Why Buying This Year’s 4G iPhone Could Be Throwing Away Your Money

Getting this year’s 4G iPhones could be a bad investment – here’s why

While many feel that Apple are the gold standard of smartphone devices, they need to be pretty incredible to justify the $2400 price tag that the latest iPhones have launched with. There is a huge difference in price between Apple’s latest models and comparable releases from other brands, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9.

The truly remarkable part is that the price tag is really not that remarkable – while a cheaper price tag was predicted, the actual cost of buying the latest model hasn’t caused a stir. Consumers seem to have become accustomed to the idea that the iPhone is expensive, and Apple obviously know that people will buy in, regardless of the price tag.

The cost of the iPhone used to be somewhat justified by the new technology it contained, putting an iPhone owners ahead of the pack with their cutting edge devices. Now it seems Apple can make a few tweaks to the design and upgrade the existing phone, and release it as a new phone with an equivalent price tag. And people will buy it.

For anyone considering the purchase of a new iPhone, it’s probably worth considering what you’re really paying for. Here are some reasons why you should think twice before opening your wallet for one of Apple’s latest devices.

What Justifies the Prices?

The year 2016 signaled the start of skyrocketing phone charges for the Apple line-up, with the top shelf iPhone 7 hitting shelves at $1419. Just a year after that, Apple launched the iPhone 8 devices which took prices to $1417.

This was uncharacteristic of Apple, as the price increase was only a few dollars difference between the two models. However, Apple’s flagship iPhone X was a different story. The phone started at a massive $1879. And prices have only risen since then – all three new models released this year have seen a price increase, with the premium model retailing for $2369.

One of the major justifications for price increase is the upgrades made to the phone. With the most recent devices, Apple included bigger and better screens. Under those screens is technology that supports faster facial recognition technology, double 12MP cameras and one of the fastest 4G network compatibilities we have seen – up to one gigabit speed on Australian networks.

However, do the upgrades justify the price increase?

Where the Prices Don’t Make Sense

One of the first considerations that makes this a poor buy is the other options available for less money. If you were to buy a MacBook with 512GB of storage today, you would still be paying $20 less than the price tag on the iPhone XS Max – with the same storage capacities.

Another consideration is that the release of an iPhone XR will happen within months. It will have a lower grade screen, one less camera and a few other specs dialed down a notch. It’s up to the individual consumer to decide if it’s worth paying hundreds of dollars more for a device that is only slightly better.

Another solid reason to rethink the latest iPhone is the imminent rollout of 5G. Unless you are planning to hold onto your device for only a year or less (after paying more than $2000), you won’t be able to access 5G when it is released. The latest model will only be able to access 4G, and if you want to access 5G you could be looking for a new device within a year.

To Buy or Not to Buy?

For most people, the cons far outweigh the pros. The latest iPhone doesn’t really provide enough of an upgrade to justify the huge price tag. In addition, the network capabilities only allow for 4G mobile internet, meaning that anyone wanting to access 5G when it rolls out will have to purchase a new phone. Most people don’t buy an iPhone for practical reasons – they look great, they’re premium devices and they inspire loyalty in their fans. However, this time even die-hard iPhone owners might want to give the latest release a miss.


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.