How Is Apple Able to Keep up Prices on Old Phones?

Apple phones barely drop in price after many years, they never drop price at all until new model is released. At release bang for buck is not really worse than Android since better "ecosystem". But bang for buck drops rapidly as time goes on compared to Android. How are they able to do this? Are people really buying or they force retailers to sell close to release price?


  • +8 votes

    People who camp 5 nights before in front of apple store to get new iPhone, please answer. Thanks


    When retailers such as JB HI FI, or say Myer, get their stock from Apple, they have to sell at close or the same price at what Apple sells. This is due to Apple selling their phones to these retailers at such high price, thus making a low-profit margin. You may ask, well how do retailers make money then? Sometimes, they don't. They sell Apple products and so when someone buys one, they may be intrigued to buy other items (this is where the profit comes in). Also selling Apple stuff draws people into the store.

    Whether Apple drops the price or not, buying from them is never bang for your buck. It is always cheaper elsewhere.

    Just my 2 cents from what I heard from friends working at these retailers.

  • +2 votes

    Old Android flagships have to compete with new cheap android phones from other manufacturers. If people want an iPhone specifically they have to buy second hand or from Apple, so they keep prices high. For most of the target market for these phones the 'bang for buck' isn't really a question, they just buy something from Apple that happens to be in their price range. Apple still supports phones that are very old with updates, Android phones tend to lose manufacturer support after a few years which impacts their usability and resale value.

    As other have mentioned, Apple sells them to retailers for very close to what you can buy them for, thus it keeps prices high because retailers don't want to sell at a loss. Apple would sell more at a lower price, but they would likely make less overall.


    Apple usually keeps their prices near RRP I hardly ever see sales on Apple products, even store wide sales typically have the "not including apple products" part. I typically see the sales help bring down the android price a bit, esp when new phones are out and places are trying to get rid of stock.

    Apple also is typically pretty good at supporting their older devices, a lot longer then companies like Samsung (I find google does a bit better).

    I also think the ecosystem is partly for it, there isn't many iPhone generations so if build a game you build it and fix problems for as many iPhone generations as you can, essentially you can probably still use your iphone 6s because the app developers support the old hardware. While android has so many phones out usually only the flagship phones are supported well, and others you're just like stuff it as there's too many out there.


    There's 3 main reasons:

    1) Apple makes great products, and they spend billions in marketing to spread that image.
    So there is a perspective that these devices are worth it, even if they're older/used.

    2) Apple doesn't sell "midrange" or "low-end" hardware, so their iPhones usually hold up well for several years.
    Couple this with the fact they have excellent hardware and software support after-sales, people trust the product/brand.

    3) iPhones have their own ecosystem, so you can't actually compare them to Android counterparts.
    A two-year old iPhone is competing in a much smaller market, than a two-year old Android.

    …personally, I think you can get better value from an ex-flagship Android phone.


      You could potentially get one that is 1.1 years old, and replace it every 1.6 years. That way you stay up to date in terms of both hardware and software and battery drain and accessories and custom firmware, whilst being able to sell your device at decent price and getting a new one relatively cheap. Here's an example:
      2013/10 - iPhone 5S, buy for $1,100 and later sell for $300
      2016/10 - iPhone 7 Plus, buy for $1,300 and later sell for $500
      2019/10 - iPhone 11 Max, buy for $1,700
      Total Net Spend: $3,300 over 6 years

      2013/10 - Samsung Note 3, buy for $800 and later sell for $400
      2015/05 - Samsung Note 4, buy for $600 and later sell for $400
      2016/12 - Samsung S6 Plus, buy for $600 and later sell for $300
      2018/07 - Samsung S8 Plus, buy for $700.
      Total Net Spend: $1,600 over 6 years

      You end up keeping up with the software and hardware, but spend around half the price overall.

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