There always seems to be a lot of buzz around the release of a new iPhone. It’s like Christmas for some grownups, many of whom will mark the date on the calendar and plan their life around the phone release for that point in time. Clearly, with people lining up outside stores, there is an almost a cult-like following for them. The record sales over the last weekend, as reported by various outlets, shows that this latest iPhone is no exception.
I know “cult-like” might seem like a strong way to put it, but that’s really what its seems like. This isn’t just a product, it’s a brand like a mega-popular sports team. And, the craze for a phone release is like the excitement for championship game tickets for a team with title-starved fans. You would think that people were lining up for Cubs World Series tickets! You know, the team that hasn’t made it to the fall classic since 1945, where making it that far is just about like a once in a lifetime event. This is my local analogy to describe how people view the release of an iPhone, which is easy for me to make as I like the White Sox, a local rival of the Cubs 🙂
Anyway, back to phone upgrades. It’s really a no-brainer for many people to upgrade their phones as soon as their contract is up. Assuming a 2-year contract no matter what the phone – iPhone or other – most people I know will get a new phone right after that 2 year point is reached. Maybe they’ll wait a few days, perhaps a month. But getting a new phone is just going to happen, period. People are excited to get a new phone, and can’t imagine waiting. If it’s an iPhone, they’ll take time off work and wait in line.
Some people don’t even wait 2 years!
What about waiting for a while to get a new upgrade? I’m not talking about a few weeks, or even a few months after the 2-year period is up. I mean spacing out the upgrades to once every 3 years?
Let’s say you spend $200 for your phone when you upgrade. This means, over a 6 year time period, upgrading every 2 years would result in a total cost of $600.
If you extend the holding period of a phone to 3 years, you would be spending only $400 over that time. Thus, you save $200 over 6 years.
Now, it may not seem like much. But $200 isn’t a small amount of money. Plus, if you invest that $200, it could be worth a lot more later in life. That $200 invested with a 10% annual rate of return could result in nearly $3,500 after 30 years. That seems like a bit more, right?
Further, taking this approach, you’re not exactly missing out on new technology. I mean, you’re still using the most current phone for part of the time – and a very functional phone for part of the time. I’ve been using a Droid X for the last 3.5 years, and it’s worked fine for me. When I bought it, it was the newest Android smartphone out there!
That said, it’s probably time to upgrade, especially since the battery life is non-existent at this point. Plus, my own father has a newer phone than me and even suggested that I get a new one. Dad having more current technology than me is reason enough for me to take notice. So, I’m in the market for a new phone.
But I can tell you that by keeping my current smartphone 1.5 years beyond the end of the contract, it hasn’t hurt my quality of life and may have put a few extra dollars in my pocket.
Or, maybe there is something magical I’m missing out on, as evidenced by the hordes of people clamoring to upgrade 🙂
My Questions for You
How often do you upgrade your phone?
Do you think it’s truly necessary to upgrade every 2 years, or do you have no problem with waiting longer?
Finally, I’m curious – if you’re an iPhone user, did you upgrade right away?