F the cell phone companies.
I hate the way they do new phones now. Used to be, you can sign a 2 year contract and get the phone really cheap.
Now they say, well you don't have to sign a contract but you have to pay full retail for the phone.
Its bullshit. You should get the option to sign a contract or not.
Well it depends on how you use it, it's not as straightforward as that, but then again they don't explain shit.
IF you pay the monthly fee out over 2 years, you paid the retail price for the phone. Plus side of that, if you hold on to it and use it for another 2 years, it's free, you already own it.
You can also trade it in and get a new phone at the halfway point, which is probably about what we would have paid before with the contracts. So say you are that guy that wants the newest apple phone every year, as long as you keep trading it in at that half way point you're basically leasing it, they get to resell it as refurbished, and you keep paying similar monthly rates indefinitely but always have the newest phone.
Basically they shifted to the car buying model. You can buy, and pay a shit ton for financing over 5-6 years but then you own it. So if you are easy on it and not racking up a ton of miles and can get it to last you 10 years, you pay half price over the lifetime of the car. If you are fairly normal on a car and put up the 20k miles per year range, you'll be hitting that point where things need replaced and redone when you are finished paying for it, so yeah you own it, but now those expenses are yours and just eat away at your value. OR you can lease, and then give it back to them and start over with something new. In theory you don't have to worry about maint. or expenses, but they get the resale value of selling it again, and you just get another car with a similar payment.
So like Mack said, the real value now is keeping in it good working order for 3-4 years before you get a new one. This is my first iPhone but I'm on year 4 right now. You can also go to apple and have them put a new battery in it for like $40, that itself will make it close to new. Factory reset and wipe the thing, and then redo it and you basically just self refurbished it for $40 bucks, Should last another 2-3 years from there easy.
With 5G hitting roll out now, I wouldn't be looking to buy a phone for the next 6 months at least until that's standard.