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Newsletter #436 Preview: When is the Best Time to Buy New Apple Hardware?

Let me tell you a true story. On a Monday earlier this year, I went to the local AT&T factory store and bought an 8GB iPhone. Well, the very next day Apple introduced a 16GB version for $100 more.

For a very brief moment, I wondered if I had made a silly mistake. Usually I have managed to time my purchases of Apple products fairly accurately, buying new gear shortly after a new model came out. However, I mistakenly assumed that the next iPhone wouldn’t come out till June, and it would be the version with support for the speedier 3G network.

Yes, I was blindsided by one of Apple’s famous Tuesday morning surprises, but I decided to keep the iPhone anyway. For one thing, I only filled roughly 25% of the unit’s storage capacity after the initial setup. You see, though I have a fairly decent music collection, I haven’t really bothered to rip many of my CDs to iTunes, and I only did that as necessary. My purchases at iTunes have been irregular, so it would be quite some time before I’d come close to filling my iPhone’s capacity.

So I decided to take the fiercely logical approach, and keep the 8GB iPhone. What did I do with the $100 I saved? I invested $69 for AppleCare, which extends the warranty for two full years, and used the balance to take my son out to lunch.

Buy the way, he has the 160GB iPod classic, and, because of its limited capacity, would never even consider getting an iPhone. But why does he always want to use mine for a short period whenever he visits?

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.