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Last Year’s Model

So, Best Buy in the U.S. is doing a promotion Friday: a new iPhone for free with a new two-year contract. It’s a one-day thing, and it’s sure to get a lot of people excited.


It’s the 3GS.

Now, let’s put aside for a moment the controversy about the iPhone 4 and Antennagate and all that. And let’s also put aside the fanboy stuff; none of that “Android roolz” or AT&T-bashing here. Here’s my question:

Are you okay having last year’s technology?

Think about it, then join us after the jump:

iPhones are, of course, especially prone to replacement lust, since they come out with a new gotta-have-it model like clockwork every year. But other phones, and other devices, are the same. For some people, and I count myself as one of them, having a one-year-old phone model or last year’s MacBook Pro is cause for shame. Having a TWO-year-old model? Inconceivable.

Yet I’m not rich, and my phone is not only older than two years, it’s a big brick that runs Windows Mobile 6.1. A year-old iPhone would be a huge leap forward in many ways. But it’s not, you know, NEW. And my MacBook Pro is a 2008 model; the only thing protecting me from spending a couple of grand I don’t have on a new one is that the last couple of revisions don’t feature anything materially better than what I have for what I do. The old one works fine, so not having the new one isn’t quite as painful.

Still, as I look to replace my ancient, creaking phone, I can’t pull the trigger on any model, because I keep thinking that there’s a better one around the bend. If I buy one now and they come out with a great new dual-core AMOLED 4G version the day after the return period’s over, I’ll just… I’ll…

I’ll deal with it, because there’s ALWAYS a better, newer model ahead. But I won’t be happy about it.

Do you have New Model Lust? Or do you prefer to wait for the early adopters to deal with the bugs before you buy a device? Tell us in the comments:

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  1. Levi says:

    I’m writing this on my Palm Pre Plus and listening to the whimsical hum of my Pentium 4 powered, windows xp running, beast (for 2006) of a computer. If the software handles what one does, then the newest hardware isn’t always needed. However, it is lusted after by the masses because shiny stuff rocks.

  2. Deltus says:

    Don’t fall into the “gotta have the newest model” trap. You don’t. Don’t enjoy the technology for the gear’s sake, enjoy it for what it does for you. Let’s be honest: for what you’ll use it for, the 3GS will work just fine for 2 years.

    Now, waiting until you see if Verizon comes out with an iPhone? That’s a different story. That’s caring about the usage, not the gear.

  3. Jen Tidwell says:

    Hi Perry! Welcome to Nerdist! I’ve enjoyed reading your stuff so far. Just one thing, please stop saying “after the jump”. Please.


  4. Morgan Blaze says:

    The only reason I’m not going to jump on this is because I have an upgrade available with Verizon and I’m waiting for January to hear any news from the possible Verizon iPhone. If I dont hear anything I’m getting the Epic.

    As far as old products go, I don’t think I would do it. I will stick with my then new product for their life span, but I won’t buy an out dated product when there is an new product and I’m in need of the new product.

  5. FFS says:

    Good lord. Does no one value function any more? I use my phone/computer/whatever until it’s starting to cause productivity issues due to age (2-3 years usually) then I get whatever’s recently been released BUT isn’t still at the insane “NEW MODEL” markup.

    I rarely have the newest thing (sometimes I do) but anyone who’s going to judge me on that can take a flying leap.

  6. Craig says:

    Fools! Apple is planning on releasing new technology next year. Those 3GS will be out dated so fast! Iphone 4 will be same price as a 3GS this time next year.

    Don’t Upgrade! Repair!

  7. Diana says:

    Ahahaha, I’m having this same exact internal debate. I’ve been offered all sorts of free (or incredibly low-cost) phones through my carrier as it’s past time to upgrade, but I keep wondering if I can commit to a phone for two years if there might be something better coming just around the corner! When did this happen to me? I’ve never been a “stuff” person. Heck, I’ve lived with the same extra-green-on-one-side TV set for something like 14 years and I’ve not been tempted, yet, by the new HD sets. But for some inexplicable reason, I can’t successfully select a FREE phone because it might not be the newest/best thing in another few months! Makes no sense. Glad, though, to not be all on my own …

  8. Neil Fastabend says:

    It’s a great value for people looking to get into their first smart phone. The only thing I dislike about this is the 2 year contract, because while right now it’s not that outdated, it’s already last years technology. If you think about having the same phone for 2 years longer it’s going to be pretty far behind by then. If you want a new phone within the next few years then you’ll have to pay the full price since you’re already under contract.

    So it’s a good idea if people don’t absolutely need top of the line technology, as you can’t really get a better phone for that price right now.