Sorry, You Really Do Need to Upgrade Your iPhone,
Every Single Year

You may hate me for this, but the cold, hard, economic truth is this: you need a new iPhone, every single year. The reason is simple, to spend the least (in total), you must maximize the value of your trade-in. Sounds counter-intuitive right? Read-on.

Chloe, Senior Contributor WUDN Customer Service, and a massive Apple geek

October 2020
(Mobile, Consumer, Tech)
Chloe, Senior Contributor
WUDN Customer Service, and a massive Apple geek 

It's Time to Upgrade Again.

You may hate me for this, but the cold, hard, economic truth is this: you need a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, every single year. The reason is simple, to spend the least (in total), you must maximize the value of your trade-in. Sounds counter-intuitive right? Read-on.

There are many websites online that will buy your old phones from you. Apple, Best Buy and the wireless carriers play the trade-in game, too. Or you can sell it yourself on eBay or Craigslist. But, in order to get good money for the device, it needs to be the latest model.

If you like this model, and keep your recent phone in decent shape, you should be able to swap it out every 12 months and get 50% of its original value. Older phones? Not as much. This 50% is the key. If you can get all of it, you are effectively reducing the price of your upgrade by half.

Of course, you must take good care of your phone. No cracked screen or noticeable wear and tear. Apple, for its trade-in program, insists that it turns-on and functions normally, all the buttons and cameras work, the body is free of dents and scratches, and that the touchscreen and back glass are undamaged.

Apple asks you to answer the questions, and if they agree you've been truthful, you get the $500 credit. Or, "if your device doesn’t match the condition you described, you’ll receive a revised trade-in value."

Say Apple gives you $400 off for your new phone, and you nab the $1,000 iPhone 12 Pro for $600, plus tax. And you plan to trade it back 12 months from now. Your cost of ownership: $1.65 a day. This is for the most personal, probably important product you will own. The point is, $1.65 a day is a minor purchase, even when you look at longer time periods, we’re talking $11.55 a week, or $50 bucks monthly.

Apple's new iPhone: Stronger glass that’s "4x" less likely to crack, a camera that takes better photos in low light and higher resolution video and has a more powerful processing chip for much faster performance. As great as the 11 Pro model, it's just not as good as the 12.

The problem isn’t the cost of the new phone, it’s the trade-in value of the old one.

XS Max: $370
XS: $300
XR: $250
X: $250
8 Plus: $210
8: $140

And this is the best-case scenario. The older phones have more years on them, the chances of them being free of defects and maximizing that trade-in value is increasingly unlikely.

And then there’s Apple Care. The most valuable insurance you ever purchased. The other thing is that when you trade-in every year, you are basically getting Apple Care bundled since it’s always in-warranty. This protection is worth ~$300, all by itself.  

How to Take Care of Your iPhone to Maximise Trade-in Value

Get a Good Phone Case - don't even think about going naked. 

Use Wireless Charging - this keeps scratches away from the bottom of your phone - and garbage from getting jammed into the lightning port. 

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