What's The Real Cost of a Smartphone?

Continuing the discussion from Innjoo Fire Plus 3G Screen:

So @Lukirdem is struggling to find a screen replacement for his Innjoo smartphone. I work for a tech blog and one of the main things we do is talk about smartphones in way of news and reviews. But I’m yet to meet an Innjoo. These are sold by Jumia and in a way I believe the company (Jumia) is the one behind Innjoo, but that’s not the point. Point is that some devices may have a low cost of acquisition, but does the cost to user end there?

Do you feel okay when you cannot get confirmation on software updates for your phone, or that there isn’t clear after sale service? Or what you would do if you needed a part for your smartphone? Is that ever a consideration when buying a smartphone?

I see Sony smartphone users talk about expensive screen replacements, but this is because Sony themselves aren’t there to ensure a smooth process, it’s better to deal with Tecno or Infinix because you know where to find them, and should things go wrong you can shout at someone, or something.

Software updates is definetely a consideration for me.

I never buy a device thinking of how I will break it and need to get it fixed.

Once I buy a phone I have no other foreseeable costs other than airtime, bundles, etc. I manage to keep it operating well until I lose or sell it.

I mostly buy imported Phones from China based solely on user reviews (talk about jumping off a cliff!) The companies have zero after sales service, zero customer care, and the warranty is basically useless in Kenya - - you must ship the phone to China and back at your own expense but they’ll fix it for you. People who do that have horrible experiences and incur anywhere between 30 to 60 US dollars on shipping alone. Once the phone is there the company will only fix manufacturing defects. If you messed with it they’ll charge you for the repair or refuse to fix it.

I’ve bought several phones this way and none of them developed hardware problems. I am a tinkerer and mess with the software quite a lot. Sometimes I tweak the phone so much that it’s Operating System dies but I install it afresh. On average I manage to kill a new phone’s OS thrice or four times during the first month or so of having it. Once I determine the optimal setup, I do a clean install and stop tinkering.