5 reasons why I don’t want to buy a new phone

There is so much excitement about the launch of the new iPhone 7. No doubt on Friday, 16th September we will see people queueing through the night at every Apple store to be the first to get their hands on their new smartphone. I really won’t be one of them. I don’t want a new phone. I really don’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I do like smartphones and the latest ones are really neat. I like the iPhone 6S, the Samsung S7, the LG5. The list goes on and on….

I am certain that I will actually like the iPhone 7 too, once I can actually hold it in my hand, take a few photos and check that it really is waterproof by dropping it in a puddle.

But I still don’t want to buy a new phone. Here are five reasons why.

The best time to buy is when everybody is selling

If you have a Carphone Warehouse shop near you, you will notice that they have huge posters in their windows promising guaranteed prices for iPhone trade-ins. It was only yesterday when I mentioned that Music Magpie are seeing record numbers of iPhone trade-ins ever since the iPhone announcement last week.

Loads of people want to off-load their iPhone 6 and 6S models to finance their smart new iPhone 7. Phone recycling companies cannot believe their luck. They have a seemingly limitless supply of people prepared to take a considerable financial hit on their current phone so that they can buy the latest version that is not that much better.

People like me are rubbing their hands in delight too, as we know that this huge supply of used, but well looked after, phones will soon be flooding the market.

That rush of supply can only drive prices downwards. You’ll be able to get some stonking deals on nearly new iPhone 6’s in a month or two.

The iPhone 7 may lose more than a third of its value in a year

What do I mean by this? Well, let’s look at some facts.

The cheapest version of the iPhone 7 will cost £599, excluding another £159 for the wireless earphones.

When it was launched,the iPhone 6S 16GB version cost £539.

But if I try and sell my iPhone 6S to MusicMagpie, they will only pay me £342 for an unlocked phone in good condition. That is a 36% devaluation in the 12 months since the iPhone 6S has been on the market.

So in a years time, when the iPhone 8 is launched, expect your basic iPhone 7 to have lost £218 in value, which is about £18 per month on top of your contract costs.

If you have forked out the additional £159 for the wireless earphones, then no-one will buy those from you, but, hopefully, they will be usable with future Apple phones (as long as you haven’t lost them!).

Used phones cost less in depreciation

A used car suffers shallower rates of depreciation and good quality smartphones do too. This is because the first owner has borne the brunt of the fall in value, as I have just shown.

Although I wouldn’t buy a used 6S now as the best deals will be around once the iPhone 7 has been available for a month or two, for the sake of this comparison, I can buy a 16Gb unlocked iPhone 6S from Music Magpie for £387.

So not only is it a smaller cash investment (and you can get 24-month contracts to spread the cost, rather than pay up front), but the amount that you lose in depreciation will be smaller too.

Treat a used phone as a commodity

I don’t know about you, but if I have something valuable that is sparkly and new, then I feel more responsibility in keeping it in pristine condition.

Every accidental small scratch seems to be a painful reminder that I have hurt its value.

In contrast, however, if I buy something with a few blemishes, but that is still in good condition, I feel less precious about it. I still take care of it, of course, but somehow it becomes a commodity rather than a jewel if that makes sense.

If you have bought a good used smartphone, but for some reason, it just doesn’t suit you then you can sell it again, admittedly with a loss, but that loss will be much smaller than if you needed to sell a new phone soon after buying it.

Good used phones are often like new

I realise that it is a fantastic feeling to receive your new phone in its cute box and to be the first person to unwrap it and use it. If you really don’t mind paying a premium for this, then I would be the last person to deny you that pleasure.

However, you can often find used phones, or even better, factory refurbished phones, that have been repackaged and are very nearly like new.

I bought a refurbed iPhone 4S quite a few years ago direct from Apple and it was literally as good as new, but cost 20% less than its new price. Unfortunately, Apple no longer sell factory refurbished iPhones (if you know where they can be bought, please let us know in the comments), which is a shame.

The thing is, there are considerable savings to be made with used and refurbed smartphones and even if they are not new, it is likely they will arrive in the same sort of condition as your new phone would be after only one week of careful use,

Do you agree with me?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Do you agree with me that it makes sense to buy these phones used, or better, nearly new. Or are you excited by the prospect of owning a new iPhone 7 at the end of the week, no matter what the premium is for that privilege?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Unfortunately some used phones end up having a short lifespan due to ‘planned obsolescence’ (as mentioned here > http://www.mobilephones.com/articles/mobile-groans-fragility/ )which basically means that many modern phones are purposely designed to become unusable in the future. I actually have an iPad 2 and was about to sell it on after deciding it didn’t get much use. Within a week or two of the latest iOS update, i found out that i wouldn’t be able to update it’s operating software past 9.3.2 and so it will no longer benefit from the latest app updates, therefore affecting it’s second hand value as well as it’s useability. The days of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t try n fix it’ have gone as technology companies have the monopoly.

    • Yes, and nowhere is this more visible than with the “captive” batteries, which cannot be replaced, that are supplied with these phones.

      When the battery starts to fail then your expensive phone basically becomes junk. I like the approach that LG have taken with the G5 – it is modular so at least you can swap out the battery.

    • Thank you for your comment, Paul. There are loads of networks and recycling companies desperate to buy iPhones at the moment so there will be some fantastic used deals soon.

      I would wait a few weeks until all these used iPhone 6S phones hit the market. I don’t think there will be any used iPhone 7s available until after Christmas, but if you are happy to not have the waterproofing then why pay a premium for the 7 when the iPhone 6s is still a great phone, and will be far cheaper used.

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