What The Tech: Bad Time To Buy A Phone

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There are some good if not great times to buy certain things. Televisions generally go on sale around the Super Bowl which is also about the time TV makers introduce new models. Jewelry generally goes on sale around Christmas and Valentine’s Day and President’s Day is famous for mattress sales. So when is a good time to buy a new smartphone? Not now.

Late summer is perhaps the worst time of year to buy a new smartphone (unless you need to replace a broken phone). Why? There are several reasons why it’s best to wait a couple of months before plopping down around $1,000 for a new device.

1. New smartphones are coming. Apple historically unveils a new iPhone every September and then makes it available in October. We expect an iPhone 14 within a couple of months that will have better cameras, a faster chip, and a few other new features. It probably won’t be a dramatic re-design, just an updated version. SAMSUNG is teasing a line of its Galaxy Fold smartphones that fold out from a smartphone size (or smaller) and into a tablet. SAMSUNG Unpacked is scheduled for August 10th. Whatever it unveils at this time will likely become available for purchase in October. Google is also teasing a new Pixel 7 in a couple of YouTube videos. That phone will likely be out in October as well.

So if you want the latest and greatest smartphone, it’s best to put off any purchase until this fall. If you buy a device now, you’re basically buying last year’s model at full retail price.

2. When new phones are released, the previous models will be discounted. Apple generally discounts the previous model by $100 as well as SAMSUNG and Google. Cellular companies may reduce the price even more or offer one if you trade in the phone you have.

Unless your phone doesn’t work at all, you can probably wait a couple of months to either save money or get the latest versions.

This is a good time of year to buy a computer or laptop. Back-to-school sales always include laptops and other electronics for dorm rooms and college students. If you can wait a little longer the best time by far to buy any electronics is Black Friday and Cyber Monday when sales prices drop dramatically.