Photo courtesy of Declan Jewell, via Flickr
On Tuesday, Apple announced the new iPhone 4S in a humble ceremony, with little fanfare from the press. Nonplussed, the blogosphere instead focused on more pressing issues, such as the rate of new job creation. It was a day like any other. Actually, it was a media explosion. What’s more, tech blogging sites spent the last several weeks feverishly speculating about the gadget, with one site even posting an early iPhone 5 review that would be embarrassing even if it were not totally inaccurate.
Silly as this all hype may seem, it does offer consumers an advantage. People who like Apple products are never in the dark about the best time to buy. We all knew the next generation iPhone was on the way, so we knew not to go out and pay full price for an iPhone 4. For example, an acquaintance of mine lost his iPhone, and decided to borrow a friend’s old flip phone for a few weeks while he waits for the new model to come out. This sort of thing probably isn’t uncommon.
If you’re more of an Android smartphone person, you don’t have the same luxury. Or, if you’re in the market for another kind of electronic device such as a camera, laptop, or TV, you could potentially make the mistake of spending too much by buying at the wrong time. If you’re in this position, I recommend using a new service called Decide.com.
Decide.com tracks price changes in electronics by predicting when new models will come out, and predicting when prices will change due to other factors, such as regular sales and holidays. If you know what you want to buy, you can search for it in the bar at the top. If not, you can browse basic categories or submit suggestions for new ones.
While it’s a new service, and certainly doesn’t contain every device under the sun, Decide.com is useful and free. You can use the site without logging in, but if you sign up (with your Facebook credentials) Decide.com can send you alerts about upcoming price changes for the gadgets of your choice. Another option is to follow one of Decide.com’s device-specific Twitter feeds.
As an illustration of how it works: if you’re an Apple fan who is just now waking up from a coma, you’ll see that Decide.com has marked the iPhone with “Wait for new model.”
Have your own tips for timing when you buy? Please share in the comments.