Mobile Phone Industry out of Control... Expensive; iPhone X Costs too Much

booksbooks

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 28, 2013
561
427
We are now looking at costs that are absurdly high in territories effectively never before seen for mainstream flagship smartphones.

iPhone X: $1150 USD (256 GB)

Galaxy Note 8 is comparably priced to the iPhone X.

According to some industry data, while Apple iPhones outperform other leading brands in terms of depreciation, smartphones lose upwards of 70%+ of their value at the 2 year mark.

Smartphone depreciation is, by some sources, stated to be worse than the car industry in terms of vehicle depreciation.

And the mobile phone plans are an effective rip off: the prices of mobile phone plans are ridiculous. They just don't really get any better, and in some cases, seem to have gotten more expensive (e.g., data plan restrictions).

I can get a new 12.9" iPad Pro, 256 GB, with an Apple keyboard cover for the same price as a 256 GB iPhone X. For close to the same price as the iPhone X 256 GB, I can get a 13" MacBook Pro. Another... for slightly less money, I can get a brand new 21.5" iMac.

I'm thankful in Canada the CRTC (equivalent to American's FCC) has taken steps to foster competition and breakup monopolies in the mobile phone industry. They have ordered that by the end of this year, all mobile carriers in Canada are no longer allowed to sell locked phones. All phones in Canada from that point on will be unlocked, or, as our American friends refer to them as, "sim free".

Supply and demand, I know. And I know that it's expensive to maintain the network that mobile phones run on... but I've looked at earnings reports from the bigger carriers in Canada and they're making a killing off their mobile business. That's good, but for consumers, the cost of buying smartphones and
having a service plan is just absurd to me at this point.

Reference:

http://www.decluttr.com/blog/2017/04/05/how-quickly-does-your-phone-depreciate-in-value/#Apple
 

alecgold

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2007
1,100
546
NLD
The sale of subsidized phones have been banned for a long time over here, you can pay one fee every month that is split clearly between the payment of the phone and the payment of the plan. Up front they tell you how much you’re paying for the phone over 2 years. So Canada is behind quite some time, as usual :p
Your remark about the loss of value, cars loose more money when they drive out of the showroom (money, not percentage). Cars loose about 30%-40% of their value in the first 2 years. But cars do last a lot longer, 10 years is not out of the norm and even then they still have value left.
Yet after 2 years a phone is really nearing its end of useful life, and most phones don’t last longer then 3 years. So a depreciation of 30-35% per year doesn’t seem unreasonable, it seems really a good value.
About the iPhone X, yes it’s expensive, going well over €1000 is a lot. The Samsung s8 note is the same. But look at it this way: it has more memory, more pixels and much more features when compared to a 1000 bucks MacBook Air!
2436×1125 (458 pixels per inch), 256Gb For the X
1440 x 900 For the MacBook Air, 128Gb @ €1099

And if you don’t like to spend so much, buy an iPhone se! At €419 you can buy three for the price of one 256gb iPhone x!!!
 
Last edited:

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
1,271
407
UK
We are now looking at costs that are absurdly high in territories effectively never before seen for mainstream flagship smartphones.

iPhone X: $1150 USD (256 GB)

Galaxy Note 8 is comparably priced to the iPhone X.

According to some industry data, while Apple iPhones outperform other leading brands in terms of depreciation, smartphones lose upwards of 70%+ of their value at the 2 year mark.

Smartphone depreciation is, by some sources, stated to be worse than the car industry in terms of vehicle depreciation.

And the mobile phone plans are an effective rip off: the prices of mobile phone plans are ridiculous. They just don't really get any better, and in some cases, seem to have gotten more expensive (e.g., data plan restrictions).

I can get a new 12.9" iPad Pro, 256 GB, with an Apple keyboard cover for the same price as a 256 GB iPhone X. For close to the same price as the iPhone X 256 GB, I can get a 13" MacBook Pro. Another... for slightly less money, I can get a brand new 21.5" iMac.

I'm thankful in Canada the CRTC (equivalent to American's FCC) has taken steps to foster competition and breakup monopolies in the mobile phone industry. They have ordered that by the end of this year, all mobile carriers in Canada are no longer allowed to sell locked phones. All phones in Canada from that point on will be unlocked, or, as our American friends refer to them as, "sim free".

Supply and demand, I know. And I know that it's expensive to maintain the network that mobile phones run on... but I've looked at earnings reports from the bigger carriers in Canada and they're making a killing off their mobile business. That's good, but for consumers, the cost of buying smartphones and
having a service plan is just absurd to me at this point.

Reference:

http://www.decluttr.com/blog/2017/04/05/how-quickly-does-your-phone-depreciate-in-value/#Apple
The comparisons just don’t work for me. Why would I buy an iPad Pro when I need a phone? I do actually have an iPad Pro but I don’t carry it around with me all day long.

And yes I’ve spend less money on a BMW 750I once. But again a pointless comparison as I won’t buy a car when I need a phone.
 

JulesJam

Suspended
Sep 20, 2014
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Neither are cars
Neither are homes either with the exception of homes in a very few locations. Most homes won't appreciate more than the rate of inflation and when you factor in the interest costs of your mortgage, they aren't a very good investment. But they provide you shelter. And phones provide you with a means of communication and a handheld computer/camera. Cars provide you with transportation.

We need cars, phones, and homes to live in the modern world, but they aren't investments. They are however something worth spending money on.
 
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Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2009
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I think it's important to remember Apple introduced 3 brand new phones this year. 3 full featured no compromise phones. The 8, 8 Plus and the X all have the same features in terms on CPU, Storage, Performance and only minor differences in clock frequency, RAM, camera, etc. Under the hood they are all essentially the same... You aren't sacrificing anything. You can still run the same apps. You can still use the same services. You get nearly all the same features of a modern iPhone.

It's not as if the 8 is the same class as an iPhone SE or even a previous generation phone.

The X should be considered Apple's premium version (Like an Edition™ Apple watch) and is priced as such. Can't justify the X? The 8 exists... because the X is a luxury purchase. For those complaining about price? They are really complaining that they can't afford the X, because all the X offers over the 8 / 8 Plus is status. The vast majority of smartphone shoppers don't need™ what the X offers over the 8/plus. A few exceptions may exist but for everyone else... they desire the status.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
1st you have to compare a phone with a phone. Apples to apples.

2nd up until a few years ago phones seemed cheap because they were subsidized. But they were never inexpensive.

3rd the marketplace will speak when a product truly sucks or is ridiculously priced. Also every county’s market is different. It’s pointless to compare, say cell service in Monaco with that in China.
 
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Diorama

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Oct 6, 2017
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I think it's important to remember Apple introduced 3 brand new phones this year. 3 full featured no compromise phones. The 8, 8 Plus and the X all have the same features in terms on CPU, Storage, Performance and only minor differences in clock frequency, RAM, camera, etc. Under the hood they are all essentially the same... You aren't sacrificing anything. You can still run the same apps. You can still use the same services. You get nearly all the same features of a modern iPhone.

It's not as if the 8 is the same class as an iPhone SE or even a previous generation phone.

The X should be considered Apple's premium version (Like an Edition™ Apple watch) and is priced as such. Can't justify the X? The 8 exists... because the X is a luxury purchase. For those complaining about price? They are really complaining that they can't afford the X, because all the X offers over the 8 / 8 Plus is status. The vast majority of smartphone shoppers don't need™ what the X offers over the 8/plus. A few exceptions may exist but for everyone else... they desire the status.
Yeah but who ‘needs’ the 8 over the 7? Or even the 6s?
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2009
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Yeah but who ‘needs’ the 8 over the 7? Or even the 6s?
They are year over year upgrades. They do offer measurable differences in performance and features. The X does not have significant benefit over the 8 series. As i said its more like an edition watch vs SS... It's just a luxury tax.
 

profets

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
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I can get a new 12.9" iPad Pro, 256 GB, with an Apple keyboard cover for the same price as a 256 GB iPhone X. For close to the same price as the iPhone X 256 GB, I can get a 13" MacBook Pro. Another... for slightly less money, I can get a brand new 21.5" iMac.
As with computers and other electronics, I don't believe most people buy a phone as an investment, nor do they really worry about what kind of value it will hold over the years.

Also, just like with iPads or Macs, for many, iPhone (or other phone) is very likely their primary computing device.

And last thought, while the prices have been going up, they've also been going down. Apple has a range of iPhones available from 349 up to 1149. Not everyone will need to buy the most expensive model.
 

mib1800

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Sep 16, 2012
2,859
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We are now looking at costs that are absurdly high in territories effectively never before seen for mainstream flagship smartphones.

iPhone X: $1150 USD (256 GB)

Galaxy Note 8 is comparably priced to the iPhone X.

According to some industry data, while Apple iPhones outperform other leading brands in terms of depreciation, smartphones lose upwards of 70%+ of their value at the 2 year mark.

Smartphone depreciation is, by some sources, stated to be worse than the car industry in terms of vehicle depreciation.

And the mobile phone plans are an effective rip off: the prices of mobile phone plans are ridiculous. They just don't really get any better, and in some cases, seem to have gotten more expensive (e.g., data plan restrictions).

I can get a new 12.9" iPad Pro, 256 GB, with an Apple keyboard cover for the same price as a 256 GB iPhone X. For close to the same price as the iPhone X 256 GB, I can get a 13" MacBook Pro. Another... for slightly less money, I can get a brand new 21.5" iMac.

I'm thankful in Canada the CRTC (equivalent to American's FCC) has taken steps to foster competition and breakup monopolies in the mobile phone industry. They have ordered that by the end of this year, all mobile carriers in Canada are no longer allowed to sell locked phones. All phones in Canada from that point on will be unlocked, or, as our American friends refer to them as, "sim free".

Supply and demand, I know. And I know that it's expensive to maintain the network that mobile phones run on... but I've looked at earnings reports from the bigger carriers in Canada and they're making a killing off their mobile business. That's good, but for consumers, the cost of buying smartphones and
having a service plan is just absurd to me at this point.

Reference:

http://www.decluttr.com/blog/2017/04/05/how-quickly-does-your-phone-depreciate-in-value/#Apple

Count yourself lucky if you are living in America. In Europe and Asia, the price differential is even more.

iPhone X: $1200 / $1400 (256gb)
Note 8: $820
S8/S8+ : $610 / $690
 
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cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
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Count yourself lucky if you are living in America. In Europe and Asia, the price differential is even more.

iPhone X: $1200 / $1400 (256gb)
Note 8: $820
S8/S8+ : $610 / $690
There is £50 between them in the UK...barely a difference....£50 more expensive to buy the Apple, yet in 12 months time it will be worth about £250 more second hand ;) Cost of ownership difference is huge...
 
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KingslayerG5

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Oct 16, 2017
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Need to take a stand by not opening your wallet or checkbook.

If I go through with it and get the X, it's a one-time thing because it's an anniversary edition. But I'd rather get a Switch and I'm not much of a Nintendo fan anymore. Been curious about the Switch since March and just barely seeing them in stores now. At least they last a few more years although with less usage and capabilities as a smartphone.

Planned obsolescence is evil. My Mom takes care of her devices really well. Isn't the heavy user type. Doesn't know how to use Touch ID and iTunes. Gave me an iPad 2 that was 5-years old that was flawless. Only has a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus. Worked perfectly until just recently before she went to France. Now freezes all the time.

She hates upgrading and said all these brands are like this. Why can't a phone just work 5 to 10 years like other appliances or stuff made back in the 1990's? She has no knowledge to restore to new and retrieve all her old stuff back. Again, super light user with a 2.5 year old 6 Plus now acting like crap out of the blue.

I'm pretty confident all my phones will slow down and start acting up after 2.5-3 years no matter how well I take care of the exterior. This isn't pointing fingers to just Apple. All brands are guilty of this planned obsolescence that some don't believe and current price gouging. If all newer phones start being priced 1,200+ in a few years, forget it. Don't give in.

Going to be a retro phone collector and start stashing older phones (2014, 2016) like HTC One M8 for cheap. If Kim can hoard BlackBerry Bold 9900 for five years on eBay, I will do the same and get old phones for less than $200 off ElectronicsForce or B&H. Just go to a cell phone repair shop if I need a new battery replacement.

Nintendo Switch w/ Mario - $360
Microsoft Xbox One X - $500
Apple iPad Pro - $800
Apple MacBook Air - $800
Apple iPhone X - $1000-$1,150

Worst industry for longevity but we are forced to bend over backwards to all of them (carriers and OEMs) because of planned obsolescence. Two to three years with any phone is like having 200,000 miles on a car. Don't be hoodwinked anymore. Take a stand or buy older models. Like music, stick to some oldies.
 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
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My original iPhone still works just fine. Not sure about the point you are trying to make...There is no inbuilt obsolescence...
 

FFR

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Count yourself lucky if you are living in America. In Europe and Asia, the price differential is even more.

iPhone X: $1200 / $1400 (256gb)
Note 8: $820
S8/S8+ : $610 / $690
Not really the whole picture. iPhones retain their value while Samsung doesn’t, even in Asia.

How much has the s8 or s8+ dropped in price/ value since launch?
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,219
3,351
The main reason I am willing to pay $1150 is because when phones were $650 I would get a new one every year. They are finally at the point where two years later they are not crippled by software updates.
 
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alFR

macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
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For close to the same price as the iPhone X 256 GB, I can get a 13" MacBook Pro. Another... for slightly less money, I can get a brand new 21.5" iMac.
Yep and both of those would be just as useful for making phone calls, taking photos, paying for purchases on the go. Oh, wait...

As already noted, it's the miniaturisation and integration you're paying for. Plenty of both Apple and non-Apple choices if you don't want or need a X: having those choices is good for everyone.
 
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profets

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
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4,149
Need to take a stand by not opening your wallet or checkbook.

If I go through with it and get the X, it's a one-time thing because it's an anniversary edition. But I'd rather get a Switch and I'm not much of a Nintendo fan anymore. Been curious about the Switch since March and just barely seeing them in stores now. At least they last a few more years although with less usage and capabilities as a smartphone.

Planned obsolescence is evil. My Mom takes care of her devices really well. Isn't the heavy user type. Doesn't know how to use Touch ID and iTunes. Gave me an iPad 2 that was 5-years old that was flawless. Only has a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus. Worked perfectly until just recently before she went to France. Now freezes all the time.

She hates upgrading and said all these brands are like this. Why can't a phone just work 5 to 10 years like other appliances or stuff made back in the 1990's? She has no knowledge to restore to new and retrieve all her old stuff back. Again, super light user with a 2.5 year old 6 Plus now acting like crap out of the blue.

I'm pretty confident all my phones will slow down and start acting up after 2.5-3 years no matter how well I take care of the exterior. This isn't pointing fingers to just Apple. All brands are guilty of this planned obsolescence that some don't believe and current price gouging. If all newer phones start being priced 1,200+ in a few years, forget it. Don't give in.


Going to be a retro phone collector and start stashing older phones (2014, 2016) like HTC One M8 for cheap. If Kim can hoard BlackBerry Bold 9900 for five years on eBay, I will do the same and get old phones for less than $200 off ElectronicsForce or B&H. Just go to a cell phone repair shop if I need a new battery replacement.

Nintendo Switch w/ Mario - $360
Microsoft Xbox One X - $500
Apple iPad Pro - $800
Apple MacBook Air - $800
Apple iPhone X - $1000-$1,150

Worst industry for longevity but we are forced to bend over backwards to all of them (carriers and OEMs) because of planned obsolescence. Two to three years with any phone is like having 200,000 miles on a car. Don't be hoodwinked anymore. Take a stand or buy older models. Like music, stick to some oldies.
Good thoughts. I don't disagree entirely, but I don't think there is planned obsolescence with phones specifically. I've seen iOS devices that are still on older software versions and they definitely run smoother compared to being updated (with new versions of iOS) over a span of 3-4 years.

I think a big part of this is that we're still at an early stage in mobile phone development and software is moving quite rapidly still. When I look at Macs, I have many 5-6 year old models in our office, and they still run as beautifully with High Sierra as they did when they were brand new. macOS I believe is a much more matured platform and has relatively less change year after year.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,219
3,351
Good thoughts. I don't disagree entirely, but I don't think there is planned obsolescence with phones specifically. I've seen iOS devices that are still on older software versions and they definitely run smoother compared to being updated (with new versions of iOS) over a span of 3-4 years.

I think a big part of this is that we're still at an early stage in mobile phone development and software is moving quite rapidly still. When I look at Macs, I have many 5-6 year old models in our office, and they still run as beautifully with High Sierra as they did when they were brand new. macOS I believe is a much more matured platform and has relatively less change year after year.
Have we really seen that be true with iPhones since they started getting 2gb of RAM? I am using the SE on the most updated software, and it runs just as smooth as day 1. I know it was the case a few years ago, but the OS has matured beyond what the phones with 1gb of RAM could handle without slow down
 

profets

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
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Have we really seen that be true with iPhones since they started getting 2gb of RAM? I am using the SE on the most updated software, and it runs just as smooth as day 1. I know it was the case a few years ago, but the OS has matured beyond what the phones with 1gb of RAM could handle without slow down
I have to agree there, the 6s I use (and 9.7" iPad Pro) has been pretty solid with iOS 11. So 2 year old A9 with 2GB RAM is holding up well so far. I think with time it will get better. Just that earlier on they were moving so rapidly with both hardware and software.

Devices with the A8 though feel a bit rough with iOS 11. Even the iPad mini 4 I use has A8 + 2GB RAM and it definitely feels sluggish at times.
 
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Zxxv

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
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My Mom takes care of her devices really well. Isn't the heavy user type. Doesn't know how to use Touch ID and iTunes. Gave me an iPad 2 that was 5-years old that was flawless. Only has a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus. Worked perfectly until just recently before she went to France. Now freezes all the time.

Gonna take a guess here and she's filled it up with photos from her trip and now the OS doesn't have room to move stuff around like it did before. Hence it now slows down all the time.