Tuesday, January 07, 2014

When is a good time to buy Technology?



As Very, Very, Fussy and particular people, Agata and Marcus are often asked, and perhaps we often ask ourselves, when is the right time [during the year] to buy our technology.

Surprisingly to us lifehacker also just posted this article from which the above graphic is appropriated [disclaimer: I have no idea if their categorisations are valid!]

But first, let me step back.

Many people, don't save up, analyse/ cross analyse their purchases.

They see an advert for something, they fall in love with it, then money saved, or, with a lustful credit inspired, buy now, pay for it later stare, they just go out and buy it regardless.

If you fall into that category then stop reading now!  Else continue

CES
There are 2 CES electronics trade shows per year.  The big one is the Las Vegas version in January of the year.  CES will announce a plethora of new Computers, Phones and Consumer Electronics.    So please, you didn't just buy something like that for you or a loved one for Christmas did you?

Christmas Temptation
Christmas advertising starts in America around Thanksgiving and in England about November too.   In these countries I know first hand from my TV channels that the poor viewer is bombarded by a seeming endless set of proposals for incredibly priced Christmas gifts. Technology items aside think whether giving yourself or others a gift at this time is the right thing to do.   Will it be subsumed in an avalanche of other gifts and hence not appreciated?   Do you or they really need it?  Will it really make life better?  Weighing up these factors; proceed with caution.  Often retail bargains are even greater early in the New Year sales.

Buying Apple
On the positive side Apple products don't decrease in price. However today, in 2014, Apple products are replaced by a newer or better version at frequencies typically 1 year or less. 

The worst time to buy Apple is just before a big announcement or conference like WWDC.  

If you want to have the latest Apple product, for reason of a status symbol  [surely not!] then you will be replacing it yearly or 6 monthly.

AND, Apple has a conservative approach to product updates. For example for at least a year it's computers did not have USB 3.0 Interfaces [when others did].   For years it produced portable computers with low resolution screens, until it figured out this was a disadvantage and now touts some of the highest resolutions around.  In each case the Apple solution was for you [the rich consumer] to ditch your current product and buy a new one.   So beware, this is a conscious strategy

What do retailers Know?
When multiple retailers in your country or territory begin to discount the technology that you are about to buy then remember

  • Retailers get advance notification of updates
  • So you have a choice to buy the old thing at a deep discount, or wait for a potentially more pricey new device



Summary

  • Better bargains just post Christmas then before
  • Don't buy Apple products just before their big announcements e.g. WWDC
  • Just post January CES allows you to balance a buy now bargain against a future technological delivery
  • If there is one time NOT to buy an item it is before it gets replaced by something newer, faster, more efficient, cheaper.  Always spend at least 1 hour Googling significant purchases, or ask a [Geek] friend.