The latest iPhone for two lattes a month?

Some people roll their eyes at those who upgrade to the latest iPhones every year, but the reality is they might be some of the savviest buyers among us.

In fact, when you consider trade in values (how much you can get when you sell your iPhone), the monthly net cost difference of upgrading every year versus every three years is comparable to the price of a couple lattes – provided you sell at the right place and the right time.

People who upgrade their iPhones every year pay a monthly net cost of $21.67, assuming a typical $649 launch price and accounting for historical resale values at time of upgrade. The monthly net cost to upgrade every three years is $12.61. For every five years, it’s $9.52.

That means people who upgrade every year only pay around $9 more per month than those who upgrade every three years (the average upgrade cycle), and just $12 more per month than those who upgrade every five years (when Apple typically stops supporting older models).

As one Reddit user put it, “At the end of the day, I’m spending $600 a year on something I use 2,000 hours a year – which is an AMAZING deal (for reference, I spend 2x that on Starbucks per year, and get less value out of that than my phone)… Plus, newer phones are just faster, and usually have features and gimmicks I enjoy.”

Eco-conscious people might worry about the environmental impact of upgrading every year; however, there is a robust market for used phones, so upgrading every year might actually help keep these phones out of landfills by putting them in the hands of frugal buyers instead.

Sell at the right time to maximize value

Always having the latest iPhone model at a low net price depends on selling at each upgrade cycle – and before phone values depreciate significantly. That underscores the importance of locking in an offer as soon as possible, since values for previous models can drop by as much as 15% to 40% around new iPhone releases.

Flipsy is a fast and easy way for people to get the most money for used iPhones. Our free service instantly compares buyback and trade in offers from more than 20 stores, plus shows which stores offer no-obligation price locks that allow sellers to lock in a high price, then wait up to 30 days to sell. That way, they won’t lose value while they’re waiting for their new iPhones to arrive.

See how Flipsy works here.

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Tags: All, iPhones