If you are in the market for a new Android phone and want the latest model for the cheapest price you’re probably wondering when is the best time to buy.
Well if you’re always wanting the latest, most powerful device you might be waiting for a while because whatever you buy will be outdated within a few short months. Instead, you just have to settle for the best “at the time.”
The best, and worst, thing about Android is the amount of phones that are released in a given time frame. As companies are becoming more and more comfortable with the Android OS they are releasing them at breakneck speeds. It has gotten to the point that what was great today is old news tomorrow. But to average consumers this can be great news as retailers are always discounting phones to make room for new units. For Example, the Motorola Atrix, the flagship Android phone on AT&T, which was 199.99 is now only 29.99 (with a new 2-year contract).
While AT&T has not followed Best Buy’s lead, it will only be a matter of time. There are two reasons why Best Buy did this, 1.) reduce the amount in their inventory, even at a loss. 2.) prepare for the onslaught of new devices that they believe will be big sellers.
Even if a new phone isn’t on the same carrier, if it draws a lot of buzz, a retailer is more likely to clear room and expenses to offer more of them. In this case we have two new Droid phones, the Samsung Droid Charge and the HTC Droid Incredible 2, both dropping this week on the 28th. Add to that, rumors of a White Apple iPhone, which will be on AT&T, and could be the reason for the Atrix dropped price could also be releasing this month.
With all that said, should people wait for the next device or get a discounted Atrix? Well, the Atrix does have a dual-core processor and a beautiful qHD screen and will be getting an upgrade to Gingerbread eventually, so for someone looking for a powerful Android device right now and is on AT&T, I would say grab it.
But this trend has been happening a lot recently. With more and more phones and more and more retailers selling them they are all fighting for your business. Companies like Best Buy (includes Best Buy Mobile), Amazon Wireless, Wirefly, Radio Shack, Wal-Mart and official carrier stores are all getting the same stock and the only thing they can do to differentiate themselves is to dramatically cut prices on their selection of phones. This happened right after the HTC Thunderbolt went on sale. It’s on sale at Best Buy Mobile for 249.99 and yet Amazon Wireless is selling it for only 179.99, just see the images below.
I know when a new phones comes out a lot of people want to be early adopters but honestly if you can wait for at least a month (maybe less) you will find that these stores will fight to have you buy from them. Keep in mind though some retailers (ex. Best Buy) now offer Buy Back programs so if you can turn your phone back into the store you bought your device from and get that money put toward the next BIG thing. So is that $70 difference from Amazon and Best Buy worth the buyback option? That’s your decision.
You really need to decide how much hassle you want to deal with to be on the cutting edge. But keep this in mind too, the best phone, is the phone that works for you and makes “you” happy. I still know someone who uses the first iPhone (Gen 1) from 2007, with no 3G, because they just enjoy the phone and dont need “all” the bells and whistles. Me, personally, I need the best. So my EVO 4G will be on Ebay a week before the release of the EVO 3D.
In the end, it’s impossible to stay completely current with all the new phones coming out, unless you have a lot of disposable cash. Add to that, carriers are putting down more restrictions and modifying their plans to keep people locked into 2 year contracts before they can get another phone. The reason being is that subsidized price you pay upfront, is paid off in full after 2-years (plus some), so if you keep getting a new phone to often they will lose money. Which is something they don’t/won’t let happen.
So how about you? Do you need to have the most current MONSTER device or can you stay content with what you have for 2 years?