There’s no question that phones have risen in price to absurd levels. A regular iPhone Pro is $999 USD and for the Max $1099 but it goes on from there if you need more than the 64 gbs base minimum. Around five years ago a good iPhone could be had for $699. That’s about a 43% increase when we’re used to maturing technologies going down in price.
The iPhone SE 2 Rumoured Again
The rumour mill is ripe with the possibility of Apple introducing an iPhone SE 2. The iPhone SE came out in about 2016 and was a well loved budget phone. Apple’s budget phone in their line in 2019, the iPhone XR, sold the best of any of their phones.
The iPhone 11 starter phone at $699 is currently the best selling Smartphone. So with this they have recognized the desire for not only a budget phone but some people want a smaller form factor than the current rage going on for large display phones (can we not get rid of those bezels????)
Not Just Apple but Android Also
Samsung has gotten very carried away with their pricing. Granted they make high quality phones such as the s10 and Note 10 but there is no way they can command the price that Apple is charging. Apple’s value add is the seamless integration with other products in their product line and the vast array of software of a high quality that is cross platform within the Apple environment. This is a value proposition that Android lacks.
Although an Android can be integrated into the Apple ecosystem it requires knowledge of the tools that can do this. It is not such a seamless process. Yet they too started charging $899 for the s10 no small amount of money.
Recognizing a desire the consumer has for more budget friendly phones Samsung has come out with lite versions of the Galaxy S phones. They also have the A series which is very budget friendly.
I am not in the least suggesting Samsung’s Galaxy and Note series phones are not high quality devices easily as good as if not better than an iPhone but with the lack of a value added proposition it is more difficult to support the prices the phones have moved to.
The consumer is becoming smartphone price weary. Sticker shock is becoming the order of the day. Smartphones have become an essential tool in our living. Tech in general has become part of the fabric of society. It no longer rests as a luxury item or an item for business. People really require a Smartphone to function. However, there is no need to become poverty stricken due to this new tool.
2020 Should see the Budget Phone with Full Capabilities
Apple and Samsung have each become each other’s main competitor. Although Android as a whole is Apple’s competition now, the one company that is really making a name for itself is Samsung. They compete with Apple in very similar ways. Samsung has stores; brand recognition; advertising; high quality products etc. When someone thinks of Android they often think Samsung. When someone thinks Smartphone they generally think iPhone and Samsung. This is not globally true but is quite generally true.
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In the above diagram you can see between Apple and Samsung they command together almost half the Smartphone market. There’s a tendency for them to move in lockstep. When Apple was moving to introduce a budget conscious phone Samsung was right there doing the same. Actually, due to the product range Samsung carries you could say they address all aspects of the market better with their budget friendly A series and the new ones they are introducing.
Returning to Sanity or just meeting Market Demand
In ways, some have felt that things were getting way out of control and a touch insane once Smartphones hit the $1000 mark and then started going beyond. It didn’t mean you had to have such a phone but people are prone to keeping up with Jone’s.
As the market started pushing for more budget friendly phones that didn’t chop off the legs to deliver, manufacturer’s have been stepping up to the plate. Apple which views themselves as a premium brand was there too. Loosing mindshare is a dangerous thing and Apple wants, when people think of a Smartphone, to think of Apple. The Smartphone revolutionized Apple’s income base and one of their current problems is how to maintain that in a saturated market. This problem will be addressed in a future article but for the purposes of this discussion Apple is just broadening their product offerings.
This could be a very interesting decade. In the last one, we saw the maturation of the Smartphone and portable capability that at the beginning would have been hard to imagine. We now step into the 2020’s with mature, powerful and broad based application platforms that will unleash a new flurry of potential. The challenge though which is easily accomplished is to keep prices in line with reality.
The Smartphone is to society what the telephone became in the last decade. Politically we ensured that no one was to be left behind due to the cost of a telephone. The same is becoming and has become true of the Smartphone. The Smartphone today is so powerful the question is how do you keep consumers upgrading and what are they really upgrading to. Thus, the need for budget friendly yet powerful or all encompassing Smartphones that can tap into the new fabric of society. Information based technology is no longer considered a luxury or something that only a business needs. Society at large needs to plugged in and the mobility provided by a Smartphone increases the range and depth of the capability. This decade should prove more than fascinating.