90 per cent of iPhone buyers rejected a bargain, instead seduced by the iPhone 4S -- despite the fact it's so similar to the previous model. Which leads us to ask: are we blindly addicted to the latest, shiniest thing even when it's not the sensible option?
A new study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners breaks down iPhone sales, and reveals that an overwhelming majority of people buying an Apple phone plumped for the 4S. If these figures are accurate, it reveals iPhone buyers value newness over bargainicity.
On the one hand, this seems obvious: people always want the latest thing. Retailers certainly want to sell you the latest thing, in order to maximise the money they're removng from your pockets. So all shops will try and push the 4S, and some might not even offer the older models. On the other hand, it's surprising that so few people bagged themselves a bargain by buying an older phone.
What's interesting is this shows the power of the new. Most tech is essentially the same as previous versions, just a bit better. Gadgets that are totally unique and innovative are relatively rare, and even those that are totally new quickly become the first in a line of slightly adjusted versions.
The first iPhone was one such disruptive product, but every iPhone that's followed has basically been the same, just a bit better. And that's never been truer than the iPhone 4S. The camera and processor are slightly better than the iPhone 4, but they're physically identical and barely differ on features. If you ignore Siri you'd be hard-pressed to tell the two apart.
Which means the arrival of the iPhone 4S was an opportunity for savvy shoppers to save money by buying a slightly older model -- and no-one would be any the wiser. For the first time, you could buy an older, cheaper iPhone, and still appear to be rocking the latest model.
Yet only 7 per cent of those sampled opted to do so, and only 4 per cent netted even bigger savings by purchasing an iPhone 3GS.
Opting for an iPhone 4 instead of a 4S in the UK saves you £70. Opting for a 3GS saves you a massive £180.
20 per cent of iPhone buyers even went so far as upgrading to a 4S when they already owned an iPhone 4. Think about that: those people laid out upwards of £500 to get a phone practically identical to the phone they paid £500 barely a year before.
It's that kind of devotion to the new that saw Apple make a gobsmacking $13bn profit in the last three months alone.
It seems the lure of the new is just too hard to resist. Or maybe it's Siri that's convincing punters to lay down the extra readies instead of seeking out a bargain. But we doubt it.
Have you considered an older phone to save money, or is the magpie instinct always too powerful? Is the iPhone 4S worth the extra money over an older model, or have nine out of 10 buyers proved themselves to be mugs? Tell us in the comments or on our always bargainous Facebook page.