Ways to make new, or newer, phone technology more affordable. Examining needs properly, timing a purchase and selling your old phone easily and profitably.
Make money on your phone and buy wisely to get the latest tech
With phone tech continuing to move at a fast pace and new models being released almost every year, it can seem difficult – not to mention expensive – to keep your phone up to date. With some careful buying decisions and a sensible analysis of your needs, ensuring you’re making the most of the latest smartphone developments needn’t cost the earth.
Disposing of your existing phone
You can make reasonable money on your existing phone by selling it on. There are options such as Ebay and Gumtree, but these may be less appealing when you have to spend time compiling listings, photography, fielding enquiries and running the risk of buyers messing you around.
Another option is to sell to a specialist buyer of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. A smartphone in good condition with all the accessories will be of interest to these specialists; for example, try here to sell your iPhone and get an idea of how much your model would fetch.
Timing your purchase
Buying when a new phone has just been launched is not always the best decision financially, as they’re usually at their most expensive on first release. By waiting maybe just a couple of months you may find a few deals start being advertised, particularly if you’re buying on contract.
This can be even more advantageous if you buy further into the model’s life cycle, especially if there are rumours of a replacement imminent.
For example, Apple usually release a new iPhone model around September each year, so rumours gather pace around late spring and intensify through the summer. At this point you could look at buying the present model or, even better, wait until it’s replaced and buy the outgoing one.
Apple usually leave the just replaced model on sale for a while so you can enjoy still highly advanced technology at a lower price than the very latest release.
Buying used or refurbished
If you bide your time and search carefully, you can often bag yourself a high-tech bargain. It works in your favour when certain users rush to change phones to the latest model; for a while a number of the recently replaced handsets suddenly hit the used market – many will be only a year or less old.
Check Ebay, Gumtree (where you can search locally and thus inspect a prospective purchase before buying) and online sellers of refurbished smartphones to see what’s available.
Purchase, contract and upgrade plans
If you do fancy the brand-new release then your network provider may be offering a tempting upgrade option, but do compare this with buying a phone outright. You may think buying a phone is expensive compared to a subsidised handset on a contract, but work out the whole of contract costs.
You may find the cheaper, subsidised phone with a higher monthly contract charge over two years is more expensive than buying the handset outright and taking out a cheaper monthly SIM only arrangement. Do your sums.
Manufacturers like Apple provide an interest free purchase plan with an optional annual upgrade for the iPhone. Basically, you pay a monthly amount until the phone is paid for outright over 20 months with the option to upgrade your phone after 11 payments.
This could be appealing if you like the flexibility of being able to choose whether to upgrade or give the next new release a miss. Sometimes in the case of the iPhone and others, it’s not always worth upgrading every time as some new releases offer only incremental changes over the previous model.
Examine your needs
The key is to not get carried away with new tech and ask yourself if the latest innovations are really worth your while before changing phones. For example, if you find being able to take decent photos on your phone useful to the point where you use it regularly as a camera, then a new model with improved camera features may be worth considering.
On the other hand, just because the new phone has ‘more processing power’, will you really notice if your smartphone uses largely consist of basic emailing, calls and web browsing?
As touched on above, some new releases aren’t worth upgrading for if you own the phone just being replaced – or even sometimes a model or two older. For example, the change from the Apple iPhone 6S to the 7 wasn’t considered worth an upgrade if you already owned the 6S while it was if you were using the 6 or the 5S.
Being sensible about your needs and examining your options carefully can help you afford phone tech to suit you.