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The Changing Costs Of Apple iPhones Over The Years

The Changing Costs Of Apple iPhones Over The Years

Since the launch of their original iPhone in 2007, Apple has grown to become a global tech giant and is now officially the world’s most valuable public company. Their total revenue in 2020 was a whopping $365 billion, with 52% coming exclusively from iPhone sales. 

Currently dominating the mobile phone market in the UK, Apple iPhone users reportedly represent over half of smartphone owners in the country, as of March 2021. This positions Apple as a market leader, giving them the power and status to drastically influence price levels in the mobile phone market. 

The Changing Price of iPhones Since Apple’s 2007 Launch

iPhone Model
Release Year
UK RRP*
Yearly Average
% Change in Average Price YOY
iPhone
2007
£381
£381
3G
2008
£299
£299
▼ -21.52%
3GS
2009
£274
£274
▼ -8.36%
4
2010
£400
£400
▲ 45.99%
iPhone 4s
2011
£499
£499
▲ 24.75%
iPhone 5
2012
£529
£529
▲ 6.01%
iPhone 5c
2013
£469
iPhone 5s
2013
£549
£509
▼ -3.78%
iPhone 6
2014
£539
iPhone 6 Plus
2014
£619
£579
▲ 13.75%
iPhone 6s
2015
£539
iPhone 6s Plus
2015
£619
£579
0.00%
iPhone 7
2016
£599
iPhone 7 Plus
2016
£719
iPhone SE
2016
£359
£559
▼ -3.45%
iPhone 8
2017
£699
iPhone 8 Plus
2017
£799
iPhone X
2017
£999
£832
▲ 48.9%
iPhone XS
2018
£999
iPhone XS Max
2018
£1,099
iPhone XR
2018
£749
£949
▲ 14.02%
iPhone 11
2019
£729
iPhone 11 Pro
2019
£1,049
iPhone 11 Pro Max
2019
£1,149
£976
▲ 2.81%
iPhone 12
2020
£799
iPhone 12 Mini
2020
£699
iPhone 12 Pro
2020
£999
iPhone 12 Pro Max
2020
£1,099
£899
▼ -7.86%
iPhone 13
2021
£799
iPhone 13 mini
2021
£679
iPhone 13 Pro
2021
£949
iPhone 13 Pro Max
2021
£1,049
£869
▼ -3.34%
*Source: Apple

 

Since 2013, Apple has made effort to appeal to a wider market with the release of a more ‘affordable’ option alongside every release of a luxury premium-priced iPhone. And now, multiple iPhone releases in a single year is the standard expectation for Apple. 

As the table displays, Apple’s least expensive model to date is the iPhone 3GS (2008, £274 RRP) and the most expensive is the iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019, £1,149) which is an RRP difference of  £875.

The Price Change of iPhones Over Time:  Compared to Rent, Earnings, Inflation & Pints

It's common knowledge that iPhones are expensive, which is why at Repair Outlet we’re such advocates of iPhone repairs rather than handset replacements. But despite their hefty price tag, they’re one of the most in-demand phones in the world.

This is what inspired us to illustrate how the affordability of an iPhone has wavered over time, comparing the sharp inflation of Apple’s smartphone prices to the much gentler increase in the cost of UK essentials, including rent, wages and pints. 

The graph below illustrates the changing percentage of each item over time - using the average yearly RRP of every iPhone released to calculate the percentage change year-on-year.

 

Since the launch of the 1st generation iPhone in 2007, the average RRP of Apple’s yearly iPhone releases has increased by 128%, with the average iPhone’s price going from £381 in 2007 to £869 in 2021.

In the same period, the average UK household salary has only increased by 30.13% (in line with the 30.4% inflation rate increase since 2007). Meaning that the price increase of iPhones over time is more than 4X greater than the rate of inflation in the UK.

Of course, technology has progressed hugely over time and the capabilities of an iPhone now are far beyond that of the 1st Generation model. But as the graph illustrates, the price increase of an iPhone appears very far from affordable for the average consumer - which is why it’s so interesting that over half of the UK own one. 

That being said, it’s interesting to see that after a sharp increase in handset price in 2017 (iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus & iPhone X), 2020 began the trend of an average price decrease - suggesting that even Apple knows where to draw the line with their prices.

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