We're two weeks away from the Galaxy S23 launch, and the rumors and leaks have kicked into high gear — including a new rumor we were hoping not to hear. This report claims we should expect a price hike for the new Samsung flagships that could be $100 or more.
As reported by 9to5Google, Samsung is allegedly planning to increase Australian Galaxy S prices. So while we don't have confirmation of U.S., U.K., or EU hikes, it's not too much of an extrapolation to assume that Samsung might consider the same move for other parts of the world.
The report says that the base 128GB Galaxy S23 model will cost AUS$1,350, climbing $100 for extra storage. The Galaxy S23 Plus is slated to start at AUS$1,650 and the Galaxy S23 Ultra at AUS$1,950.
For reference, the Galaxy S22 started at AUD$1,249, the Galaxy S22 Plus at $1,549, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra at AUD$1,849. As you can see, 9to5Google's report shows a $100 increase across the board.
For references, U.S. prices for the Galaxy S22 started at $799 when that family of phones arrived a year ago. A $100 price hike in the U.S. would mean an $899 Galaxy S23, a Galaxy S23 Plus that starts at $1,099 and a Galaxy S23 Ultra that costs $1,299.
This would be a bad idea
But it remains unknown just what Samsung will do with Galaxy S23 prices. It's distinctly possible that Samsung won't touch the prices in either country since Apple kept its iPhone 14 prices the same as the iPhone 13. A more expensive Galaxy S23 series will not likely inspire much confidence in potential buyers, especially since we expect mostly iterative upgrades for the non-Ultra models.
We think Samsung would be shooting itself in the foot if it decides to raise the Galaxy S23 prices. With many consumers opting to save their money and hold onto their devices longer — and go for less expensive handsets when they do choose to upgrade — it would certainly be a tone-deaf decision on Samsung's part to bump prices.
We're reminded of the Galaxy S20, which flopped in part due to Samsung's ludicrous pricing structure, with the base model Galaxy S20 starting at a jaw-dropping $999. The Korean phone maker seemed to learn its lesson with the Galaxy S21, dropping prices down by $200 for all three variants.
Although costs have increased for manufacturers, the cost of living for the regular smartphone buyer has, too. That equals less disposable income, possibly meaning lower sales for a more expensive Galaxy S23.
We'll find out if Samsung has lost touch with its target market on February 1 at the Unpacked event. For now, keep an eye on our Galaxy S23 hub and Galaxy S23 Ultra hub for all of the latest news.