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Upgrade Your Tech for Less in 2011

AT&T logo with person holding an iPhone
AP Photo/CBS
Prices are dropping on many popular electronics in 2011.

"Early Show" technology expert Katie Linendoll explained on the broadcast Thursday why some products are going down in price, what the lowest prices are, and shared tips for shoppers on how and where to get the best deals this year.

Linendoll said electronics and gadgets are constantly being upgraded.

"If you're not an early adopter that has to have the latest bells and whistles often times you can score a pretty sweet deal on a previous model," she said.

Linendoll shared the following gadgets people will be able to buy for less this year.

Cell phones
Cell phones have become our most powerful device. And the barrage of options speaks for itself. The smartphone category is growing exponentially and 61.5 million in the US use smartphones. Carriers are now offering deals to get users in a two-year contract and many times subsidize the device. Right now if you can do without the latest iPhone (iPhone4) you can pick up the iPhone 3GS at AT&T for just $49. And expect carrier wars to continue especially when the iPhone4 will be offered at $199.99 on Verizon early next month. But since Apple typically does a 12-month product cycle expect the iPhone5 to be out in late June. And if the rumors are true, and the model is completely different, this could drop the price of the iPhone4 as well.

iPhone4 now - $199
iPhone4 summer 2011 - $99

LCDs and Plasma TVs
TVs are constantly being upgraded. New features and competition will always drive cost down. Novelties like 3D and Internet connected TVs are a good example of features you will pay more for. If you really want a good deal never buy a model right when it comes out, look for one that's been out for six to 12 months.

2010 Lowest: $370, Insignia 42" 600Hz 720p Widescreen Plasma HDTV from Best Buy (free shipping) Courtesy of DealNews.com
2011: $299 42"

Blu-ray Players
Streaming on demand, Internet connected TVs, set top boxes, is it the death of the disc? Not overnight. But with digital downloads paired with the cost of manufacturing going down price drops on Blu-ray players are no surprise.

Even expect many players to be bundled with TVs as added value, better known as FREE.
Another thing to mention is that Blu-Ray players also play DVD's, so people who are worried about starting their movie collections all over again, don't have to anymore.

2009 - $149 average
2010 Lowest: $50, Samsung BD-C5500 from HP Home & Office (free shipping) Courtesy: DealNews.com.
2011 - $40

Storage
Backing up your data is a must for any user. And fortunately storage has become cheaper and cheaper. While a lot of people are moving towards storing in "the cloud" you can still go the external route and score a two terabyte drive for under a hundred bucks. It's snteresting to note that just around 55 years ago IBM shipped the first hard drive that held five megabytes of data at $10,000 a megabyte. We've come a long way!

2010 (2TB) - $119 (BestBuy.com)
2011 (2TB) - $65

Nintendo - Wii
The Wii cleaned house in sales for quite some time selling over 75 million units worldwide. However, the successful console has recently been upstaged by the controller free Kinect for Xbox 360 which has sold eight million units since its launch in early November no doubt driving the price down. Also, on the portable gaming side - with the launch of the 3DS in March expect the price of the DSi and DSiXL to come down quite a bit.

*NEW WII COMES OUT IN MARCH*

Wii 2006 $249.99
Wii 2010 $199.99 (with 2 games)
Wii 2011 $139.99

Linendoll also recommended shoppers watch for deals at certain times of the year. Back-to-school time, Linendoll said, is a great time for anyone to score a laptop deal.

"Never buy a TV just on the market, and of course, the obvious geek holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are proving to be even more notable every year for gadgets across the board."

She also recommended these sites to find great deals:

Sites to check for deals:
Overstock
Amazon
Woot

Coupon Sites:
Savings
RetailMeNot