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How much have mobile phone prices increased over the last decade?

Group of phone users

You may have noticed that in recent years the price of mobiles seems to have increased ten-fold. There are obvious reasons for this – the tech is a lot more advanced, perhaps inflation has also had a part to play, and the demand for quality mobile phones has increased.

After all, we live in a world where mobile phones are almost an essential part of day-to-day life, so people are willing to pay more for something that has become so central to our lifestyles.

However, for those of us on a budget, the increase in mobile phone prices can be puzzling and annoying. We’re taking a look at how much mobile phone prices have increased in the last decade, why they’ve increased, and how you can protect them with the right insurance for mobile phones.


The increase in mobile phone prices

First things first, if you’re wondering whether mobile phone prices have actually increased, the answer is, yes, they have. Some of the latest iPhones, including the iPhone XS range between £999 and £1449. However, it’s important to remember that the tech behind mobile phones is still relatively new – we’re talking about 20 years old or so. In fact, when mobile phones first came to fruition, they retailed at $4000 (£3240) per handset.

Of course, the demand for mobile phones has led to manufacturers creating phones in bulk and therefore reducing their costs. However, in the past ten years, the cost of mobile phones seems to have skyrocketed once again.

Spending four figures on a phone nowadays seems quite normal. And the craziest part is, they continue to be really popular and people can’t stop themselves from buying them! Recently, Apple and Samsung have dared to nudge over the £999 mark and create premium phones that have surprised the world.


Why have mobile phone prices increased?

The main reason that the price of handsets themselves have increased is that the cost of the parts is increasing and that cost is passed onto consumers.

The Bill of Materials has increased as the tech behind mobiles becomes more complex. Smartphones now boast phenomenal features and masses of computing capability has been packed into that slimline handset.

Funnily enough, pricing strategies and models also play a part. OnePlus mobile, for example, is happy keeping their costs low as that is their strategy – they are a budget brand and pride themselves on keeping costs down.

However, Samsung and Apple mobile have branded themselves as more ‘luxury’, top-end mobile phones. Therefore, if they were to reduce their prices, they would be changing how they are viewed in the marketplace alongside their competitors.

Another interesting reason that prices have risen over the last decade is due to consumer behaviour. Consumers themselves are actually willing to pay more. A recent study found that 28 million people would be willing to go into debt for the latest iPhone.

Mobile phones have become a status symbol, and rocking up to a meeting with an old phone won’t fly anymore. They are also now such a central part of our daily lives (more on this later).

We are all so well-educated on the best phones and what their features can do for us that we are willing to spend more for a product that we have by our side 24/7.

Manufacturers and consumers aren’t the only reason mobile phone prices have been hiked. Networks also come into the mix.

According to a study conducted by mobile analyst Tarifica, commissioned by Tesco, the UK public has shouldered an outstanding £1 Billion more since 2013 due to increases in mobile phone contracts.

Inflation has been a key reason as to why the price of these contracts have risen. In 2019, it has been reported that Vodafone, EE, Three and O2 will be increasing their charges by up to 2.5%.

Line of phone users

Insurance for Mobile Phones

As the price of mobile phones has increased, it has become even more important for people to invest in insurance for mobile phones that can protect them if something goes wrong.

With these hiked prices, it can be very difficult to just buy a new one or get it repaired if and when it breaks (especially if it’s on a loan in the first place).

Specialist insurance for mobile phones is, therefore, becoming more and more important as prices continue to rise.


 Why has the price of Apple phones increased?

Although prices have increased across the board, Apple is one of the more well-known companies to have increased their prices over the last decade.

When Apple first launched its iPhone back in June 2007 and it was priced at $499 for a two-year contract. Looking at that price now we’re probably all amazed that it was so cheap, but at that moment in time, it was actually very expensive.

Phones at this time had physical keyboards and weren’t very advanced so their cost was very low. Apple wowed the market when they sold 6 million units with their first expensive phone and then after that, they bought out a cheaper model.

The 2008 iPhone was a lot more affordable and had a price tag of £199 for a two-year contract.

From 2016 onwards, the price of iPhones increased significantly. This was concurrent with the release of more expensive, higher-end models. Sleeker design, smaller bezels, more sophisticated metals, striking colors and displays have all added to this cost.


Why it is becoming increasingly important to get insurance for mobile phones?

Insurance for mobile phones is really important as the cost of mobile phones increases. With the cost of phones being so high and those sophisticated and expensive smartphones that we carry with us everywhere being very hard to replace, it’s crucial that you insure your mobile phone.

Carrying an expensive phone is rarely thought of as risky because they are so essential to our lives. However with phones becoming more expensive and desirable, it does increase the risk of theft, on top of the normal loss or damage.

Often contracts are essential as people can’t afford to buy these expensive phones outright, and with contracts, you’ll need to keep on paying the monthly payments even if you lose or damage your phone.

Protect yourself against such risks by covering your phone with specialist insurance for your mobile phone.


How much have phone prices increased?

Over recent years phone prices have increased at a fast rate. Here’s a look at the figures on how much the prices have increased in recent history. Facts and figures are from Cnet.

Samsung Galaxy: This phone is one of the most popular devices on the market and whilst it originally began as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone, it now rivals the price of its Apple rival. The Galaxy was priced at $650 in 2017 and that has risen 29.5% in 2019 as the models have become more advanced.

Samsung Galaxy Plus: Back in 2017 you could get your hands on this phone for £750, whereas now it is flying over the £999 mark. That’s an increase of over 25%.

LG G series: The LG G series began at £576-689 in 2017 and now costs over £800 per handset so there has been an increase of 19%.

iPhones: In 2017, the most recent and expensive iPhone came in at £649, whereas the latest iPhone is over £1000.

OnePlus: The OnePlus has increased in price by over 67% in recent years, as when they began, they were a budget brand. Their 2017 mobile came in at £399 and now costs upwards of £600.

Circle of phone users over bench

Why do people think mobile phones are worth the money?

There are many reasons why people think mobile phones are worth the money. Let’s take a look at some of the most common:

  • We spend much more time on them nowadays

Young people spend even more time on their phones than the rest of us with those aged 15 to 24 spending four hours a day on the phone compared with 2 hours 49 minutes for all adults.

Most people are online for an average of 24 hours a week, which is twice as long as 10 years ago. So, although mobile phone prices have increased in the past 10 years, so have the way we use them.

Phones are now a vehicle for every aspect of our life – work, dating, hobbies, goals and targets and even diet and fitness. We use phones to navigate almost every part of our experience, so it’s no surprise that people are willing to spend more on them.

Also, now that people use mobile phones more regularly, they expect them to do more. People expect a lot more from mobile phones than they ever have before and for that reason, brands are always stepping up the parts and the tech behind the phones in order to keep up with demand.

  • They are a status symbol

A less interesting or viable reason that people are spending more on their phones is that they have become a status symbol because of how expensive they are.

Nowadays, people are hot on the latest phone, knowing which spec is the highest and so on. We have a high-pressure society where consuming is important, and every time the latest phone comes out, people feel compelled to ditch their old model and upgrade due to social pressures and the need to have the latest trend.

  • They do so much for us

As outlined in the first point, mobile phones are now such a crucial part of our lives. We use them for nearly everything and therefore people are willing to spend more money in order to be using the best handset available.

Phones are now the source of so much of our digital lives and people rely on them for everything from managing money, to socialising, to checking their health and making business calls.

Phones can pretty much do everything these days and when you think about all the things a phone replaces they become worth the money.

For example, there is no longer a need for alarm clocks, there is no longer a need for a camera, nor a calendar and so many other needs are met with the emergence of smartphones, too.

For that reason, the cost of phones is very high but it makes sense considering their capabilities and how much they have shaped the world in the last 10 years.

  • You can get insurance for mobile phones

This makes a big difference when it comes to splashing out on mobile phones. Although people are spending a lot on their phones, they are able to insure them with quality mobile phone insurance that protects against many forms of damage.

People, therefore, feel safer and less at risk when splashing out on a mobile phone because they know that they will be able to get the money back or get the phone fixed if something does go wrong.


Insurance for mobile phones

A sure-fire way to make sure that your expensive phone is safe and secure is to take out mobile phone insurance.

For many of us, our mobiles hold all of our most precious information so it’s crucial that we back it up and protect it in the event of an accident. High-quality smartphones are usually expensive and are increasing in price all the time.

Therefore, to pay for one, you may have agreed to sign a contract, which you’ll need to keep on paying even if you lose or damage your phone.

So, if you want to protect yourself from the common day-to-day risks like dropping your phone in water, or losing your phone on a train, then it pays to take out mobile phone insurance.

Some of the benefits of getting insurance for mobile phones through Gadget Cover include:

  • Truly instant cover
  • Low excess fee
  • Unlimited claims

Plus, if you choose to pay monthly, your first month will be free. With a UK customer support team, we’re here to help when you need us.

Get a quote today.

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