The iPhone 14 is here, and if you are an Apple aficionado, you must be dying to get your hands on one. As far as the prices go, the top-end model of the iPhone 14 Pro Max could set you back by as much as Rs 1.5 lakh, and as an Apple admirer, you might not be too bothered about the price.
But if are one of those fence sitters having second thoughts about whether to splurge that much on your phone, then there are practical reasons you might one want to consider.
Should you buy it? When it comes to things like iPhones, one might not think wisely in terms of whether it makes financial sense to buy one. But let us look at it this way. Let us say, you have an iPhone 13 you bought last year? Should you go for an upgrade now? Well, not really.
Says Nimish Dubey, a tech expert and associate editor of TechPP, a technology weblog. According to him, Apple has done well to keep the price of the iPhone 14 the same as the iPhone 13, which is quite remarkable, when one considers the rise in costs of components.
“The processor is not the same as the 14 Pro series, which is a bit of a letdown, but it is still better than the one on the iPhone 13. You also get better cameras and a better battery. It is not that innovative, but it improves upon most features, and that makes it a very solid update. A lot will depend on how well those updates work, though,” adds Dubey.
But let us say you have been using an iPhone XR for the last three years and it is time to get a new phone, should you consider buying the new iPhone?
Let us say a smart phone costs Rs 1 lakh and you use it for three years. It means that per month, you would be paying around Rs 2,700 on the phone. Ask yourself if your salary is high enough to justify it. If you are someone who would want to upgrade your phone every two years, the maths will of course be different.
“If there is utility need then buying makes sense for e.g., if you are a creator and you need to upgrade your phone for your work, then obviously it makes sense. Or else buying it also makes sense if it costs less than 25 per cent of your monthly salary, even if it just for personal satisfaction, as it won’t impact you financially,” says Anant Ladha, founder, Invest Aaj For Kal, a financial advisory firm.
The other way to look at it is simple. If you are a person who has a monthly budget and follows it and who invests regularly, there is no reason why you should not splurge on an expensive smartphone.
Should you buy it on finance? Paying a large sum up front may be painful, but when it comes with ‘easy’ financing options, it may suddenly seem more affordable.
Says Ladha: “iPhone is a consumption item, and taking any sort of financing for consumption items will be costly, and not financially ideal either.”
Even if it is a zero-interest finance option, you may have to pay some processing fees. Also, let us say, you are purchasing a phone worth Rs 1.44 lakh, and you have to pay Rs 12,000 as equated monthly instalments (EMIs) for 12 months, at first glance that amount might not seem to be much, but if you are taking the EMI on your credit card, you have to pay Rs 12,000 every month in credit card dues, over and above other expenses. An inflated bill could force you to delay or default on your credit card payments or pay the minimum due. Then you have to pay a very high rate of interest on the outstanding due, and you could end up in a debt trap.
“Cashback offers on certain cards can save you money, but if you genuinely want to take benefit of cashback, then invest the cashback amount as soon as you get it. Mentally our mind accounts for cashback as free money, and we may end up spending it on irrelevant stuff,” says Ladha.
Also, there would be newer features in the iPhone 14 series, but the iPhone 13s are now selling for a discount. If you want an upgrade from an older version and can do without the latest features, you could consider going for an iPhone 13.
If you plan for it well, this ‘Apple’ should not be the ‘forbidden’ fruit, er phone.