Adding 5G to a smartphone at the moment seems to mean an increase in the price; but this may not happen when Apple launches the first 5G iPhone next year. At least, that’s according to a prediction made by well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has said that while the new components will cost Apple more, the company will secure savings elsewhere to ensure the higher price is not passed on to you.
Kuo says the additional 5G components will add between $30 to $100 to the cost of producing the iPhone for Apple. Through some renegotiation and adjustments to the way it currently pays its partners, Apple may be able to reduce costs elsewhere, and absorb the extra from 5G. What will this mean for the price of the 2020 5G iPhone?
If prices for a 5G iPhone stay approximately the same as the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, then the cheapest model may cost $1,000, and the most expensive around $1,450. For comparison, today you can buy the 256GB Samsung Galaxy S10 5G for around $1,150, while the 5G Galaxy Note 10 Plus costs around $1,300. If Apple can maintain its prices, then it will be in line with what we’re paying for the pleasure of a premium 5G phone now.
Elsewhere in the research note, Kuo talks about a new design for the 5G iPhone models. He predicts the 5G phone will recall the iPhone 4 and have a metal frame. The new chassis and frame may cost Apple, “significantly more,” Kuo says. Apparently, these are also costs that won’t be passed on to you, and will be factored into the reductions Apple wants to make elsewhere in its production costs.
Little to no increase in price for a 2020 5G iPhone will be good news, but it won’t make the new models any more affordable than they are now. However, by this time next year 5G phones will not only be more commonplace, they will be cheaper, too. Nokia has said it’s making a 5G phone with flagship specs that will cost half the going rate of current 5G phones, which could mean between $500 and $600, for example.