May 14, 2008

When should you buy an iPhone?

As iPhone channels continue to run dry, more and more readers have asked whether now would be a good time to buy an iPhone or not -- assuming you could even find one. Our Mike Rose suggested that dry channels might indicate that Apple is trying to avoid that whole "if a new model appears within 15 days of purchase" nightmare. If he's right, expect to see a flood of refurb units hit Apple and AT&T just after the new 3G unit is introduced.

The first generation iPhone is an absolutely fabulous device and there's nothing to indicate that it won't be 100% compatible with new firmware for a long time to come. Price cuts on previous generation units make them an especially good match to hacking and unlocking. You can be enjoying your new iPhone while waiting out the inevitable 3G price drop or the move to newer generation technology.

With Apple, there's a distinct consumer advantage to buying about 6-months behind the trend. As a delayed adopter, you buy all the beauty of the new technology while getting that (plus all the software updates and fixes) at a slightly lower price.

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