It is no secret that new flagship phones experience significant price drops in the first few months of their availability. This is the norm in a highly dynamic market with annual innovation cycles. Nevertheless, it is interesting to trace the curves of the decline of retail prices over the various product iterations.
So when is the best time to buy a new phone after its launch? Is it worth waiting a few more weeks? I think this can be calculated in three easy steps…
I looked at the price history of a few popular telephone series over the first three sales years. The data was extracted from a popular price comparison website and normalized for weekly averages. I chose the most common Apple iPhones, and Samsung Galaxy series.
If you plot the data over time, characteristic patterns appear between the manufacturers. Two trends can be seen in the pricing of the Samsung Galaxy series: The devices have gradually become more expensive over the iterations, but adopt very similar pricing patterns. They are introduced to the market in regular innovation cycles and have very steep price decline curves.
The pricing structures of Apple iPhones are also expected to decline. However, these a little more flat overall. The (simplified) finding is therefore that Iphones are more stable in terms of their retail price than Samsung devices. Remarkable is the price jump of the iPhone 6s model in the course of the introduction of the iPhone 8.