The iPhone and the death of the mid-range smartphone

“Current Analysis tracks U.S. device pricing for phones and tablets, and if you slice and trend the data, you see some really interesting patterns,” Avi Greengart writes for TechPinions. “It is no secret that smartphones are selling extraordinary well, but in subsidized markets, the gains are highly concentrated by OS platform with sales are split between high-end flagship phones and entry-level models. The data tells the story why this is so.”

“Apple’s iPhone sets the pricing floor ($0 for the model from two years ago), middle ($99 for last year’s model), and ceiling ($199 for this year’s model). Just two phone families – Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S – make up the majority of U.S. smartphone sales overall,” Greengart writes. “Not all flagships are created equally, and when a vendor’s high-end phone does not sell well, it drops in price:”

Smartphone pricing Current Analysis

Greengart writes, “Apple’s ability to maintain a premium price level for a full year in a hyper-competitive market is simply mindboggling. While it is true that iPhones sell best the first quarter they are available, iPhones continue to outsell rivals in non-launch quarters as well.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

Related articles:
Samsung Galaxy S4: 10 million in 4 weeks; Apple iPhone 5: 5 million in 3 days – May 17, 2013
Apple’s iPhone retains more value than top Galaxy models – May 15, 2013
Samsung spends more to make chintzy, plastic Galaxy S4 than Apple does on sleek, metal iPhone 5 – May 9, 2013
Over half of Samsung Galaxy S4′s advertised 16GB storage capacity eaten up by Android and Samsung bloatware – May 1, 2013
Samsung’s cheap, plastic Galaxy S4 significantly more breakable Apple’s iPhone 5 – April 29, 2013
Yankee Group: iPhone ownership in the U.S. will top Android by 2015 – April 26, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple continues to eat Samsung’s lunch; customer loyalty will drive iPhone ownership past Android’s peak – April 26, 2013
Apple’s iPhone user gains again out-pace Android in the U.S. – April 5, 2013
Why Apple’s new iPhone can’t lose; as with all iPhones, next-gen likely to become best-selling smartphone of all time – April 4, 2013
Apple increases lead over Samsung, gains on Google’s Android in U.S. smartphone market share – April 4, 2013
Analyst: Apple iPhone 5 got over 5X times as many tweets as Samsung’s lackluster Galaxy S4 – March 27, 2013
J.D. Power: Apple ranks highest in smartphone customer satisfaction for 9th consecutive time – March 21, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple to gain additional U.S. smartphone share over Samsung in 2013 – March 20, 2013
With 78% share, Apple’s iOS tightening its grip on the enterprise and taking share from Android – March 8, 2013
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
World’s best-selling smartphone: Apple iPhone 5; iPhone 4S #2, third place Samsung Galaxy 3 brings up rear – February 20, 2013


  1. The other reason for no middle of the road smartphones is that it is pointless to be in the middle. People either want full smartphone abilities or they just want basic stuff. And it doesn’t pay to manufacture a smartphone which can do basic things but yet has most of the capabilities of a full smartphone, because the manufacturer still has to put in the screen, wifi, mobile radios, memory, sufficient processor, etc.

    1. I disagree. More variety helps everyone. There is no question that there are people who would strongly prefer to have a middle-market phone.

      The problem is that phone sellers are bundling to make middle-of-the-road phones a relatively poor bargain so they can easily upsell to the premium phone.

      1. More choice is often just confusing. What is a mid-market phone anyway and who, beyond a few insiders, would understand that? What difference does it make when you can get an iPhone 4 for $0 with a contract? About the only thing I can see Apple adding is a larger screen. I don’t think it will sell that well but no harm in doing it. Currently the larger screen phones only have a few percent share. They get a lot of attention but don’t sell that well.

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