Though it sometimes seems that everything is getting more expensive, this is not always true. The prices of some products have actually been dropping in recent years and there are a few examples of tech merchandise that is now cheaper than a decade ago. Taking inspiration from Voucherbox’s article on the subject, here are 3 tech products that now cost less than they did in 2006.
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TVs are one example of tech that has dramatically declined in price over the past 10 years. The demand for cutting-edge technology such as 3D and Smart TVs was anticipated to be much higher than it actually has been and this has caused the prices to remain low. The reason for poor 3D TV sales could be that buying the device in isolation isn't a huge cost, but the associated expenses on 3D glasses for everyone and a 3D DVD player didn’t make the benefits significant enough to justify the investment.
Smart TVs seemed like a great idea and a real money-spinner, but in actual fact, appear to be a turkey on its way to slaughter. Smart TVs are essentially regular TVs which have built-in internet capabilities and after an initial surge to own this new tech, they are becoming obsolete as they really offer the consumer nothing at a high price. The issues with poor software, baffling interfaces and the inability to upgrade resulted in most people combining their usual TV with a cheap set-top box rather than spending big on something not very smart.
According to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation, vendors shipped a total of 343.3 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter of 2016, a 3.1% increase from the first quarter of 2016.
People like smartphones and this slice of the technology market has seen staggering growth in recent years, with Samsung and Apple seemingly on a mission to put one of their phones in everyone’s hand. Yet, even with this demand and possibly because of this demand, the price of your new phone has been steadily decreasing. In addition to the big names, other smartphone manufacturers have moved into the market, causing an increase in competition and resulting in aggressive marketing and pricing.
For consumers, the smartphone market can offer significant value as the gap between the best and the worst has decreased dramatically. Low-cost handsets have been creeping closer to high-end performance, while year-on-year improvements to premium devices have been marginal. The high-end manufacturers try to provide an appealing must-have innovation each year to try and safeguard their phones’ position at the top, but lately, they seem to be offering very little for considerable dough.
A recent example is finger-scanning technology, which isn't perfect yet and doesn’t offer enough to make people part with their money. Other manufacturers have been busy and instead of trying to produce new features to fire their marketing campaigns, they have been doing the essentials, and doing them well. It’s for this simple reason that budget smartphones have progressively become more attention-grabbing, while the premium range of handsets vegetates.
There will always be people who have a predilection for owning the latest tech, but it doesn’t always mean it’s a wise investment. However this could all change with the release of the water- and dust-resistant 7 and 7 Plus iPhones. With Airpods (wireless headphones), stereo speakers and two 12-megapixel digital cameras, the 7 and 7 Plus could be just what is required after sales of the iPhone dropped twice in a row this year, the first declines in the device's almost 10-year history.
The PC industry was in a state of dread as worldwide computer shipments were down around 13% in the first quarter of this year. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.4 million units in the second quarter of 2016, which represents a year-on-year decline of 4.5% according to the International Data Corporation. These figures could be interpreted to indicate the death of the PC as tablets and smartphones flood the market, but in reality, things aren’t that bad.
In fact, the low-cost laptop segment is actually growing. The problem for laptop manufacturers is that consumers aren't replacing them as frequently as they would like. The reason for this is that the cost of truly cutting-edge laptops is still very high and, as with smartphones, the top-end features are not worthy of the price. The laptop market needs some innovation, but their survival seems assured, as what was considered their greatest threat, the tablet, appears to be being killed off by the smartphone. Laptops are still necessary for providing a powerful mouse-and-keyboard interface and lets users multitask in a way that simply can't be replaced by another mobile device. Although laptops are cheaper than they were 10 years ago, they're not going anywhere and now might be the best time to find a bargain.
Although it seems the cost of tech is always on the rise, this can be a misconception and some items are currently considerably cheaper now than they used to be. All products have a shelf life to them, but there's a line between cutting edge and obsolete where a prudent shopper can find a great deal for just the right tech they need.