The price of high-end smartphone in South Africa has climbed steadily over the last few years.
These premium smartphones include the recently-launched Apple iPhone 11 range, the Samsung Galaxy S range, and Huawei’s P30 range of smartphones.
The most expensive versions of the Apple and Samsung smartphones cost in excess of R30,000, and many South Africans are unable to fork out that much cash for a smartphone purchase.
Repairing old smartphones
AppleDoctor CEO Sean Joffe previously told MyBroadband that because of increasing premium smartphone prices, mid-tier devices are massively outselling their premium counterparts.
“Consumers are no longer willing to just splash out to acquire the latest and greatest, as the cost-benefit simply no longer make sense,” said Joffe.
Megan Quy, marketing manager at WeFix, echoed this sentiment.
“There is a new market emerging as more and more people become employed and want an efficient smartphone with good specs, but don’t wish to spend their salary on it,” said Quy.
Both Joffe and Quy said their most popular iPhone repair requests are for Apple’s older smartphones.
“This shows that there is still a strong trend to repair versus replace and that giving the customer the right to repair holds much value,” said Quy.
Joffe also said that there is no reason to replace a smartphone if it is still performing well unless you want specific new improvements – such as wireless charging.
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of this, said Joffe, as the company has seen its battery replacement figures grow by 55% year-on-year.
How smartphone prices have increased
Many South Africans remember when one could buy premium devices at much cheaper prices. At launch, the Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5, and Huawei P8, all sold for under R10,000.
The iPhone 5 was launched in 2012, the Galaxy S5 arrived in 2013, and the P8 launched in 2015.
The modern equivalents of these smartphones have increased in price substantially in the years since these devices first arrived in South Africa – particularly in the cases of Apple and Samsung.
The historical prices for Samsung, Apple, and Huawei’s premium smartphone ranges are shown below.
|Samsung Galaxy S series|
|S6 Edge (64GB)||R15,999|
|S7 Edge (32GB)||R15,999|
|Apple iPhone range|
|iPhone 5 (64GB)||R10,799|
|iPhone 5c (32GB)||R9,999|
|iPhone 5s (64GB)||R12,999|
|iPhone 6 (64GB)||R11,399|
|iPhone 6s (64GB)||R12,999|
|iPhone 7 (128GB)||R16,929|
|iPhone 7 Plus (128GB)||R19,639|
|iPhone 8 (256GB)||R16,499|
|iPhone 8 Plus (256GB)||R18,499|
|iPhone X (256GB)||R23,799|
|iPhone Xr (256GB)||R19,499|
|iPhone Xs (256GB)||R24,999|
|iPhone Xs Max (256GB)||R26,999|
|iPhone 11 (256GB)||R18,999|
|iPhone 11 Pro (256GB)||R25,699|
|iPhone 11 Pro Max (256GB)||R27,899|
|Huawei P series|
|Huawei P8 (16GB)||R7,999|
|Huawei P9 (32GB)||R11,999|
|Huawei P10 (64GB)||R12,999|
|Huawei P10 Plus (128GB)||R13,999|
|Huawei P20 Lite (64GB)||R5,999|
|Huawei P20 (128GB)||R12,999|
|Huawei P20 Pro (128GB)||R15,499|
|Huawei P30 Lite (128GB)||R5,999|
|Huawei P30 (128GB)||R13,999|
|Huawei P30 Pro (256GB)||R16,499|