Should You Spring for the New iPhone 16 Right Away or Wait?

Each year, Samsung and Apple release a new lineup of smartphones with three distinct models that come with specs, features, and price tags that go from basic to more luxurious. Although most people wait at least two or three years to buy a new phone, there are people who get the latest and greatest model every year without fail.

This cycle is a trap; don’t fall for it. Smartphone companies are using their marketing tactics to get you hyped up about every new lineup, hoping you’ll spend as much money as possible as often as possible. By coming out with new lineups every year, Apple and Samsung are creating guaranteed income even when only a small number of their customers buy a new phone each year. For example, from 2013-2023, Americans spent between $67.95 billion and $102.04 billion on smartphones each year.

That’s a lot of yearly revenue for smartphone manufacturers, and it continues to increase every year. Clearly, they’re doing something right marketing-wise. Unfortunately, their revenue is tied to your willingness to buy their devices, and if you keep getting a new device every year or two, you’re making them rich.

Why you should wait to buy the iPhone 16

Even when you can afford to get a new smartphone yearly, there are two main reasons to wait for a later model or at least a price drop:

Is the iPhone 16 worth buying right away? If you just bought the iPhone 15, is it worth the upgrade?

The answer depends on your preferences and budget, but most people should at least wait for a drop in price before making a purchase. So far, based on reports, there isn’t anything too compelling about the new iPhone 16 lineup that makes it worth standing in a long line or paying full price just to have it on day one.

Getting an iPhone right away can be risky

In addition to the hefty price tag that will likely still start at $799 for the base model and go up to around $1,000 (or more) for the most expensive model, there’s also risk involved in getting a new phone. Smartphones are like cars – they lose resale value the minute you take them out of the box, but the biggest risk is breaking your phone. It’s not uncommon for people to crack the screen or smash the camera lens on a new phone.

If you’re planning on getting the iPhone 16 as a gift for a teenager, there’s always a risk that they’ll break it right out of the box from too much excitement. That level of excitement won’t be so high if the phone you gift them is somewhat old news. Either way, it’s wise to protect a gifted phone with a case that will withstand drops and shocks before you give it to the recipient.

A new model doesn’t guarantee amazing new features

On occasion, upgraded features are worth the cost of buying a new phone. While the iPhone 16 promises some interesting and useful features, it’s not likely going to be as impressive as the last lineup that introduced completely new features for the first time, like AI.

That’s not to say the new models won’t be an amazing upgrade for some people who haven’t gotten a new phone in many years, or are switching from a smaller brand. However, if you already have the iPhone 15, you probably don’t need to upgrade.

Waiting won’t deprive you of anything incredible

In the grand scheme of things, waiting to buy the iPhone 16 isn’t going to hurt you; getting it early won’t come with any benefits, so you have nothing to lose by waiting.

Being one of the first people to get any smartphone model won’t make you happier, richer, or more successful. It will only give you a little extra time to play with it and before long, you’ll be onto the next model. Years down the road, when Apple releases the iPhone 20, you probably won’t even remember owning previous models

At least try waiting a few months for a better price

If you have your heart set on getting the iPhone 16, you don’t have to wait a year to get a deal. Just wait a few months to see if the price comes down and look for mobile carriers offering deals for switching to their services

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