No matter where you are in the world, the price of smartphones seems to be skyrocketing. This is especially true in South Africa where the value of the rand to the American dollar keeps falling. Despite the exchange rate plummeting, the price of smartphones has steadily increased to the world over.

Smartphones have become somewhat of a necessity in today’s age and are simply commonplace for the majority of the population. Year on year the price of smartphones from major brands like Samsung, Apple, and Huawei increases exponentially with each new model they release.

Let’s take a look at how the prices of smartphones have increased over the past ten years. The following comparison will inspect the prices of the cheapest flagship smartphone models from Apple and Samsung from the year 2009 up to 2019.

Apple Smartphone Prices from 2009 to 2019

In the year 2009, an Apple iPhone 3GS cost R5,199. In 2019, we are expecting to see the new iPhone XI debut in September and the cost is estimated to be similar to the previous model at around R22,000. That’s almost a R17,000 increase over a span of ten years.

In 2010, the iPhone 4 cost R6,999, followed by the iPhone 4s in 2011 that cost R7,699. The year 2012 saw an increase to R8,299 with the iPhone 5. Apple followed that up with the iPhone 5s which cost South Africans R9,999 in 2013.

After breaking the R10,000 mark, the iPhone 6 debuted in 2014 and set consumers back a good R12,499. 2015 saw a little price drop to R11,799 with the iPhone 6s. As had become the trend for smartphone prices, in 2016 consumers were faced with an R12,999 bill to get their hands on the iPhone 7.

In 2017, we were spoiled for choice with the release of two new models the iPhone 8 which cost R13,499 and the most talked about iPhone X which sold for a whopping R20,499. Apple followed that up with the iPhone XS costing R21,499.

Based on the recent trends, it’s safe to estimate that the next model, rumored to be the iPhone XI, is going to cost around R22,000-R22,500.

Samsung Smartphone Prices from 2009 to 2019

Overall, Samsung smartphones are slightly cheaper than Apple’s counterparts. Samsung started releasing its Galaxy smartphone range in 2010 starting with the Galaxy S which cost consumers R6,999. They followed that up with the Galaxy S II at the same price in 2011.

The Galaxy S III debuted in 2012 priced at R7,500, followed by the S4 in 2013 which had a price tag of R8,499. The following year, 2015 Samsung released Galaxy S5 which retailed at R9,815. 2015 came with the Galaxy S6 at R10,999.

The S7 came out in 2016 and cost consumers R13,799. In 2017, we saw the Galaxy S8 hit shelves retailing at R15,499 and the S9 in 2018 at the same price. The latest addition to the Galaxy family is the S10 hitting shelves in March and is set to cost R18,999.

Let’s Compare:

Year Apple Samsung
2009 iPhone 3GS R5,199
2010 iPhone 4 R6,999 Galaxy S R6,999
2011 iPhone 4s R7,699 Galaxy S II R6,999
2012 iPhone 5 R8,299 Galaxy S III R7,500
2013 iPhone 5s R9,999 Galaxy S4 R8,499
2014 iPhone 6 R12,499 Galaxy S5 R9,815
2015 iPhone 6s R11,799 Galaxy S6 R10,999
2016 iPhone 7 R12,999 Galaxy S7 R13,799
2017 iPhone 8 R13,499 Galaxy S8 R15,499
2018 iPhone X R20,499 Galaxy S9 R15,499
2019 iPhone XI R22,000* est. Galaxy S10 R18,999

Hiked Prices

It’s clear that both brands have started released more expensive phones in the past few years. Samsung saw a 73% over a four-year span while Apple had an 82% increase over the same four years.

These price comparisons don’t take into account the exchange rate or the effects of inflation, showing just how drastic the increase in smartphones has been over the last ten years.

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