Cell Phones: An Expensive Pocket Warmer

I was reading an article earlier (link below) this morning about new iPhones and it got me thinking…
How much more expensive will phones get and how long will we continue to shell out for the latest and greatest?

Cell phones, or mobiles for my friends across the pond, have changed the way we live our lives.  In my parents day, if they were to break down on the side of the road or get stuck in horrendous traffic,  anyone waiting on them would simply only be able to wait and worry (as detailed in a story my father told me the other day of a six-hour traffic delay back in day, but I digress).  Today, we can text each other every minor bump in the road.  Heck, with smartphones, we can actually take and send selfies every step of the way.

Now, it is not uncommon for people to have two cell phones, one for work and one for personal use.  Cell phones are everywhere.  One only has to look at the change in how toddlers mime phones to see how smartphones have taken over.   No longer are bananas or a thumb and pinky used to for toddlers pretending to be on the phone – toddlers now hold up their palm up to their face to pretend to be on the phone.  The shaka can now be solely owned by surfer bro’s telling you to “hang loose”.

The connectivity we now have thanks to the supercomputers we keep in our pockets has made us hyper-connected to the developed world, and with each new model the ability to connect, for good or for bad, has gotten easier and easier.  With each new model, however, we are also paying more and more.  The new technology is amazing, but when the new phones coming out cost more than my rent, I start to wonder… is it worth it?

Faster response speeds, better cameras are all great to show off, but when a phone can brick on you after 18 months because the maker pushed an OS update the phone could not handle, that technology means nothing.  It also makes it much harder to pay out another chunk of money for the newest model.  This actually happened to me, twice.

I always assumed that these shiny new phones were so expensive because they cost a pretty penny to manufacture.  The Apple iPhone XS Max cost 453.00 (link below) to produce (more than the original iPhone cost to purchase) but retails for $1099 – $1449 (per the apple site – cost for AT&T)!  Yes, phones are not cheap to produce but they also have a decent markup.  Companies need to make a profit, totally get it – but for me at least, it is harder and harder for me to justify the cost of a phone.

Smartphones are difficult to do without today.  Giving up a cell phone altogether is not an option.  Buying a high end, top of the line phone is optional.  For now, I’m giving up those top of the line phones.   The benefits of flagship smartphones no longer outweigh the cost, especially after I had two of these flagship phones die on me.

Sure there is a flash of ugly green jealousy in my eyes when a friend shows off a new, fancy top of the line phone.  But then they pop it back in the phone case, and you can’t really tell the difference between it and an older phone.

1.  I went to buy an iPhone XS and the Apple store employee said don’t do it
2. Apple iPhone Xs Max Teardown (this is actually a really awesome breakdown, including pictures)


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