Want a Value-Priced Gadget? Good Luck.

By choice or necessity, Americans have fallen for fancier smartphones, televisions, laptops and cars. The companies that make this stuff are trying to assess whether the shift to luxury is a temporary phenomenon or a new normal.

Some relevant stats from 2021:

  • More than one of every four smartphones sold globally last year were higher-priced devices, the largest ever share for those top-tier phones, according to Counterpoint Research.

  • Total U.S. sales of laptop computers cooled off after the bonkers sales in 2020, when Americans stocked up on gear for remote school and work. But sales of laptops that cost at