Buying new tech regularly or keeping old tech longer, which is more cost-effective?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MusicEnthusiast, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. MusicEnthusiast macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I've wondered about this for a while actually. I don't know of anyone who has, in the long term, calculated the amount of money lost due to selling tech regularly. Are there actual studies out there (actual studies, not theories), that suggest one or the other is more cost-effective?
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    None that I've seen but its relative to how long you plan to keep the device anyways....

    In most cases it's cheaper to not keep upgrading (also easier to keep same device). Instead of paying 300€ each year for a new computer, you can just keep yours for four years for whatever you paid (1100€?) and possibly sell it.

    It's very simple math doesn't require any in depth studies.
  3. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Every year you don't buy the latest tech product, you save money.

    You do recoup some of the cost to purchase a new product if you sell the old one, but either way, you're in the hole something.

    Keeping the old tech longer, equals less money spent.
  4. Pompiliu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2012
    Here in my country, we don't have an Apple Store, but we have some resellers that charge a lot. A lot. Almost double ($999 Air -> $1700)

    So, i have a friend in US, he buys me stuff from amazon (no tax, cheap/free shipping), he sends me the package as a gift (so i don't have to pay VAT and other taxes. So a $1000 air costs me around 1100.

    After 8-10 months, just before the new generation is out, i sell my machine here at the price i paid: 1100 for a 10 months old computer with warranty left is so much cheaper than a new one (1700).

    So basically i upgrade every new generation, it costs me 0 dollars.
  5. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    It's pretty straightforward if you think about it. The initial depreciation of a product is greater than the remaining time.

    For example, an iPad loses the greatest amount of value directly after the purchase or when a new product comes out, whereas not as much over that during the same period of time.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    No, because sticker price is not the only factor in determining if the purchase of new technology on whatever schedule is cost effective or not. And because this just isn't that important of an issue.
  7. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    I try to keep my tech for longer and only upgrade when user needs truly force me to do so. I have also bought used macs the past couple of rounds to save on my initial purchase cost. I know this route has definitely been more cost effective for me. My 2008 iMac and MBP are still going strong and meet my needs for now.

    That being said, I think it's easier to buy used when the new features of the current tech are not overly significant. For example, I will have a hard time not buying the most recent version at my next mac purchase because I think the upgrade to USB 3 in the latest models is a big advancement.
  8. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    You can't evaluate cost of ownership without considering software upgrades as well. In my case, it is usually a necessary software upgrade that forces an OS upgrade, which forces a hardware upgrade. That means I really get socked when I upgrade - but I've saved the money to do it.

    Another consideration for cost of ownership is the learning curve and training necessary when you jump several generations of OS or software versions. The incremental upgrades allow you to more often make easier transitions and get up to speed faster.

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