To buy or not to buy… Surfing the smartphone wave

As technology giants, Apple and Samsung continue their constant battle in the smartphone world, consumers await each annual release with much anticipation, ready to renew their current plan or, if the carrier allows, upgrade early.

New phone, same features

Critics suggest such systematic release programmes means that tech giants have taken their foot off the gas, now able to release a new device with little innovation yet still maintain a good volume of sales.

For some years, commenters posit that there is a consciousness in consumer minds that what they are paying for isn’t a huge amount of innovation or impressive, novel features, but more the chance to own the very freshest device, if only for a year or less.

As we attempt to stretch our pounds further, the same critics hope that consumers won’t just show awareness to this stagnated innovation, but apply it to their purchases. But what are the reasons they offer to ditch the latest device?

Money, money, money

It might well be argued that the newest devices look the sleekest, and so build a consensus that the previous model looks dated. However, smartphones are more expensive than ever and look set to increase further. In 2016, 7.3m iPhones were sold, amounting to £4.1b. Just a year later, 7.6m iPhones sold but cost the public £6.3b. The iPhone X, released in 2017, is the most expensive ever iPhone ($999).

Update, not upgrade

When phones show signs of age, it’s usually a software issue. In late 2017, Apple came under scrutiny when it admitted to deliberately slowing down some ageing iPhones. Since, its older models have lasted longer. Even where similar issues do arise, swapping your phone battery can often refresh your phone entirely, and is much cheaper than paying for a new one.

Notch your style

The notch—the small display cut out at the top of a phone’s screen—has been household this year but has been much-criticised and divides not only public opinion but also, the manufacturers themselves. The purpose of the notch is to house the front camera and speaker whilst maximising the screen size, but many consumers feel it detracts from the design.

EssentialHuaweiOnePlusLG and iPhone all use versions of this, whilst Samsung remains notch-free. Regardless of how this design feature evolves, it has a Marmite-esque effect on undecided consumers.

Smartphones are no doubt sleeker than ever, and each new model is more powerful than the last, but also more expensive. Consider sticking with what you have and change the battery when it slows. When you come to fork out for a new one, you’ll know that you got your money’s worth.

Of course, having personal contents insurance can help should something go wrong, old phone or new, and it’s probably much cheaper than you think. Just give R Collins & Co a call on 01977 558391 and we’ll get you a quick quote.