The price of premium mobile phones has risen 490 percent in the past two decades, new research shows.
It means spending on a top model almost goes back to the early 1990s, when massive cell phones were used only by the rich and famous, and a Motorola 3200 cost £ 762 – or £ 1,651 if adjusted for inflation.
However, new models and technology have come by leaps and bounds and telephoning is now a side issue of what they’re used for.
Modern smartphones can surf the Internet, take photos and videos, stream movies and television, and download thousands of apps. As such, prices have gone up with the extra features.
Increase: The price of mobile phones has changed drastically since the early 1990s
The typical cost of a high-end phone is now more than half of the average monthly income currently standing at £ 2,535 per month, according to comparison website Uswitch.
Samsung will launch its Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on August 5 at a predicted cost of £ 1,300, which is expected to join the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max as one of the most expensive handsets ever.
If the current rate of price hikes continues, premium smartphones could reach £ 1,800 within five years, with costs currently doubling every ten years.
The average handset now costs £ 355.14 percent of the average UK monthly salary.
There’s a huge variety on the market, with cheap phones like the Alcatel 10.66 retailing for £ 5, while the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max costs £ 1,149 at launch.
Mobile phones were very basic when they were introduced in the 1990s compared to now
Manufacturers also offer stripped-down versions of their advanced devices at discounted prices, but the iPhone SE 2020 costs just £ 419.
The average cell phone in 2000 cost £ 72.50, equivalent to £ 123.80 in today’s money, and couldn’t do much more than make and receive calls, send text messages and play games like Snake.
Prices for handsets in the early 1990s, when mobile phones were an expensive luxury, were much higher than they are now.
The Motorola 3200 – the company’s first portable phone – was launched in 1992. Prices dropped as cell phones spread to the mass market, and costs dropped as devices got smaller.
After 2000, prices started to rise again as the screens grew, making it easier for users to browse the internet on devices with the internet.
At the same time, consumers are also holding their device longer, with an average of two years and four months of use currently, compared to one year and eleven months in 2016.
High-end smartphones have gone up in price in 20 years and could reach £ 1,800 in 2025
Ru Bhikha, a mobile expert at Uswitch, said, “Mobile phones do the work of a camera, music player, television, and computer these days, but you definitely pay the price for all that technology in your pocket.
Premium smartphones broke the £ 1,000 mark a while ago and there are no signs of prices dropping again.
“We pay our smartphones in manageable monthly payments, so it’s easy to forget how much we spend on these tech artworks.
While the best handsets go up in price, there are models on the market for every budget: the Samsung Galaxy A10 costs just £ 139 and the iPhone SE offers a great price of £ 419.
“If you’re looking for a new handset, take the time to compare the features of the phones on offer, see what’s right for you, and make sure you can afford the monthly payments.”
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