The Galaxy Note 9 is the company’s flagship, and like iPhone Xs Max, it has an option for 512GB of storage for $1,250. It can be a challenge to find a rock bottom price tag on Samsung phones because they make so many models, but I see a few at $150, unlocked. What’s the gap?
Statistics And Numbers
While you can buy dumb phones and smartphones for less, the $150 to $1,250 range between Samsung models is $100 more than the range between iPhone 7 at $449 and iPhone Xs Max maxed out at $1,449.
The differences are distinct in their respective product line spectrum. Apple is wholly a premium brand with premium prices to match. Samsung sells premium models– Galaxy S9 and Note 9, for example– but the vast majority of smartphone sales are in the low and mid-range area.
Wait. Doesn’t Apple sell older iPhones? After all, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and 8 and 8 Plus are old iPhones sold at a discount. Yes. Totally true. And each one runs the latest from Apple. iOS 12.
Do those low-end and mid-range Samsung phones and smartphones run the latest Android OS? No. And they will never easily be upgraded or even updated to newer Android versions with more security and capability. Ever.
Meanwhile, iOS 12 runs on this list of models from iPhone Xs Max, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s.
Much digital ink has been spilled over the demise of iPhone SE, an upgraded version of iPhone 5s. Yet, in almost every way, iPhone 7 is a better device; better camera and display, faster, and yet barely half an inch (diagonal) larger than iPhone SE. If you’re married to the past you might lament the loss of the headphone jack, longer battery life, and diminutive size, but remember, the original iPhone was 3.5-inches, and Apple’s best selling iPhones ever are the larger iPhone 6 and 6s models.
Last year’s spread between the entry-level iPhone SE and the high end iPhone X with 256GB storage was $349 to $1,149. $800 difference. This year the difference between low and high is $1,000. Apple may say it wants to be more inclusive and make an iPhone for everyone, but the reality is this. A $1,000 spread between devices helps Apple far more than it helps Apple’s customers.
As vocal as those iPhone SE customers are, sales of smaller iPhones are on the decrease. Statista has a great chart which indicates the trend.
Of all iPhones in existence– and recognize Statista’s numbers are guesstimates; only Apple knows the actual numbers– smaller iPhones like iPhone 4, iPhone 5c and 5 and 5s, made up less than one in four of all iPhones sold as of early 2017. Since then, Apple has sold about 300-million more iPhones and the trend toward ever larger models has grown.
Could Apple make another iPhone SE in the 4-inch form factor and upgrade the components? Yes. Business is math and there just may not be enough customers to make it profitable.
Check out this side-by-side comparison.
Progress means change. Nothing improves without change. Everything has a trade-off somewhere.
iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch display vs iPhone SE at 4-inches, but the overall dimension difference is nominal. iPhone 7 weighs just over one ounce more. I feel for iPhone SE customers who want an iPhone with upgraded features at a similar price point and size, but things change and life moves on. My original iPhone was priced at $499 for a 3.5-inch display with a terrible camera and no third party applications. Today, I can spend $50 less and can get an iPhone 7 with a larger display, better camera, and it runs iOS 12, and a million or so applications.
That’s a change but that’s also progress.