Holding onto that iPhone box

I’m not a pack rat by nature. I don’t often keep items “just in case;” I’m more likely to trash them, even if I may regret it later.

There’s a notable exception to this minimalist streak, though: technology packaging. In our shed, I have the original boxes for nearly every tech device we own: two laptops, two iPads, two Kindles, AirPods, two Magic Keyboards, an Apple Pencil, and more. My rule of thumb? “Keep the box if there’s any chance you’ll resell this someday.”

That strategy may not be logical. Sure, buyers sometimes pay more for a device in its original box. Oddly, however, many reseller sites don’t actually care whether you have the original packaging; they’ll pay the same amount, either way.

Still, I’ll keep squirreling away the boxes, regardless of the financial return. There’s an intangible benefit: the mild satisfaction of sealing an iPhone in its original cardboard coffin. I feel like I’ve fulfilled my duty, stewarding my device from its shrink-wrapped birth to its day of departure. ◾

(These items have sold since this tweet!)

iPhone X, ordered.

Note: I’m flying across the country today, but I wanted to jot down a few quick thoughts:

For weeks now, Apple enthusiasts have fretted about the limited availability of the iPhone X on blogs, podcasts, and Twitter. Based on their warnings–and based on leaks to mainstream publications about poor parts yield rates, I had expected it would be difficult, if not impossible, to order phones online tonight.

Happily, both of our orders–64GB models in white and space gray for my wife and me–went through smoothly. The Apple Store portal (accessed via the app on my current iPhone) sprung to life around 12:02 PT, and I was done with both orders three minutes later. I even, somehow, ended up with an extra “hold my place in line” reservation number, even though my two orders went through cleanly. I plan to release that reservation as soon as Apple chat support comes back online; somebody out there will be happy when that reserved phone gets reallocated.

Anecdotally, buying the X felt no different than previous iPhone preorder nights. In fact, it might have been the easiest preorder purchase I’ve ever made.

That’s not to say I enjoyed the process, though. Buying the iPhone X ruined a full night of sleep; between the mad dash, the time pressure, and the uncertainty, the preorder flooded my body with adrenaline. There was zero possibility of getting any rest after that point. It’s going to be a long day.

There’s another downside to preordering: the post-purchase, puritanical guilt. While I’ve posted again and again and again and again about justifying frequent iPhone upgrades, spending that much money still makes my palms sweat. In fact, I even returned my first iPhone purchase—the iPhone 4—soon after buying, because I felt so torn about dropping that much cash on a phone. The iPhone X’s sky-high sticker price only amplifies that feeling. Hopefully, the device retains its resale value, so that we can recoup at least some of its price premium when we upgrade next time.

Speaking of resale, there’s one last anxiety-provoking stage to the preorder process: reselling our current phones. It takes time to do it right: both iPhones need a thorough, detailed cleaning (a toothbrush is a helpful tool), there are glamour photos to snap, and I’ll likely list both devices on multiple online resale portals. If we’re lucky, we’ll clear $400+ for both phones–a significant saving step towards next year’s inevitable (?) upgrade. ■