Ask an Expert: Is the New iPhone Worth It?
Hello, deal-seekers! We're back once again to help solve a reader's dilemma. This time around, we have a cautious consumer wondering if the new Apple iPhone is worth it or not. The short answer is that it really depends, but if you're also weighing your phone options, it should make you feel better to know you aren't the only one.
We recently conducted a poll on-site asking users if they were planning to purchase the latest iPhone right after its release, or if they preferred to wait. Only 6.6% of respondents said they planned to buy the iPhone right away. Meanwhile, a whopping 70% said they weren't planning to buy it at all. Of the 30% who expressed interest in purchasing it, almost half stated they'll wait to buy the phone, and another third weren't sure if they'd buy right away or wait.
Read on to see what advice we gave our perplexed phone purchaser, both about if the new iPhone is worth it and when to add it to cart.
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Is the New iPhone Worth It?
Dear Ask an Expert,
I'm interested in buying the iPhone 14 but am not sure if it's worth the price — there doesn't seem to be a lot of improvements from one phone generation to the next these days. Do you think buying a new iPhone is worth it, or should I consider other options?
Befuddled About Phone Buying
This is a difficult question, as it's going to be rather subjective. What smartphone do you currently have? If it's the iPhone 13, you may not find enough improvements from that generation to the iPhone 14 to warrant paying the starting price, which is $799 for the 6.1" model or $899 for the 6.7" size. Both the iPhone 14 and 13 are designed to have better battery life than previous generations and both have 12MP main cameras, although the iPhone 14's camera has an f/1.5 aperture compared to the iPhone 13's f/1.6.
One of the most appealing new features of the iPhone 14, though, may be the Emergency SOS function that allows users to send messages via satellite when they're in areas with poor cell reception. According to The Verge, however, the service will only be included for free for two years. This could mean you're right back to looking at a new phone in two more years if you do opt to purchase the iPhone 14.
If you have a very dated smartphone, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max may be even more appealing, as they have additional shiny new features. The Dynamic Island and always-on display definitely set the Pro line apart from the regular iPhone 14. But of course, those new capabilities come at a high price — the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max start at $999 and $1,099, respectively. That's a significant investment, especially right now when many families are feeling the pinch of higher prices due to inflation.
While the prices of the latest iPhone lineup are right on par with what we expected — they're the same as the starting prices of the iPhone 13 lineup last year — that doesn't mean consumers will be keen on shelling out the cash for a new phone, especially if they don't really need it. But if you don't really care about the new features, then you can always look to previous generations — like the iPhone 13 — to get a new phone fix at a lower price.
All that said, it really comes down to personal choice. So if you're wondering, "Should I buy the new iPhone?" there are a few questions to ask yourself. Are you devoted to the Apple ecosystem? That is, will you be getting an iPhone over an Android device? Can you afford a new iPhone? Is your current phone very outdated, no longer receiving updates, experiencing software issues, etc.? If you answered yes to all — or even most — of these questions, then there's a good chance the iPhone 14 is worth your time and money. However, that doesn't mean you should buy it right now.
Wait Until Black Friday to Buy an iPhone If You Can
At this point in the year, big companies have either released their latest flagships or are getting ready to, so it may seem like a great time to buy new. But you're better off waiting until Black Friday rolls around in November. Whether you prefer the latest and greatest or even the previous generation, the odds are high you'll find excellent deals on smartphones around then, especially if you're open to purchasing refurbished models. Basically, if you want the new iPhone or just a new iPhone, your best bet is to wait until Black Friday.
And like we mentioned earlier, you'll have plenty of company if you decide to wait, as indicated by our recent iPhone poll. You can learn more about the poll results below.
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