The prices of flagship smartphones from Apple and Samsung continually rose between 2011 and 2021 in South Africa, an analysis of the top-end devices released in the past ten years by MyBroadband has revealed.
While some of this constant price escalation was driven by the manufacturers themselves, the weak rand has also been a significant factor in driving up smartphone prices in South Africa.
Whereas in the past flagship smartphone releases introduced two models at most, launches in the last five years often saw more models released onto the market.
The four iPhone 12 models launched last year are an example of this.
Through the introduction of many more models in their annual release cadence, Samsung and Apple have shifted the structure of the iPhone and Galaxy S series. The base models of the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 are no longer the true “flagships”.
Instead, it is the top-tier devices like the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Galaxy S21 Ultra that pack the most advanced features at the highest prices.
Base models have become what the iPhone XR was, a more affordable option for those not keen to dish out the money for the most expensive handsets.
Our flagship pricing comparison, therefore, considers the prices of the most expensive model from each smartphone series, and the highest spec of this model available in South Africa.
One thing to note is that in addition to its Galaxy S series phones, Samsung also releases the Note series, which often features larger screens and batteries and sells for even higher prices.
The tables below show the price comparisons of the iPhone and Galaxy S-series flagships, with pricing information taken from MyBroadband’s archives.
|2011||Apple iPhone 4s 64GB||R10,299|
|2012||Apple iPhone 5 64GB||R10,799|
|2013||Apple iPhone 5s 64GB||R12,999|
|2014||Apple iPhone 6 Plus 128GB||R13,999|
|2015||Apple iPhone 6s Plus 128GB||R17,499|
|2016||Apple iPhone 7 Plus 256GB||R19,499|
|2017||Apple iPhone 8 Plus 256GB||R18,499|
|2017||Apple iPhone X 256GB||R23,999|
|2018||Apple iPhone Xs Max 512GB||R31,999|
|2019||Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max 512GB||R32,399|
|2020||Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB||R32,999|
|2011||Samsung Galaxy S II||R6,699|
|2012||Samsung Galaxy S III||R7,500|
|2013||Samsung Galaxy S4||R8,499|
|2014||Samsung Galaxy S5 16GB||R9,815|
|2015||Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge 64GB||R15,999|
|2016||Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 64GB||R16,999|
|2017||Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus 64GB||R17,499|
|2018||Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus 128GB||R17,999|
|2019||Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB||R20,999|
|2020||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 128GB||R26,999|
|2021||Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 512GB||R29,999|