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Get smart about shopping for mobile devices

Get smart about shopping for mobile devices

12/19/2013

If you weren't convinced that everyone loves a deal, the holidays should provide proof enough that the saying is true. Malls and shopping centers across the nation are packed from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, it seems, with consumers rushing past, around and into each other trying to snag the steepest discounts available.

The principle holds true no matter what product a shopper might be looking for - including a mobile device. In fact, because smartphones and tablets are so popular, many retailers offer particularly attractive deals on the devices, hoping to sell the greatest volume possible before the new year.

The question, though, is whether you can locate those deals before other shoppers deplete stores' inventory or discounts expire. Furthermore, while the excitement surrounding deals is undeniable, it's best not to let yourself get caught up in them to the point that potential price savings lead you to purchase a less-than-optimal device. Accordingly, having the information necessary for smart, effective shopping at your fingertips is paramount this holiday season.

Take advantage of retailers' apps
And yes, you can take "fingertips" literally: If you're looking for the perfect new device at the best price available, your current smartphone or tablet can help you find it. 

Practically all the major retailers in the United States have mobile apps available this holiday season. According to WFMY News 2, Target representative Hannah Rose Clary reminded customers in advance of the Thanksgiving weekend shopping kickoff that the chain store had "a lot of great apps out right now" that offer digital coupons and other promotions. 

Meanwhile, Best Buy spokesperson Chris Neyenhouse told the news source that he encourages customers to pre-shop via the retailer's mobile app before coming into the store. That way, customers can streamline their shopping experiences.

"Get all the information, all the important details about the products ahead of time so when you come in here, you may already know what you want to get," Neyenhouse recommended, according to WFMY News 2. 

Such apps make it easier and more convenient for you to research devices and their price points across different stores before you commit to a purchase.

Best Buy offers iPhone, iPad discounts
For those on the lookout for steep discounts on the latest Apple products, Best Buy should be on your list of retailers to check. According to GottaBeMobile, the popular electronics store is offering a unique deal on the iPhone 5S. While the top-of-the-line Apple smartphone costs $199 with most contracts, Best Buy is asking $149 and offering a $50 credit towards the 5S if you trade in your old phone.

Best Buy is also offering a deal on the iPad 2, GottaBeMobile noted, dropping the price from $400 to $350. However, the discount relative to the list price isn't quite as steep, and the older-generation tablet offers somewhat outdated hardware.

Attractive though the Best Buy promotion on the 5S may be, be sure to stay aware of the options: AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are also offering iPhone discounts in December, according to the news source.

Run comparisons for price, specifications
While you may have a clear, unshakeable idea of what new smartphone or tablet you want, it's always useful to take a second look at what's available. If you've been a long-time Apple user, for instance, you might end up being surprised by some of the more recently released Android devices. The Samsung Galaxy 4 is a premium smartphone with a luxuriously large screen that starts at $99, the Washington Post noted, while the Moto X holds the distinction of being the only 100 percent American-made smartphone on the current market.

As you factor mobile phone insurance options into your considerations, keep ProtectCELL's smartphone protection plans in mind, as they offer a wider range of security than carrier plans, including data backup and identity protection.

"There are some killer deals on hardware out there, to be sure, but the real news is how people use their mobile devices in every part of daily life - they're essential. So the best option is a protection plan that covers everything - device, data, identity," said Scott McLaren, chief marketing officer at ProtectCELL. "No protection is not an option. Without it, expect to pay retail if you have to replace a lost or damaged smartphone or tablet. It could be a year until we see these kind of deals again."

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