Chart: iPhone or investment? How much money you’d have if you bought Apple stock instead of the latest iPhone

September 13, 2023
Wally Nowinski

Is buying the new iPhone worth it? It depends on what else you’d do with the money. If the alternative is losing it at a casino, then buying the newest iPhone is almost certainly a better purchase. If you’d otherwise save or invest the money, the picture could look quite different. 

We analyzed one alternative to spending $799 on the latest iPhone: investing in Apple stock. What if instead of buying the latest iPhone, you used that money to buy shares of Apple on the day the phone was announced? The answer might have you reconsidering just how much value you got from your first iPhone. 

How much money would you have if you bought Apple stock instead of the original iPhone? 

The original iPhone was announced on Jan. 8, 2007. If, instead of buying one for $499, you invested that money in Apple stock on the day the phone was announced, your investment would be worth $34,819 as of Sept. 6, 2023. That annual return of 29% accounts for stock splits and assumes you reinvest your dividends. Of course, if you had resisted temptation and kept the original iPhone sealed in the box, you could sell it for even more. A sealed, original iPhone recently sold for $190,000 at auction

How much money would you have if you bought Apple stock instead of a new phone every year? 

If instead of buying the latest iPhone every year, you invested the retail price of the base model into Apple stock, you’d have $143,676 worth of $AAPL today. 


  • Calculations are based on the starting retail price for an unlocked, unsubsidized base model iPhone.

  • The historic investment value calculations assume stock was purchased on the day each generation of the iPhone was announced.

We used the DQYDJ Stock Total Return and Dividend Reinvestment Calculator to calculate historical returns, including splits and dividend reinvestment. 

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