When Is the Best Time to Buy a Smartphone? Not During Online Sales Days, Study Says

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives; it’s no longer just a luxury to own one. In fact, it’s a necessity that requires replacement every few years. No wonder people wait for online sales to get the best prices.

Online Sales Days such as 11.11 and 12.12 drive people to e-commerce sites and snag the best deals, but according to a study, it’s actually not the best time to buy smartphones.

iPrice Group, an e-commerce aggregator with a database of more than 7 billion products and 8 million sellers across Southeast Asia, collected the price data of smartphones from July 16 to December 31, 2021, the period when online sales drive the most traffic.

The study revealed that in each month, the cheapest median price falls on a normal day rather than a sales day.

iprice group

For instance, the median price of smartphones in the Philippines was at its cheapest just a few days after the big 11.11 sale, costing about Php17.2k on November 17. Smartphone prices during all sales days were actually higher than this particular day.

So, are online sales days just sellers’ tactics to drive more sales and traffic?

Prices Were Marked Up Days Before 10.10, 11.11, and 12.12

October (including the 10.10 sale) was the worst time to buy a smartphone. In 2021, prices started marking up by September 30 until the median price reached Php22.1k on October 2. It then drops by 8% during the 10.10 sale (Php20.5k) when in fact, the price was even 15% lower on September 25 (Php18.3k).

This pattern can be seen during the later sales events as well, wherein the prices receive markups during the end of the month then drop on the online sales day. Prices on October 27 bloated, then dropped around November 3 until the 11.11 sale. A similar trend was seen from late November to early December as well, building up to the 12.12 sale.

December Is the Best Month to Buy a Smartphone

According to the average of all median prices, December is actually the best month to buy a smartphone. The average price of a smartphone during the last month of the year is Php18.3k, while October’s average price is the highest, reaching about Php20.6k. Thus, if shoppers are going to purchase a smartphone during an online sales event, 12.12 is the best online sales day to do so (Php17.6k).

As always, December is filled with clearance and holiday sales as it is one of the most exciting months for Filipinos.

The Philippines Had the Second-Highest Smartphone Prices Among the Other SEA Countries Observed

iPrice also observed the median prices of other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The e-commerce aggregator discovered that the Philippines had the second-highest median price of Php19.1k, following Singapore (Php23.4k).

Indonesia had the cheapest median price for smartphones (Php13k), followed by Thailand (Php15.4k) and Malaysia (Php15.5k).

Given that the Philippines has one of the lowest wages and the highest smartphone prices in the region, Filipinos need the best deals they can get. According to Numbeo’s data, the average salary of Filipinos is Php15.9k (after-tax); not even a whole month’s wages are enough to cover the country’s median price of smartphones. Thus, iPrice created this study to help Filipino consumers save money when purchasing smartphones.

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