Smartphones are becoming increasingly expensive around the world, and South Africans have suffered particularly due to the falling value of the rand against the US dollar.
In addition to the worsening exchange rate, smartphone prices have climbed steadily – jumping high in recent years.
Major brands such as Apple, Huawei, and Samsung have all unveiled new smartphones with much higher price tags than previous models.
To see how prices have changes in recent years, we compared the price of Samsung and Apple flagship smartphones in South Africa from 2010 to 2019.
Pricing information from MyBroadband’s archives was used for the comparison, and the cheapest variants of each device were selected for comparison.
Below are the prices of Apple and Samsung flagship smartphones in South Africa from 2009 to today.
|2009||Apple iPhone 3GS||R5,199|
|2011||Apple iPhone 4||R6,999|
|2011||Apple iPhone 4s||R7,699|
|2012||Apple iPhone 5||R8,299|
|2013||Apple iPhone 5s||R9,999|
|2014||Apple iPhone 6||R12,499|
|2015||Apple iPhone 6s||R11,799|
|2016||Apple iPhone 7||R12,999|
|2017||Apple iPhone 8||R13,499|
|2017||Apple iPhone X||R20,499|
|2018||Apple iPhone Xs||R21,499|
|2010||Samsung Galaxy S||R6,699|
|2011||Samsung Galaxy S II||R6,699|
|2012||Samsung Galaxy S III||R7,500|
|2013||Samsung Galaxy S4||R8,499|
|2014||Samsung Galaxy S5||R9,815|
|2015||Samsung Galaxy S6||R10,999|
|2016||Samsung Galaxy S7||R13,799|
|2017||Samsung Galaxy S8||R15,499|
|2018||Samsung Galaxy S9||R15,499|
|2019||Samsung Galaxy S10||R18,999|
It is apparent that both Samsung and Apple have launched more expensive devices in recent years.
The price of a Samsung Galaxy flagship increased by 73% in just four years, while the price of a new iPhone increased by 82% over the same period.
These price changes do not account for inflation or the weakening rand, but they are more than large enough to signify a dramatic increase in the price of smartphones.
South Africans will soon be paying over R20,000 for a flagship smartphone from Samsung and already are in the case of Apple’s new iPhones.
However, both smartphone manufacturers have released less-expensive devices in their latest ranges – named the Galaxy S10e and iPhone Xr, which have lower specifications and older design aesthetics.
Despite frustration from users at these increasing prices, manufacturers are continuing with the strategy of hiking flagship prices each year while launching less-capable smartphones for those who cannot afford the more expensive products.