We're getting new Samsung Galaxy S23 leaks and rumors pretty much every day at this point, and today's is around price – with indications that you're going to have to pay a bit more to get your hands on this year's flagship phones.
As per Twitter tipster @OreXda (via Notebookcheck), in South Korea we're looking at prices of 1,199,000 won for the standard model, 1,397,000 won for the Plus edition, and 1,599,400 won for the top-end Ultra version of the Galaxy S23.
For context, in the same country the Samsung Galaxy S22 cost 999,900 won, the Galaxy S22 Plus cost 1,199,000 won, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra went on sale for 1,452,000 won. We're looking at a price jump of around 10-20% if those figures are correct.
At today's exchange rate, the equivalent price for the standard Galaxy S23 is around $955 / £790 / AU$1,390, while the Galaxy S22 started at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249. What with currency and market fluctuations though, we wouldn't pay too much attention to those equivalent values, except as rough guides.
There has been talk that the Galaxy S23 handsets would cost more than their Galaxy S22 equivalents, which this rumor backs up. Manufacturers are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, while inflation continues to push prices up globally.
With those and other factors in mind, it wouldn't really be a surprise if the Galaxy S23 phones came in at a higher starting price than the 2022 phones they're replacing. It's a trend that we may well see across the rest of the year too, as handset makers grapple with costs that are rising across the industry.
Analysis: the flagship cost
As our best cheap phones list shows, there are plenty of bargains to be had when it comes to smartphones. That said, the price of high-end flagship phones looks like it's only going in one direction for the foreseeable future: up.
Of course there are all kinds of economic factors playing into the price of the smartphones we have in our pockets, but right now none of them are particularly likely to push costs down. The iPhone 14 Pro, for example, started at a slightly higher price than the iPhone 13 Pro for those outside the US.
It's perhaps going to be in the mid-range where the best value is to be had in 2023. Phones that don't have the very latest processors and camera sensors, but still come with a decent level of polish and performance. The next phone of note in this particular part of the market could well be the Google Pixel 7a.
While premium phones are still going to remain available for those who want the very best components and have the budget to get them, the Galaxy S23 could set the tone in terms of price increases over the coming months. We'll find out for sure on February 1.