How Long Do You Expect to Use Your Gadget Purchases?
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How Long Do You Expect to Use Your Gadget Purchases?



With the increasing avalanche that is mobile gadgetry there seems to me to be a shifting focus on looking at these devices (smartphones and Tablets) as almost disposable. Part of that has to do with the fact that, at least on the Android front, we see new devices more quickly than we see new hardware (and software) released faster than social networks steal features from each other. Part of that is price point, although that can be argued the other way as well. And along with that we also have the fact that mobile carriers haven’t figured out how to market to individuals vs. tying us to new contracts. That’s a growing dichotomy that always puzzles me. And of course with early termination fees (ETFs) continuing to rise, two years is what the carriers want us to think.

But back to the point. It used to be the purchase of new gadget, be it a phone, a computer, or whatever seemed to be something we’d hang onto for two or three years or so. Is that still the case? I’m sure it is more so with folks who don’t suffer from gadget lust. But technology is changing at such a rapid pace these days that I’m not sure whether or not the consumer’s psyche is in line with that pace of change.

So, I’m curious. When you make a gadget purchase how long do you expect to hang on to it? What’s your time line rationale for making a purchase? How much does the technology have to change before you make a new purchase and recycle the last one?

Let us know in comments what your thoughts are. Are your expectations different for mobile gadgets than they are for more traditional computing devices? Love to hear your thoughts.



  1. Bilbo

    09/20/2011 at 3:36 pm

    for my smartphones, not more than a year and a half. I get contract updates every year and once something new exciting comes out I take advantage of that. But I just got new toshiba i5 laptop and I think that should last me for at least 3 years. I was debating between tablet and a laptop. but the latter makes more sence to buy. Once the quad core tablets with ICS are out I’ll most likely get one but again maybe for a year or so and later sell on ebay for a new up to date gadget. thats what I do with all my ultra portable electronics.

  2. Jlscott

    09/20/2011 at 4:06 pm

    Being a printed circuit board designer I am pretty much a hardware oriented guy, that coupled with being a photography buff since I was ten years old my choice for a mobile device was the Nokia N8 with it’s great camera and Nokia maps.  As far as the Symbian operating system goes it suits my needs just fine so I will keep it for at least 2 years or until someone comes out with something much, much better.  I am currently trying out a Toshiba Thrive android tablet which will do me fine until Windows 8 devices are on the market.  I just recently switched from Windows XP to Windows 7 on my desktop so I am not the type to jump at the  next best thing just for the sake of having it.

  3. Guest

    09/20/2011 at 4:13 pm

    Since most phone contracts are two years I would expect a cell phone to last at least 24-30 months.

  4. [email protected]

    09/20/2011 at 4:28 pm

    Smartphone: 3 years contract in Canada so I’m planning on keeping it for that time, laptop 3 years also, desktop: 4 years maximum for something that is usually really powerful when I buy it.

  5. Anonymous

    09/20/2011 at 4:43 pm

    Yeeeeeeappp,,..,,[email protected],..
    I just got a $827.89 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HTV for only $251.92, they are both coming tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prîces at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use

  6. Rodfather

    09/20/2011 at 7:30 pm

    The last 2 years ago, it seems I’m switching a particular gadget every 6 months now.
    I held on to the first iPhone for the full term of 2 years. Since then, gadgets are like underwear. It’s ridiculous. There’s crap lying everywhere.

  7. DNel

    09/20/2011 at 9:31 pm

    For my smartphone, that will be at least 2years (contract time). I don’t upgrade when the newest shiny device comes out. For my computer, I upgrade usually to the best available and hold for 5 years. My Tablet PC is showing it’s age as well, but I’m waiting on Windows 8 and a tablet that uses Wacom – slate or convetible. My tablet is new and will not be replaced for at least a couple of years. I enjoy reading about the new tech, but can’t justify rapid turn around on devices that still do the task more than adequately just to satisfy my gadget lust.

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