Getting The New iPhone 15? Read This First
It’s that time of the year again when Apple introduces their latest lineup of phones. The “Wonderlust” launch event, which took place on September 12th unveiled the new iPhone 15. The newest Apple Watch Series 9 was also revealed to the public at the same event.
Cool new features touted include ‘aerospace-grade titanium’ case and another new 5x Telephoto camera. While the new tech unveiled will appeal to Apple users, such as the new USB C compatibility, the price remains budget “unfriendly”.
The basic iPhone 15 price in Malaysia starts at RM4,399 and the iPhone 15 Plus at RM4,899 for 128GB storage. And if you want to get the Pro models, then be prepared to pay out the nose with RM5,499 for the Pro and RM6,499 for the Pro Max with both at 128GB storage.
You might think to yourself, “But I want that new iPhone! It’s so shiny and new!”
Well, if you’re determined to get that new iPhone when it it is available for pre-order on 22 September 2023, then go for it. However, you probably should NOT do the following things when you’re considering whether to buy it or not.
Do not take a personal loan that you cannot pay
Given the price tag of new iPhones, it’s not surprising that some people would opt to take a personal loan to afford it. However, by doing so, you’re adding a financial burden to yourself that might stretch for years.
Such was the case with the Malaysian who took a 3-year loan to get an iPhone 13 . He ended up being unable to pay it off just 2 months later.
Taking a personal loan is an extreme option due to the high interest rates that it might come with. As such, it’s a huge commitment that could ultimately harm your finances if you’re not financially stable enough to keep up with the payments.
Do not use your retirement or emergency funds
It’s tempting to dip into your emergency funds to afford that shiny new iPhone 15. However, unless it’s an emergency, you have no reason to use funds that are supposed to protect you on a rainy day.
The same applies to your retirement savings. It’s supposed to provide you with financial security for when you retire, not for you to get a new iPhone. Also, you might want to check if you have enough for retirement because if you only relied on EPF, that might not be enough!
Instead of using your emergency or retirement funds, set up a separate fund. It can be specifically for buying a new iPhone (or any other thing that you want for that matter).
This might mean that you won’t be able to buy it immediately but at least you know you’ll have enough money to do so without relying on your emergency or retirement funds.
Do not use Buy Now, Pay Later if you can’t afford it
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is another popular payment method that a lot of Malaysians might consider using when making big purchases.
While it does provide certain advantages over traditional instalment payments, such as credit cards or personal loans, it can still easily hurt your finances if you’re not careful.
When it comes to buying something as expensive as an iPhone, using BNPL can be a great way to offset the costs in a manageable payment schedule. This is because you can split the payments into either 3-to-6 months with usually zero interest.
But that’s only good if you’re sure that you have enough funds every month. You should ensure that it doesn’t affect any other commitments that you have such as loans, bills, insurance, etc.
For example, the cost of a new iPhone 15 Pro at RM5,499 under a 3-month payment schedule would mean that you will pay RM1,833 per month. That’s a month’s worth of salary for some people!
So, unless you are certain that you can set aside enough money to make that payment for at least 3 months, it might not be a good idea to use BNPL to buy that new iPhone.
What should you do when buying a new iPhone?
Look, buying a new iPhone is a luxury. Especially if you still have a perfectly working phone right now and are in no rush to upgrade or change your phone. However, if you still want to get that brand-new iPhone, then there are a few ways that you can consider.
- Buy it through a telco contract: Another popular method to get a new iPhone at an affordable price is by signing up for a telco contract. Of course, you still have to make an upfront payment, but it won’t be as high as buying it at full price.
- Set up a phone fund: It’s the safest bet to ensure that you can afford a new iPhone. Just start saving up. This might take longer if you haven’t started saving yet but at least you know you won’t end up with financial problems when you do make the purchase.
- Instalment plans with a credit card: This should be considered as a last resort if you need to get a new iPhone and can’t pay the full price upfront. As Apple resellers offer instalment plans that are tied to credit cards, you might be able to apply for an instalment plan to manage the monthly payments on it.
One thing to consider before buying an iPhone is whether you really need to buy the latest model. Older iPhone models are still a good deal as they can last easily up to 4 years with the constant updates that Apple provides.
Plus, when Apple announces a new lineup, they usually reduce the pricing of older models. Such was the case for the iPhone 12 (64GB) where it went down from RM3,899 to RM3,399 when the iPhone 13 was announced. So, if you’re not desperate for the iPhone 15, then the older models might be the ones to go.
Buying a new iPhone can be costly, especially if it’s the latest model. However, it shouldn’t end up being a financial burden and you can avoid that by not doing any of the things above.