$400 Chinese smartphones? Apple and Samsung shrug off cheap rivals, raise prices anyway

September 9, 2016

Thanks to competition from Chinese manufacturers, we can all open our wallets and purchase the latest Apple and Samsung flagship for less. Right?


Instead, what we see is actually an increase in price of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 7, compared to last year's releases.

US consumers today can purchase high-end smartphones from the likes of Huawei, OnePlus, ZTE, Motorola, and Xiaomi for $400 or less. Given the high quality of these phones and low price, one would think Apple and Samsung might adjust prices accordingly. Despite Huawei's third position, and steadily rising worldwide market share, Samsung and Apple seem immune to any price pressure.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus increases $20

The new Apple iPhone 7 Plus (see our hands-on launch coverage) starts at $769 for 32GB, while the 128GB and 256GB models are priced at $869 and $969, respectively. Last year, the iPhone 6s Plus was priced at $749, $849, and $949. So, in 2016, Apple increased the price $20.

There is now double the storage over last year's models, so the price increase isn't unreasonable, taken by itself. However, when you compare it to the fact you can buy an amazing Honor 8 or OnePlus 3 for just $399, you definitely have to think twice before making an iPhone 7 purchase.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 increases $70

Last year, I purchased the Galaxy Note 5 from T-Mobile for $779. That was quite a deal considering the comparable iPhone 6s Plus was $849.

This year, the Note 7 launched at $849 and is again less expensive than the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus.