Statistically speaking, an average person buys a new phone every two years. We are all aware that statistics don’t necessarily show the truth, so those values vary depending on personal preferences. But we also know that smartphone manufacturers expect from people to abide by this statistic. And really, after a couple of years, most of us strive to replace our current device with something new and better. The thing is, that two years span is starting to shrink.
At the beginning of the production, you could buy a new iPhone every two years with striking discounts in exchange for staying under the same carrier service (which was AT&T at that time) for another 2 years. After the iPhone started to spread out to other networks, they implemented this upgrade policy, which remained to this day. There is an upgraded version of an iPhone released every 2 years, which is quite obvious if you see their tendency to give names to their models. This way, both Apple and network carriers thrived by this partnership and many people gladly accepted the terms of the contract.
There are many reasons people are accepting this kind of deal, but most of them, if not all, have nothing with logical thinking. That lack of strong reasoning behind this two-year cycle is probably the main reason it starts to break down. Many people are having their phones unchanged for a way longer periods of time, even double. The main reason for that is the realization that phones will always be inadequate, no matter how often we update them. People seem to come to terms with the feeling of their phones lacking speed and function required from them. This mindset began to catch on on a broader level, and people are getting disillusioned with the phone companies try to sell them the same old thing for dozen times. The situation is made even worse by increasing advances in technology which have been hyped beyond measure.
The features like voice assistants are undoubtedly very useful and advanced a lot in the last few generations of mobile devices, but they are more often the objects of mockery. If you ever heard “Alexa, play Despacito” you know what we’re talking about.
On the other hand, smartphone companies are trying to convince us that we should start using these new technologies in order to utilize our devices to their maximum potential. The experience shows that believing those companies will only leave customers disappointed. Despite the claims made by companies’ commercials, the products they sell are still far from science fiction-like abilities they boast. Although every year we get another breakthrough feature for the latest generation of phones, some basic problems the devices have remained unresolved.
If we count in the fact that the newest flagship phones are sold for more than a thousand dollars, it’s no wonder people are reluctant to upgrade their mobile phones to the newest models and wait for more than the average two years. We remember the time when the only phones that were over thousand dollars were made of leather, ruby and sapphire crystals. Right now it feels like the iPhone XS costs as much as a brick of gold. And if you decide to level up your storage capacity, the price will grow even further. iPhone XS with 512GB storage capacity will cost you $1,349. That’s 35 percent more.
But it gets even worse. The new wave of higher prices for flagships is just the part of the larger shifting prices which effects most phone brands, including Google Huawei and OnePlus. Not only premium models are getting more expensive, but mid-tier devices are also affected. In the last 2 years, the data gathered from 11 phone models shows sharp price spikes, and it is expected to go even higher in 2019 and beyond. This all indicates that the expensive devices are here to stay. The question is who is to blame for that significant jump in prices. The shortest answer is “probably us”.
When Apple presented it’s first $1000 phone, which was iPhone X, everyone jumped on the bandwagon this by the critics that frowned upon its ridiculous price. However, the iPhone x quickly outsold every other Apple device, proving that Apple’s gambit paid off. The factor that helps in selling phones for that much money is the fact that the cell phone is now a universal device for communication, work, photography, and entertainment. With the development of processing power, camera quality, battery life, and internet the phones are getting bigger value in the eyes of the consumers.
There are lots of factors that affect the rise in prices. Faster and better components cost more to make. The results of the financial toll of research and development, like implementing new materials into the final product. Let’s not forget the inflation, which affects every single area, including the tech too. All those mean that prices of your favorite devices will continue to grow even further in the future.