Alternatives to spend less money on buying a smartphone

When Apple introduced the iPhone 5 at the end of 2012 was the smartphone faster and with more features of the market, a collection of highly intricate electronics that had been miraculously engaged in a solid aluminum plate and glass. Unlike the majority of the apparels ephemeral, this phone gave the impression of having been created to last infinitely. We continued to believe in that about 12 months, when promptly leave aside our iPhone 5 almost without macula by its successor, the 5S, which promised a few illusions more discounted.

In our defense we say it is our job to take the last and best of the twinkling things. But what’s your excuse? On average, Americans retain their smartphones for about two years before jumping into a new one, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm.

Until recently this was a wise strategy, cellular service companies encouraged frequent updates, and business smartphones moving so fast that the old phones simply could not compete with the latest and advanced. But this aggressive update cycle is burdensome for the environment and our wallets, and is unsustainable in the long term. “There are 5.6 billion adults in the world and one day everyone should have a cell”, said Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit, a site that publishes manuals for electronics repair. “To make that happen we will have to make sure that any phone produced today last 10 years.”

Despite its small size, smart phones are expensive goods, resource hungry and deserve a better life cycle than two years of use followed by an eternity forgotten in a drawer. You may buy smartphones thinking about its longevity, strategy and global resources will save money and give you the smug self-satisfaction of knowing that is rejecting the consumerism of the gizmos.

Key issues are: use your phone over two years, ideally three, when you have problems, try to repair it, not replace it, and when you’re done using it, as part payment model. When shopping for a new phone, consider not only the latest expensive gadgets, for many people the best phone last year is as useful as the newest. You might even think about buying a used phone instead of a new one.

Sounds complicated? It’s not. Buceemos further in this plan.


It has become a cliché among critics of technology say that smartphones have crossed the threshold of amazing to boring. Expensive phones seem to have reached a plateau of innovation, each iPhone or Samsung Galaxy again just a little better than the last.
This is bad news for fools by the gadgets like me, but it’s wonderful for people that just want a good phone. The plateau of innovation means that for most people, in most cases, the last and best of the mobile will not be much better than the one you are using now, so there is less pressure to upgrade. Sure, the brain chip is becoming faster, but uses common-web browsing, email, Facebook, these advances do not notice, especially when connected through a poor cellular network. The latest phones may offer additional nice things as a record of fingerprints or a better flash for the camera, but few of these are really necessary. You can expect to have them.

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But what about obsolescence? Your phone will not lose capacity as they age? Yes, but that’s easily fixed. The main thing to worry about in an older phone is that the battery dies, then two years to notice that your phone will keep charging costs. Some phones, like the Samsung Galaxy line, allow the owner to change the battery, you can buy a new place. IPhone battery replacement requires special tools, but it is a relatively cheap and easy fix.

For example the drum kit for the iPhone 5 Ifixit sells for U.S. $ 30, including tools. “Anyone who is not totally goofy can do it in about 20 minutes”, Wiens said. There are also thousands of cellular repair technicians in the country that will do it for a small sum. A service iCracked will even send a technician to your home or office to fix your phone while you wait, or buy it.


Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers sell their most expensive cell phones for more than $ 600 without a contract with a cellular service company. But with a contract line to two years, the price is reduced and combined with the cost of the calling plan. So many people do not understand the true cost of your phone, or their real value. “One thing I learned in this business is that everything has value, everything, even broken devices, which we use for parties”, said Israel Ganot, CEO of Gazelle, one of the oldest and largest trade services of electronic devices.

That value is determined by simple economic issues: the demand for the best phones in the world far exceeds the supply, so that devices seem outdated in the U.S. are still attractive in the developing world.

When you sell your old phone to Gazelle, the staff reviews and verify its fixed condition that is not in a database of reported lost or stolen phones. Then Gazelle makes his way to his new life device. Most end up in huge markets in Asia where they are bought by intermediaries worldwide, they are arranged to look like new, and shipped to the entire planet. “In many countries a new iPhone can cost a thousand dollars”, said Ganto. “We provide the equivalent of a certified used BMW for less than half that price”.

Global demand for smartphones old has generated a boom in services trade as Gazelle. But the supply of used phones is still low, only a quarter of smartphone users redeem their devices. Many smartphone owners are concerned about the security of your data (even if the deletion works). Others do not bother because they think their devices are worthless. But that is wrong. Two years after purchase, Gazelle will give you about $ 150 for your old iPhone. That’s the cost of a nice dinner with friends. And if you do not need the money, do it for the planet. The smartphone is not thrown in a drawer is a smart phone to be manufactured less.


As it was explained a couple of weeks ago, the major cell phone companies U.S. now offer no-contract plans that separate prices for its device priced service. These plans offer incentives to buy in the secondary market, if you get a cheap used phone could save a lot on your monthly bill.

This is how: According to Gazelle, mobile lose most of its value the first year. After a year of use, the iPhone sold about half of its original price. After two years, worth about a quarter of the original price. After that the price stabilizes and slows depreciation much. For the top Android models like the Samsung Galaxy line, the pattern is similar to the iPhone, with slightly lower prices.

This suggests a strategy to beat the expensive upgrade cycle. Avoid buying a new device and the most expensive of the line. Instead, when a new phone comes out, you can get last year’s model at a good price.


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