Last month my fourth iPhone in six years was, in medical terms, crashing. The screen, which had pulled away from its glue, was behaving strangely. The charging port, no matter how thoroughly I cleaned it, only occasionally took power. Repair would be expensive, especially considering that my contract would be up in about six months. Buying a newer iPhone would mean spending $650 up-front, spending $450 with a new two-year contract or amortizing the price with my carrier’s new early upgrade plan. I felt trapped, as every smartphone owner occasionally does, between two much more powerful entities that take me, an effectively captive chain-buying contract iPhone user, for granted. I began to take offense at the malfunctioning iPhone’s familiarity. Our relationship was strained and decreasingly rational. I was on a trip and away from home for a few weeks, out of sorts and out of climate, slightly unmoored and very impatient.
And so the same stubborn retail-limbic response that prevented me from avoiding this mess in the first placeâ€Š-â€Šby buying an AppleCare insurance planâ€Š-â€Šactivated once more, and I placed an order I had been thinking about for months: One BLU Advance 4.0 Unlocked Dual Sim Phone (White), $89.99 suggested retail (but usually listed lower), $76.14 open-box with overnight shipping. 1,829 customer reviews, 4.3 stars. “This isn’t the best phone out there, but it is by far the best phone for only around $80-90,” wrote Amazon reviewer Anne.
Excellent article about what it’s like to move from a top-of-the-line smartphone to the cheapest models.
This is eventually going to be a huge problem for companies relying on high-end smartphones. It won’t affect Apple as much (in fact, it isn’t affecting them at all), but Android OEMs are feeling the heat. While the really cheap ones are probably not that interesting to us, the â‚¬200-â‚¬300 models (no contract) certainly are. They deliver similar performance at less than half the price of the latest iPhone or Galaxy.