Nearly 40% of Americans plan to reduce cell phone costs, citing coronavirus
14th October 2020

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Although Apple unveiled its latest iPhone models this week, experts at WalletHub say an increasing number of Americans won't be willing to dole out the extra cash this year on an upgraded phone.

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As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 80% of Americans say they want to spend less on their next phone, according to a nationally representative survey conducted by WalletHub. About 36% say they are already looking to reduce the cost of their current one.

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"The release of each new iPhone model is a big-money occasion for Apple, but this year many people may not have as much money to spend due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Wallethub said.

In a virtual presentation Tuesday, Apple unveiled four 5G-enabled versions of the new iPhone 12 which will range in price from almost $700 to roughly $1,100.

The new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks that Apple unveiled on Oct. 13, 2020. (Apple via AP)

However, with the unemployment rate sitting at 7.9% and total credit card debt at nearly $1 trillion, "buying a new iPhone is an even bigger decision for consumers than usual," WalletHub said.

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In fact, almost 75% of people think Apple should charge less for the iPhone this year due to the virus-related economic downturn which has left a record number of Americans applying for state unemployment benefits.

To date, more than 63 million Americans have filed for government unemployment insurance since the coronavirus lockdowns began in mid-March.

Additionally, more than half of Americans still say their phone has become the most important belonging during the pandemic.

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One in three people said they are still planning on buying the new iPhone this year, the survey said.

More than 70% more people say the new iPhone is worth going into debt for this year compared to last year, according to the survey.

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