Unless you just have to be the first among your friends and peers to have something is there any advantage in pre-ordering a phone or some other gadget?
Whenever a well-known company releases a new product it seems that we're being asked to get in early and pre-order.
Microsoft is offering pre-orders for the new Surface and Apple does it for each new iPhone and iPad. Amazon does it with highly anticipated books. But why do people bother?
Unless you just have to be the first among your friends and peers to have something is there any advantage in pre-ordering?
In a word - no.
Although it does guarantee that you'll get the product early on, and you don't have to join the big queues that can form for things like the iPad, there's no other benefit. In fact, given that many products are discounted after their initial release - except for Apple, which almost never discounts - it's often worth not being an early adopter.
Pre-ordering might be useful in cases of mass demand - when a new iPhone or iPad goes on sale, there are often "shortages" - but will not having the absolute latest smartphone the week it goes on sale seriously impact your life expectancy?
If you really need to be the first amongst your friends to have the latest technology, there are less enjoyable things than queuing. We queued for the iPad 2 and while lining up sounds boring it was actually a lot of fun. If we have to get our hands on the latest and have some free time, we'd rather do that than pre-order.