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How’s Your Tech Upgrade Cycle?


Staff member
ZD Legend
May 6, 2012
Sydney, Australia
How often to you upgrade your phones, computers, tablets, etc? (Purchase a newer version, not upgrade software)

I generally keep each phone for three or four years before upgrading to a new one. I find it to be an excessive waste of money to upgrade every year. I used to purchase two year contracts including the phone to reduce the down payment but with not being sure of what country I’ll be in two years from now this isn’t a good option for me anymore. A payment down on a new smartphone can be intense, but also I don’t want to leave the iPhone/Apple ecosystem so I use the product as long as possible to get the value out of it.

When it comes to computers, I just have my first personal laptop (mid 2012 MacBook Pro) that I purchased in late 2012 or early 2013 and have used since. It has still not failed me but soon I’ll be having to replace the hard drive with an SDD because I suspect it’s about to finally fail after nearly 8 years. Again, I really like the MacBook and having been able to keep it for nearly 8 years (and counting) I am sure that it was a good investment. The cost of a new one nowadays is so outragous that I’ll probably keep using the one I have until it fails and I can’t fix it.

I don’t have and have never had a tablet since I don’t see the point of having one where I have a phone and laptop already.
I'm in limbo right now. I don't replace often, because things keep getting worse and worse, of course. More expensive, less quality. My computer is six years old, the laptop I'm using right now is four years old... and my phone is also four.

I've been in need of a new computer since last spring, but I'm in a weird situation with my dad right now and he keeps talking over me. Sorted out some ideas in October, and my dad just dismisses them. I need his help because I don't drive. That's why I've been using this laptop instead. But this semester is going to suck because I don't have a permanent computer situation right now.

And now my phone issues are probably going to force me to spend my money on replacing that instead of a computer, so that's fun. My phone can't use LTE anymore and will frequently lock up to the point it's unusable when it's on data. The infuriating part of this is that this is all fake end-of-support stuff to FORCE customers to upgrade. **** off.

But no, I never willingly upgrade. Upgrades nowadays are downgrades, fight me.


The Great Old One, Star Spawn, Sleeper of R'lyeh
ZD Legend
Jan 22, 2016
United States of America
For my desktop, only when I notice significant slow downs in modern games, but even then, usually a video card update. That's usually around 10 or so years.

But for other electronics, not so much.


~Pain is just spicy existence~
Jun 7, 2016
I wait until my device is completely unusable, and then buy a second hand replacement when I can afford it.
I don't have the kind of money where I can go buying brand new tech.
I do make exceptions if it's something I'm really interested in, though.
As far as phones go, when my current one breaks entirely I then get a new one.

I don't use tech much outside of consoles and my phone so I'm rarely upgrade.


The Rising Sun
ZD Legend
Sep 9, 2019
I try and hold off upgrading my technology for a few years (like, 4-5 at least). I've had my current laptop since March 2016, though that wasn't planned since my previous laptop (which I had since Christmas 2013) ended up having a hard drive failure and that was the end of that. I'll probably look into getting a new laptop (or maybe desktop since a laptop's not really mandatory for me anymore, idk) in 2021. I've had my current phone since July 2018, which replaced my phone that I had since August 2014, so that's a decent span of life that I want to keep up. After all, upgrading technology less means you save more money, and it's not like the technology itself advances at a rapid enough rate that you need to upgrade yearly.

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