How to Score Tech You Need for a Lot Less Than They’re Advertised

The tech world moves fast. It feels like every other month new handsets are coming out from the countless smartphone manufacturers out there. Each one routinely releases phones that are just a simple spec bump from the last generation. A couple of new colour options and a slight change in the processor and Apple calls the iPhone 7 an upgrade from the iPhone 6. Samsung has a similar approach. The jump from the Galaxy S8 to the S9, for example, is so unimpressive that you might mistake one for the other if you don’t look at where the fingerprint scanners were placed.
This is because the tech hardware industry’s release schedule has become famous for following a strict release schedule for upgrades just to maximize sales. iPhones, for example, are released on or before the final quarter of the year to make sure that they get some of that holiday shopping cash. During this segment of the year, people are more willing to part with their cash than at any other time. Others take this even further. OnePlus, for example, release phones in both the 2nd and 4th quarter of the year. This makes innovating less of a priority.
What we end up in is a sea of new phones every year and an even bigger ocean of outdated ones that can still function well for what they’re intended for. All of this results in an avalanche of choices for consumers.
This aggressive upgrade cycle has a pretty nuanced effect on consumers. While some people need to scratch the itch of the new upgrade whenever their favourite device gets a new model, some people have the complete opposite reaction and choose to hold on to their devices even longer. Which they can do because outdated doesn't mean unusable in the gadget world.
In the long run, it’s the consumers who win. It all makes for an exciting market.
So, if you're one to go for value rather than flashy new features, here are a few tips on how you can leverage the highly competitive market to score great gadgets for less.

Buy Last Year’s Model

As mentioned before, some manufacturer's release schedules are so gruelling that it leaves virtually no room to implement innovations between devices. The iPhone SE, for example, is basically a recycled design with updated specs.
If you're not too conscious about using an old-model phone, you can save a lot of money by buying last year's model. They're often just as capable as current-generation models. Some companies don't even stop manufacturing old models because they often keep selling them even if they've already released new ones. The sales numbers for these outdated phones often sustain a decent range because of the slashed prices.
Versions of the bestselling iPhone 6, for example, stopped rolling out of assembly lines only in 2018 – a good 4 generations since its original release.
You can stretch your cash even further by buying gadgets second-hand. Just make sure that you have the know-how on choosing which ones to pick.

Research Where and When to Buy Gadgets at the Best Price

Geography can play a huge role in a certain product’s pricing. For one thing, the laws of the land must be observed in pricing. Some places impose more on certain products which could drive the prices of products higher in some places and lower in others. Ever thought about buying a Surface device in Canada? Holding off on your purchase until you go to a US territory could potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
Different stores might also sell the same items for different prices. Everything depends on what sale is in place in each location. This makes it important to do your research before pulling the trigger on your purchase. Know when the item you’re after is going on sale and buy it when the price is more acceptable to you. Your gadgets, after all, are a kind of investment. Buy low when you can so you can make most out of it.
If you prefer shopping for your gadgets online, you could also take advantage of the vast browser extensions available. They scour the internet for deals for the same item you're looking at. This saves you the hassle of searching the internet manually for each store. With just a click of the button, you can compare prices and deals on offer.
This applies to current-generation devices as well. Black Friday is one of the biggest sales of the year in a lot of countries. Retail stores such as Bestbuy and Gearbest in the United States often put the latest devices on sale at these times too. The Surface Pro 6, for example, went on sale immediately during Black Friday which took almost $100 off on the original price.

Make Your Devices Last

Inflation isn’t the only thing making new gadgets cost more over time. Manufacturers have been slowly increasing prices too. For a while, the iPhone’s base price was at $1,000. But upon noticing a dip in sales because of it, they’ve brought it back down with the current generation of iPhones.
If people are willing to spend a premium on devices, their prices will continue to rise. The keyword there is ‘if'. People were unwilling to buy $1,000 iPhone XS. This gave rise to the popularity of the iPhone XR. The pricing and branding of the follow up to that generation of iPhones is a direct response to this. It proves that upon reaching resistance, Apple and presumably other tech companies, are nimble enough to adapt to the market forces.
Devices have gotten so good in recent years that you don't need to buy the next-generation device that directly comes after yours. This makes it easier to hold on to the device that you currently have especially if you don’t need the current generation of devices.
There are also software and hardware upgrades that you can still exhaust. Is your iPhone battery giving up on you? Get the Apple-branded Smart Battery Case. Or better yet, try to see if you're eligible for the battery replacement schemes that Apple has implemented recently. The same goes for the other components of your phone.
So, if you don’t need to buy the latest one, my simple advice is to just don’t. You’ll be saving a lot more money that you can use to buy the generation or two after the current one.