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What Factors Affect a Smartphone Price?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 16, 2024
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Smartphone price can be affected by a wide range of factors, such as brand and the length of time a particular device has been on the market. The ability to use a device internationally can also affect its price. If a device has a high-resolution camera and a lot of storage capacity, it will likely cost more than a unit without less notable capabilities. Those individuals who are willing to enter a contract, however, may be able to get a smartphone loaded with desirable features at a bargain price or for free.

The brand can have a major impact on smartphone price. Some companies have established reputations among consumers that grant them a sort of celebrity status. Consumers may anticipate the release of new products, and such releases may even make the news. When a company's brand has the ability to create that type of sensationalism, it tends to have more liberty to sell its devices at premium prices. Those brands that are attempting to enter the smartphone market generally must offer their products for less until they develop consumer confidence.

Another factor that will affect how much consumers pay is the newness of the smartphone. When devices are first released, they often have better features and capabilities than those already on the market. The newer smartphones can therefore be sold for higher prices. To continue to attract consumers to older models, their prices are often reduced.

Many smartphones will not work outside of the nation or region where they are purchased. For a lot of people, this does not present a problem because they do not travel internationally or they do so rarely. Those individuals who travel abroad on a regular basis may find it necessary to purchase a smartphone that will work in numerous countries, and this capability tends to increase the cost.

Collecting and sharing images is a common part of the smartphone experience for many users. As a result, the quality of a device's camera is an important factor for many people. It is also one that may increase the cost of their devices. Those with the highest resolution, often expressed in megapixels, tend to be more expensive.

Smartphone price is affected by the amount of memory that a device has. The measurement of memory is generally listed in gigabytes (GBs), and the higher the number of GB, the more that the phone is likely to cost. This storage capacity is, for many individuals, worth the higher prices because they rely on their smartphones to retain a substantial amount of data and to allow them to use a wide range of applications.

Service plans are often connected to smartphone price. This factor greatly varies depending on the service provider. Some companies deeply discount smartphone prices if individuals are willing to sign or renew long-term contracts. In some cases, certain smartphones may be made available for free if such a commitment is made.

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Discussion Comments
By Logicfest — On Feb 13, 2014

Smartphone prices are often invisible because they are rolled into service plans that generally last one year (although one-year plans are becoming very common). Let's say you plunk down $200 at your local AT&T store to get a phone. The phone costs a lot more than $200 -- you're paying for the rest of it every month through your service plan. Smartphone owners, then, essentially finance the full price of their phones through service plans.

What to save some real money? Pick up a good smartphone for cheap on an online auction site or through local contacts. You'll be able to buy a cell phone plan that is much lower when you're not financing a smartphone through a plan.

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