Re: Been [there] for years
> I understand not everyone can afford to buy new phones, but I reckon a lot might consider it if they realised how much they could save.
I think the key point is that people aren't upgrading because they don't understand how cheaply they can do it; the existing kit they have is Good Enough.
My dad's a case in point; he had a Samsung S6, and his telco sent him an S8 which sat in a kitchen drawer for months. He only upgraded to it once it got to the point where things started refusing to work on his old phone. Such as the National Lottery app ;)
To be fair, he's not techie, he doesn't really use social media, and the camera quality was good enough for his purposes (aka: taking photographs when working, to document repairs - of the need thereof).
> The SIM-only bill was half what I paid before, for five times more data, and at each phone iteration the old one had a resale value of up to a fifth of the price of the new one
That's an approach I've taken in the past, but I ended up back on a contract in the last cycle, since photo quality is a significant factor for me, and the best cameras are found on flagship/expensive handsets. Aka the Samsung S10+ (then) and the S21 Ultra (now).
Saying this (and as expounded on elsewhere on The Reg), I did feel like I was somewhat underserved by the Samsung S10+; for the most part, it wasn't measurably better than the LG V30 which it replaced, while costing significantly more.
Still, the contract's finally run out, and in some ways, it's kinda all worked out, as Carphone Warehouse are offering some fairly ridiculous trade-in deals if you're upgrading to something from the S21 range; by default, my S10+ is worth £265 in trade in, but I'll get an extra £100 if I trade it in against an S21.
Which is more than a third of the handset's original value - and probably more than I'd get from Ebay (especially after fees, etc), with much less risk or hassle.
And even without the trade in, Vodafone and ID (Carphone's in-house virtual telco) are only lobbing around £200-£300 atop the cost of the handset for a 2 year contract. Which works out at between £5-£10 per month for the SIM. Which is a whole lot less than EE charged for data when I purchased my S10+!
So, I'm in the odd but welcome position of being able to both get the latest shiny - with additional freebies worth a couple of hundred quid by themselves - and reduce my monthly bill by about a third!
Admittedly, I could have just dropped to a SIM-only deal and dropped my monthly bill to virtually nothing. But I also suspect this is the best deal by far that we're likely to see for a while...