The top smartphones from Apple and Samsung have gotten way too expensive, but I'm OK with it for one key reason

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderThe iPhone XS costs $US1,000, and that’s totally fine — as long as there are cheaper options that are a hair away from being just as good.
  • Top smartphones from the biggest companies like Apple and Samsung used to cost around $US650, but now they cost $US1,000.
  • And that’s totally fine, because those smartphone companies also now offer “cheaper” versions of their top smartphones.
  • There’s a common misconception that “cheaper” is worse, but that’s simply not true.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Just three years ago, in 2016, top smartphones like the iPhone 6S and the Galaxy S7 had a starting price tag of around $US650.

Then, in 2017, Apple introduced the $US1,000 iPhone X. Smartphones from other companies also raised their prices, but nothing was close to Apple’s $US1,000 asking price for the iPhone X.

Fast-forward to 2019, and most premium flagship devices cost $US900 or more.

And you know what? That’s totally fine.

Here’s why:


Apple heralded in the age of the $US1,000 smartphone.

Hollis Johnson

It was unheard of: $US1,000 for a smartphone? A device that a lot of people will replace in just a couple years with another $US1,000 smartphone?

Just the year before, Apple was selling the iPhone 7 for $US650!


But the iPhone X wasn’t your only option.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Alongside the $US1,000 iPhone X, Apple also released the $US700 iPhone 8.

At the end of the day, the iPhone X was just one option – albeit a new, “super luxury” option.

Much of the attention went toward the iPhone X, as it sported a new design and features. The iPhone 8, on the other hand, wasn’t as appealing. The iPhone 8 had the same powerful chips and performance as the iPhone X, and it still offered the excellent iOS experience. But the iPhone 6-style design from 2014 was tired, and people were clamoring for something new.

Still, you now had the options of a more-or-less reasonably priced phone and a “super luxury” phone with an unprecedented starting price of $US1,000.

With the available options in mind, it’s totally fine that Apple charged $US1,000 for the iPhone X. No one forced people to buy the $US1,000 iPhone X, and the option to get something less expensive was there.

And there are nine very good reasons to get the iPhone 8 over the iPhone X, too.


And now, for the iPhone XS generation, there’s the $US750 iPhone XR.

Apple

A year after the iPhone X, and Apple released another $US1,000 model – the iPhone XS.

But, again, Apple still offered something cheaper – the $US750 iPhone XR. And it’s the model we’d recommend for most people, even over the iPhone XS. See for yourself: Here are nine reasons you should consider the iPhone XR over the iPhone XS.

To be sure, there are some reasons to buy the iPhone XS over the iPhone XR, too.


The same thing goes with Samsung phones.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Samsung didn’t introduce a “super luxury” smartphone like the iPhone X until the 2019 Galaxy S10, which has a starting price of $US900.

Previously, Galaxy S phones also used to cost between $US650 and $US750.


But just in case you weren’t willing to spend that much on a smartphone, Samsung also released the fantastic $US750 Galaxy S10e.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

There are 13 good reasons why you should consider the Galaxy S10e over the Galaxy S10.

Of course, there are also a few good reasons to get the S10 over the S10e, so check for yourself to see if the extra $US150 is worth it.


These days, there’s a common perception that “cheaper” phones aren’t as good.

Getty ImagesiPhone XR.

Technically, it’s true that “cheaper” phones like the $US750 iPhone XR and $US750 Galaxy S10e aren’t as good. They don’t quite have the ultra-luxury design that the ultra-premium flagships have, and they’re missing a couple features, too.

Realistically, however, those “cheaper” versions of the premium flagships are fantastic, and offer far greater value. They come with the same chips and performance as the $US1,000 models, and they also have a vast majority of the important features, too.

Don’t discredit the “cheaper” versions of the premium flagships just because they cost less – they’re only about a hair away from being just as good as the super-expensive models, and the price difference is much wider than a hair.


At the end of the day, it’s absolutely fine that smartphone companies offer $US1,000 smartphones, just as long as they offer “cheaper” versions, too.

Apple

Smartphone makers have every right to make devices that cost $US1,000. But top-of-the-line premium flagship smartphones that cost around $US1,000 are only options – they’re not “must-haves.”

As long as smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung make “cheaper” versions of their premium flagships, I’m failing to see any issues. And I can guarantee that “cheaper” models, like the iPhone XR and Galaxy S10e, are truly worth your consideration over the $US1,000 iPhone XS and $US900 Galaxy S10.

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