First off, I’m NOT talking about a landline here. Just to get that clarification out there, up front
In terms of buying a new phone – smartphone at that – there seems to be a culture here in the U.S. where replacing it every 2 years is the norm. Maybe not among all people, but people who can feasibly afford a smartphone seem to look to replace it every two years.
Why? Well, there’s the little aspect of a 2 year agreement that many folks seem to have. I’ve had a few people tell me that as soon as their agreement was up, they immediate sought out a new phone. That 2 year time marker was the signal to go phone shopping. Apparently, everybody “must” upgrade phones at that time. Or so some people say.
I had this conversation with some friends a few months back, and the people are really solid, sensible folks. They’re good with their money, and don’t overspend much. Yet, they’re a lot of fun. That’s a good combination!
Anyway, I was good-naturedly teased a bit for not wanting to upgrade my phone right away. You see, my 2 years have been up for many months – to the point where soon, it will be 3 years since my last upgrade. They simply couldn’t understand why I would use such an “outdated” phone when I could instead go pick up a new iPhone. To them, it was almost incomprehensible that I would be so hesitant to do that, and instead use a phone well over 2 years old.
Here’s the thing: just because a 2-year agreement is up, it doesn’t mean that you need to get a new phone. Besides, a new phone that’s cutting edge isn’t likely to be free anyway with another agreement. Additionally, if the phone you have still works well, what are you truly missing? So why spend when you don’t have to do so.
Let’s say you replace phones every 2 years. This means, through 6 years, you will have used 3 phones before your next upgrade. If you upgrade every 3 years instead, it will mean 2 phones are used in 6 years before your next upgrade. You’ll save on the cost of a phone, just by stretching out each purchase by a year.
To me, it’s a case of wants vs. needs. Yet, for many, any new technology within a product category might be perceived as a “need”. I think at some point in time it might eventually become a need, but an immediate upgrade is usually a “want”.
Readers, what do you think about phone upgrades? How often do you replace your phone? Do you get very tempted to upgrade as soon as possible, or do you prefer to use your existing phone for as long as feasible?