Annual iPhone upgrade urge may die when you do this math

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iPhone X launch
The iPhone X was the first iPhone to exceed $1,000. This guy bought two.
Photo: Apple

Pencil-whip the numbers and the total cost of upgrading your iPhone every time just might take the spark out of that annual impulse.

Would you believe six figures?

That’s what the math says according to the online reseller Decluttr, which based its informal estimates on the annual cost of iPhone ownership from age of 18 to 81.

The case it makes does not exactly adhere to social science’s demand for independence and objectivity. Decluttr wants to cash in by selling refurbished iPhones. The company will buy your old phone to reduce the cost of your upgrade addiction.

iPhone upgrade by the numbers

But the calculations are still interesting and may inspire some to apply the same thinking to life’s other expenses – even if the scenario Decluttr lays out is flawed and unlikely.

The growth of the smartphone market has slowed. People are hanging on to their handsets longer – more than two years in many cases – because they are happy with their phone’s performance. They also find incremental innovations on new models isn’t worth the price.

But we all know at least one person (and that person might be you) that chases what’s shiny and new.

Decluttr says the average price of an iPhone right now is $758. The price increases to well over a grand if the phone is purchased on a 24-month contract. The phone’s cost and service plan average $2,736, according to Decluttr.

It says the price of an iPhone rises $81 with each new flagship. Should that continue, the average iPhone will cost more than $6,300 in 60 years (also unlikely).

“These seemingly small increases soon add up,” Decluttr wrote on its website. “If you were to buy a new iPhone every year, you would end up paying a total of $103,000 in your lifetime.

“The short term cost might not be considered when you’re upgrading… (But) for the same amount of money, you could have bought a house, depending on the state, or two top-of-the-range Harley-Davidson bikes.”

Source: Decluttr via 9to5Mac