I’m a little tired of hearing that cell phones are getting more and more expensive. I think, humbly, that they are cheaper than ever and people seem to take it for granted that they cost more every day. Let’s reason it out and if you don’t agree, you can use the comments to discuss it with us.
Does anyone know how much the first cell phone cost? I’m not talking about a smartphone, I’m talking about the first mobile phone in history for the consumer, a phone that cost $3995 (the Motorola DynaTAC). Does anyone know of any high-end products that have this price tag? If we subtract inflation from this, what value would a $1,000 mobile phone have in 1983? About $420, approximately. If we count backwards, the DynaTAC would cost about $9880 today. It’s funny, these figures are real, let’s go on.
How much does it cost today to have a decent smartphone and how much did it cost 4 years ago?
This is the question that will answer what you are really looking for. It’s true that right now it costs a little more to have a high range (of the most powerful) than it did 4 years ago, but on the other hand, having a decent mobile phone costs much less.
If you’re wondering how much a reliable brand mobile costs, with good performance in both 5 “and 5.5” you can choose the Xiaomi Redmi 4A for less than 100 euros or the Redmi Note 5A for less than 120 euros. Both mobile phones are fully solvent, have a good camera, good battery life and an updated version of Android for less than 120 euros. Do you know which mobile you could buy for less than 120 euros 4 years ago with good performance? None of them.
The Nokia N95 in 2007, its first launch, cost about 719 euros, not far from what a Samsung Galaxy S8 costs today. And what’s more, today for 330 euros you can buy a Mi 6 that’s a high-end, less than half the price of that Nokia. And I’m talking about Xiaomi but I could talk about OnePlus 5, for 500 euros or less.
On the same Nokia, does anyone know the price of the Nokia 8? Yes, gentlemen, the Nokia 8 costs 599 euros. Are you still convinced that mobile phones are now more expensive than ever? Let’s go over the story a little more.
Moto G, the motive that marked a before and after
We have to go back to 2013 to see the launch that changed the price of smartphones forever, until today. And yes, we are particularly fond of this mobile because for anyone who doesn’t know it was the mobile that marked the beginning of Tutureview.
Until then, there was no mobile phone under 200 euros that had a good performance and that’s when Motorola, with the help of Google, launched the first-generation Moto G revolutionizing the mid-range and starting to offer decent performance at an affordable price (179 euros) for most users.
Up to that point, the companies were launching mobile phones with quite high prices, of 400 and 500 euros with a more or less decent performance, but if you chose to buy a Wildfire HTC or a mobile phone for which you didn’t have to put money in, the performance of the phone was terrible.
I am fully convinced that mobile phones in 2017 are no more expensive than before, not at all. I have been recommending mobile phones to my friends for a long time and in the past I had to recommend mobile phones over 200 euros and now I can recommend mobile phones that cost less than 150 euros and have no problems. What do you think? Do you think mobile phones are getting more and more expensive?
The operators, which I’ve probably fooled you about.
The main difference today compared to a few years ago is that in the past, operators, who paid a lot for the telephone, gave the terminal as a present. Having a mobile phone operator 10 years ago was a gold mine and nowadays it is no longer so much.
The fact that there is a lot of competition and MVNOs, etc. has meant that telecommunications companies have had to lower their prices and have seen their profit margins shrink. To avoid this, the operators stopped giving away mobile phones and even started doing business with them. Some operators sell you the most expensive mobile phone in a free shop and that’s because they subsidize it and I don’t know what else. That was the main problem. It’s not like cell phones are more expensive.
The only explanation I find in favor of this last position is that yes, at the moment there are mobiles of more than 1000 euros like the Galaxy Note 8 (which no longer costs this) or the iPhone X but are exclusive mobiles, quite limited in their sales and that contribute little to greater than other mobiles that cost half; we have better materials, a couple of brushstrokes to what is already good and greater exclusivity but nothing else. Are you still convinced that mobile phones are costing more and more?
The right thing to do would be to say that there are more and more expensive smartphones but none (unless they are luxury brands like Vertu that have had to close) of them has managed to outperform the first one on the market.