People don't want to pay big bucks for a new smartphone

The proportion of buyers who are willing to spend more than $750 for a smartphone is pretty small.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

How much are you willing to pay for a new smartphone? As high-end smartphone prices leave the $999 barrier in the dust, the question of price is more important than ever, especially as a recent survey suggests that more than half of all buyers don't want to spend big money for a new phone. 

The survey of 1,303 smartphone buyers in the US, carried out earlier this month for USA Today by SurveyMonkey, makes hard reading for companies who expect buyers to drop a thousand dollars on a smartphone, because it seems that the majority of the market belongs to the sub-$500 smartphone.

Also: Galaxy S10 launches today: Final rumors on release date, specs, features and price CNET 

Here's the breakdown

  • Sub-$300: 30 percent
  • $300 to $500: 26 percent
  • $501 to $750: 25 percent
  • $751 to $1,000: 16 percent
  • More than $1,000: 3 percent

For comparison, a 64GB iPhone XR is $749, while a full-spec 512GB iPhone XS Max is a whopping $1,449. This means that the entirety of Apple's new iPhone line is at the upper end of what people are willing to pay, with the high-end devices existing at the very thinnest end of the wedge.

And it's the sort of price that most people would balk at when it comes to buying far bigger gadgets such as desktops and laptops.

Also: Galaxy S10 launch event livestream: How to watch CNET 

Apple's cheapest iPhone currently on sale is the 32GB iPhone 7, which retails for $449. While this seems like a reasonable deal – especially when you consider that Apple's priciest iPhone is $1,449 – it's a lot of money for old hardware. It even raises the question of whether Apple could use a budget $300 iPhone designed from the ground-up to be cheap yet functional. 

That would certainly allow Apple the chance to go after a much bigger market share.

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