This year, 28% fewer Americans plan to buy the new iPhone compared to last year, according to the personal-finance website WalletHub’s new 2019 iPhone Savings Report. However, as the iPhone 11 release date approaches on Sept. 20, WalletHub found that people can save $819 - $1,593 over two years by picking the right plan.
You can find some highlights from the report below, along with a Q&A with WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. You can also crunch the numbers to see which iPhone plan is right for you, using WalletHub’s custom Cell Phone Savings Calculator, ahead of the newest models starting to ship on Friday.
- A no-contract plan from Visible is the best way to get one of the new iPhones, beating plans from all four major carriers.
- For even more savings, keep your old phone. Individuals can save up to $1,378, and families can save up to $2,153.
- Millennials will pay 41% more than baby boomers for a new phone, on average.
- More than 1 in 10 people think getting a new iPhone is worth going into credit card debt.
- “Generally, a 10 to 15% price difference” is enough for a consumer to pick a 2-year agreement over the flexibility of not having a contract, David Youland, an assistant Professor at Southwestern College Kansas, told WalletHub.
Q&A with Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub:
What advice do you have for reducing the cost of wireless coverage?
“Comparison shopping and opportunism regarding promotional pricing are key when it comes to reducing the cost of wireless coverage. For those strategies to work to maximum effect, however, people must avoid limiting their options unnecessarily,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “There are only a handful of major wireless carriers, but if you consider the smaller carriers that share the big guys’ networks, you suddenly have a lot more choices. And for many people, they’ll turn out to be the best. For example, the cheapest way to get one of the new iPhones is with a no-contract plan from Visible.”
Is a new phone a necessity?
“A new phone is a luxury, not a necessity. That’s why it’s so troubling that more than 1 in 10 people think getting a new phone is worth going into credit card debt,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Having a phone in general is a necessity for many people. It just doesn’t need to be a brand new one to accomplish what most of us truly need our phone to do.”
Do you have any advice for saving on a smart phone?
“Consumers should avoid getting caught up in the hype. Just because Apple has an event and a new iPhone drops does not mean you need a new phone, let alone the newest phone,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “It’s actually best to stay at least one model behind. This will get you most of the newer features at about half the price. There are lots of used models in great condition, along with carrier discounts from time to time.”
WalletHub’s Cell Phone Savings Calculator lets users input their upfront and monthly costs to compare the true cost of two-year contracts, installment plans and no-contract plans from all of the major carriers. You can check out the calculator, along with an embeddable infographic comparing the most popular plans, here: https://wallethub.com/cell-phone-calculator/