What Mobile
March 8, 2019

Apple is the most popular choice for millennials and generation Z, with two fifths (40%) currently using an iPhone and two thirds (59%) considering buying one in the future.

  • Over 35s prefer Samsung, with a third (29%) currently using one, and over two thirds (68%) considering buying one in the future.
  • The AMW (average monthly wage) has risen 25% between 2007 and 2018; whereas, the iPhone cost has risen 271% over the same period.
  • The AMW has risen 19% since the first Samsung Galaxy release in 2010 (priced £449), and the cost of the phone has since risen 78%, with the latest Samsung Galaxy S10 costing £799.


We are becoming increasingly addicted to our smartphones* and Apple is one of the most popular handset providers worldwide, but also the most expensive. With the new Samsung Galaxy Fold release fast approaching, has researched the rising costs of these tech giants, how they compare to each other, and how consumers are keeping up with the increasing costs.

The recent research has shown that the iPhone is more popular with gen Z (18-24) and millennials (25-34), with two fifths of them (40%) currently using an iPhone and two thirds (59%) considering buying one in the future. Samsung has, however, proven more popular with over 35s – a third (29%) are currently using one and over two thirds (68%) said they would consider buying one in the future.

The rising price of the iPhone

The latest Apple release, the iPhone XS, is the most expensive iPhone to date with an upfront cost of £999 on its launch last year, costing almost half (44%) of the average monthly wage (AMW)** at the time of release (Sept 2018).

The original iPhone cost £269, a more modest 15% of AMW when it was released in 2007 – almost two thirds less than what it is for the XS. What’s more, the average monthly pay packet has risen 25% since 2007, whereas the cost of the standard iPhone model has risen 271% in the same period.

iPhone Model Release Date Average Monthly Wage (AMW) Launch Price* % of AMW
iPhone 2007 Jun £1,815.67 £269.00 15%
iPhone 3G 2008 Jul £1,880.67 £159.00 8%
iPhone 3GS 2009 Jun £1,893.67 £275.00 15%
iPhone 4 2010 Jun £1,924.00 £499.00 26%
iPhone 4S 2011 Oct £1,976.00 £499.00 25%
iPhone 5 2012 Sep £2,002.00 £529.00 26%
iPhone 5C 2013 Sep £2,019.33 £429.00 21%
iPhone 6 2014 Sep £2,049.67 £539.00 26%
iPhone 6S 2015 Sep £2,097.33 £539.00 26%
iPhone 7 2016 Sep £2,149.33 £599.00 28%
iPhone 8 2017 Sep £2,214.33 £699.00 32%
iPhone X 2017 Nov £2,218.67 £999.00 45%
iPhone XS 2018 Sep £2,275.00 £999.00 44%
iPhone XS Max

(512GB Storage)

2018 Sep £2,275.00 £1,099.00




iPhone XR 2018 Oct £2,288.00 £749.00 33%

Despite the sharp rise on cost for handsets, Q4 sales and revenue data released by Apple shows that the iPhone X, XS, and XR have all defied predictions of low sales and revenue drops by Wall Street analysts. Unit sales exceeded 46 million once again, whilst revenue hit an incredible £28.13 billion from phone sales alone.***

Sales figures are supported by VoucherCodes research, which suggests the rising prices are not discouraging loyal customers. Almost three quarters (72%) of iPhone users consider themselves loyal to the Apple brand, compared to just two thirds (62%) of Samsung users.

Samsung savings

Comparing Samsung and Apple over the past decade shows fluctuations between the most expensive brand. Between 2013 and 2015 the Samsung models cost more, but in 2016 – following the releases of the iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S7 – the iPhone has been consistently more expensive.

Year iPhone Model Launch Price AMW % Samsung Model Launch Price AMW %
2007 iPhone £269.00 15%
2008 iPhone 3G £159.00 8%
2009 iPhone 3GS £275.00 15%
2010 iPhone 4 £499.00 26% Samsung Galaxy S £449.00 23%
2011 iPhone 4S £499.00 25% Samsung Galaxy S2 £500.00 25%
2012 iPhone 5 £529.00 26% Samsung Galaxy S3 £500.00 25%
2013 iPhone 5C £429.00 21% Samsung Galaxy S4 £600.00 29%
2014 iPhone 6 £539.00 26% Samsung Galaxy S5 £600.00 30%
2015 iPhone 6S £539.00 26% Samsung Galaxy S6 £640.00 31%
2016 iPhone 7 £599.00 28% Samsung Galaxy S7 £569.00 27%
2017 iPhone 8 £699.00 32% Samsung Galaxy S8 £639.00 29%
2017/18 iPhone X £999.00 45% Samsung Galaxy S9 £739.00 33%
2018/19 iPhone XS £999.00 44% Samsung Galaxy S 10 £799.00 35%
2018/19 iPhone XS Max (512gb) £1,499.00 64% Samsung Galaxy S10+ (512gb) £1,099.00 48%
2019 Samsung Galaxy Fold £1,500.00 65%

Cheapest                 Same Price                   Most Expensive            Price TBC: XXX

The new Samsung Galaxy S10 with 128GB of storage is set to cost £799, just over a third (35%) of the AMW. This is considerably less than its Apple equivalent – The iPhone XS (64GB) – which is nearly half (44%) of the AMW and will set you back £999.

If we compare the larger models: The iPhone XS Max (512GB) and Samsung Galaxy S10+ (512GB), there is a whopping £400 difference. The Galaxy S10+ is into four figures at £1,099 and is 48% of the expected AMW for March 2019. Whereas, the iPhone XS Max with the same amount of storage has an upfront cost of £1,499. That’s 64% of the AMW at the time of release (September 2018).

Greig Daines, VP of Engineering at commented:

“As we await the release of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, we will see whether the quality and performance are comparable to the iPhone XS Max, and whether Apple can justify its hefty price tag without the added folding feature. 

Research suggests that trust and reliance on the Apple brand name are not wavering, particularly with younger consumers.

“As the major tech giants explore 5G connectivity and foldable phones, we will be looking to see if Apple’s competitors can overtake them in both consumer loyalty and innovation, whilst continuing to offer customers a competitive price.

The iPhone XS and Samsung Fold are on many people’s “must-have” list, but they’re also one of the monthly, or upfront, expenses that can really hit your bank balance. Research your options before you buy to make sure you’re choosing the phone that best suits your needs.

“Be sure to check’s mobile phone offers page in case we can save you a bit more on the upfront costs or help you find the best monthly deal.

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