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Old 26-11-2013, 12:07
nathanbrazil
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I've been looking at the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3, principally interested in their 13 mega pixel cameras. Amazing pieces of kit, for sure. But...

I simply don't make enough calls or send enough texts to justify a 52 a month contract. Yet buying one of these SIM free would cost me 500 - 600 from most shops, and in the case of the S4, a little under 400 from Amazon or E-Bay.

Now, we all know that phone tech is reliable at a sub 50 price point, and very nice 7" (Samsung) tablets can be had for 150 or less. Put those together and add another 50 for the camera, and we have a price of 250 tops for the new phone.

So where the hell do they get the rest of the cost? I'd love to buy into this type of phone, but being asked more than the price of an iPad air is ludicrous!
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Old 26-11-2013, 12:41
BKM
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I simply don't make enough calls or send enough texts to justify a 52 a month contract. Yet buying one of these SIM free would cost me 500 - 600 from most shops, and in the case of the S4, a little under 400 from Amazon or E-Bay.
I am in the same position as you and never expected to need a contract - BUT I am currently in a 12 month one as I found a excellent deal last February where the Contract Price x 12 was LESS than the "one off" price of my phone (an iPhone 5).

Such deals are rare but, very occasionally, the contract price works out just like buying the phone in installments!

In general I would agree that the non-contract prices of high-end phones seem simply to be so high to make the contracts seem more reasonable!
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Old 26-11-2013, 13:17
Mustabuster
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If you want top end flagship products you pay premium prices for it. What are you expecting with your 50 phone?
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Old 26-11-2013, 13:36
barbeler
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I've been looking at the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3, principally interested in their 13 mega pixel cameras.

I simply don't make enough calls or send enough texts to justify a 52 a month contract. Yet buying one of these SIM free would cost me 500 - 600 from most shops.
Forgive me for stating the bleedin' obvious, but from what you've said, why don't you simply buy a 20 quid Nokia C1-01 and then buy something like a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ60 for 220. Better still, you can get a full FZ200 kit with extra lenses for 400. Both take stunning photos of a far higher quality than any phone and are also far more versatile.
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Old 26-11-2013, 13:37
flagpole
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500 is just about what they cost.

on a 35-50pcm contract you are paying 840-1200 over two years. this includes the cost of the phone.
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Old 26-11-2013, 14:27
Chrysalis
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buy from another country, its the usual case sell in the uk so add a premium to the price.

But soon samsung are planning to region lock phones but they not doing it right now.
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Old 26-11-2013, 14:34
corf
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But I think the question is why the initial list price of high end phones like the 16gb Samsung S4 was/are 200 more than a wifi Ipad.

Surely the 3g/4g licencing and chips can't account for the difference.
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Old 26-11-2013, 14:39
Chrysalis
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supply and demand, they charge that simple because "they can". Its always been like that in the uk.

believe it or not when I got my s3 I was seeing s3 lte's cost more than s4's.
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Old 26-11-2013, 15:16
corf
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Its not just the UK tho, its everywhere. Its like a global price gouge when compared to tablets and laptops.
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Old 26-11-2013, 15:18
PokeyOaks
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The 'phone networks have basically squandered the opportunity to lead the market, with no particularly noteworthy innovation being produced.

Instead, device manufacturers are at the height of their game and are ultimately responsible for defining customer trends. The networks don't want to be left behind or give competitors an edge, so the manufacturers exploit this to extract maximum revenue from them (the iPhone revenue share demand is a prime example of this leverage - O2 was desperate, O2 got shafted!).

There are blatant opportunities for still available for the networks, for additional revenue streams and managing hardware costs, but they don't have the vision, don't have the cash (after throwing money away on foreign network acquisitions and ridiculous products such as BT Cellnet's One Rate (roughly 200000 for about 15 customers)) or don't have the customer loyalty to justify raking a risk.
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Old 26-11-2013, 15:21
flagpole
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Its not just the UK tho, its everywhere. Its like a global price gouge when compared to tablets and laptops.
i think it's probably worth mentioning that it's harder and more expensive to fit the functions of a laptop or tablet into the footprint of a mobile phone.

compare the N5 say to a 300 laptop and it actually comes out rather well.
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Old 26-11-2013, 15:41
corf
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The N5 is a special case, like the Moto G they go against the usual pricing.

While I acknowledge the packaging is more difficult its still essentially double the price of a very similar specced tablet. Somehow the Tech companies have managed to hold onto a massive margin on smartphones, presumably due to the style of purchasing customers are used to via 12/18 and now 24 month contracts.

But as you say until demand stops it isn't going to change and will probably get worse.
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Old 26-11-2013, 16:39
nathanbrazil
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If you want top end flagship products you pay premium prices for it. What are you expecting with your 50 phone?
I own an iPad 4, my broadband account is fibre optic, and I outfitted my lounge with a full surround sound system linked to a 55 inch Samsung flat screen. I tell you this to make the point that I'm not adverse to paying out a FAIR price for nice gear.

I'm not so keen on paying well over the odds, just to make expensive contracts seem like a good deal. The SIM free price I think the Samsung S4 should be, is around 250.
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Old 26-11-2013, 16:41
nathanbrazil
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Forgive me for stating the bleedin' obvious, but from what you've said, why don't you simply buy a 20 quid Nokia C1-01 and then buy something like a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ60 for 220.
Because I already own a Sony Nex 5, with standard, macro and telephoto lenses. I also have a Panasonic snapper for more spur of the moment use. But, the appeal of 13 mega pixel camera in a phone is that I can slip this into a jacket pocket to snap something I might see on my travels, and use it as a phone, etc.
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Old 26-11-2013, 17:51
qasdfdsaq
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Well you could look at the industry teardowns and see they cost about $250 in components to build, and that doesn't include all the licensing costs, R&D, firmware, marketing, distribution and so on.

You might compare it to a Wifi iPad that does almost the same thing but the small things matter. Converting a wifi ipad into an S4 in functionality requires you add two mobile baseband chips (GSM/WCDMA + LTE), at least two additional antennas and radio paths, up to seven amplifier chips, radio switches, cabling, and of course licensing and testing costs. Each of those may only be $10-$20 but add them together as well as the additional R&D costs of fitting them all into a much smaller case and the new exclusive OLED screen (which costs 130 on its own) and there's your difference.
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Old 26-11-2013, 17:52
flagpole
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I own an iPad 4, my broadband account is fibre optic, and I outfitted my lounge with a full surround sound system linked to a 55 inch Samsung flat screen. I tell you this to make the point that I'm not adverse to paying out a FAIR price for nice gear.

I'm not so keen on paying well over the odds, just to make expensive contracts seem like a good deal. The SIM free price I think the Samsung S4 should be, is around 250.
Well then you should undercut Samsung.
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Old 26-11-2013, 18:05
tdenson
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But I think the question is why the initial list price of high end phones like the 16gb Samsung S4 was/are 200 more than a wifi Ipad.

Surely the 3g/4g licencing and chips can't account for the difference.
Miniaturisation is always expensive, that's why traditionally laptops cost more than desktops.
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Old 26-11-2013, 18:27
clonmult
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Miniaturisation is always expensive, that's why traditionally laptops cost more than desktops.
Sure, but at the end of the day virtually all of these are just using off the shelf components with standard manufacturing techniques.

These are expensive as thats what people are generally willing to spend. Higher end products, despite not actually costing that much to build can justify a higher price.
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Old 26-11-2013, 19:01
Chrysalis
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I find it odd that tablets are been used as a cheap comparison as I consider them very overpriced compared to both phones and laptops/pcs.

I do feel smartphones have value due to their portability, but I dont consider tablets to be much more portable than laptops yet laptops are far more functional than tablets.

The difference been tho that most software development is no longer on desktop systems, so most major companies will have an app for android or ios but not for a desktop system.
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Old 26-11-2013, 20:08
nathanbrazil
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The difference been tho that most software development is no longer on desktop systems, so most major companies will have an app for android or ios but not for a desktop system.
A very large part of what has made both Android and Apple app stores so successful is reasonable pricing.

Some companies will charge as much as they think they can get, and Apple is guilty of that, with its hardware p. But, as the examples above prove, being fairer to the public can also generate great sales. Perhaps there is no business model for adopting this ethos with regard to hardware. But I like to think that one day soon, someone will try.
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Old 26-11-2013, 20:13
Christa
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I own an iPad 4, my broadband account is fibre optic, and I outfitted my lounge with a full surround sound system linked to a 55 inch Samsung flat screen. I tell you this to make the point that I'm not adverse to paying out a FAIR price for nice gear.

I'm not so keen on paying well over the odds, just to make expensive contracts seem like a good deal. The SIM free price I think the Samsung S4 should be, is around 250.
I just paid 261 for a SIM free Samsung S4 Mini, so that is not a likely figure...

Why are you looking at 50+/month contracts if you don't call or texts masses? You can get 6GB data contracts for around 30/month, and unlimited data for less than that on T Mobile...
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Old 26-11-2013, 20:32
hairyharry
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My gf got one recently on gum tree for 400. Hardy used at all no signs of wear. If you want one but cost is an issue gumtree/ebay prices are the next best option.
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Old 26-11-2013, 21:08
alan1302
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I have a Vauxhall Corsa taht I paid 700 for - I think Ferraris should be about 2,000
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Old 27-11-2013, 10:58
nathanbrazil
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I just paid 261 for a SIM free Samsung S4 Mini, so that is not a likely figure....
Not yet, anyway. I feel sure if I wait long enough, the price I'm willing to pay and the actual price will move a lot closer together than they are at present. Just as soon as the next latest thing arrives.

Why are you looking at 50+/month contracts if you don't call or texts masses? You can get 6GB data contracts for around 30/month, and unlimited data for less than that on T Mobile...
I wasn't looking as such, I was told by a friend who already has the Samsung Note 3, what he was paying per month. However, even 6gb a month is much more than I spend on mobile phones. All I use them for are very occasional ans short calls, plus a handful of texts. All of my other on-line requirements are fulfilled by various tablets and PC's.

The attraction, is that 13 mega pixel camera. I could go backwards, to something like the Samsung 19100, with its 8 mega pixel camera. But that is only one better than my Panasonic snapper, and not as versatile. So, for the present, I'll probably remain probably a customer in waiting.
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Old 27-11-2013, 11:01
flagpole
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I have a Vauxhall Corsa taht I paid 700 for - I think Ferraris should be about 2,000
even then 2000 is being generous.

the ferraris is less than twice as fast, same number of wheels. 1100-1200 should do it really.
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