Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

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azianbob
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Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by azianbob »

I noticed that cell phones may be like cars (but a much smaller level).

Bogleheads does not promote leasing cars, or buying new cars unless have big incentives and will keep forever), but due to depreciation, its recommended to buy a 2-3 year old reliable used car and drive it till it dies or the repairs exceed the cost of a replacement.

Are cell phones similar? I noticed a lot of people pay monthly for cell phones and when 12 months is up send the phone back for the newest one and a new 24 month contract and continue to always have the newest phone. This seems stupid as they will always have the newest phone but will always be paying a monthly payment for full retail value forever.


A new phone will cost over $1000 and be worth less than half a year later if try to trade in or resell.


Is buying a certified pre-owned phone the solution? You can get the prior year model for about 50-60% of the original price, and the phones have not changed that much, and they usually come with like 90 day warranty and you have the option to purchase the monthly full coverage warranty if you want. You can then use the phone for like 5 years or so until either the computing doesnt keep up with the apps, the phone just dies, or you break it by droppping it. If you have battery issues you can just replace the battery for a nominal price, and most cases will protect from normal drops.


Or is everyone's perception of phones different because they are used throughout the day and functionality is more important rather than a car where it just needs to get you from a to b safely?
bloom2708
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by bloom2708 »

Find your sweet spot. I have switched to buying "Mint" 1 year back versions from Swappa and then using them 3 years. Repeat.

1 year back for an iPhone usually won't get you 50% off. More like 30-35% off, but still a decent discount. I use Swappa because the phones are guaranteed.

I have the XS Max and it should last for 2 more years. Sometimes in that 3rd year you can start to feel the age a bit and the new phones (like new cars) do seem much shinier.
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oldfort
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by oldfort »

Cell phones aren't exactly like cars because cell phones have a planned obsolescence. If you want to run the latest OS, you need a phone that's no more than five years old or thereabouts. So if you assume a smartphone has a five year useful lifetime, then a three year old phone is almost 60% of its way to being at end of life, at least in terms of having the latest OS and being able to run the newest apps.
Last edited by oldfort on Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BH_RedRan
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by BH_RedRan »

My take on phones is that they are just a utility device. It isn't really anything I show off or even think about much. I'm not one that lives on his phone though, just a few texts, calls and a little browsing each day. So for me I like to buy "clunker" phones and keep them going for as long as possible. I tend to pay cash, not rent them. I have an "old" Samsung S7 that I bought when S7's were old news, I'm at least 13 S's behind I guess. I've changed the battery (probably will again in a year), updated the operating system, maintain the files/apps so they behave and will likely buy a new case because mine is trashed and a little disgusting. If I never have to buy a new phone I wouldn't. I will never spend hundreds more for an i-anything.
Jags4186
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Jags4186 »

azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:17 pm I noticed that cell phones may be like cars (but a much smaller level).
No.
azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:17 pm I noticed a lot of people pay monthly for cell phones and when 12 months is up send the phone back for the newest one and a new 24 month contract and continue to always have the newest phone. This seems stupid as they will always have the newest phone but will always be paying a monthly payment for full retail value forever.


A new phone will cost over $1000 and be worth less than half a year later if try to trade in or resell.
Sure there are $1000 phones. There are also perfectly serviceable $30 phones that are as good as top-end phones from 4 years ago.

azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:17 pm Is buying a certified pre-owned phone the solution? You can get the prior year model for about 50-60% of the original price, and the phones have not changed that much, and they usually come with like 90 day warranty and you have the option to purchase the monthly full coverage warranty if you want. You can then use the phone for like 5 years or so until either the computing doesnt keep up with the apps, the phone just dies, or you break it by droppping it. If you have battery issues you can just replace the battery for a nominal price, and most cases will protect from normal drops.
If you want a less expensive phone buy a less expensive phone. If you want an iPhone 11 Pro Max or Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G you'll pay $1500. Or you could buy Moto G7 that does everything not quite as well for $99.

For the average person, the only thing that truly separates a top of the line phone from a low or midrange phone is the camera. If you're like me and don't take a lot of pictures then you don't *need* a top of the line phone. That said, I still have a relatively new iPhone because it is something that isn't that expensive in the grand scheme of things.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

I have never bought new cell phones, computers, or tablets. I always have hands-down from DW or son. They also buy cheaper models. I know what we are doing because I work for "tech". :happy
rustymutt
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by rustymutt »

I paid 325 for my iphone 7 couple years back. Got it from Apple, as refurbished like new. And was. Still using it today.
It's become insane how industry is structured to keep us coming back for more expensurures. I see this pratice in business models today. Monthly income for all. All the CEOs this is. Update, outdated, technogly needy. Marketing much like hurry in these deals don't last long. It crazy to play all their games. You'd be in debt to here.
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sam1838
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by sam1838 »

If you want a cheaper phone, I'd advise just buying a cheaper phone. You could get a Moto G7 for $180 on Black Friday and it would last you a few years.

The only real differentiator between expensive phones and cheap ones is the camera. And I've definitely seen people with expensive iPhones posting bad blurry photos on social media, while people with cheap phones can still post great ones. Really 5 minutes of training on how to take a photo can go a long way: tap to focus on your subject, hold the phone still, it isn't rocket science. Most of the benefit of the more expensive phones is in low-light photos, but if they don't know how to use it, that better camera doesn't do much.
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Ramjet
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Ramjet »

Budget smartphones are what I do now

Last year I bought a brand new Google Pixel 3a

It was only 300 bucks after I sent it my 4 year old I-Phone
suemarkp
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by suemarkp »

There are obsolence and feature differences. I had a 3G flip phone for a long time because I could not use it at work so it spent 90% of its life sitting in the car. When I got a new car with hands free buttons, the bluetooth on the flip phone was too old to work with it. I now have a smart phone and the car hands free works just fine.

Now that I use the smart phone more (mostly to replace the Garmin GPS which isn't near as good as the phone GPS), I wish the car supported android auto. If you are in a fringe area, some of the newer 5G frequencies could provide better service, but you'll need a newer 5G phone.

So it isn't just the camera, there are important features that change over time. Memory is another one. The OS can grow so much in size after 5 years that you have hardly any memory left on the phone for anything else. Part of that is the apps which can grow like a pig (e.g. facebook).
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yohac
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by yohac »

azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:17 pm If you have battery issues you can just replace the battery for a nominal price
Almost no phones have user-replaceable batteries anymore.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by SmileyFace »

I tend to buy new smartphones so I have a fresh battery and newer processor/camera/etc.
The real problem occurs if you are hooked on Apple iPhones. I always avoid Apple with both Smartphones and Computers since they price fix and overprice everything (why spend twice the price if you don't have to). You can buy a new Android smartphone for the same price as an old iPhone (or spend twice the price or more on a new iPhone).
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I buy new cars when they make the most sense (Wrangler, Crosstrek) or used when that makes sense (Legacy). I always buy used iPhones. As in...very used. I'm using my "new" iPhone 5s only because my work's email system required ios12 and my 4s would not run this. I've yet to pay even $200 for a phone and don't plan to.

$1000 for a phone? Come on. I don't even spend that for a chainsaw.
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Leesbro63
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Leesbro63 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:48 pm I buy new cars when they make the most sense (Wrangler, Crosstrek) or used when that makes sense (Legacy). I always buy used iPhones. As in...very used. I'm using my "new" iPhone 5s only because my work's email system required ios12 and my 4s would not run this. I've yet to pay even $200 for a phone and don't plan to.

$1000 for a phone? Come on. I don't even spend that for a chainsaw.
I'm the exact opposite. Generally very frugal but always buy the latest and greatest iPhone. I use it all day long. I consider the utility of that hand-held computer to be one of the blessings of living in our era. My last iPhone, about 18 months ago, with all the stuff and AppleCare was much more than $1000. $1400 I think. The best $1400 I've spent in those 18 months. I'm ready for the new 5G phone that was originally supposed to be out this fall.
Poorman
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Poorman »

A $15000 car could be 50% of yearly take home. A $200 phone is one or two days of take home.

I used to buy flag ship phones but technology has caught up like computers. Now low end ones are just fine.

If you don't care about camera a good smart phone is $200. I'm over 2 years on one.


Say money doubles every 10 years.
You spend 200 on a phone one time. Or 1200. If you're 30 years from retirement that 1200 one cost you $8000 more than the 200 one. And that's every 2 years you're doing that.
Last edited by Poorman on Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Normchad
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Normchad »

I don’t like analogies in general.

But I pay cash for my phones, and I try to, pay cash for my cars.

I’m an iPhone guy, who recently bought a Tesla. And honestly, I do think of the Tesla as the iPhone of cars. (And they both require a subscription or plan)

On the other hand, the phone is a whole lot cheaper. And I think the phone overall provides more value to my life, even though it’s only 2% of the cost.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by SashaWalpole »

My first cell phone was a new Galaxy Samsung s4 active. When it broke down recently, i bought a refurbished s7 active. It was around $150 and i think it's awesome! It was android's flagship phone 4 years ago, but apparently androids don't hold their value. I pay $30/ month for my data, phone calls, and texts with Cricket (it's so much cheaper than buying directly from AT&T or Verizon). So yes, i think phones are very similar to cars but on a smaller scale.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by bloom2708 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:48 pm $1000 for a phone? Come on. I don't even spend that for a chainsaw.
I never leave the house without my wallet or chainsaw. :wink:

I mean, wallet and phone. Sometimes I leave with just my phone it has my "wallet" inside.
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Poorman
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Poorman »

bloom2708 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:39 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:48 pm $1000 for a phone? Come on. I don't even spend that for a chainsaw.
I never leave the house without my wallet or chainsaw. :wink:

I mean, wallet and phone. Sometimes I leave with just my phone it has my "wallet" inside.
You spend $1000 on underwear too
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rob
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by rob »

I think I'm going the wrong way.... I buy the cheapest phone & add to a plan... but never buy BH recommended cars (not the cheapest and most reliable).
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bloom2708
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by bloom2708 »

Poorman wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:48 pm
bloom2708 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:39 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:48 pm $1000 for a phone? Come on. I don't even spend that for a chainsaw.
I never leave the house without my wallet or chainsaw. :wink:

I mean, wallet and phone. Sometimes I leave with just my phone it has my "wallet" inside.
You spend $1000 on underwear too
Yes. 12 pairs for $1,000 on Amazon. Not a bad deal. :wink:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EM ... UTF8&psc=1
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LiterallyIronic
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by LiterallyIronic »

azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:17 pm A new phone will cost over $1000 and be worth less than half a year later if try to trade in or resell.

Is buying a certified pre-owned phone the solution? You can get the prior year model for about 50-60% of the original price

Or is everyone's perception of phones different because they are used throughout the day and functionality is more important rather than a car where it just needs to get you from a to b safely?
I'm never a fan of used electronics (or clothes, for that matter). And I can't fathom spending $1000 on a phone. I mean, that's a car's price. I go for the $200-ish entry-level smartphone technique and I always use my phones for six years (Samsung T309 from 2006-2012, LG MyTouch Q from 2012-2018, and now LG K30 from 2018-present (will use it until 2024)). Maybe someday I'll actually put an app on my phone. The phone is absolutely less important than the car, which needs to get me form A to B and back to A.
Normchad wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:12 pm I do think of the Tesla as the iPhone of cars. (And they both require a subscription or plan)
The Tesla requires a subscription? Screw that.
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azianbob
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by azianbob »

To take Apple for example, iPhone XS Max is the prior model and was $1250 for the 256GB version.

Currently you can get a certified refurbished 256GB one from Verizon for $580. That's 46% of the original price.

If the OS is supported for 5 years, it means you can get 4 years out of the phone, that's $144 a year, or $12 a month.

The other option is to buy the latest 256GB model 11 Pro Max for $1250, or $52 a month.

Android can be more affordable. If you buy the latest Samsung ones, they are actually more costly than the iPhone. But if you get some random LG phone, it will be super cheap. Android give a lot more options. The best part of Apple is that the OS and security upgrades come directly from Apple, whereas androids it seems to be driven by the carriers, so they tend to reach end of life sooner, requiring replacement sooner. If you consider the longevity of use of Apple, the prices can net the same.
randomguy
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by randomguy »

azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:17 pm I noticed that cell phones may be like cars (but a much smaller level).

Bogleheads does not promote leasing cars, or buying new cars unless have big incentives and will keep forever), but due to depreciation, its recommended to buy a 2-3 year old reliable used car and drive it till it dies or the repairs exceed the cost of a replacement.
No bogleheads doesn't promote that. A small subset of the board that is interesting in living as cheap as possible promotes that lifestyle. The rest of us live below our means and spend money where it will make you happy. It is up to you if you will get more happiness from buying a 100 android phone or a 700 dollar iphone. Personally I tend to buy a 600-800 (damm inflation) phone every 3-4 years (about how long it is to get notice battery degradation and tech improvements that matter to me). YMMV. Want to buy 300 dollar phones every 2 years instead? Go for it. Never use your phone? Maybe you can get 6 years til they cut OS support.
Waiting_for_Godot
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by Waiting_for_Godot »

rob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:51 pm I think I'm going the wrong way.... I buy the cheapest phone & add to a plan... but never buy BH recommended cars (not the cheapest and most reliable).
I bought the iPhone 7 Plus new while there was still a credit card that gave a credit toward a new phone purchase, so it ended up costing ~400 for me, which still feels a bit overpriced... I'm not looking forward to Apple no longer supporting it.

I currently drive a 2011 Hyundai Accent, which I don't think I've ever heard recommended here. Small and reliable limits the selection; I feel compelled to get one more new, whenever my current car dies, to atone for past financial mistakes.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by 02nz »

I have a top-end phone because the carrier offered a good deal (that didn't involve a long-term commitment). But generally the best values are the midrange phones - for $250-400 you can get something nearly as powerful and pretty future-proof. For Android it's hard to beat the Pixel 3a, and for iOS an iPhone 8 or XR (or 9 or SE2 when it comes out).

BTW with the exception of some "exotics" like the new RAZR, top-end phones aren't really more expensive than a decade ago, adjusted for inflation. It's just that, because of changes in marketing practices, we're now more likely to see the full, unsubsidized price of the phone, which is actually good for consumer behavior.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by rustymutt »

yohac wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:36 pm
azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:17 pm If you have battery issues you can just replace the battery for a nominal price
Almost no phones have user-replaceable batteries anymore.
I will confirm this. I was a systems technician, and thought I could do it. Heck, I couldn't see the freaking screws. Tiny as roaches ass. That Iphone got scrapted.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by oldfort »

azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:06 pm To take Apple for example, iPhone XS Max is the prior model and was $1250 for the 256GB version.

Currently you can get a certified refurbished 256GB one from Verizon for $580. That's 46% of the original price.

If the OS is supported for 5 years, it means you can get 4 years out of the phone, that's $144 a year, or $12 a month.
That's part of it. The other piece of the puzzle is what features you care about. You could get an iPhone 11 256GB for $849 and still have a new phone. Then, the delta between a new phone and a refurbished one got smaller.
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azianbob
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by azianbob »

oldfort wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:47 pm
azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:06 pm To take Apple for example, iPhone XS Max is the prior model and was $1250 for the 256GB version.

Currently you can get a certified refurbished 256GB one from Verizon for $580. That's 46% of the original price.

If the OS is supported for 5 years, it means you can get 4 years out of the phone, that's $144 a year, or $12 a month.
That's part of it. The other piece of the puzzle is what features you care about. You could get an iPhone 11 256GB for $849 and still have a new phone. Then, the delta between a new phone and a refurbished one got smaller.
Where can you get a new iPhone 11 Pro Max 256GB for $849??
Kiter
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Kiter »

Go with your bliss ,I still have a old 5s . Get grief from my younger pals about it .
Normchad
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Normchad »

Phones provide an amazing amount of utility for a lot of people. If you're one of those people, just go ahead and buy new. You won't regret it. You're getting good value for your money. I'm one of those people, I'm probably on it close to 700 hours a year, so I do not regret the money I spent for one minute. I've had them for 10 years, and in that time, I think it has made me a more effective and productive employee, and has enabled me to earn more money.

If you're not one of those people, don't. Don't have a phone at all or keep the one you have a few years more. Nothing wrong with that. Even NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone kept his Motorola Flip-phone until very recently.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by oldfort »

azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:56 pm
oldfort wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:47 pm
azianbob wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:06 pm To take Apple for example, iPhone XS Max is the prior model and was $1250 for the 256GB version.

Currently you can get a certified refurbished 256GB one from Verizon for $580. That's 46% of the original price.

If the OS is supported for 5 years, it means you can get 4 years out of the phone, that's $144 a year, or $12 a month.
That's part of it. The other piece of the puzzle is what features you care about. You could get an iPhone 11 256GB for $849 and still have a new phone. Then, the delta between a new phone and a refurbished one got smaller.
Where can you get a new iPhone 11 Pro Max 256GB for $849??
You can't get a new 11 Pro Max for $849, but you can get a new 11 for $849. Compared to the XS Max, you don't get the telephoto lens, but you do get an ultra-wide angle lens, an improved front facing camera, and night mode. To use the car analogy, you might be able to buy a new Honda for about the same price as a used Acura. Depending on what exact features you care about, either the new Honda or used Acura might better meet your needs.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by vanuber »

Work on your man (or woman!) skills and repair your existing phone. I just replaced the battery and lightning port in my iPhone 7. Had to take every part out of the phone to do it. But it's like new for about $80. www.ifixit.com. No time like the present to be self-sufficient!
Last edited by vanuber on Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Kuna_Papa_Wengi »

I recently bought a used iphone 8 plus for $325 off ebay. A new one would cost $550. The used one has a few scratches but seems to work fine. I just cant justify spending $1000 or more for the top of the line phones. It's not worth it to me. And it's not like I'm depriving my self. The iphone 8 is still an amazing device with plenty of speed and battery life.
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gr7070
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by gr7070 »

Meh.

They're $50-300 items that last a few years.

I don't waste the brain power thinking about them any further, and I am definitely not wasting $1000+ on one.

Diminishing returns.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Cubicle »

I buy a phone that is 1-2 years old & use them until they are unusable. Either battery or out of date software is the deciding factor. I would never spend >$250 on a phone. And I'm cheap frugal enough that I don't mind a small scratch or crack in the corner. More $$$ off.

I get phone envy. Then I look at the prices. And find a used car that costs less.

I will say though, a family member recently got a brand new Moto G7 power for ~$200 from the carrier's store, and it is pretty darn nice, for any price point. The very reasonable price of just $200 is just extra awesomeness.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by EnjoyIt »

I tend to buy new iPhone and hold unto the phone for as long as possible which effectively becomes unusable due to the battery not holding charge or the software becomes buggy very slow. So far I have yet to have a phone last more than 4 years. My last phone made it to 4 years only because I was willing to suffer for a few extra months waiting for the new models to be released.

I can’t understand how people are able to get their phones to last longer. Anyone out there, please share.
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telemark
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by telemark »

Cell phones are like cars used to be in the 1950s and '60s. Modern cars are built to last a long time. Cell phones aren't. I had to stop using one because it only did 2G and there were too many places where I couldn't get reception.

My advice is to decide what you need and buy the cheapest new phone that does that. Preferably with a replaceable battery, you can still find them if you look.
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Leesbro63 »

telemark wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:52 am Cell phones are like cars used to be in the 1950s and '60s. Modern cars are built to last a long time. Cell phones aren't. I had to stop using one because it only did 2G and there were too many places where I couldn't get reception.

My advice is to decide what you need and buy the cheapest new phone that does that. Preferably with a replaceable battery, you can still find them if you look.
Actually the cars from the 50’s and 60’s WERE built to last. Used heavy steel and rock solid engines not subject to pollution controls. The garbage cars were the 70’s before quality Japanese competition ramped up. 70’s cars were rust bombs in a few years that were anemic due to hastily designed pollution add ons and early attempts to squeeze mpgs. Vega, Pinto, Gremlin, Volare/Aspen...need I say more?
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Random Poster »

Just wait for the new iPhone SE2 (possibly a/k/a the iPhone 9) to come out.

Allegedly to be priced at $400 to $450 (perhaps as low as $350), a screen the size of the iPhones 7 and 8, but with better chips and more memory.

I am holding out hope that such a phone will obviate the need for most people to even consider a $1000 phone. Right size, right price.
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8foot7
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by 8foot7 »

I buy a new iPhone, top of the line, every four years. With a good but inexpensive case, some care, and a little luck, the phone is still in good shape. This brings the monthly cost of the phone down to under $20, or less than a dollar a day, and I certainly get more value from the phone than that. Sometimes I sell the phone on eBay after four years and get about $100 for it.

How I pay for it depends — lately I’ve just been calling our Verizon guy and it just gets added to our bill, although I recently changed over to Red Pocket. I still have two years on this iPhone 8 so I’ll figure the next phone out in 2022.
Leesbro63
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Leesbro63 »

8foot7 wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:22 am I buy a new iPhone, top of the line, every four years. With a good but inexpensive case, some care, and a little luck, the phone is still in good shape. This brings the monthly cost of the phone down to under $20, or less than a dollar a day, and I certainly get more value from the phone than that. Sometimes I sell the phone on eBay after four years and get about $100 for it.

How I pay for it depends — lately I’ve just been calling our Verizon guy and it just gets added to our bill, although I recently changed over to Red Pocket. I still have two years on this iPhone 8 so I’ll figure the next phone out in 2022.
What's "Red Pocket"?
ScubaHogg
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by ScubaHogg »

I have routinely bought ~1 year old phones off Gazelle for exactly this reason. Haven’t had an issue yet.
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afan
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by afan »

I replace cell phones when the security updates stop coming.
They work after that but I worry about using a phone whose vulnerabilities are no longer being patched.
I don't buy the top of the line.
Google phones get monthly updates. I agree that Android phones made by other companies are irregular in their updates. They also come loaded with annoying bloatware, often that cannot be deleted.
Cars are different. They don't have this problem that the world changes so quickly that using an older one gets increasingly more dangerous due to malicious actions by others.
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adimoron
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by adimoron »

Phones are by far the one device that we use the most. I buy new phones (one version older than the current. at a good discount) and keep it for around 4 years. Not buying a used phone is more of a personal hygiene decision. I buy refurbished when it comes to things like music systems, tv etc. but stick to buying new when it comes to phones.
chuckb84
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by chuckb84 »

I think two things have changed about buying a phone, and want to point out one flaw in the car/phone comparison.

The flaw is that phones still, once in a while, have a qualitative technological change. Like 5G. Electric cars notwithstanding, cars are much more technologically mature than phones. This changes when/how you buy.

However, phones are no longer on an exponential growth curve, so the need to update frequently is gone. Five years of OS support plus 1-2 years more is possible, even on iPhones where battery replacement is such a royal pain in the ass.

The other thing that has changed is the monthly cost of network access. Once, I figured that was $70/month, so my 5 year cost just for that was $4200, so a $800 (or even $1000) phone was more justifiable: If I'm paying that much for the network, I might was well spend 20% more to get full use of it. However, now we've got 2 lines for $37 with tax from Xfinity, so the network cost over that 5-year period for one phone is $1100.

I'm currently using an iPhone 8 and won't upgrade 5G is well-established. Where we live, that could be a while...
Jags4186
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Jags4186 »

Leesbro63 wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:28 am
What's "Red Pocket"?
One of a bagillion MVNOs out there that are cheaper.

Right now I think you can't go wrong with ATT's $15 2gb plan.
Leesbro63
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Leesbro63 »

Jags4186 wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:38 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:28 am
What's "Red Pocket"?
One of a bagillion MVNOs out there that are cheaper.

Right now I think you can't go wrong with ATT's $15 2gb plan.
What's an MVNO? And we blow thru 2gbs in a few days.
Jags4186
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Jags4186 »

Leesbro63 wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:40 am
Jags4186 wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:38 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:28 am
What's "Red Pocket"?
One of a bagillion MVNOs out there that are cheaper.

Right now I think you can't go wrong with ATT's $15 2gb plan.
What's an MVNO? And we blow thru 2gbs in a few days.
An MVNO is a mobile virtual network operator, as opposed to an MNO a mobile network operator. MVNOs (like Virgin, Boost, Red Pocket, Ting, Mint, Cricket, etc.) buy capacity in bulk from MNOs (like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, TMobile, US Cellular, etc.) and resell them under a different brand. Depending on your specific usage you may be able to get a cheaper price for your needs via an MVNO than from an MNO. Keep in mind MVNOs are typically deprioritized, may have artificial speed caps, or other limitations compared to MNOs.
SDLinguist
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by SDLinguist »

afan wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:07 am I replace cell phones when the security updates stop coming.
They work after that but I worry about using a phone whose vulnerabilities are no longer being patched.
I don't buy the top of the line.
Google phones get monthly updates. I agree that Android phones made by other companies are irregular in their updates. They also come loaded with annoying bloatware, often that cannot be deleted.
Cars are different. They don't have this problem that the world changes so quickly that using an older one gets increasingly more dangerous due to malicious actions by others.
+1 this is the only valid response.

A phone is a computer which you store personal information on. As such it needs to be treated as a security device.

That means do not buy used unless you can verify yourself that there is no malicious software loaded by the previous owner and do not use a phone which is not getting regular security fixes pushed from the carrier or phone provider unless you can apply those yourself.

Since 99% of people can not do the above two themselves, they should be buying new phones on a regular basis as their old phones hit EOL.
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