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PostPoints tip: Buying first can cost you

As some of you may have heard, Apple will begin selling the new iPhone 4 this Thursday. And a few people are apparently already waiting in line outside Apple Stores to ensure they can be the first to buy one. But while the people who queue up in advance or who jumped on their computers to pre-order the device last week may earn the psychic satisfaction of having something earlier than other people, they risk having trouble activating their new phones: In past iPhone launches, AT&T Wireless has had trouble coping with the crush of customers looking to open new accounts or transfer existing ones to new iPhones. There's also the broader issue of running into hardware or software glitches that manufacturers don't fix until a few weeks into production--that is, after the first round of early adopters helped find them. For those reasons, I think it's usually good idea to wait a couple of weeks or a month before buying a new gadget, or a significantly redesigned version of an older model. At worst, you have to suffer from device envy for a while; at best, you avoid serving as a manufacturer's unpaid beta tester.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  June 22, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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