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Thread: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

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    Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    In the last couple of years I have noticed two major trends with flagship smartphones. 1. major rise in price. 2. lack of innovation.

    I currently have a Pixel 2 xl which I am very happy with and it cost be around £800 which was much more than my previous LG G4 around £500 but I felt it was worth it due to stock android and fast updates from google. This is the first smart phone i have owned that i have no current desire to upgrade. i got it at launch at went sim only after the 2 year contract. I plan to keep it until no more security updates are released. The current google phone pixel 4 xl with 128gb storage is £929. just over £100 more than i paid for my current phone. Phones seem to be following the gillette approch and by this i mean more is better. one phone adds a second rear camera so another adds a 3rd etc like when gillette adds another blade.

    I saw an article from a tech reviewer last year that temporary went back to Pixel 2 xl due to another tech reviewer wanting to use the 4 xl and he didn't really notice much difference. It seems crazy for flagship phones to lack innovation and at the sametime the price sky rockets. the new sony flagship phone is £1100 and the samsung s20 ultra can top out at £1400. the samsung galaxy S8 was £739 at launch. S20 is £999 at launch.

    Paying around £1000 for a device to replace it every 2 -3 years seems crazy to me. I am happy to pay a decent amount for a product but only if i know i will keep it for a long enough period. For example I purchased a bean to cup coffee machine last year at around £800 but I expect to keep this for at least 10 years.

    Smartphones have become good enough now that they don't need to keep being replaced and i am wondering if this is why the price rises are occurring as they are trying to make the same or more money by selling less products.

    I never thought I would say this but i am tempted to get an iphone next time round. the iphone 11 with 128gb storage is less than i paid for my pixel 2 xl and it will get updates for longer than the 3 years google provide. I will wait for at least the iphone 12 as it should have 5g and oled screen.

    I am wondering if I am becoming Bitter or just trying to be smarter with my money.

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    I've seen this in just about every market sector, phones are certainly not unique to price rises or lack of innovation. Where prices have stayed the same or had little increase it's generally because the product has gotten worse. Cheaper plastics, cheaper design, less of it etc...
    Just look at the ever shrinking size of confectionary (damn you Mondelez for shrinking the Double Decker again!)

    That said Intel's 10th core series has dropped in price in response to AMD which is nice.

    Very rarely is anything getting cheaper over time now, certainly not at the levels it was happening pre crypto boom.
    I remember you could rely on waiting a couple of months after release on most tech and the price would have fallen quite nicely, not so now.

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    It's about ever increasing margins to feed the stock market. So increase the price,drop the build quality and then you can keep investors happy. They on purpose make the phones excessively thin,which means they are harder to repair,etc. So more built in obsolescence. More debt fueled growth that all of us have to pay for. Smartphones are some of the worst mainstream consumer products,with regard to this,when you consider the number which are sold every year. Apple is so desperate to preserve it's margins,it's stopped publishing sales figures,as there is downward trend in smartphone sales overall.

    For example,£1000 will get you a 5G smartphone and a decentish laptop:
    https://www.appliancesdirect.co.uk/p...ource=webgains
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-Pavilion.../dp/B0877L4KMD

    Now you know why Apple,etc are such wealthy companies.For years I was telling people they were sitting on their arses,using cheap parts,and people didn't believe me! I told people newer companies would start to slowly take marketshare,and they did,because if you think it's bad here,then think in most of the world,where sub £500 phones are the norm,and how rubbish they were due to the incumbent companies.

    It would even be worse if it wasn't for those companies targetting the lower price points,which forced Apple and Samsung to try and release "better" cheaper models. You really should see how much they have been pushed in Asia,etc and the sorts of phones you could get for not much money.It really surprised me what I saw. Its these releases which eventually have found their way over here in recent years. For so long our markets have been ripped off with overpriced phones.

    These companies even showed genuine innovation,even in how they approached making cameras on smartphones more flexible,ie,folded optics whilst Apple and Samsung sat on their arses,counting the money as it poured in. Apple spends very little on R and D when you consider how wealthy a company it is. But I can see most of these companies being banned from the west due to whatever reasons(which benefit Samsung and Apple),so I expect within the next 5 years,things will start to get even worse,as the only real price competition will start to disappear. They will go back to their little cartel and not bother.

    So I made a decision to avoid any phone over £400. If companies want to charge £1000 for smartphones,then they are simply not doing enough IMHO,to justify that premium.

    In the end its even worse when you consider if you spend £1000 a year every 2.5 years,that is £2000 over a 5 year period. If I want to spend £2000,there are several more interesting things which I would rather spend my money on.

    This is basically what I have done. Basically since 2015 I have spent under £600 in total on my smartphones. In the meantime I spent in total under £1000 on photographic gear,ie,a decent camera and a few lenses. Still less than buying two "high end" smartphones. They will probably last longer too!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 05-06-2020 at 01:46 AM.


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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    yeah flagship mobile are way better

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    It's about ever increasing margins to feed the stock market. So increase the price,drop the build quality and then you can keep investors happy. They on purpose make the phones excessively thin,which means they are harder to repair,etc. So more built in obsolescence. More debt fueled growth that all of us have to pay for. Smartphones are some of the worst mainstream consumer products,with regard to this,when you consider the number which are sold every year. Apple is so desperate to preserve it's margins,it's stopped publishing sales figures,as there is downward trend in smartphone sales overall.

    For example,£1000 will get you a 5G smartphone and a decentish laptop:

    Now you know why Apple,etc are such wealthy companies.For years I was telling people they were sitting on their arses,using cheap parts,and people didn't believe me! I told people newer companies would start to slowly take marketshare,and they did,because if you think it's bad here,then think in most of the world,where sub £500 phones are the norm,and how rubbish they were due to the incumbent companies.

    It would even be worse if it wasn't for those companies targetting the lower price points,which forced Apple and Samsung to try and release "better" cheaper models. You really should see how much they have been pushed in Asia,etc and the sorts of phones you could get for not much money.It really surprised me what I saw. Its these releases which eventually have found their way over here in recent years. For so long our markets have been ripped off with overpriced phones.

    These companies even showed genuine innovation,even in how they approached making cameras on smartphones more flexible,ie,folded optics whilst Apple and Samsung sat on their arses,counting the money as it poured in. Apple spends very little on R and D when you consider how wealthy a company it is. But I can see most of these companies being banned from the west due to whatever reasons(which benefit Samsung and Apple),so I expect within the next 5 years,things will start to get even worse,as the only real price competition will start to disappear. They will go back to their little cartel and not bother.

    So I made a decision to avoid any phone over £400. If companies want to charge £1000 for smartphones,then they are simply not doing enough IMHO,to justify that premium.

    In the end its even worse when you consider if you spend £1000 a year every 2.5 years,that is £2000 over a 5 year period. If I want to spend £2000,there are several more interesting things which I would rather spend my money on.

    This is basically what I have done. Basically since 2015 I have spent under £600 in total on my smartphones. In the meantime I spent in total under £1000 on photographic gear,ie,a decent camera and a few lenses. Still less than buying two "high end" smartphones. They will probably last longer too!
    Yes, for a few years now I have only bought mid-range smartphones, powerful enough to allow me to browse the internet with the browser and run some basic applications such as waze or whatsapp. I was lucky enough not to need a high-performance camera .

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    I agree, midrange smartphones so 95% of daily task just as well. Due to Covid it is rumoured that Samsung will reduce the price of its flagship 21 series in January. So wait a little if you want to buy great phones for less.

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    I regret getting my Samsung S10e. After about a year of use, I get only 5 (or less) hours of screen on time before worrying about recharging. That's not counting the couple percent per hour of screen off time. Here in the UK, we usually pay more for a worse Exynos chip from Samsung. Worse performance, worse battery life.

    I think that I'll only go with an older phone here on out, probably new for the battery life too.

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    New top end phones are definitely not needed for most of the people I see using them. People pretty much sit on them ignoring the world noseying on peoples lives and other time wasting content on snapchat /instagram /facebook /tiktok etc etc.

    Last time I checked you can do all that on a budget phone from generations before and a dam sight cheaper.


    A friend of mine swears he get's the latest greatest phone every year or so because of the security updates but he then sits and plays solitaire and clash of clans on his galaxy s20 on work breaks



    World's gone mad!

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Froger007 View Post
    I agree, midrange smartphones so 95% of daily task just as well. Due to Covid it is rumoured that Samsung will reduce the price of its flagship 21 series in January. So wait a little if you want to buy great phones for less.
    Samsung might have, but I don't see any reductions in the marketing emails from my service provider.
    "New Galaxy S21, for only half your annual salary - Buy now and get free earphones!!"
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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    Apparently the next gen of phones will no longer come with chargers in order for companies to claim their green credentials

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    Quote Originally Posted by lodore View Post
    In the last couple of years I have noticed two major trends with flagship smartphones. 1. major rise in price. 2. lack of innovation.

    I currently have a Pixel 2 xl which I am very happy with and it cost be around £800 which was much more than my previous LG G4 around £500 but I felt it was worth it due to stock android and fast updates from google. This is the first smart phone i have owned that i have no current desire to upgrade. i got it at launch at went sim only after the 2 year contract. I plan to keep it until no more security updates are released. The current google phone pixel 4 xl with 128gb storage is £929. just over £100 more than i paid for my current phone. Phones seem to be following the gillette approch and by this i mean more is better. one phone adds a second rear camera so another adds a 3rd etc like when gillette adds another blade.

    I saw an article from a tech reviewer last year that temporary went back to Pixel 2 xl due to another tech reviewer wanting to use the 4 xl and he didn't really notice much difference. It seems crazy for flagship phones to lack innovation and at the sametime the price sky rockets. the new sony flagship phone is £1100 and the samsung s20 ultra can top out at £1400. the samsung galaxy S8 was £739 at launch. S20 is £999 at launch.

    Paying around £1000 for a device to replace it every 2 -3 years seems crazy to me. I am happy to pay a decent amount for a product but only if i know i will keep it for a long enough period. For example I purchased a bean to cup coffee machine last year at around £800 but I expect to keep this for at least 10 years.

    Smartphones have become good enough now that they don't need to keep being replaced and i am wondering if this is why the price rises are occurring as they are trying to make the same or more money by selling less products.

    I never thought I would say this but i am tempted to get an iphone next time round. the iphone 11 with 128gb storage is less than i paid for my pixel 2 xl and it will get updates for longer than the 3 years google provide. I will wait for at least the iphone 12 as it should have 5g and oled screen.

    I am wondering if I am becoming Bitter or just trying to be smarter with my money.
    As for me, it makes little sense to take a flagship if you do not use its full potential. For example, why pay for an iPhone 12 Pro if you're not a blogger? I myself wanted the Samsung C20 ultra, but then I thought - why? After this realization, I decided to buy Samsung a71 6/128. And I don’t regret it at all. No overpricing, and the functionality and quality of the camera are just super!

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    Re: Stagnation and rising prices of flagship smartphones.

    I got a OnePlus 5 a few years ago, it was (and is) a great phone. Every time I see a new model announced I feel somewhat excited about possibly upgrading. But you are right, it's always a significant bump in price for a modest bump in specs/performance. Really the only thing they are "innovating" at the minute is screens. I hate the curved edge screens, the holepunch cameras, the massive size. The only nice upgrades seem to be the resolution and refresh rate. But they come at the cost of battery life. And really there's not much day-to-day where you are going to appreciate, or even notice, the difference.

    So I talk myself down from a costly upgrade every time. As long as my phone runs smoothly, makes calls and takes acceptable pictures I'll keep it. I think battery life will start to degrade at which point I'll either replace just the battery or upgrade the device. By which point the folding/rolling screens might have matured enough to be a consideration - that's an attractive form factor to me.

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