Retail

iPhone, therefore I am

That iPhone from a couple of years ago may work perfectly, but some consumers worry the neighbors will judge them for not getting the new one.
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Apple

· less than 3 min read

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Unless they’re deeply into Steve Jobs cosplay, it may be hard to imagine why anyone who purchased an iPhone 13 a few months ago would feel like they need to trade up to the new iPhone 14 that went on sale September 16.

But it appears that some iPhone users are preoccupied with their device’s signal, although not the kind indicated by the four bars. What they’re interested in is what having the newest device signals about them.

  • One out of five iPhone users thinks that not having the latest phone is a sign that someone is struggling financially, according to a recent survey by WalletHub.
  • Nearly one out of three (31%) think a new phone is a “necessity.”

“[W]e’re living more and more on our phones, so it’s not just seen as a phone anymore,” Jill Gonzales, a WalletHub analyst, told us. “It’s really seen as so much more than that.”

WalletHub surveyed more than 280 iPhone users across age, gender, and income spectrums to reflect US demographics.

Debt on arrival: Impressively, the new phones have car-crash detection, which can notify emergency services and your emergency contacts when it senses you’ve been in a serious accident. But with the new iPhones starting at $799 and the Pro Max version starting at $1,099, is getting that technical advance into your pocket worth going into debt?

  • More than one in five (21%) of iPhone users surveyed said yes, getting a new one is worth going into credit-card debt.
  • 34% said their iPhone was their most important belonging.

WalletHub, a personal-finance website, features a cell phone savings calculator to help consumers compare carriers by upfront and monthly costs.

One thing that may save consumers money is that Apple appears to be responding to years of criticism from right-to-repair advocates that its products are difficult—if not impossible—for consumers to fix themselves.

In an August 16 post, iFixit, a website that advocates for devices to be repairable, gave the iPhone 14 a 7/10 repairability score, the highest it’s given the device since the iPhone 7, which came out in 2016.

“Why isn’t [Apple CEO] Tim Cook bragging about repairability?” Kyle Wiens wrote in an iFixit post. “We had no idea this was coming, because Apple didn’t mention it—at all. But they should have.”—AAN

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