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Why Are Flagship Phones So Eye-Wateringly Expensive?

In 2010 and for a number of years that adopted, smartphones weren’t so costly. Nevertheless it was additionally in the identical decade that flagship telephones first crossed the $1000 mark. And the uptrend would not appear set to cease anytime quickly.

So, certain, flagship telephones are getting costly, however why is that so? Are firms merely overcharging, or are there legitimate causes behind this pattern? Listed here are seven key the explanation why premium telephones are rattling costly.

1. Flagship Telephones Are Getting Extra Function-Wealthy and Highly effective

It is no secret that telephones are getting extra highly effective by the 12 months. And within the high-end market, shopper expectations are sky-high. Corporations must sustain by together with increasingly options to make sure shoppers are glad. The point of flagship phones lies within the options.

They embrace larger and higher shows with newer display technology like LTPO, higher multi-camera setups, extra reminiscence, and extra storage, to call a couple of. All of those options come at a price. Corporations can solely sustain by investing extra in analysis and growth. In the end, that funding needs to be scooped again, and the one means is to move it to the buyer.

2. Inflation

Though telephones changing into highly effective might sound cause sufficient to justify the sky-high costs, inflation performs an element too. Inflation impacts each product throughout industries, so smartphones will not be the one inflation-adhesive merchandise. The Federal authorities within the US publishes annual inflation charges every year, which immediately measures how the price of items has modified over the previous 12 months.

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Let’s use an instance for instance this level. Take the $649 iPhone 6 launched in 2014 for example. Based on the US Inflation Calculator, that worth right this moment, adjusted for inflation, is equal to $793 on account of a cumulative inflation charge of twenty-two.1%.

The $699 iPhone 11 would price you $790 in 2022, with a cumulative inflation charge of 13.1% utilized. So the greenback is changing into much less worthwhile by the day, leading to worth increments. With inflation, you may must pay extra to purchase the identical quantity of products you had been in a position to purchase a 12 months or two in the past. Consequently, smartphone firms want to make sure that inflation is nicely taken care of to defend their enterprise from losses.


3. The Price of Smartphone Elements Is Rising

The price of smartphone elements, known as the invoice of supplies (BOM), can be rising steadily. Counterpoint Research’s Component Research team claims that the iPhone 12’s supplies price almost $415, 21% greater than its predecessor, the iPhone 11. Apple’s change to an OLED show resulted in a $23 enhance, and 5G assist added one other $34.

Based on the report, even the value of Apple’s self-designed parts elevated and made up over 16.7% of the general price. It isn’t only for Apple, although. That pattern is similar throughout the business, particularly within the high-end section, the place firms should embrace newer thrilling options to maintain up with shopper expectations and competitors.

And as elements turn into costly, firms cannot abdomen these prices. Somebody has to pay for it, and that is you.

4. Improve in Manufacturing Prices

Along with rising BOM, flagship telephones have gotten costly to fabricate. That fancy new design to make your machine as small as potential and with as many options is not cheaper to make in comparison with older smartphone designs from the early days. And as we have seen within the high-end market, designs are continuously altering.

Bezels have gotten slimmer, extra options are being added, and these are elements that result in rising costs. The rationale why cheap phones are getting good is that firms will not be being progressive in decrease segments. They’ll subsidize costs by merely reusing previous designs and manufacturing processes that have already got turn into extra environment friendly therefore reducing prices.

instance is Apple and its iPhone SE. One of many causes the iPhone SE is reasonable is that Apple reuses the previous iPhone 8 design and solely replaces the processor and some different key parts.

Smartphones do not simply price loads to make, however to promote as nicely. Going again to our iPhone 12 instance above, if the iPhone 11’s BOM prices $415, Apple has so as to add the price of manufacturing and taxes on prime, plus sales-related prices like transport, promoting, and operational prices.

These add as much as the retail worth of $699, the place everybody concerned is seemingly completely happy, together with resellers like Amazon, Walmart, and wi-fi carriers. Corporations have to extend the costs to make sure that all of those prices are nicely accounted for, they usually may make a revenue.

6. Folks Are Holding Their Gadgets Longer

Smartphone gross sales are lowering, and one of many main elements is that we’re retaining our units longer than earlier than. According to Strategy Analytics, a well known analysis agency, smartphone improve cycles have been on an uptrend since 2014. They peaked in 2020 with customers retaining their telephones for a report excessive of 43 months, or barely above three and a half years.


As gross sales scale back, firms enhance costs to remain afloat and preserve profitability. Whereas smartphone gross sales have been on a downtrend since 2019, according to Statista, income has typically been regular. This pattern will be defined by one factor; worth hikes. Unsurprisingly, world smartphone income grew to an all-time excessive of $448 billion in 2021, a February 2022 Counterpoint Research report revealed, with Apple boasting 44% of the full $196 billion.

7. Flagship Telephones Have Change into Luxurious

In case you want a smartphone, there are numerous choices on the market. And there is not any scarcity of good budget phones. How much you spend on a smartphone is determined by your wants. In case you’re buying within the high-end market, most of the options accessible on this class will not be a necessity, and you possibly can dwell with out them.

Shopping for a premium cellphone means you might be virtually paying for luxurious for essentially the most half. The true worth for cash is within the mid-range section. Apart from, advertising ways for premium smartphones present they’re now not thought-about merely telephones; these are luxurious gadgets to personal.

Flagships Are Getting Costly

There are a number of the explanation why premium smartphones are rising in worth. Premium telephones have gotten as highly effective as ever, with a great deal of new options, to some extent the place they’ve turn into luxurious gadgets, and firms are spending extra to make and promote them.

Inflation performs an element, and individuals are retaining telephones longer than ever, forcing firms to boost costs to keep up and even enhance income. Sadly, this pattern will seemingly proceed for the foreseeable future.



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