August 11, 2019
We asked, you answered: you're holding onto your phone forever
We asked consumers and they couldn't have been clearer. They will never, ever pay $1,000 for a smartphone. They'll hold onto their phones until the dial tone truly goes dead.
But of course, they do buy the new ones. Apple is on track to sell over 200 million iPhones this year.
But Apple is selling fewer phones than they used to, with sales expected to drop 15% this year, according to CFRA Research.
And it looks like wireless carriers got the consumer message, loud and clear. One thousand dollars? No thanks. Monthly payments to ease the pain? Certainly.
This week, Samsung released shiny new updates to the Note line, with starting prices for the Note 10 and Note 10+ going for a hefty $950 and $1,100, respectively.
But just try to find those prices listed in the ads for Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint or AT&T. You will, but trust us, they are very hidden.
The carriers haven't gone back to the days where you'd pay a $200 fee and commit to a 2-year contract, but the a two-year lease is front and center again. You'll need a magnify glass to see Grover Cleveland or ten Benjamin Franklins anywhere noted anywhere.
Buying the new Note 10 sounds downright affordable. Just $26.04 a month (over 18 months) from Sprint, $31.67 monthly from AT&T for 30 months ) or $20.83 monthly from Verizon over 24 months, which has the best deal in town. It will shave $450 (or $18.75 monthly) off the price of the Note with a trade-in.
The list of qualifying phones for the trade-in deal runs the gamut from recent iPhones and Galaxy's to the now discontinued, once upon a time $350 entry-level iPhone, the SE.
Many of you who have held onto your iPhone 6s devices for 5 years will no doubt be checking out these deals, which sound pretty good. Just read the fine print carefully.
For instance, see how AT&T stretches you to 30 months for your payment, vs. 18 months for Sprint? (Poor Sprint—it's set to be swallowed up by T-Mobile, so who knows if this deal will continue to be supported once and if the deal gets final approval.)
T-Mobile offers a monthly price on the Note at $39.59 for two years, and will knock off $300 in trade-ins from recent iPhones and Galaxys and up to $200 for the old SE.
Again, the operative words here are "up to." Verizon noted it would give "up to" $100 for an iPhone 6 strade-in, but when I went through the motions to test it, I ended up with an offer of $84. (Which is better than I got with the online sales site Gazelle, which offered just $66.
In just a few weeks, Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone lineup, a collection of three phones that analysts think will be priced identically to last year's editions: $749, $999 and $1,099.
And I've got to wonder: will Apple take the wireless carriers lead and just skip showing the retail price altogether in their pricing strategy? I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple just give you the monthly and trade-in price period.
After all, as you can tell from these tweets, consumers are just not in the mood to fork over $1,000 for phones anymore. And I don't blame them.
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