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Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Philip Schiller, speaks during a media event at Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 12, 2017. / JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Apple’s latest creations have all the allure we’ve come to expect from the company’s carefully orchestrated marketing machine. Celebration of an anniversary? Check. Sleek designs? Um, always. Upgrades? Check and check. For if you already possess an iPhone, a new model may be baked into your mobile phone service plan creating a habit of anticipating the next, yes, upgrade.

But before automatically forking over nearly $1,000 for iPhone X, it may be worth examining how most of us react when presented with a new, “improved” product. Welcome to the world of comparison neglect, where we don’t adequately investigate and weigh alternatives and can be easily swayed by the perception of that so-called “upgrade.”

Aner Sela, a marketing professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, studied this tendency toward comparison neglect — particularly when presented with upgrades. His work (specifically in the context of smart phones) shows that few people actually compare features unless we are promptedto do so (more details on the study are here) which is the last thing a company with the insane marketing savvy of Apple is going to do for you. And early reports of slower&nbsp;sales for iPhone 8 suggested some may have been holding out for iPhone X&nbsp;which began pre-order sales today and will be available in stores next week.

Sela’s strategy? He says that whenever you get a whiff of a major marketing push or hear upgrade, that’s the time for closer scrutiny. Developing this discipline might “help people to develop skills and literacy to make better upgrade decisions that will eventually be more rewarding in the long term,” Sela says.

How to begin? Slow your decision-making by asking:

  • Do whatever new features are being introduced merit the cost of purchasing a new one?
  • If so, what is truly important to you?
  • How much do you value them?

Sure, there may changes — in the case of iPhone X, wireless charging, facial recognition capabilities and higher-resolution photography are, well, cool. But are you actually dissatisfied with what you have now? Can you use the phone for what you need it for? Is it good enough?

Sela’s study shows that simply asking people to compare options may alter their choice — a reminder to think concretely of the features they already had significantly decreases the tendency to upgrade.

Next, consider that we are easily impressed by feature improvement, an idea advanced by the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business’s Christopher Hsee&nbsp;— something he and his co-authors call&nbsp;medium maximization. Is the product completely novel or just an incremental improvement (like a larger screen)? Will the new facial recognition software, for instance, truly enhance our security and is that something you value? “We forget those features are not valuable in and of themselves,” Sela says.

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Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, Philip Schiller, speaks during a media event at Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 12, 2017. / JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Apple’s latest creations have all the allure we’ve come to expect from the company’s carefully orchestrated marketing machine. Celebration of an anniversary? Check. Sleek designs? Um, always. Upgrades? Check and check. For if you already possess an iPhone, a new model may be baked into your mobile phone service plan creating a habit of anticipating the next, yes, upgrade.

But before automatically forking over nearly $1,000 for iPhone X, it may be worth examining how most of us react when presented with a new, “improved” product. Welcome to the world of comparison neglect, where we don’t adequately investigate and weigh alternatives and can be easily swayed by the perception of that so-called “upgrade.”

Aner Sela, a marketing professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, studied this tendency toward comparison neglect — particularly when presented with upgrades. His work (specifically in the context of smart phones) shows that few people actually compare features unless we are promptedto do so (more details on the study are here) which is the last thing a company with the insane marketing savvy of Apple is going to do for you. And early reports of slower sales for iPhone 8 suggested some may have been holding out for iPhone X which began pre-order sales today and will be available in stores next week.

Sela’s strategy? He says that whenever you get a whiff of a major marketing push or hear upgrade, that’s the time for closer scrutiny. Developing this discipline might “help people to develop skills and literacy to make better upgrade decisions that will eventually be more rewarding in the long term,” Sela says.

How to begin? Slow your decision-making by asking:

  • Do whatever new features are being introduced merit the cost of purchasing a new one?
  • If so, what is truly important to you?
  • How much do you value them?

Sure, there may changes — in the case of iPhone X, wireless charging, facial recognition capabilities and higher-resolution photography are, well, cool. But are you actually dissatisfied with what you have now? Can you use the phone for what you need it for? Is it good enough?

Sela’s study shows that simply asking people to compare options may alter their choice — a reminder to think concretely of the features they already had significantly decreases the tendency to upgrade.

Next, consider that we are easily impressed by feature improvement, an idea advanced by the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business’s Christopher Hsee — something he and his co-authors call medium maximization. Is the product completely novel or just an incremental improvement (like a larger screen)? Will the new facial recognition software, for instance, truly enhance our security and is that something you value? “We forget those features are not valuable in and of themselves,” Sela says.

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