It is a common assumption among consumers that the retail price of flagship tech devices and features will gradually drop over time. Moreover, it is often assumed that the release of new models accelerates the price decline for the, now obsolete, previous models.
That means consumers often think it is better to wait a couple of months before buying the latest tech device. But how much is price affected? We looked at a huge range of online pricing over time, to answer this question.
How far do the prices of tech devices and features really fall, over time?
The worldwide TV market recently saw the introduction of exciting new display technologies, such as OLED and QLED. Looking at the average price of three 55 inch OLED/QLED TVs (Samsung, LG, Panasonic), we see that the average online price has fallen by 34% between October 2017 and July 2018.
Other consumer electronics categories show similar trends, but to lesser extents. For example, the online retail price of a laptop featuring a Core i7 processor has fallen 8%, on average, since the beginning of the year. Similarly, the average price of a smart watch has fallen 6% year-on-year (YoY) to August 2018.
Overall, there is a considerable degree of variation between different products, reflecting their peculiar product characteristics and strategies, but data suggests a general downward trend over time for ageing technology features.
Do new model releases accelerate price declines for older models?
Sim-free smartphones offer a great case study in this area. So, let’s look at the impact that the release of two flagship devices (Galaxy S9 and iPhone 8) had on the average online prices of previous models (Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7).
The release of Samsung’s Galaxy S9 in March 2018 seems to have had a noticeable influence on the price of the Galaxy S8, which decreased 14%

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