When I book a plane ticket, I fly economy, but I always cast an eye over the prices in the business class column. For three to four times the cost, I could get better food, more room, a more comfortable seat and more personal attention. What I wouldn’t get is a faster trip. So although I’ll pay a few extra bucks for a little extra legroom in coach, I forego business class, because the luxuries aren’t worth all the added money.
To an increasing extent, smartphone buyers are being asked to make similar calculations. As high-end phones reach the $800 mark (rumors have it that the next iPhone will have a shocking $1,000 price), name-brand vendors are carving out economy-class price niches at about a quarter of that. And in the same way that the less expensive airplane ride will still get you to Fargo or Paris, the cheaper phone will give you what you want just as safely and almost as quickly.