Tech gifts always present a dilemma around the holidays.
You can impress your loved ones with the latest and greatest gadget gift, but you also know that new TV is going to be much cheaper in a few short months.
“So just buy new-ish things,” you might say.
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Tech often changes so rapidly that having the “new” version actually does make a difference — as opposed to let’s say a car. And the people in your life who are clamoring for tech gifts also tend to be the ones who appreciate something being “new.”
With these considerations in mind, Data analysts at Graphiq have come up with a guide to whether you should buy that brand new product this holiday season or whether you should wait for the price to drop.
To do this, they looked at six popular categories of tech gifts, and estimated how much the blockbuster items will drop in price in the next year (based on data from the five top-rated products in that category last year).
Here is what they found.
TVs and fitness trackers saw the biggest plunge in pricing, and you can expect to pay around 30% less a year later.
For fitness trackers, this is likely because the space is changing rapidly. Innovative features and technical improvements seem to emerge at every new product launch.
TVs, on the other hand, seem to charge a premium for trendy features that may not make a real difference in how much you enjoy it, according to Graphiq. The analysts’ advice is to “skip all the flashy tech and buy a two-year-old TV for around $500.”
On the other side of the market, tablets and headphones seem to hold their value better. According to Graphiq, you’re unlikely to see more than a 15% drop in price within a year.
Graphiq likens tablets to game consoles, which maintain similar specs for a few years, and decrease their price slowly over time.
Here is a chart of how the specs on popular tablets have progressed over the last few years.
And Graphiq found headphones to be the most stable of the categories in terms of price. They saw just a 12.5% dip in the price of flagship headphones.