Should You Buy or Hold in Today’s Smartphone Market?

palm-preDan Frommer says to hold off if you’re in the smartphone market right now. I completely understand his points: we know that Sprint is launching the Palm Pre between now and the end of June. It’s widely expected and not at all out of the question that Apple will have new handset hardware to go along with its 3.0 software. Rumors of RIM adding an updated Storm to the lineup probably have some merit as well. Plus, there’s a host of hot new phones from Nokia, Samsung and others in the pipeline that were outed at Mobile World Congress and shown again at CTIA Wireless.

I’ve had a few folks approach me recently on what smartphone they should buy right now, and I’ve tended to give Dan’s advice with one important caveat. See, if you always wait for the “next big thing,” you’ll essentially always be waiting. So when I’ve shared my opinion to hold off, I also share the best, currently available options. It’s important that folks understand what they can get today, so they can decide if those products will meet their needs now and for some time in the future.

Case-in-point: I never upgraded from the iPhone 2G to 3G. Why? Because the first-generation phone met my needs nicely. Would I have liked a slightly thinner phone with a faster 3G connection? Sure! But I made an investment in the first model and my personal decision was that the next model wasn’t worth an additional investment. Obviously, many folks felt otherwise, which is normal behavior. It’s a personal choice. It’s one that you should consider from all sides, however, before making it. So when I’m asked what smartphone folks should buy now, I don’t simply offer the “hold off” approach. I present the pros and cons to buying now vs. holding off and take into account each person’s individual needs.

Out of curiosity, are any of you putting off a smartphone purchase until mid-year when some expected hardware developments come to fruition?

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