Opinion: Will You Buy a Rs. 100,000 Phone?

Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 today. Months of leaked specs and images later, we already had a pretty good idea as for what to expect from the South Korean giant’s next phablet.

The 7th phone in Samsung’s most expensive lineup of phones, the Galaxy Note 8 sports a design similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus; with a nearly bezel-less display, a glass back panel, and similarly rounded edges (albeit a little sharper). As expected, the only major upgrades the Note 8 brings over the S8 Plus are a slightly bigger display, dual cameras, the stylus and the higher price tag.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 costs a whopping $930.

That’s $80 over the cost of a Galaxy S8 Plus’ and roughly translates to a price tag of 98,000 Pakistani rupees considering current dollar rates.

And that cost is for when you buy an unlocked Note 8 from the United States. It is extremely likely that when it is made available in Pakistan, the cost is going to easily exceed a hundred thousand rupees.

A hundred thousand rupees for a smartphone! Can you believe that?

Will You Buy a Phone for 1 Lakh Rupees?

Or perhaps, that is the wrong question. The real question we should be asking ourselves is whether any phone should be this costly?

When Apple released the very first iPhone, it was priced at $499 for the 4 GB model and $599 for the 8 GB one. Many people considered it to be a little too pricey at the time but it actually worked.

Then the influx of Smartphones managed to create its very own price gap. Since then, Apple has stuck to the $600 mark (the latest iPhone costs $649) and so have other Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. and it looked like it was going to stay that way, until the advent of the “Plus” range of smartphones.

An enticing higher-end bracket, they are just over-sized versions of a company’s flagship phone with an extra feature or two thrown in to justify the higher price tag.

The iPhone 7 Plus has a bigger screen, dual-camera system and the bigger battery vs the iPhone 7, while the S8 Plus just has a bigger screen and a bigger battery as compared to the S8. Both are priced $100 higher than their counterparts — $749 for the 7 Plus and $850 for the S8 Plus.

And then, Samsung comes out with an even more expensive phone — the $930 Galaxy Note 8.

At a certain point, we really have to ask: Aren’t smartphone prices, especially that of Samsung and Apple, getting too out of hand?

That is a whole other category on its own. You can buy a high-spec’d, premium ultrabook for that kind of price —a fully-functioning workstation.

Admittedly, the price will come down, as is the case with most Android smartphones. Samsung’s own strategy has always been to price their phone at a premium price, then offer it at discounts and gradually decrease the price.

The barely half-year-old S8 Plus, originally priced at $850, is now being sold for as little as $650 on Amazon. In Pakistan, you can buy it for 69,000 Pakistani rupees.

When the Note 8 is going to hit retail, it’s going to be extremely pricey — easily over the one hundred thousand Rupee threshold which has been reserved for the latest iPhones up until now. But will people really flock to it at that price like they have done for the S8 — the world’s best selling Android smartphone right now?

After the first few months, the Note 8 will probably go through a similar price trajectory like the S8 and S8 Plus but even then, it’s hard to justify buying such an expensive phone.

In a developing country whose major cities are ripe with crime, especially Mobile theft, this question has a certain significance on its own. I am not sure about rest of the population of Karachi, the city I live in, but at least I won’t be comfortable carrying around a phone that costs more than some Pakistanis earn in a whole year.

All I can say is, I hope that bucket-load of money should be enough to make sure that this one doesn’t explode on anyone. (Seriously Samsung, will you give me a discount if I promise to NOT make any more Galaxy Note 7 jokes?)

  • Samsung is acting like king if we have to buy android we can go for brands quality and affordable brands like Infinix and xiaomi. In that Samsung pricing it is better to buy iPhone instead of this Samsung garbage.

  • lol When The iPhone 7+ Was Launched and was not available in PAK it cost me 1 Exactly so I think Note 8 is not Bad for the same price………..

  • i think, Samsung is a name of Style in Android. Not only in hardware but in OS as well. People who love android & style will use it foreover. Though even in this price they cannot offer the quality what Apple offers. I heard iPhone X or say iPhone 8 will come somewhere above 1000$.

    • Apple is overrated to be honest. I have used 6S and frankly the next phone I ll buy will not be an iPhone for sure.

      As for quality, my 6S’s mic stopped working and needed a soft reset. Also it blacked out and needed to be charged again just to turn it on. So going for quality I think it is best to say that any smartphone can be prone to errors and faults like these and Apple is no exception.

  • kabi nahi, 1st of all mere pas 1 lakh mobile k lea hai e nai, agr hoty b toh market ma ab 2017 ma bohat se options mojood hen jo k 40+ ma mil jaty hen

    • Well maybe that’s what the comment section is for. :)
      Yes, a poll would have been better but I was looking more for the reason behind the people’s choice – not just the choice.

  • What a stupid question, why not go and ask all the people who buy iPhones on release date?

    The 7 Plus was available for 195k in the market right after launch in USA and the Jet Black model was 210k. Considering Samsung phones depreciate so quickly, give it a month or two after the Note 8 is launched, and that too will be available for 70k just like the S8+ is right now.

    You guys are really running out of things to post….

    • The article is written keeping in mind the official price set by Samsung, which is higher than almost any other phone from major retailers today – not the black market price people looking to make a quick buck sell it for.

      • Why not consider the official price of Apple’s iPhones?

        Even now, an iPhone 7 Plus from Future Tech costs more than the Note 8’s launch price. Over 100k for the 128 and 256GB variants, yet people will still buy them.

        • I get your point, that you mean the prices we pay over here. But I was referring to the prices from the manufacturer itself. Apple’s cheapest iPhone 7 costs $649 from Apple – the Note 8 costs $930. No comparison dude.

  • No. 100k is a bit much. I’m not saying that because I can’t afford it, I recently bought an 87k smartphone, but 100k is pushing it. Especially considering that the prices of Samsung phones go down considerably within the first few months. I’d suggest potential buyers to wait it out for a quarter.

  • As I already have s8 and this phone does not give any new features except dual camera’s. I am not going to waste 1lak for a phone which has same features

    • Note’s and S series has a tonne of difference. It’s like comparing apples with oranges, that I have good tasty apples, and I wouldn’t buy oranges just for their juice. Note is a completely different ball game with it’s stylus, which the S series can never be. I would rate any Note over an S.

  • Keep mobile phone on higher pricing and Televisions on low prices. This trend will continue but I think not too long. Mobile phone market will see a drastic price cuts soon. Let the world globe get use too of more Chinese brands and this will happen.

    • Thank you for the suggestion, will definitely try it next time. This time though, I was looking more for the reason of people’s choice so a comment section was good enough.

  • I am happy with my iPhone 7 .it gives me up to date updates .i don’t have to wait for updates like android phones plus once you buy an iPhone you are guaranteed to receive updates for next 5 years .i change my phone after every 5 years . So paying 70,000 or 80,000 rs after every 5 years is not a bad deal .

    • Exactly, I bought a used iphone 5 for 25K three years back and its still working flawlessly and updates are coming to it. So investing in iphone is much more sensible choice. I am planning to buy a new iphone 7, in November as prices will drop after the release of new iphones.

    • Same weird logic from Apple consumers every d a m n time. Android is being used by how many companies? Care to tell me the rough estimate? There are bound to be problems in some deviced now and then. Only a few brands get the update first because of this. On the other hand, Apple has what? Their own proprietary OS and they don’t have to optimize their OS for any other brand. Even after this Apple products face problem sometimes after update. Anyways, as I have said earlier, Apple is simply overrated. You are worried about updates? Get a Pixel.

      • My last iPhone 5 is still working after 5 years .pixel only gives updates for two years .get your info correct sleeper

  • chalo shuker hy note 5 ki price neche aye ge, aur 5 6 mahine tak ye bhi 70 75 ki range men dhakkey khaye ga

  • What audacity by Samsung having launched a literally explosive phone last year they are asking 930$ for it’s next version. How dare you samsung?!

  • I’d pay for one if its iPhone! LARKANE main koi issue nahi 1-2 lakh ki cheezen uthha kar ghoomne main.

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