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Why are smartphones so expensive?

Not everything used to be better, but a telephone did not cost a monthly wage ten years ago. Yet there are more and more smartphones for which you pay more than $1000. How did that happen? And is it still worth it to pay that additional price?

When Apple presented the iPhone X in 2017, a small shock wave went through the consumer market. Is a smartphone worth more than $1,000? Who’s so crazy to pay for that? Lots of people, apparently. In fact, paying so much money for a smartphone quickly became the most normal thing globally.

For example, an iPhone 12 Pro Max of 512GB costs more than 1,500 dollars, and you pay no less than 1,700 dollars for a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 of 256GB.

There are various reasons for this price increase. One of the most important is the fact that the smartphone market has not really grown for years. Because people replace their phones less quickly than in the past, manufacturers have to earn more on it.

The fact that we replace the devices less quickly is also because they keep getting better. Consider, for example, the sturdy Gorilla Glass in the OnePlus 8 Pro or the 5000 mAh battery in the Moto G8 Power.

Do you really need it?

Yet, the price increase can largely be explained by the fact that our smartphones are becoming more powerful and versatile. In the past, a phone was only used for calling. Now you can run heavy games on it or watch Netflix while on the train. The result: technologically sophisticated chips and sensors are needed, and they come with a hefty price tag.

Consider, for example, all the functions that you now get via your smartphone for which separate devices were sold not so long ago: calculator, GPS, camera, scanner, fax, game console … If you look at it that way, your smartphone might be still worth its money.

And of course, it is not only us as consumers who expect a lot from our smartphones. Manufacturers also address certain needs to us. For example, the Nokia 9 PureView has 5 cameras on the back. You can open the Motorola Razr. Not vital, but there is a market for it.

Cheap is okay

Some gadgets can indeed offer added value. If you take a lot of photos, you probably want to pay a little more for a smartphone with an excellent camera. And gamers may necessarily want an Asus RoG Strix Phone 3. Do you have no special wishes, and is your smartphone mainly for completely normal use? Then the reality is that smartphones of 500 dollars or even less are perfectly capable of this.

Highly recommended in terms of price-quality are, for example, the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the OnePlus Nord. Those who prefer an Apple can go for the iPhone SE, a reasonably powerful device that costs 500 dollars anyway.

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