Right around 2017 a perfect storm of events both raised average phone prices, and made them visible for the consumer. The carrier subsidies system removal, general industry cool-off, and ever-increasing competition that made companies chase expensive components all contributed to the phenomenon.
Nobody asked for the iPhone X Face ID biometry that needed a notch cutout in an OLED display yet Apple decided to set itself apart with it and marked the beginning of the iPhone sales decline. It wasn’t just Apple, though – manufacturers then started chasing hole-in-display, sliding, dual-screen, pop-up and other “all-screen” design efforts. In-display fingerprint readers perform worse than the good ol’ scanners on the back of the phone, yet they became the pricey norm.