iPod Touch 4th Generation and Other Early Adopter Mistakes
We here at the Guy and Yasar Tech Blog have been known to suffer from “early adopter-itis.” That is, we have succumbed to that need to have the newest consumer electronics when they are first released, regardless of whether we actually need a new flat screen TV or MP3 player. We buy new when our old (old = less than or barely a year old), gadgets work just fine.
Tech gluttony, as we like to call it, is a problem that many of us riding the electronic super-highways of the 21st Century have embraced all too often of late. We all want the latest and greatest–even if said products are released broken, buggy, and overpriced–which feeds the big companies and unnecessarily drains our wallets.
So, this week, we want to list the top five ways we waste money on tech (aka, do you really need another new iPod?) and offer some alternatives to being so quick to pull the need-it-now trigger. Guy: Show of hands, how many people out there don’t wait until their two-year contract is up before jumping on the latest phone to hit the streets? It’s cheaper to upgrade and get the new phone at a much reduced price a few months later than it is to run around the neighborhood carefully holding your iBrick and saying “First, first!” Most cell carriers–Sprint for instance–have some version of the following system in place: after 1-year you can get a new phone on your plan by upgrading early or you can wait two years and upgrade at a deeper discount price. Unless you are part of a Premier or loyalty-type program that lets you upgrade at the greatest discount point every year, there is nothing wrong with showing a little patience and waiting the extra few months. Upgrading online is also an additional way to save, as many carriers will offer free shipping in these cases.
To see some other ways we waste money via early termination fees and the like, check out the Buy Like Buffet post on How to Save Money on Cell Phone Plans.
Yasar: A great reason to wait on buying new technology is that you never know how long it’s going to be around. I’ve fallen victim to this several times (damn you, Sega CD!). The most recent example of a promising new technology gone extinct is HD DVD. Remember those? Yeah, I own one of those. And guess what? It cost me like $400 and is worthless now. I watched two movies on it: “House of Wax” and” 2 Fast 2 Furious.” They weren’t even good movies! What a waste of $400. If only I had waited to discover that Blu-ray would win that battle and let the other chumps waste their money. My eyes water whenever I glance at that HD DVD player.
Guy: This blog was initially inspired by news that Apple is getting ready to roll out a new iPod Touch. The new model is said to come complete with two cameras and an iPhone 4 inspired high-resolution retina display. Great, if you don’t already have an iPod or your old one is sporting duct tape, band-aids and is stuck only playing songs from your Barry Manilow hot mix. But if you have a perfectly fine iPod Touch, iPod Classic, or any serviceable MP3 player filled with your favorite tunes and videos, then running out to drop cash on the pretty new flavor of the week is foolish. That is, unless you’re just a baller like that and you drop diamonds like breadcrumbs for the little people to pick up on your way to work in your Bentley of choice. If you aren’t P-Diddy, my advice is to hold off, let your old MP3 player soldier on until it dies a natural death or just be smarter about grabbing that flashy new device. Check for deep discounts on audio products or grab an Apple iPod coupon to lessen the blow of your impulse spending. Also, look to buying a used version of that “new” device, which is often priced significantly less than its fresh on the shelves counterpart.
Yasar: Getting a new TV is a great way of burning a huge hole in your pocket. New TV technologies seem to be emerging every couple of months nowadays and they’re only getting more expensive. The best advice I can give is to wait until the TV you want to upgrade has been around for a year or so before jumping the gun and buying a new one. For example, right now getting a 3D TV can cost you upwards of $4,000. But think about this: Do you really need a 3D TV right now? Name ten things that have come out in 3D that would justify buying that TV. I know, I couldn’t either. Save your money and buy it in a couple of years if it ends up being the real deal. If the TV you have is giving you a clear image, you don’t need to waste your hard earned money on getting one that is going to improve the image quality by 10% but costs you 100% more.