A study by venture capital firm KPCB on smartphone prices has shown that the price gap between the average iPhone and the average Android smartphone has grown since 2008. This is mainly from the prices on Android smartphones having dropped by half over the past eight years. The average Android smartphone price has dropped from $403 in 2008 ($448 in 2016 dollars) to $208 in 2016. Meanwhile, the average iPhone price has stayed about the same, from $621 in 2008 ($690 in today’s dollars) to $651 in 2016.
Related to this is this TechCrunch article stating that the growth of smartphone sales will drop in half from last year (from 14.4% in 2015 to 7% this year). Basically, almost everyone in Western markets and China that wants a smartphone already has one. The hottest future growth opportunities will likely come from India (where feature phones are still a majority of mobile device sales) and sub-Saharan Africa, where smartphones are growing in popularity.
Below is an infographic outlining the changing smartphone prices.
Infographic by Statista (CC BY-ND)
Given I’ve stuck with cheap Android phones (or the Palm Pre), I haven’t noticed much change in how much I’ve paid for phones. However, I have noticed a general increase in quality for lower-end Android phones as time’s gone on. So far, my current phone, the 2015 Moto G, is working quite well, a lot better than my previous Nexus 4 phone.
Flickr photo by Maurizio Pesce (CC BY)