Has the Increase in Smartphone Price Led You to Keep Yours Longer?

Look around the smartphone space in the market, and you’ll see that there is a trend among all manufacturers to get more and more expensive. Currently the iPhone and many Android phones as well are now up in the $1000 range, what was normally thought of as an average price for an Apple laptop or an expensive PC laptop.

It seems a bit ridiculous when you think about it that way, but here we are plunking down that thousand dollars for our smartphones. But maybe not. Perhaps this is causing you to hold on to your smartphone a little longer as long as it’s working well. Has the increase in smartphone price led you to keep yours longer?

Our Opinion

Phil readily admits that he holds on to his computers and phones “as long as they are useful” because “to be in a constant cycle of upgrades is wasteful and only serves vendors of devices.” While he likes new stuff, like anyone else, he doesn’t believe it’s very eco-friendly. He also believes “it takes a few years for programmers to really start squeezing the most out of the platform.” He finds the upgrade/boredom cycle of eighteen months or less to be a shame.

Alex reports that he’s only keeping his longer as the price “makes it difficult to afford two.” If he had the resources, he’d have a phone of every model, but as of now, “price makes that impractical.”


Sayak has two smartphones and suggests he may even have three or four, and he’s “always game for something new” but feels smartphones are “past their hype days.” He is, however, price conscious and doesn’t see much of a difference between a mid-range model and flagship model phone despite a vast price difference. He doesn’t feel you’re really gaining anything by upgrading, other than the elegance of flagship models.

Simon knows the rising price of phones affects his desire to upgrade. If they were a little cheaper, he might feel the need to upgrade to something with more RAM or a larger screen. But the high price makes him question if he needs a new phone, “and I won’t bother with one if I find I can do everything I want just fine with my current model.”

Andrew has the Moto G5 Plus and says it only cost him $175, and aside from a slightly faster processor and more RAM, he couldn’t ask for much more, other than possibly NFC. He feels there are many great, cheap phones that are nearly as good as the expensive flagship models and notes the new versions usually only have marginal upgrades. He reports that overall, “I’m pretty much unaffected by price and probably will be unless budget phone prices double at some point.”

I’ve had my iPhone 7 since its debut. It’s still working really well, and I don’t use my phone nearly as much as my iPad. That’s why I recently plunked down the $1000 for a new iPad Pro. It seems much more worthy of that money than a new iPhone. If my phone isn’t working as well as it could in the fall, I’ll be buying the newest iPhone, as I won’t buy an older model that may not be supported in a few years, but if it’s still working well? I might just skip out on upgrading once again.

Your Opinion

Are you skipping out on upgrades because they’re just too expensive? Or do you buy a new one every time a flashy improvement is introduced? Has the increase in smartphone price led you to keep yours longer? Join our conversation in the comments below.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. Phones are commodities, they all work for calls. Whether you have super high def video, gigapixel cameras or whatever, they’re too small to play videos with any impact and the cameras, far too small to take decent pix or vids. They are however, fantastic ad data collection and serving devices. The better the processor and memory, the more junk a phone can collect and the easier it is to load you with ads.

    We have mostly Moto G’s, they’re tough and do most everything. My Moto E LTE (I’m not a phone slave) cost $40 three years ago, still works great and fits in my pocket. I’d get an iphone SE if in that sphere for the same reason, convenience.

  2. Even the most advanced, top of the line smartphone is nothing more than a compromise and, as with all compromises, in most areas, smartphones are only mediocre in comparison to dedicated devices.
    To watch content, I have a 50 inch TV.
    To play games, I have a dedicated game console.
    To read books, I use a DVD player or my Kindle. (I got one for XMas)
    For email.note taking and other computer functions I have a desktop PC.
    For taking pictures, I have a DSLR.
    For making phone calls, I have a landline. (The sound quality is much, much better than smartphones)
    For emergency calls, I have a flip phone. I lose or drop it, or even have it stolen, no big deal. It is inexpensive to replace and it does not contain gigabytes of personal data.

    AND none of these devices are serious targets for thieves and hackers.

  3. They are taking away headphone jacks, no longer have user replaceable batteries. Many no longer offer sd slots for increased memory. Often are filled with their *rapware. Anymore, other than processor, and ram they are in many ways a downgrade more than they are an upgrade. Companies are stripping hardware but raising the prices. Unfortunately a majority of consumers are still buying, so companies will keep with these trends.

  4. Yes, the increase in price has kept me from upgrading my phone. All I really care about is sending and receiving text messages and calls from friends and family as well as taking pictures and video. I don’t need the apps (like the assertive app that tells me to move or breathe). I can buy a flip phone for old people, a DSLR that shoots 1080P and better, and join a gym for less than a newer “Smart Phones” cost! OK, so there are a few other apps I’ll miss but for the price, I’ll find a workaround… By the way, I don’t watch videos on my phone very often since the screen is too small. I’d rather use a laptop or a computer with a large screen or a Big Screen TV. If there is no connectivity, there are BOOKS! When I found myself “off the grid” in Kansas, I checked the dosage level of drugs for a dying family member, via smartphone which finally convinced me that the smartphone may have been worth the price I paid for it. Looking back on that, I think that I probably could have called many different people on the house phone and gotten the information I needed, it just would have taken longer.

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