Charts show the evolution of iPhone prices over the years and how well older phones held their value

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Analyst Horace Dediu claims that the iPhone 13 series is “the most important iPhone ever” and has some interesting charts to share that show the evolution of iPhone prices over the years. Of course, it’s not the prices that make iPhones so important, but they are fascinating, so let’s start with them.

The current iPhone line-up is bigger and more intricate than ever, ranging from $ 400 to $ 1,600 across a range of models and storage options. This is not accounting for sales taxes and transportation promotions that make things even more complicated.

Check out this price chart that tracks the prices of iPhone models over the years. It starts off simple, but keeps branching out over the years (it includes older models that were held at a discount).

Developments in iPhone prices since the beginning

Of course, it’s the prices of new devices that the used market for old iPhones is bigger than any other smartphone series. Apple accepts trade-ins as old as the iPhone 6s, even if you do not get a huge discount for the older models. You can get a lot more by selling your phone to someone else.

This next chart shows the price of new iPhones (grouped by launch date) and how much this price dropped in 2019. Newer iPhones drift to the right, showing the rising start-up costs for the top model, but also spread as Apple introduced more and more versions.

To the right is the same, but for Samsung phones. Prices are much more sporadic and the final value of the phone tends to be longer apart from the original selling price.

Price drops on Apple and Samsung phones in 2019

Price drops on Apple and Samsung phones in 2019

So how is the iPhone 13 the main launch? Dediu claims that this is because Apple remains an innovator – it creates trends rather than following them. The camera upgrades for the 13-series in particular will have a big impact, the analyst predicts.

Things like rack focus, adjustable focus on already recorded videos and so on will be picked up by YouTubers, TikTokers and other influencers, which in turn will change the perception of what features a modern smartphone should have.

“What makes the iPhone and perhaps Apple special is that it seems to deliver things that no one asks for, but then everyone wants, while avoiding overseeing a performance dimension that a few require but most will not use.”

Check out the blog post for more on Dedius’ thoughts on why the iPhone 13 is just so important for the future of the smartphone market.


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