Thursday, June 9, 2016

The High Price of Cell Phones

by Tony Thomas

It is obvious that the price of cell phones is out of control.

You can buy a very nice tablet, or even a 32-inch television set, for much less than an average cell phone these days. In fact, a major retailer even gave away a big screen TV with every cell phone!

While there are some affordable cell phones, they are definitely in the minority. What makes them so expensive? Certainly, some of it blamed on miniaturization and aesthetics, but the profit margins are certainly high on cell phones. To get more than a paltry amount of memory, you have to pony up. That is ridiculous considering the fact that memory is actually pretty cheap these days.

Just as with eyeglasses, cell phones have become fashion statements and status symbols. As a result, people are willing to pay much more because of the “bling factor”. Where there is demand, the supply of high-end cell phones will follow.

Another thing that inflates their price is the fact that many cellular providers allow you to pay for cell phones monthly, thus lessening the sticker shock. It is nothing more than a mind trick. A parallel is that when you buy a $25,000 car, you look at the $350 a month payment rather than the total price of the car.

Personally, I carry, an older, low-end, Samsung cell phone and tether it to a Chromebook or tablet. The combined price of those items is much less than that of a brand new, feature-rich, cell phone.

It works for me. Your mileage may vary.