Do accessory investments keep you from upgrading?

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Rarely do our smartphone purchases end once we’ve paid the full price – whether it’s in the same day or over time – of the device. Most people buy at least one or two accessories with a new phone, such a protective case, a screen protector, an extra wall or car charger, and maybe some extra goodies as well. Many people go beyond that scope and end up buying an exorbitant amount of accessories for just one phone, and it’s easy to understand why; accessories are a huge part of the smartphone industry.

As I was rummaging and re-arranging my closet the other day, I came upon an entire box of accessories from old phones. There were cases from my EVO 4G, EVO 3D, 1st gen Moto X, Nokia Lumia 928, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5S, and my iPhone 6. There were cases, chargers, and extra screen protectors left behind. For the iPhone 4S, an old alarm radio that only worked with devices that used the old 30-pin connector was also in the box, blanketed in dust.

Seeing all of these accessories that I didn’t use anymore made me realize that accessory investments are a big reason why I hate buying new phones. It’s a personal preference, but I’ve always enjoyed having a large array of accessories to choose from. Changing accessories is the easiest way, in my opinion, to make a phone feel “new” without having to purchase a new phone. For me, it was one of the only ways I could think of to solve that “new phone itch” that I used to get far more frequently than I do today.

In fact, often times the amount of money that I would spend on accessories would stop me from upgrading, even when I really wanted to. Even if I purchased a bunch of “cheap” accessories, those cheap accessories still added up. And, more often than not, I would have at least one accessory per phone that cost $50-$100 – which, in my opinion, is a lot for a phone accessory (but worth it, as the “expensive” accessory usually ended up being something I used on the daily, such as a battery case).

I’ve already been thinking about trading in my Galaxy S7 for something else. As I went through this box of accessories, I remembered that each one was an excuse I used not to give up my iPhone 6 (well, that and the device really wasn’t bad over a year after its release). But the battery case, the 7 extra cases I had, the two extra tempered glass screen protectors I had on hand in case mine broke, and the two spare car chargers I purchased sure did make me think about how much money sink went into that iPhone.

As for my Galaxy S7, I haven’t had it long enough to build up much of an accessory collection. I have two cases and a spare screen protector, and honestly, I think that’s part of the reason why I don’t feel quite so attached to this phone. Not much would be lost if I traded it in for something of equal value.

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