PhoneArena Awards 2012: Most Overpriced Product

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Most Overpriced Product
Ladies and gents, welcome back to the PhoneArena Awards of 2012! Today, we'll be talking about pricing - unjustified pricing, to be more specific, as the next category in our series is for the year's most overpriced product. 

What would make a smartphone or a tablet a "winner", you ask? Well, the device does not necessarily have to carry a four-digit price tag. What matters is how much value a user is getting in exchange for their money. Also, we have to point out that the product's launch price is what we are taking into account, not how much it can be bought for today. Third party retailers don't count - only what carriers or manufacturers were asking for a given device at the time of its release.

With that out of the way, let's move on to announcing the year's most overpriced products! In our opinion, these are the...

First place: Samsung Brightside

Yeah, we know that the Samsung Brightside is a feature phone that does not require a costly data plan, but seriously: $100 on a 2-year contract? No, not this lifetime.

 That's an unjust price for a phone that one will mostly use for sending text messages and making calls. Also, there's no Wi-Fi radio on board, so "advanced" features like checking what's on your Facebook wall will still require you to consume a few megabytes of Verizon's cellular data. Unsurprisingly, the Samsung Brightside went on sale for much less through a number of retailers soon after its release.

Second place: Microsoft Surface RT and the Touch Cover

Don't get us wrong - despite the current lack of apps made for it, the Microsoft Surface RT is a very nice tablet, as we said in our review. However, $500 just seems like too much considering that similar, if not better 10-inch Android slates can be had for less. That same amount of money is also enough to get you a 16GB iPad. Yeah, you may be theoretically getting 32GB of storage with the surface, but in reality, less than 20 gigs are accessible by the user.

And then there's the Touch Cover - if you want to have a keyboard-like accessory for the Microsoft Surface, get ready to drop at least an extra $100 on the table. A cover that feels a bit more like a proper keyboard costs even more. How much does it cost to manufacture these? You probably don't want to know.

Third place: Every 32 or 64 gigabyte iOS device from Apple

With most non-Apple smartphones and tablets, you have the convenience of expanding your storage with the use of a microSD card. And doing so won't cost you that much - a Class 10 microSD card can be bought on Amazon for under $40. 

However, iPhones and iPads don't have a microSD slot, meaning that users are stuck with whatever internal storage the device has. Unless they choose to spend an extra $100 on a model with additional storage, that is. Of course, that disadvantage has not affected consumers much, given the fact that iPhones and iPads are still selling by the truckloads.

And these, folks, we think are the most overpriced products released this year! The next category in the PhoneArena Awards of 2012 will be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Story timeline



1. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

EDIT: "Every iOS device from Apple" Here in Italy the iPhone 5 16GB is sold @ 729€ (954,9$) OFF- contract ! iPad 4 16Gb Wi-Fi 499€ (653,64$) iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi 329€ (430.95$)

7. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

The most overpriced products is Apple products! And after this PhoneArena is making articles like "Dear PA commenters: let's talk about bias"... yeah right...

14. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Question for Nick T. "PhoneArena Awards 2012: Most Overpriced Product" As I understand titles says that we are judging the product prices then why we are talking not about actual product prices but about prices which are set by different resellers or carriers??? This article is about device prices or resellers prices??? We all know that different resellers or carriers may sell same device at very different prices so in my opinion it is just...

15. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

In my opinion there is only one TRUE way to know which products are the most overpriced: We should compare actual manufacturer prices in other words price at which manufacturer sells device for resellers or carriers and compare this price with other manufacturers products prices. Also we should know prime cost of the device parts.

52. bencrypted

Posts: 9; Member since: Sep 27, 2012

Agree on comparing the manufacturer pricing. But a product should also be evaluated based on actual manufacturing cost v/s the Average Selling Price(ASP), i.e. the actual cost of the gadget you are using against what you had to pay for it. It will give a better picture, if the evaluation period is limited to a few months from product availability, since most manufacturers slashes the price as the demand goes down or when a new model is released. [Which also means the most loyal fans end up paying more]

16. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

You do realize that Apple is on the list, right?

20. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Yes I realize, so? And it somehow should change what I just have said?

25. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I just don't understand your reference to bias in this case.

63. sonykov

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

what he simply meant that any damn iOS thing should be and ONLY be in the first place of highly overpriced yet almost useless devices

58. kellkeezy

Posts: 57; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

I like how you guys write an article that just mentions a few slight things that make sense for how over priced they are and BOOM! everyone thinks you guys are dumb and your post sucks. I see three different objects on the list that as a sales Rep are completely over priced for no reason. I sell for verizon so the brightside is completely over-priced at one time it jumped up to $150 after rebate (to of course boost sales for cheaper low end smartphones) The windows tablet just like Apples tablets are heavily over priced with all the stupid extra gadgets. And lets not forget the extra storage which your right! $100~$200 is outrageous. You dont mention android and the Droid fans are happy, you mention some apple products based off storage and people flip head over heels. Guess you can't please all

26. danny_a2005

Posts: 365; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

I Really want the Samsung galaxy camera but I Think is Really expensive... It should be in the list

38. BreakingNews

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

The PhoneArena writers are at it again. First, they're are biased against Android. Next, they're biased against Apple. Their seeming lack of bias against Windows Phone 8 just shows how biased they really are. They're even biased against bias. They're so biased, that instead of eating cereal for breakfast, they just eat bias. Bias... BIAS... BIIIIIIAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! I wish they would stop having opinions all together, and then every article could just be a brief list of bullet points covering key facts. Yey...

45. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

I personally think the list was accurate. I think your bias towards Apple is blinding you to the two above it. Once again great job PA.

47. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

I KNEW THAT the iPad would be somewhere here PS: I have a 32 gig iPad (I knew that ripped me off)!!!!!!!!

56. paulyyd

Posts: 340; Member since: Jan 08, 2011

hey bro

57. paulyyd

Posts: 340; Member since: Jan 08, 2011

shut up

17. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Doesn't that include VAT though? If the US had near 20% sales tax, the iPad 4 would be $600 and iPad Mini would be close to $400. The iPhone is $790 at a 21% VAT, so that's really bad. Granted, I don't know if any states have sales tax higher than 8%, but we don't have top-tier healthcare and public education systems in most places, either, so take from that what you will.

21. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

And the EDIT should go a little further: all iOS devices at the top. I'm kidding. I agree with PhoneArena, except for the Surface RT, its pricing is not great but still it's not unbearable either. Next year, I hope PA finally rank the iPad fifth gen as the most overpriced product, considering it will probably cost the same and look identical externally and internally, and taking into account the groundbreaking prices of the new Nexus line ofcourse.

48. predator93

Posts: 122; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

Most overpriced phone in my country is Nokia 900, it costs 600 us dollars in India when Nokia 800 is already retailing under 400 us dollars.

54. No_Nonsense unregistered

iPhone 4 for $500.

2. RiseAgainst94

Posts: 281; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

I actually agree with these. However, its hard to compare the price of the Surface to the Ipad because of how different the experiences are between both OS'. The touch cover is a little ridiculous.

3. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Should be just every device from apple is the most overpriced....

44. smartphone

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

And the magical lightning adapter also.

53. bencrypted

Posts: 9; Member since: Sep 27, 2012

Yes, Apple product are overpriced if you take into consideration the innovation (or lack of it, thereof) that goes into every iProduct. I am obliged to avoid Macs & iProducts (except for iPods) when I plan to upgrade my gadgets simply because it is not worth what I'll end up paying for it. So, from my perspective, it is overpriced. But Apple products are considered elite by the economically elite section of the populace, and most people without iProducts envy those with iProducts. And the demand is quite high among the elites who have invested heavily in an Apple ecosytem, and Apple can sell their products at whatever cost they want to. And a product which costs a fortune, should naturally be superior to others in same class, right?

5. noim1

Posts: 297; Member since: May 15, 2012

This is Racism !! why is there no info on what it Costs to produce an Apple product ??? let the World know for how long they have been ripping ppl Off !!!

30. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

Dude, please check the word "racism" in the dictionary. The word you are looking for is discrimination, and I totally agree with you. Although the iPhone is included in the top three, the profit margin is way bigger then the Brightside. And overpriced means paying more for something that the competition is offering for much less. Example: iPhone 5-900€ Samsung GS3-500€ PA, please include the 16GB options as overpriced following this shocking revelation.

49. predator93

Posts: 122; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

Apple is not the first one to do it, any company which spends more on marketing does the same for example Bose Speakers and Beats By Dre Headphones are heavily overpriced.

55. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

I agree to some degree, but Samsung spent a lot of money on marketing the last 2 years and yet they are about 40% cheaper then Apple and 10% more expensive then the android competition. Apple, Bose and Beats artificially inflate their prices and add the word "design" to appear premium. There as good as or better headphones then Beats than cost one third of the price Monster is asking(JVC XX come to mind, everything AKG, even Panasonic and Sony make better ones). So does in this case, compaible Sony android phones cost one third of the price of unlocked iPhone.

6. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

When i read the headline, only one name came to my mind. And i know everyone knows it. :)

11. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Funny... when I read this article a handful of names came to mind... Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, TMo.... Even the costliest Apple product pales in comparison to the cost of one year of service.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless