Saturday, October 13, 2018

Let’s Talk Numbers - Cost of iPhoneX

I had a semi-annual tradition of buying a new iPhone and selling my previous one on eBay. The past year I bought an iPhoneX outright and my wife bought an iPhoneX on the Apple upgrade plan and I thought to myself, “I am really excited to see how the numbers work out in a year when we upgrade.” The problem is - it’s complicated.
  1. Mr. Chaos - iPhoneX = $1,238.05
  2. Mrs. Chaos - iPhoneX + AppleCare+ = $56.16✖️24 = $1,347.84
Right off the bat it’s not Apples to Apples, because AppleCare+ for the iPhoneX is $249 which is part of Mrs.Chaos’ upgrade package but I didn’t purchase. So one year later, as I sell my phone back, how do I calculate the true cost? Here’s my best attempt.
Mrs.Chaos’ phone can either be looked at as the phone for 1-year or as the phone minus the accessories (charger, lightning cable, EarPods) - which are not returned to Apple:
  • iPhoneX Upgrade 1 Year: $619
  • iPhoneX Accessories: Lightening Cable ($19) + USB Charger ($19) + EarPods ($29) + Dongle ($9) = $76
I tried to sell my iPhoneX on eBay and hit a scam issue, but I can make some assumptions about the price:
  • iPhoneX expected eBay: $785
  • iPhoneX actual eBay: $525
  • iPhoneX Apple Buyback: $525
The price of the accessories is important because when you sell on eBay, you generally sell the accessories. When you do an Apple buyback, you don’t return the accessories - so there is value you keep.
Here are the numbers I think matter.
Item Math One Year Cost
iPhoneX 1-year cost with AppleCare+ 1-year cost $56.16✖️12
Accessories: - $76
iPhoneX goodcase on eBay iPhoneX: $1,238.05
eBay Sale: - $785
eBay Fees: + $101.57
iPhoneX badcase on eBay iPhoneX: $1,238.05
eBay Sale: - $525
eBay Fees: + $68
iPhoneX Apple Buyback iPhoneX: $1,238.05
Apple: - $525
Accessories: - $76
Even in the best case on eBay, if you wanted AppleCare+, the Apple program is the least expensive way to do it. What I found more amazing is that the Apple buyback program provided me a better deal the actual eBay case - even though in theory I could have done a little better on eBay.
What happened on eBay was I had a big at $525 at about 3pm. At 4pm a bid came in that moved the price up to $785, which was high enough to discourage any other bids. Then, with my auction ending at 5pm, at 4:59pm and 30s the high bid was cancelled buy the buyer and it sold for $525. I cancelled the sale which hits my reputation - but whatever.