I come out about $65 ahead of continuing to own the phone, because I’m selling it for more than what I had remaining in payments—$425 versus the $337 I spent to pay it off. If I had kept the iPhone 6 until it was paid off—if it continued to work and was in good physical condition—I might have been able to sell it for $150-$250, reaping a potentially larger advantage than I got by selling early. Or I could have continued to use it, effectively reducing my monthly cost by spreading it out into future utility.
I figure the monthly cost of owning smartphone hardware is about $40 plus tax for what I need from one. I've had iPhones in my family last from 2-4 years, but that longer time frame appears to be an outlier with the wear and tear phones get. With AppleCare+, I could certainly assure that if anything were obviously wrong with the iPhone 6 when it neared the end of its two years, I could get it fixed. But it could also just as easily have broken in month 25.
Will I get an iPhone 7? I am a technology writer, though I try to not be attracted to the new and shiny. But Apple’s making it awfully easy—and definitely less expensive—to buy into annual upgrades.
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