The Law of Diminishing Returns and the Modern Flagship Phone
The smartphone industry is one that is extremely competitive and ever-changing. The race to become the top smartphone manufacturer is one that has always been extremely saturated, with each manufacturer coming up with their own way to attract prospective buyers. And while it’s great that we get so much new technology every year, this new tech also comes with a new price, which to a lot of people is extremely unacceptable.
There was once a time when a flagship phone would cost about $600 max. Back then, the concept of a $1,000 smartphone left a bad taste in the mouth and well, the fact of the matter is that phones are now becoming more and more like jewelry. They’ve become more than a means to communicate with the world, but rather a means to showcase your status.
This leads to the $1,000 current smartphone trend. It started with Apple when they released the iPhone X, and quite frankly, other smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC, and Google simply followed suit. While a lot of these other flagship phones max out at $850, the ugly truth is that phones just keep getting more expensive each consecutive year.
But then there’s the other side of the coin. Budget smartphones are becoming increasingly more capable than what they used to be five years ago. It would seem that while flagships get all the fanciest pieces, companies are apparently investing efforts into R&D into such things as material analysis, phone design, artificial intelligence, etc. These things are vital in determining which areas can be improved on — for example, when an exploding phone was once deemed too dangerous, its manufacturer opted to implement an 8-point battery check, which involves a lot of R&D.
Now, this is where the concept of diminishing returns comes in. In its most basic definition, it is the point of reference where profits and advantages gained become less than the amount of money you are investing. Is it truly worth spending a thousand bucks on a smartphone?
To put things in perspective, while a modern budget phone can never hope to perform the way modern flagships do, a modern budget phone is able to perform as well as — if not better — than previous flagships. It would seem now that phones, much like other hyped items such as bags, clothes, and sneakers, are as much a fashion statement as the next Supreme box tee. But are you truly getting your money’s worth by paying for the latest flagship phone?
This varies between people, as it’s always assumed that different people have different needs. And well, to be honest, a lot of the extra features found in flagship smartphones aren’t really necessary in a phone. And while you could argue that future-proofing is part of the price, the discussion will simply revert to the law of diminishing returns. Does the hefty price justify what you get?
Now, this doesn’t just apply to the smartphone industry. In fact, it applies to life in general. Life is a series of transactions, at least, for the uber business-minded individual. You just have to make the most of what you currently have, and that means making decisions that net you the most profit for your effort.
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