When people ask me when they should buy a particular tech product, I have a standard answer: “Wait as long as you can without driving yourself crazy, but no longer.” That is, of course, a pat, one-size-fits all response. A site called Decide tries to provide more sophisticated answers for specific products, by analyzing the chances that its price will fall or rise, and whether or not it’s likely to be replaced in the near future.
The company’s been doing this for laptops, cameras, and TVs for a while, and now it’s added phones to the roster. So far, its advice doesn’t appear to be comprehensive or completely up-to-date: It doesn’t seem to list the Droid Bionic and Triumph, two Motorola phones I reviewed last week. But it does have lots of models, and the recommendations I checked seemed sensible. For instance, it advises against buying an iPhone 4 right now, but says it’s safe to buy one of Apple’s recently-released MacBook Airs.
No matter how much data you have, timing purchases is tough–and whatever and whenever you buy, you need to be able able to deal with one of the eternal verities of the technology world: Better, cheaper stuff is always ahead. But Device looks handy. (Retrevo, which has some purchase-timing features of its own, is another handy resource.)