When and why do you get a new device?
Choosing a new phone can be a fun or a daunting experience depending on how much you use your device, how much you know about the market and current technology and of course how much money is in your pocket. One question that isn’t asked very often is why someone is looking for a new device. This simple question can often narrow down the search a lot both for someone trying to help you pick out a new device or make things easier for you if undertaking the task yourself. Is it because it’s the end of your contract? Is your current phone broken? Do you want something better than your friend who keeps flashing his new phone at you every 5 minutes?? The answer can affect what you buy and how often.
Personally I generally upgrade every couple of generations rather than as soon as something new is released. At this point I find that although my phone is still functional, the lure of new technology with higher speeds, faster processing power and extra storage is something I can’t ignore any more. For instance had I purchased a Galaxy S2 last year like many of my friends I would probably still be using it through this generation and waiting for next year’s inevitable 4th iteration or a change to another manufacturer’s flagship. I actually have an older phone, a Desire S, and have just reached my upgrade threshold – a shiny new Nexus 4 is on its way from Google as soon as they restock. For some though my cycle would be considered too long and skipping a generation is unthinkable!
‘Upgrade’ is also a word used a lot by the network providers. Towards the end of a contract period, you’ll likely be informed that it’s close to upgrade time and you make a trip to the store to see what’s on offer. The network pricing model of higher monthly charges offset with a subsidised cheaper or free phone is highly successful, and for many the only way they ever consider getting hold of a new device, meaning they only ever upgrade when they’re told they can. The alternative of course is to go SIM free and in doing so can be the best way to ‘escape’ the constant cycling of 18/24 month contracts that inevitably end up costing more money.
If you can afford a higher end SIM-free device and the end of your contract is looming I would always recommend the purchase – the upside is that you can then get a much cheaper SIM only rolling contract from your provider and possibly shop around for a new provider without being tempted by any ‘special offers’ they may dangle in front of you. And not to be cynical but you can also avoid a pushy salesperson trying to get you to upgrade to the device that they know makes them the most commission!
Do you upgrade and sign on the line again every time your contract nears the end? Are you a dedicated SIM free fan without a network loyalty? Maybe you have the desire to own the newest piece of technology, even if it’s only 6 months since your last purchase? Share your stories with us below.