We all know that buying technology is about timing: the worst time to buy a piece of technology is right when the new version is about to come out. You’ll paralyze yourself if you keep waiting for the “next big thing” of course, but with products that refresh on a yearly cycle, unless the previous generation is being sold at significant cost savings, you want to get the new version to be one step further away from obsolescence. Sometimes though, the cycle of technology does not sync up with the cycle of our lives when it’s time to buy.
Case in point: off and on since 2002, I’ve been going to Mexico for vacation with my family (my ninth trip is happening next month). It’s a Dunn tradition, and given it’s usually the only vacation I take all year, I look forward to it with great anticipation. On January 23rd, 2012, I purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 for my March Mexico vacation that year. A newer version of the Panasonic camera, the TS4, was announced on January 31st. I can’t recall if, four years ago, I knew that was coming or not, but I can tell you why I didn’t return it: many camera vendors announce in January but don’t start shipping until late March or early April. The first verified purchase review on Amazon was April 3rd 2012, but I couldn’t wait that long.