The easiest way to save money on tech in South Africa – don’t buy on the day it launches

If you are willing to wait a year, you can pick up tech at substantially cheaper prices than what it launched at.

While a year is a long time in the tech space, the incentive to wait can be tempting when you look at how items drop in price.

For items like graphics cards, smartwatches, and smartphones, waiting 12 months after launch sees a newer version of that device come to the market – which forces distributors and retailers to drop their prices to move older stock.

The lower specifications or performance of the device, no matter how marginal, also makes “old” tech less attractive and companies are quick to try and move these units by discounting them.

This gives South Africans the chance to buy powerful hardware and devices, which can still handle the tasks they were intended for, at cheaper rates.

The examples below illustrate this point.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti opened for pre-orders in South Africa in October 2017, and a range of card manufacturers had their models on offer.

Local stores like Wootware and Evetech had the cards for sale, with prices starting at around R8,500.

Fast forward a year, and thanks to the launch of new cards like the GeForce RTX 2070, the price of the GTX 1070 Ti has dropped.

Looking at launch prices in the table below compared against the current prices, the same cards from the same stores are discounted by up to 25%.

Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti
Card Launch Price Current Price Discount
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Armor R8,499 R7,149 16%
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Gaming R8,999 R6,899 23%
ASUS GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Turbo R10,499 R7,855 25%
ASUS GeForce GTX 1070 Ti ROG Strix Advanced R9,799 R8,599 12%

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 ti

Apple Watch and Smartphones

Apple is well known for not giving big discounts on its products, particularly in South Africa where a “20% off sale” would be welcomed at any time.

However, even Apple products drop significantly in price after new devices launch and time progresses.

Following the launch of the Apple Watch Series 4, the iStore held a sale on 31 October 2018 in which it offered the Apple Watch Series 3 at over 30% off its launch price. The Series 3 was launched in October 2017.

The iStore also launched the iPhone 8 in October 2017, and one year later the entry model is 11% cheaper.

For Android devices, the price difference is much more pronounced.

Looking at the Samsung Galaxy S8, which was launched locally in May 2017, the discount on its launch price compared to current pricing is just under 30%.

Apple Watch and Smartphones
Item Launch Price Current/Sale Price Discount
Apple Watch Series 3 38mm R5,499 R3,799 31%
Apple Watch Series 3 42mm R5,999 R4,399 27%
Apple iPhone 8 64GB R13,499 R11,999 11%
Samsung Galaxy S8 R15,499 R10,999 29%

Red iPhone 8

PC monitors

Another category of tech goods which can set shoppers back a serious chunk of money is PC monitors.

Monitors intended for gaming or professional use can cost well over R5,000 for a 27-inch screen.

Like the items listed above, however, users can save money by delaying their purchase.

This is shown in the table below, were we compared the local pricing of high-end monitors from July 2017 against prices from November 2018.

PC Monitors
Monitor 2017 Price Current Price Discount
LG 34UM68 FreeSync R8,499 R6,791 20%
Dell S2716DG G-Sync R9,799 R8,499 13%
Acer XG270HU FreeSync R9,654 R6,999 28%

Alienware monitor 2

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The easiest way to save money on tech in South Africa – don’t buy on the day it launches