Mobiles Trends

Smartphone prices looking likely to increase, should businesspeople stick with their current handsets?

It’s often tempting to buy a new smartphone shortly after it’s arrived on the market. Even if you would use that handset predominantly for work purposes, you could be excited by the prospect of, say, a larger, more productivity-friendly screen or updated camera technology that would help in professional photography.

However, given recent suggestions that smartphones could soon noticeably rise in price, the question remains whether you should really succumb to the temptation to buy that fancy new smartphone. Could the one you already have still meet your practical day-to-day needs?

Why have there been whispers of rising smartphone prices?

“Foundries have already increased prices 10-20% in the past year,” Bain semiconductor analyst Peter Hanbury told CNBC in May, referring to leading chipmakers like the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Samsung and Intel, which have been linked with potential further price hikes.

Hanbury added: “We expect a further round of price increases this year, but smaller (i.e. 5-7%).” However, why have semiconductor prices been rising in the first place?

“The chemicals used in [chip] manufacturing have increased 10-20%,” Hanbury explained, adding: “Similarly, the labour required to build new semiconductor facilities has also seen shortages and increased wage rates.”

The Hsinchu-headquartered TSMC has cited emerging inflation worries and rising costs as two reasons for price rises decided upon by the chipmaker, with its own expansion plans also a factor.

However, there are several other factors at play when it comes to why semiconductor prices have increased. “With the continued shortage of semiconductor chips the manufacturers are able to charge a premium as customers continue pushing to secure supply,” according to Hanbury.

That shortage was itself largely the result of the increased demand for technology during the COVID-19 pandemic

“Chipmakers face their own increasing supply issues that are exacerbated by the Ukraine war … and demand remains high while supply remains constrained,” Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell has told CNBC, adding: “Energy prices are also on a tear, including electricity. Chipmaking requires an enormous amount of electric power.”

So, what should you do?

It has already been rumored that the price of the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro could be $100 higher than the iPhone 13 Pro’s cost, as Tom’s Guide notes. So, as the (metaphorical) storm clouds start gathering, is this your cue to resist replacing your current work smartphone?

It very much depends on your corporate telephony needs — especially those that would likely apply in the foreseeable future. However, you could find that you can expand your current handset’s functionality to a surprisingly large extent just by installing new software.

Consider the instance of Gamma Mobile, an enterprise-focused service enabling businesspeople to effectively use both 4G and 5G cellular connectivity on the move.

Before you do opt for any new software solutions, though, you should be careful to read the small print. You need to make sure that you definitely know what you are getting — and it could have surprisingly little to do with the quality of your current phone’s processor or cameras.

You should by an affordable smartphone having features you need the most:

There is a good news for you if you are looking for a phone for your business needs that is affordable and have most essential features. These phones will be more readily available in tight supply chains than the flagships. There are excellent alternatives to expensive premium models, which are almost as capable, and much less expensive.

Apple, Google and Samsung are bringing the same features found in their flagships to cheaper options. TCL and other brands are also looking for ways to compete with more established brands by offering lower prices and premium features.

This makes it much more difficult to choose the best budget phone. At this price, it’s difficult to find a phone that does all the right things. You should prioritize the features you value most, such as 5G compatibility with particular networks, high-resolution screens, best camera quality, low price, and long-term software updates. Although it’s not easy to get all the features you want, you will find a phone that you love. For the best price and portability, there are many phones available under budget. However, you may be able to get better deals if you buy through a carrier and sign up for a wireless service.

The Apple iPhone SE 2022 is the best pick for the most affordable iPhone. Because the 4.7-inch screen is beginning to feel cramped in an era of large displays, you’ll need to be comfortable with it. However, the latest SE offers a low-cost entry to Apple’s iOS ecosystem and a device that can last up to five years, if it’s taken care of.

The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is the top-rated budget Android phone. The screen is one of the most impressive in its class and features smooth scrolling and animations. The warranty policy for the phone is the longest among Android phones, and includes five years of security updates.

You can also opt for T-Mobile’s best budget phone if you are looking for premium features and low cost at same time. The OnePlus N20-5G costs $280, but it feels like a much more expensive phone. The OnePlus N20 5G has a 6.4 inch screen and a 1080p resolution. It’s also an OLED panel, which is rare in this category. You will have to accept a 60Hz refresh rate as a compromise. You won’t notice the difference unless you are used to a faster screen of 90Hz or 120Hz. It’s an enjoyable screen, despite the slow refresh rate. It also has a fingerprint scanner underneath the display, which makes unlocking your phone easy and painless.

The N20 5G has a Snapdragon 695 processor, 6GB RAM and a very high level of daily performance. The box includes a charger to charge the phone’s quick 33W wired charging. This feature is not available in other N20 models. The phone can be charged from 0 to 30% in 20 minutes. This is great for those who are in a hurry or need quick power.

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