To upgrade or not to upgrade: 8 questions before buying a new iPhone

Apple has always kept consumers on their toes on the latest iPhone model to come out. Sure enough, costumers are always ready to line up to buy from their nearest retail stores. Just 7 months ago, Apple released the iPhone 5S and it has gotten the masses in a frenzy. The funny thing is, it hasn’t even been a year since that release and we are already picking up rumors and anticipating the iPhone 6. I mean, your phone is not even cold yet. I’m not judging, really. However, in this time of economic uncertainty, purchasing another iPhone just because it’s the latest model is impractical.

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Before you purchase the latest iPhone, or any device for that matter, be wise about it and ask yourself these questions.

1. Can my budget afford it?

I’ll reiterate being practical here and consider a wide array of factors. Later, you’ll understand why this is the most important question in this list. If you buy a new phone right now, will it affect your budget for necessities? Are there other phones that will give you the same or better features at a lower cost? If you charge your new iPhone to your credit card, how fast can you pay it off? These are just a few things to take into account because money matters. But you still want the new iPhone, right? OK, moving on.

2. Is it time to switch to another network?

In a generation of fast-paced advancements in technology, most of us get pretty impatient with quirky or inconsistent networks. But if you want to get a new iPhone through a service provider, now is the right time to consider your brand loyalty. Are you satisfied with the current service or are you already eyeing better services from other networks? Start fresh, if you really need change.

3. Are there new features that my current phone does not have?

Every new model release will be advertised and marketed with a new feature that is not available in its predecessor. Fortunately, some of these updates can be acquired through routine OS updates,as long as your phone’s specs can handle it. Would you really buy the new iPhone 5S because it has a longer screen or because of Touch ID? Ask yourself the important questions, this one included.

4. How much storage capacity do I really need?

Along with new features, every generation offers different storage capacities to match consumer needs. Currently, the iPhone 5s feature 3 storage capacities, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The question is, how much do you expect to consume? Hundreds of albums, photos, movies, and apps can take up a huge chunk of storage space. Remember question #1: does it fit my budget? Keep in mind that the bigger capacity, the higher the phone’s price is.

5. Are there any accessories to buy for this new gadget?

And, yet again, we go back to question #1. Because you have a new gadget, you may need to purchase new accessories; these additional purchases will affect your budget, too. Although the necessary accessories – earphones, adapter and USB Cord – are included with the iPhone, you might also need to purchase new cases, maybe an AppleCare Protection Plan; whatever works for your necessities.

6. Is 4G LTE necessary?

Ah, 24/7 Internet access is a pretty sweet deal, right? Unfortunately, this can add considerable fees to your service plan. Many businesses and public locations nowadays provide free Wi-Fi access , so you might not need 4G LTE connections as badly as you think. But if you really need high-speed, 24/7 access to the Internet, go ahead. After all, you will benefit from online information that you can access anytime and anywhere. “This person liked your status.” Benefits. Ha. OK.

7. Can I trade in my current unit for a new one?

If you do have a limited budget, trading in your phone lowers costs, as many stores will give you as much as $300 in in-store credit. So, basically, not only are you reducing tech waste, but you can also use your store credit to purchase the necessary accessories for your phone. Sweet!

8. How can I properly dispose of my phone?

If you’re considering just throwing your phone in the trash, well, DON’T DO IT. E-waste levels are already growing at an alarming rate and adding your discarded unit to the pile does not help the environment. You can get in touch with Apple, participate in their recycling program, and get benefits. Read more about Apple’s recycling drive here and start being the responsible consumer you ought to be.

If your answers to all of these questions are generally positive, you have my full support (not that you need it, but, hey) in getting that new iPhone. Apple products, after all, are among the best in the mobile industry. Every time you consider buying new gadgets, though, you might want to ask yourself these questions first. They might help you determine if an upgrade is worth your money.

Should you pursue your iPhone-buying plans, keep in mind that MacMall has retails stores at Santa Monica, Torrance, Chicago and Huntington Beach to accommodate your needs. If you decide just have your current unit repaired, we have Apple-credited experts on board to give you professional recommendations and repair advice. We also have a wide variety of Apple products in stock at macmall.com, as well as other gadgets you might find useful. Avail of hot deals and exclusive offers when you visit macmall.com!

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Image: SlashGear

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