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Report shows we talk way too much about $1000+ phones

A new report has revealed how many consumers buy ultra-premium smartphones in the US.

Published onDecember 12, 2019

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus face down 1

You’d think ultra premium ($1000 or more) phones are in the minority when it comes to smartphone purchases, but how many people are actually buying these devices in the first place?

A new report by tracking firm NPD Group (h/t: Ars Technica) found that “just under” 10% of US consumers are spending over $1000 on their smartphones.

The NPD report adds that consumers in New York City and Los Angeles are most likely to buy a $1000+ phone. But the tracking firm didn’t provide any possible reasons for people in these areas being more likely to purchase an ultra-premium device.

It’s unclear whether the report includes both prepaid and contract purchases, as the US is a big market for contract purchases. We’ve contacted the NPD Group for clarity in this regard and will update the article accordingly when/if they get back to us.

Could 5G drive adoption?

“Consumers are holding onto their smartphones for longer periods, which has presented a challenge for the smartphone market,” the NPD’s Brad Akyuz was quoted as saying. “Manufacturers and carriers are expecting 5G to help reinvigorate the upgrade cycle, but pricing could present another hurdle.”

The price of 5G phones in the US might not be as big a hurdle as the NPD thinks though. We’ve seen Nokia confirming plans for a 5G handset that’s set to cost half the price of current 5G phones. The most expensive 5G phones from the likes of Samsung starting at roughly $1300, so that means HMD Global is eyeing a $600 to $700 price bracket at the most.

Redmi K30 5G announced: Easily the cheapest 5G smartphone yet
redmi k30 5g blue

Meanwhile, Motorola has also confirmed plans to launch a phone using the upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset. And you don’t have to wait until 2020 to buy a less expensive 5G phone in the US, as the sub-$1000 OnePlus 5G series is a great option too.

It’s also worth noting that the likes of Samsung, LG, Apple, and OnePlus all have flagships under $1000. So why opt for the top-end flagship when the cheaper stablemate is an option too? And if contract purchases are indeed being taken into account, it seems like even this isn’t enough to cushion the financial blow of a $1000+ phone.

It seems like people are only going to go lower in 2020, as a surging affordable sector thanks to the likes of Google, Motorola and OnePlus means Americans don’t need to spend a ton of cash.

Have you bought an ultra-premium smartphone? Do you plan to? Let us know in the comments.