytics and log analysis company, announced a $110 million Series G investment today. The company indicated that its valuat

Red Hat and Microsoft are cozying up some 2019-05-07 16:30:09It won’t be long before Red Hat becomes part of IBM, the result of the $34 billion acquisition last year that is still making its way to complet

Microsoft and GitHub grow closer 2019-05-06 11:30:19Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub closed last October. Today, at its annual Build developer conference, Microsoft announced a numbe

Microsoft wants you to work less 2019-05-06 11:30:14Microsoft today announced updates to its MyAnalytics platform and a new Outlook feature that are meant to help you work less, find more time to focus

Microsoft brings Plug and Play to IoT 2019-05-02 17:00:43Microsoft today announced that it wants to bring the ease of use of Plug and Play, which today allows you to plug virtually any peripheral into a Wind

Microsoft launches a fully managed blockchain service 2019-05-02 17:00:34Microsoft didn’t rush to bring blockchain technology to its Azure cloud computing platform, but over the course of the last year, it started to


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.