FOLDABLE PHONE AFFORDABILITY STUDY

HOW MANY DAYS WAGES WOULD IT TAKE TO AFFORD THE MOST EXPENSIVE SMARTPHONES IN 57 CITIES?

Galaxy Fold image

STUDY INTRODUCTION

During a time where consumers seek innovative technologies to justify purchasing smartphones worth over $1,000, foldable phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X got announced with prices of $1,980-$2,600 in various territories. These devices are the most expensive phones ever to be broadly sold in global retail channels.

BankMyCell’s study shows just how many working days it would take to afford the Huawei Mate X, Samsung Galaxy Fold, and the S10 range in over 57 large cities around the world. In developed countries, they can be a reasonably affordable amenity, but in price-conscious markets across the globe where budget devices thrive, they are truly a luxury item.

CONTENTS & QUICK LINKS

Use the links below to jump to the key areas of the study. We have detailed wage and cost of living comparisons for the Galaxy Fold and Mate X including where they rank in the most expensive phones ever released.

HUAWEI MATE X

57 COUNTRIES DAILY WAGES VS MATE X PRICE

HOW MANY DAYS WAGES DOES IT TAKE TO BUY A HUAWEI MATE X

At Mobile World Congress 2019, Huawei unveiled their Mate X foldable phone with a starting price of $2,600 in the US. Putting aside the gold, diamond encrusted and limited edition handsets of the past, this is the most expensive phone to be widely available through everyday retail outlets.

We collected the average wage after tax and cost of living data from 57 key cities around the globe via crowdsourcing service Numbeo to see just how many days it would take to buy a Huawei Mate X. As we mentioned in the study introduction, for price-conscious markets the Mate X is a luxury item.

Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA, ADDIS ABABA: MOST WORKING DAYS REQ

Based on the average daily wages of $8.67 after tax, residents in the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia would have to work 299.8 days (82.13% of the year) to afford the entry-level Huawei Mate X.

Switzerland

SWITZERLAND, ZURICH: LEAST WORKING DAYS REQ

Based on the average daily wages of $272.39 after tax, residents in the capital city of Zurich, Switzerland would have to work 9.5 days (2.6% of the year) to afford the entry-level Huawei Mate X.

Working days required to buy a Mate X

All the raw data for each region and device is available to download here alongside smaller cut down images for coverage.

HUAWEI MATE X

57 COUNTRIES COST OF LIVING VS MATE X PRICE

COMPARING MATE X PRICES AGAINST FOOD, DRINK, RENT, AND BILLS

To further illustrate the affordability of the most expensive retail facing smartphone, we took the cost of living data from all the regions in the previous dataset to show the best/worst case scenarios. The data below shows a comparison of what the Mate X value means to people in developed and price-conscious markets.

Mate X - How many months rent can it pay for
HUAWEI MATE X PRICE INTO MONTHS RENT
THE LEAST

The average rental cost of a 1-bed city center apartment in New York is $3,109.95, meaning you would only be able to afford 0.8 months’ rent for the price of your Mate X.

THE MOST

However, in the capital city of Accra, Ghana you could pay for over 3 years of a 1-bed city center apartment’s rent (35.9 months at $72.46) instead of buying the flagship phone.

Mate X - How many months bills can it pay for
HUAWEI MATE X PRICE INTO UTILITY BILLS
THE LEAST

The average rental cost of utility bills in Berlin, Germany is $274.54, meaning you would only be able to afford 9.5 months’ for the price of your Mate X.

THE MOST

However, in the city of Chittagong, Bangladesh you could pay for almost 8 years bills (92.7 months at $28.04) instead of buying the flagship phone.

*In terms of utility bills included, we’re counting electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for an 85m2 apartment.

Mate X - How many meals out can it pay for
HUAWEI MATE X PRICE INTO RESTAURANT VISITS
THE LEAST

The average meal at a reasonably priced restaurant in Hamilton, Bermuda is $27.50, meaning you would only be able to afford 95 cheap meals for the price of your Mate X.

THE MOST

However, in the capital city of Islamabad, Pakistan you could eat at a restaurant daily for almost 4 years (1,453 meals at $1.79) instead of buying the flagship phone.

Mate X - How many beers can it pay for
HUAWEI MATE X PRICE INTO DOMESTIC BEERS
THE LEAST

The price of a 0.5L domestic beer in Abu Dhabi, UAE is $10.89, meaning you would only be able to afford 239 beers for the price of your Galaxy Fold.

THE MOST

However, in the city of Hanoi, Vietnam you could go for a beer every day for 8 years (3,023 beers at $0.86) instead of buying the flagship phone.

All the raw data for each region and device is available to download here alongside smaller cut down images for coverage.

SAMSUNG GALAXY FOLD

57 COUNTRIES DAILY WAGES VS GALAXY FOLD PRICE

HOW MANY DAYS WAGES DOES IT TAKE TO BUY A SAMSUNG GALAXY FOLD?

At the press event on the 20th February 2019 in San Francisco, Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold with a starting price of $1,980 in the US and €2,000 in Europe. Putting aside the gold, diamond encrusted and limited edition handsets of the past, this made it one of the most expensive phones to be widely available through everyday retail outlets.

We collected the average wage after tax and cost of living data from 57 key cities around the globe via crowdsourcing service Numbeo to see just how many days it would take to buy a Galaxy Fold. As we mentioned in the study introduction, the starting price may not impact many consumers in developed countries but in price-conscious markets, the Galaxy Fold is a luxury item.

Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA, ADDIS ABABA: MOST WORKING DAYS REQ

Based on the average daily wages of $8.67 after tax, residents in the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia would have to work 228.3 days (62.54% of the year) to afford the entry-level Samsung Galaxy Fold

Switzerland

SWITZERLAND, ZURICH: LEAST WORKING DAYS REQ

Based on the average daily wages of $272.39 after tax, residents in the capital city of Zurich, Switzerland would have to work 8.3 days (2.27% of the year) to afford the entry-level Samsung Galaxy Fold

Working days required to buy a Galaxy Fold

All the raw data for each region and device is available to download here alongside smaller cut down images for coverage.

SAMSUNG GALAXY FOLD

57 COUNTRIES COST OF LIVING VS GALAXY FOLD PRICE

COMPARING GALAXY FOLD PRICES AGAINST FOOD, DRINK, RENT, AND BILLS

To further illustrate the affordability of the most expensive retail facing smartphone, we took the cost of living data from all the regions in the previous dataset to show the best/worst case scenarios. The data below shows a comparison of what the Samsung Galaxy Folds value means to people in developed and price-conscious markets.

Galaxy Fold vs How many months rent
GALAXY FOLD PRICE INTO MONTHS RENT
THE LEAST

The average rental cost of a 1-bed city center apartment in New York is $3,109.95, meaning you would only be able to afford 0.6 months’ rent for the price of your Galaxy Fold.

THE MOST

However, in the capital city of Accra, Ghana you could pay for over 2 years of a 1-bed city center apartment’s rent (27.3 months at $72.46) instead of buying the flagship phone.

Galaxy Fold vs How many months bills
GALAXY FOLD PRICE INTO UTILITY BILLS
THE LEAST

The average rental cost of utility bills in Hamilton, Bermuda is $262.51, meaning you would only be able to afford 7.5 months’ for the price of your Galaxy Fold.

THE MOST

However, in the city of Chittagong, Bangladesh you could pay for almost 6 years bills (70.6 months at $28.04) instead of buying the flagship phone.

*In terms of utility bills included, we’re counting electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for an 85m2 apartment.

Galaxy Fold vs How many meals
GALAXY FOLD PRICE INTO RESTAURANT VISITS
THE LEAST

The average meal at a reasonably priced restaurant in Hamilton, Bermuda is $27.50, meaning you would only be able to afford 72 meals for the price of your Galaxy Fold.

THE MOST

However, in the capital city of Islamabad, Pakistan you could eat at a restaurant for 3 years (1,106 meals at $1.79) instead of buying the flagship phone.

Galaxy Fold vs How many beers
GALAXY FOLD PRICE INTO DOMESTIC BEERS
THE LEAST

The price of a 0.5L domestic beer in Abu Dhabi, UAE is $10.89, meaning you would only be able to afford 182 beers for the price of your Galaxy Fold.

THE MOST

However, in the capital city of Kiev, Ukraine you could go for a beer every day for 6.5 years (2,379 beers at $0.95) instead of buying the flagship phone.

All the raw data for each region and device is available to download here alongside smaller cut down images for coverage.

GALAXY FOLD & MATE X VERSUS

THE MOST EXPENSIVE PHONES EVER MADE

WHERE DO THE NEW FOLDABLE PHONES SIT IN THE LIST?

We’ve compiled a list of the most expensive phones ever made, the most expensive retail facing handsets as well as 2019’s most expensive Android devices to compare against the new Galaxy Fold and Mate X.

MOST EXPENSIVE PHONES EVER

Here we have the list of all the handsets of legend, many of which we have not heard of because they have never graced popular retail outlets due to their remarkable price tags. The Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond tops the list at $48.5 million and would warrant its own bank safe and armored security detail if it ever appeared in a retail store. Out of all the most expensive phones in the world we could find online, the Mate X comes in at number 39th, and the Fold is ranked 38th.

PHONE NAME (ALL)PRICE (USD)
Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond$48500000
Black Diamond iPhone 5$15300000
iPhone 4 Diamond Rose Edition$8000000
Supreme Goldstriker iPhone 3G$3200000
iPhone 3GS Supreme Goldstriker Advanced$3140000
iPhone 3G Kings Button$2500000
Diamond Crypto Smartphone$1300000
Goldvish - Le Million$1140000
Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot$1000000
Vertu Signature Cobra$360000
VIPN Black Diamond$300000
Sony Ericsson Black Diamond$300000
Savelli Emerald Insane$185000
Vertu Golden phones$180000
iPhone Princess Plus$176400
Nokia 8800 Arte White Gold$134000
Ulysse Nardin Chairman - Diamond Edition$130000
Goldvish Eclipse - Desiring Arcadia$105000
Dior Reveries Haute Couture$100000
Savelli Champagne Diamond$57000
Ulysse Nardin's The Chairman$49500
Sirin Solarin Crystal$14000
Vertu Signature Touch$10800
Vertu Aster Diamonds Red Alligator$10550
Savelli Jarden Secret$10000
Mobiado Grand Pioneer$9798
Gresso Meridian Black$9500
Vertu Signature Touch for Bentley,$9000
Goldvish Eclipse - Magic Onyx Alligator$7965
Gresso Regal Gold$6000
Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri$5250
Regal Black Edition$5000
Goldgenie iPhone 6s Elite$3599
Mobiado Grand Touch EM Marble$3100
Huawei Mate X$2600
Lamborghini Alpha One$2450
Samsung W2015 Luxury Flip Smartphone$2450
Gresso Azimuth A1$2000
Samsung Galaxy Fold$1980
Samsung Galaxy S10+$1599
MOST EXPENSIVE PHONES (NON-LUXURY / RETAIL)

Taking a more realistic look at what is available to the average consumer, below is a list of the most expensive launch prices for phones that have been widely available in retail and online. Out of all the handsets in the list, the Mate X is, of course, the most expensive device, followed by the Galaxy Fold and phablet versions of the S10.

PHONE NAME (RETAIL ONLY)PRICE (USD)OS
Huawei Mate X$2600Android
Samsung Galaxy Fold$1980Android
Samsung Galaxy S10+$1599Android
Apple iPhone XS Max$1449iOS
Apple iPhone XS$1349iOS
Samsung Galaxy Note9$1249Android
Samsung Galaxy S10$1149Android
Apple iPhone X$1149iOS
Huawei Mate 20 Pro$1075Android
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium$999Android
Apple iPhone 7 Plus$969iOS
LG V40 THinQ$949Android
Apple iPhone 8 Plus$949iOS
Apple iPhone 6S Plus$949iOS
Apple iPhone 6 Plus$949iOS
Google Pixel 3 XL$899Android
Apple iPhone XR$899iOS
Sony Xperia XZ3$899Android
Samsung Galaxy Note8$899Android
Samsung Galaxy S10e$849Android
MOST EXPENSIVE ANDROID PHONES (NON-LUXURY / RETAIL)

Isolating the list to the top 10 most expensive Android smartphones on the market, we can still see a sizable price jump where the foldable phones are over double the price of most the other handsets in the list.

PHONE NAME (ANDROID RETAIL ONLY)PRICE (USD)OS
Huawei Mate X$2600Android
Samsung Galaxy Fold$1980Android
Samsung Galaxy S10+$1599Android
Samsung Galaxy Note9$1249Android
Samsung Galaxy S10$1149Android
Huawei Mate 20 Pro$1075Android
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium$999Android
LG V40 THinQ$949Android
Google Pixel 3 XL$899Android
SonyXperia XZ3$899Android

All the raw data for each region and device is available to download here alongside smaller cut down images for coverage below.

SAMSUNG GALAXY S10 RANGE

50 COUNTRIES DAILY WAGES VS GALAXY S10 PRICE

HOW MANY DAYS WAGES DOES IT TAKE TO BUY A GALAXY S10?

We collected the launch prices for the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10+ / S10e from Samsung’s website, network carriers and established online retailers per territory. Using this data we have compared it to the average wages of each location via Numbeo, and also compared the S10 pricing head to head with its rival the iPhone XS.

*Prices are for the most affordable, lowest storage sizes available S10e (128GB), S10 (128GB), s10+ (128GB) and iPhone XS (64GB).

Working days required to buy a Galaxy S10 small
Working days required to buy XS vs S10 small

All the raw data for each region and device is available to download here alongside smaller cut down images for coverage.

STUDY RESOURCES

OUR STUDY METHODOLOGY AND DOWNLOADS

STUDY DATA COLLECTION

  • All cost of living and salary after tax data is taken from Numbero in March 2019 for each city in USD.
  • The daily wage is calculated on an average of 21.62 working days a month.
  • All device pricing is based on the lowest unlocked internal memory option to display the most affordable model in the data.
  • Galaxy Fold pricing is based on the USD and EUR values that Samsung announced*
  • Mate X pricing is from the Mobile World Congress announcement*
  • Samsung S10 / S10+ / S10e and iPhone XS pricing are taken from the manufacturer’s website in each territory, where pricing was not present, the unlocked costs came from local network carriers or reputable retailers in each geolocation.
  • All device prices are taken locally and converted into USD to match pair with the cost of living and salary data.

*Announcement pricing is based on what the manufacturer stated, this, of course, could change upon release.

PR Pack & Data Request:

We can supply all the data for free upon request, please visit our press room for contact details

Working Days Needed to Buy a Galaxy Fold & Mate X