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Posted: 1:28 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

How to steal a deal on an iPhone or Android smartphone

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ClarkHoward.com and The Clark Howard Show offer ways to save more, spend less and avoid rip-offs


MONEY-SAVING MOMENT: If you don't mind not having state of the art technology, there's a way for you to save big bucks on a smartphone.

We're just weeks away from Apple's announcement about their latest and greatest gadgets. That's already been sucking life out of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, causing prices to drop in the marketplace. Sprint has discounted the iPhone 4S (with contract) down by $50, and Apple is matching that price at their stores.

We see the same pattern each time Apple rolls out new technology. Everybody fawns over the latest model and the old model is yesterday's news that gets sold on discount.

For example, when the iPad 3 came out, the previous iteration was marked down to $359 -- instead of $499 for a new iPad 3.

But the thing is, Apple products depreciate quicker than normal for electronics. Their customers want the latest and greatest, so the last generation gets really cheap. So if you're tempted and don't need the latest and greatest, why not wait several weeks and buy last generation on the cheap?

A friend of mine bought the last generation of the MacBook Air for $799. There wasn't much difference between it and the entry level model of the new version that sells for $999. Except that he saved $200!  

On the Android side of the equation, it works slightly differently. There are now several websites competing to selling you Androids cheaper than the cell phone companies. These include WireFly.com and LetsTalk.com. In addition, Amazon is getting aggressive in this market too and may sell you an Android at half price compared to the cell phone company.

With the Android market, if you'll wait just one month after a new model is introduced, that's when you're likely to get a cheaper price no matter where you shop.

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