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Should I Buy An iPhone or an Android Smart Phone? What’s Better Value for Money

Q. I have been thinking to buy a new Smartphone but have been skeptical over the available options, especially the fact that there are hundreds of decent options to choose from. I can easily find a good phone based on the specifications listed on the Internet but the bigger question is which device is better in terms of the return on investment. I would like to know what’s better in terms of the complete package ie brand value, the device built, service & support. Can you put some light on this confusion? ~Patrick

A. Hey, Patrick, it is interesting to see this kind of question from our reader because we generally see our readers using the Phone Finder to find their new phone based on the features, specifications, and the prices. This question would be answered in details because it’s something that needs you to understand more about the complete ecosystem and the business model over the available options. These days we have many Smartphones that are available at affordable prices while the premium devices offer you with better builds, designs and software features. Before we jump into the suggestions, let’s understand a few factors that are more important.

Better Resale Value

– Before you buy a new Smartphone, consider it as an investment and also calculate the returns you could get from the same. There have been many market studies on the returns you can expect from the different devices and the fact stays that the Apple products generally have the highest returns when compared to Android. According to a report by priceonomics, you can notice that the iPhones have around 53% resale value when compared to the 42% for Android that’s also lower in the current markets and scenarios.

Smart Phone Resale Value

If you know someone who has purchased a Premium Android in the last 3 years you can speak to them and ask about the resale values, because they would have gone down by more than 50% within a year itself. This does not happen in the case of the Apple devices because their prices go down very slowly and there isn’t any huge upgrade on the newer models that could reduce the value of the last product. It is important to always assess this information and factor it in to know if you are spending the money on the right product.

iOS Devices – 1 / Android Devices – 0

Software Updates

– The hardware is generally something that’s not very Important when you talk about the experience because it’s the software that controls everything. If the device is from the Nexus series then you can definitely expect top notch experience while if it’s a Samsung, LG, HTC or an ASUS Smartphone you can expect a lot of customizations on the name of offering a personalized experience. These User Interfaces generally slow down the devices, hog up the battery and also give the users a slow / laggy experiences. While the Apple Smartphones are running on iOS, they do not allow you to do a lot of customizations unless you Jailbreak the devices, which is good because you get the best experience for the available resources.

As time passes all the brands offer you with regular software updates that not only fix the security issues but also offer some enhances along with bug fixes. There are also the yearly major software updates like the recent Android Lollipop & the Android Marshmallow update while the iOS 9 was released in 2015. In this case, it is important that your device is compatible to the latest update for at least 2 years and that’s where we see the Android devices fail again. A quick look on the Android version Fragmentation and you would be shocked to see that most of the 2-year-old devices would not be getting the latest version while it’s a surprising trend on the iOS devices. You would find that the recent iOS9 version is available on 70% of iPhones. [Data Source]

Apple iOS 9 Adoption Trends

iOS Devices – 1 / Android Devices – 0

Product Service

– Every time you buy an Apple product you get a 1 year warranty following which you can extend the same with the Apple Care. This is a premium warranty service but that’s worth the money you pay in case of any damage to your devices. Apple offers with an optional $100 AppleCare+ plan that covers accidental damages at $50 a piece twice, that helps you in easily getting your device replaced in case of a drop damage or any other issue. These plans are not good for you to incase you plan to upgrade your Phone every year since they are targeted to people who wish to continue for atlas 2 to 3 years.

On a contrary, the Android devices generally come with only 1 year of warranty, that’s also limited and does not offer you with replacement. Again the devices come from numerous brands & you will have to take a look up with the brand on the service agreement but a quick check shows that you get better service options when investing on an Apple device when compared to Android.

Whenever I get a chance to speak to people, I try to ask about the service & this is where I have found that the Apple users are generally more satisfied with the brand when compared to the Android users. You can easily find that most of the consumers have issues with their devices especially the ones from the Tier-2 brands and when they try to contact the service centres, they are made to wait for weeks along with hefty charges. The devices are prone to damages easily because they are mostly on your hands and not just drops but they also get scratches, dents etc and getting an Android device replaced is something you cannot ever get because almost none of the manufacturers offer this kind of feature. Based on all these points, I feel it is better to invest your money on an Apple device over the others.

iOS Devices – 1 / Android Devices – 0

Buying the Right Product

– If you are out of options and looking for a suggestion then the right product to buy would be the latest Nexus devices that come with the latest Android Software pre-installed and are also going to the stay updated with OTA updates. These devices have recently been priced heavily at par with the Premium Flagship devices but we have seen the price trends of these that show a drop in the prices within weeks. A good example would be the recently launched Nexus 5X at Rs 31,990, that is now available at Rs 19,990 within just 3 months of the launch. This is a flat drop of 38% in the price which is ridiculous because the early adopters would feel burnt when spending their money on a belief that Google has launched a product that offers one of the best performance at a decent price. The lesson learnt here is that you will have to follow the same buying rule which is to buy a device 2 months after its launched.

If you are someone who wishes to add an iOS device to your current purchases then it’s recommended to buy it when it’s launched because we do not see a huge price drop and this way you can use it easily for a year and when the new device comes a year later you can upgrade at a very minimal price difference. This is one of the most important advantages we get using an Apple product. Again if your choice is not to buy the best then look out the last years device whose price is generally dropped when a new model is launched and which is the best time to buy it as it’s not overpriced.

iOS Devices – 1 / Android Devices – 1

Overall I can conclude that buying an iPhone is far better than an Android device based on all the four important factors mentioned above. It’s not just about the devices but also the ecosystem that matters. The more devices you add in your family from one product line, its the better since that helps in easy management, data transfer and sharing.

So next time you call out at the Apple Fans as iSheep, better think twice because there’s a reason why people like Apple devices and the value those devices offer.

Important Suggestion: If you are still looking to purchase an Android device despite the above points, its your choice and I would recommend you to buy any device that has been launched 2-3 months back. This is to make sure that you do not spend your hard earned cash on a Smart phone that has just been launched since the prices would be the highest at that time.

By Amit Bhawani on Monday 25th of Jan 2016


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