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The new flagship smartphones are all incredibly expensive, and it's a worrying trend that suggests 5G is only for those who can afford it

All of Samsung's latest Galaxy S20 phones support 5G, and the cheapest S20 you can buy starts at $1,000, whereas the Galaxy S10e from 2019 started at $750.

All of Samsung's latest Galaxy S20 phones support 5G, and the cheapest S20 you can buy starts at $1,000, whereas the Galaxy S10e from 2019 started at $750.
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Yes, the Galaxy S10e was a slightly pared down version of the full-fat $900 Galaxy S10. But the point is that there's no cheaper "e" version of the 5G Galaxy S20.

Yes, the Galaxy S10e was a slightly pared down version of the full-fat $900 Galaxy S10. But the point is that there's no cheaper "e" version of the 5G Galaxy S20.
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It's not a simple case of rising smartphone prices.

It's not a simple case of rising smartphone prices.

No doubt, smartphones have been getting more expensive, but smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung have also offered cheaper alternatives to counter those rising prices — there was the $750 iPhone Xr for the $1,000 iPhone XS in 2018, the $750 iPhone 11 for iPhone 11 Pro in 2019, and the $750 Galaxy S10e for the $900 Galaxy S10 in 2019.

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And most carriers charge more for 5G in their plans, too, or only include 5G in their pricier plans.

And most carriers charge more for 5G in their plans, too, or only include 5G in their pricier plans.

AT&T and Sprint, for example, only includes 5G access in their two most expensive plans. Verizon offers 5G access on all its plans, but it charges an extra $10 for 5G. It's offering 5G access for free with its plans for a limited time at the time of writing.

T-Mobile is the only carrier that bundles in 5G access across all its plans, even its budget Metro-by-T-Mobile plans, without raising the cost.

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With all that said, 5G technology will surely get cheaper over time, just like 4G LTE technology did. At least, I hope it does.

With all that said, 5G technology will surely get cheaper over time, just like 4G LTE technology did. At least, I hope it does.

The first 4G LTE smartphone — the HTC Thunderbolt — sold for $250 with a 2-year contract from Verizon (remember contracts?), which was slightly more expensive than 3G phones at the time that sold for around $200.

And that's often the fact with brand new tech and innovations — the first few iterations of something brand new are often more expensive. Over time, the price of that innovation comes down as it becomes more commonplace and mainstream.

Let's just hope the same goes for 5G.

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