We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,639 News Articles

Smartphone price gap narrows

Average subsidized US smartphone price rises to $117.08 in April

Analysts expect the price gap between high-end and low-end smartphones to decrease, based on trends shown in new research.

If they wanted the absolute freedom of an unlocked device untethered to a particular operator or plan, in April 2010 US smartphone users would have paid on average $431.49 (up from a March average of $387.22.) 

If on the other hand they were shopping for a smartphone deal they’d actually have given you money to take a phone off their hands (though they’d have taken back via the service plan they’d sell you.)

Between these extremes lie the subsidized prices offered by mobile operators and by consumer electronics retailers such as Amazon.com and Best Buy.

ABI Research found the average subsidized April US smartphone price from retailers (not mobile operators but nonetheless offering phone with service plans) to be $43.64.

In contrast, the subsidized average price available from operators (the big “top four” plus three Tier Two operators) was $117.08. The price differential between the largest four operators is about 18 percent.

“The wide variation in smartphone pricing illustrates how difficult it is for handset vendors to price their new products competitively, especially because prices change over time,” says ABI Research senior analyst Michael Morgan.

“One of the most important factors determining average prices is the number of handset models of a particular type on the market at any given time. In April we saw the introduction of some high-end devices that lifted the average price.”

Compare best mobile phone deals

Smartphone buying advice 

See all smartphone reviews


IDG UK Sites

Nokia Lumia 930 review: The flagship Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Live Blog: Apple financial results, record June quarter, 35.2m iPhones sold, $37.4b revenue

IDG UK Sites

Welcome to the upgrade cycle - you'll never leave

IDG UK Sites

Why smartphone screens are getting bigger