The true cost of an iPhone over a lifetime: £194K

What Mobile
May 9, 2019

The £1,000 barrier for a new phone has been well and truly broken, but how much would consumers actually pay for their phones if they were to upgrade every 24 months over a lifetime?

According to tech site, musicMagpie, if consumers were to purchase an iPhone outright every time a new device came out, over the course of a lifetime this would cost a staggering £153,267. If the average contract price is included, this adds on £41,076, making the total spend £194,343.

The average cost, taking into account any iPhone you could buy outright rather than having to sign up to a contract plan is £647.  musicMagpie estimates that the price of an iPhone rises by £53 with each new flagship. If this trend continues, in 60 years’ time, we’ll be paying close to £4,110 for an iPhone. Now the £1,000 barrier has been broken, this maybe isn’t such a surprise. However, these little yearly increases soon add up.

Here’s how much an iPhone will cost in the next decades, if the price continues to rise as steadily as it has done:

The site also worked out that the price of an iPhone has increased by 162% in the past 10 years, whilst the average hourly wage has increased by just 2.95%, from £11.88 in 2008, to £14.31 in 2018.

If consumers wanted to buy an iPhone XS, the 2018 flagship iPhone, the average person would need to work 70 hours to be able to afford it. That alone is a 180% increase compared to the 25 hours needed to work in 2008 to be able to buy a new iPhone then.

Should wages continue to increase at their current rate, the average person will earn £42.94 per hour in 60 years’ time. If the iPhone of the future will cost more than £4,000, consumers will have to work an eye-watering 95 hours to afford it.

Liam Howley, CMO at musicMagpie, comments: “As we see each September, the brand-new iPhone becomes more advanced with amazing features, increased battery life and an improved professional grade camera. These upgrades cost more and more each time – which we come to expect, but at over £1,000 a phone, the blueprint has been set for the newer era phones.

“There are a few things consumers can do to make sure they aren’t paying an absolute fortune, and this includes selling your phone and using the money you make from the sale towards the cost of a new one. In addition to this, consumers can look to purchasing refurbished handsets which will literally save them hundreds of pounds, and going SIM-only, which will help them save even further.”

For more information on musicMagpie’s study, please visit:

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