Why opting for an ageing flagship might be a good idea for power users constrained by budget. Not every consumer wants the most spec’d out

Appreciating the value of the ageing flagship

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Why opting for an ageing flagship might be a good idea for power users constrained by budget.

Not every consumer wants the most spec’d out device. In such cases, a mid tier device might be ideal. In addition, a large number of users are price sensitive, especially in emerging markets. For them, OEMs have been creating pretty powerful, entry level smartphones – which are competent enough to deliver a large percentage of functions that more powerful devices offer.

On the other hand, there are consumers who must have powerful specifications, differentiating features, or are even particular about the design language of a device. For this set, the ‘Flagship’ device is the accurate fit. But what happens when users in this segment are not willing to pay the premium, and in some cases, even further consider the price of such devices outrageous? Maybe considering an older flagship is the answer; especially one that is less than 2 years old.

ageing flagship

Here are reasons to consider the ageing flagship device:

Price – Mostly, when new devices are released, manufacturers tend to drop the prices of previous generations’ offerings’. So buying a device close to 2 years after its release might offer decent bang for buck. While it still packs specifications from just a generation,or two earlier, it now sells significantly lower. At this point, the consumer avoids paying the premium that the early adopter will have to shell out.

Support – Manufacturers tend to provide support for flagship devices for at least two years. During that period, the device gets the latest iteration of the operating system which powers it. Being a flagship device, it’s specifications are not necessarily outdated at this time, so newer versions of the OS usually run smoothly on it. In addition, accessories and add-ons are usually readily available for these category of devices, regardless of their age.

Specifications – This might be the most enticing reason for the smartphone enthusiast. Flagships are usually built with the latest hardware, such as – capable processors with high end GPUs, pixel dense screens, and high capacity batteries. These devices are usually designed to be future proof, so adopting a flagship from an earlier generation likely means you still get great value, with specifications that still surpass those of the newest entry-level or mid-tier devices.

In summary, the sweet deal with the average ageing flagship is its relevance specs-wise without being a burden on the purse. It tends to leverage the manufacturer’s competences to bring to market a device that will be supported for a decent amount of time, considering the rapid innovative nature of the mobile market.

The emergence of new anomalies which I pointed out in ‘A look at mobiles and market segments‘ is evidently a springing concern to this category. However, the versatility that the ageing flagship delivers still keeps it relevant, especially for the specs conscious consumer, who is constrained by a budget.

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  1. I find myself more and more buying used phones, not because of financial constraints, but because I can’t justify the amount flagships are selling for.

    On the other hand, there are bargains to be had every now and then. I recently acquired a new BlackBerry Q10: first, because I’ve wanted one for a long time, and second, because the price fell to a value I felt it was worth buying at 🙂

  2. My sentiments are exactly with the author when it comes to buying phones,the older flagships are the best bang for bucks,currently using Note 2,hopes to buy Note 4,when the Note 5 comes out..

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