Technology New world. Smartphones: they may cost up to 10% more

New world. Smartphones: they may cost up to 10% more

The price of smartphones could go up, components and parts starting to taste expensive. (Illustration) (HINTERHAUS PRODUCTIONS / DIGITAL VISION / GETTY IMAGES)

To understand what is playing right now, it is important to visualize, almost visually, the interior of a mobile phone. A smartphone is like a puzzle: dozens, if not hundreds of pieces, of nested components.

Some cost a lot more than others: the screen, the battery, the memory. These three are not affected – for now – by the shortage of components, but the slightest spring, the least resistance is just as essential. Without each of these parts, no smartphone. However, these are the elements that are arriving, at the moment, out of stock.

So when TSMC, the world’s leading component manufacturer, announces, in addition, that it will increase its prices by the end of the year – up to + 20% – one wonders what the shock wave will be on the price of smartphones.

Duncan Stewart, director of technology, media and telecommunications studies at Deloitte Canada, and author of several semiconductor studies at Deloitte Global, rejects a similar increase in smartphone prices.

The shortage affects, for example, components related to the telephony part or the shooting. A price increase is possible but it should be limited, of the order of a few%. It will vary from model to model and should be relatively short-lived. I would be flabbergasted if smartphone prices increased by 20%!

Duncan Stewart, Director of Studies at Deloitte Canada

Renewing your smartphone without waiting too long and without betting on lower prices: this is undoubtedly the best strategy, especially since the shortage should last about a year. Duncan Stewart estimates that it will last until next year and that it will end during 2022.

In the meantime, the other option is the opportunity. And in this market, prices have already moved. David Mignot, former boss of Sony Mobile France and co-founder of Yes-Yes, specialist in reconditioning, especially smartphones, notes a 5% price increase since June on reconditioned smartphones:

“This is obviously the consequence of the rise in new prices, specifies David Mignot, but we had never seen that. Traditionally, in the refurbished world, prices tend to go down. ”

One final consequence of this domino game is the rise in the prices of second-hand smartphones from individuals:

For a consumer who wants to resell their used smartphone, now is the right time, since prices have never been so high.

David Mignot, co-founder of Yes-Yes, reconditioning specialist

Refurbished phones could therefore become the big beneficiaries of higher new prices, unless manufacturers decide not to pass on the additional costs.

In 2020, in France, 16 million new smartphones and 2 million 600,000 refurbished phones were sold. In this context, the announcement of the new iPhone range, this Tuesday, September 14, will be scrutinized with all the more attention by consumers and Apple’s competitors: Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. How much will the new smartphone models launched by Tim Cook cost? The prices of the current range, iPhone 12, range from 809 to 1,609 euros including tax, depending on the model and storage capacity.

The first rumors about the iPhone 13 – their name is to be confirmed – raised fears of an increase in prices: there was talk of an additional hundred euros to pay for certain models. The most recent indiscretions are more optimistic: despite the shortage and the increase in the prices of certain components, they evoke the maintenance of current prices in order not to exceed psychological thresholds which could affect sales. Answer next Tuesday, early evening.

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