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

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Jimbo9911
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Jimbo9911 »

Kiter wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:04 pm Go with your bliss ,I still have a old 5s . Get grief from my younger pals about it .
I have a 5s also. Works fine for me.
Jim
MathWizard
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by MathWizard »

For me:
They are like cars in that I buy without a loan. Paying monthly seems like
a loan or a lease.
I buy unlocked phones. I wouldn't buy a car that I could only have serviced at the dealer.
I don't buy the flagship phone, just like I don't have a Porsche.
I use the phones up. I keep the same phone until it no longer works, somtimes that is becaue of cell changes.
Tracfone dropped 2G CDMA some time ago, and is dropping 3G this year. My iphone 5s will become an Ipod touch then.

Unlike cars:
I buy new phones. Phones don't get OS updates after a certain period of time. Security is important to me.
I have multiple cell phones. Business/work separation.
Car companies don't get tp make my car obsolete. I could drive a '57 Chevy down the road if I wanted to.
cogito
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by cogito »

I believe the assessment is correct, yes, similar to car market, but smaller stakes. Personally I've decided its well worth 10 bucks a month to always have a payment, and a supercomputer in my pocket that always works and takes better pictures than my DSLR camera. I do not take the same approach to car payments.
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azianbob
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by azianbob »

Yeah, I think this was my thinking too.

1. Buy 1 year old model, big price slash, not that many noticiable differences in tech to justify twice the cost.
2. Use until the security updates stop (Apple is preferred as they push out their own upgrades, not reliant on carrier)
3. Replace with current 1 year old phone and repeat.

As long as you have enough memory, should not be an issue to run apps a couple years down the road. After my first fiasco of buying the base memory phone and running out of space a year later, I always pay to upgrade the memory now.

Like for instance, I can't really tell a big difference between the 11 pro max and XS max, like maybe with the camera slightly and the processor is apparently slower but not to the point where I can notice. I can definitely tell the difference between a 5 or 6 vs a xs tho.

However someone mentioned that Google also pushes their own updates (not carrier based) then I may consider that also. However, its nice how Apple products all sync together … and ipads are currently better than any other tablet out there imo
MrBeaver
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by MrBeaver »

SDLinguist wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:42 am
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.
+2

I buy Apple phones because it fits my workflow and historically they are supported for longer. I'm using an iPhoneSE that I purchased new in 2016 for $500. It still runs the current OS, because Apple seems to go out of its way to apply new software to older hardware. At $500 for 4+ years of use, that's like $10 a month for a phone. My $15 Mint phone plan makes my 'everywhere, always on' computer in my hand cheaper than my high-speed internet service by a factor of almost 3x. Competition works (I only really have two options for high speed internet where I live)

I haven't checked in a while, but for a long time, the period that Android phones would get security updates was much shorter than the period Apple phones would. Therefore, if total cost of ownership is the metric, you often did best to buy a not top line, but near-new Apple phone and keep it until it goes EOL or you can't stand it any more.
BrownEyedGirl_27
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Re: Are cell phones like cars?

Post by BrownEyedGirl_27 »

bloom2708 wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:24 pm 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.
+1. We do this every time we actually need a new phone. It has saved us a lot of money. We decided a long time ago that we don’t need the latest model of phone to function in day-to-day life. Phones are so much better than they were even 5 years ago. We also have a $60 pre-paid phone plan with 8GB of data for both of us. Is the frugal life exciting? No, of course not. But it gets exciting when you can afford things others will never be able to afford.
"Your mind has a mind of its own. At the very moment when you are most convinced of your own rationality, you may be feeling rather than thinking your way toward a decision.” | Jason Zweig
brett41
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by brett41 »

I don’t feel that your phone buying decision will have a material impact on your net worth. Just do what makes you happy in this case. A car is generally much more expensive with greater depreciation, continuing costs, and lifespan.
stoptothink
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by stoptothink »

For me, they are exactly like cars: I buy the cheapest thing new that meets my needs. For me that meant a vw jetta for <$14k OTD and moto G's, which I generally buy <$200 and last me 4yrs or so. I've never tried to do something that my "budget" phone couldn't handle and pics aren't particularly important to me.
randomguy
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by randomguy »

MrBeaver wrote: Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:59 pm

+2

I buy Apple phones because it fits my workflow and historically they are supported for longer. I'm using an iPhoneSE that I purchased new in 2016 for $500. It still runs the current OS, because Apple seems to go out of its way to apply new software to older hardware. At $500 for 4+ years of use, that's like $10 a month for a phone. My $15 Mint phone plan makes my 'everywhere, always on' computer in my hand cheaper than my high-speed internet service by a factor of almost 3x. Competition works (I only really have two options for high speed internet where I live)

I haven't checked in a while, but for a long time, the period that Android phones would get security updates was much shorter than the period Apple phones would. Therefore, if total cost of ownership is the metric, you often did best to buy a not top line, but near-new Apple phone and keep it until it goes EOL or you can't stand it any more.
I doubt your TCO is cheaper than buying a 150 android phone, using it for 3-4 years and then getting another one. Those midrange android phones are pretty darn solid for most users and have been for a while now. Now if saving like <$50/year is worth it to you or now is a different question.

In the end it will all depend on how you use your object. I wouldn't recommend buying a porsche for the person who is driving to the grocery story once/week. I might for the person going to the track once a week. If you make 2 phone calls/month and use 500mb of data pretty much anything works. For the person with a higher usage case, maybe spending more makes sense. I struggle with figuring out who needs 512gb (thats like 100 hd movies) on a phone but I am sure there is some person who is going man, I wish I had a TB.
protagonist
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by protagonist »

Between my sweetie and me, we have owned, within the past five years:
- A state-of-the-art iPhone (Xfinity promotion)
- a state of the art Samsung Galaxy (android) (also Xfinity promotion)
- three top rated midrange phones in the $300-450 range
- a budget LG phone that usually retails for under $200 and was offered unlocked by Xfinity for $1 in a promotion.

They all performed more or less the same. The top line phones (android and Apple) had faster processors which resulted in slightly faster response times (not very significant)....also probably slightly better screens for viewing in daylight and slightly better cameras. But the differences are small.

The best battery life by far is the $1 phone (which I have had for almost 4 years now I think)- holds its charge under my normal use for 2 days. The cheaper phones all have expandable memory which the iPhone does not (a big deal for me). There seems to be no correlation between lifespan of the phone and cost. The iPhone requires proprietary equipment and locks you into their brand.

And perhaps most significant....if I drop my $1 phone in the toilet I will not lose a lot of sleep over it. The biggest hassle will be fishing it out.

Bottom line- each has its advantages and disadvantages and will appeal to different people but overall they are all very similar and I see no positive correlation between cost and desirability.

And by the way, we have both had batteries replaced in our 3-4 year old phones over the past year at a cost of $60 each including labor, which made them seem almost as good as new. If your battery life is dwindling to an unacceptable point, consider a new battery rather than a new phone. Not only will it save you money but it will save you a mountain of hassle transferring all your stuff.
WS1
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by WS1 »

If I buy a new $1000 and use it 48 months and sell for $100
that’s only $18.75 per month.

I’m sure I thoughtlessly spent $19 last month on less useful or unsatisfying things.
Leesbro63
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by Leesbro63 »

WS1 wrote: Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:17 am If I buy a new $1000 and use it 48 months and sell for $100
that’s only $18.75 per month.

I’m sure I thoughtlessly spent $19 last month on less useful or unsatisfying things.
And I look at it similarly but like this: If I buy a new $1500 (all in) phone and sell/trade it in 2 years for $500, that $1000/24 months = $42/month. The huge utility I get for a mere decent dinner out (whenever that may return) is, well, huge.
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William4u
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Re: Are cell phones like cars? [Buying new vs buying used or keeping old]

Post by William4u »

In April a year ago I bought a used Pixel 2 for $168 from ebay (had a crack on the back, but with a good case I can't see it). It works great and should last a few years before I get a new one. I get a new phone only when it is so old that I have trouble running software I want to use regularly.
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