With new iPhones expected in September, USA TODAY’s Ryan Suppe set out to find out how eager consumers are to upgrade to a new model of iPhone.
Apple’s iPhone 6 was insanely popular in 2014, when it was first released.Â But now, Apple is essentially killing it.
In September, the company will release the iOS 13 operating system upgrade, and most Apple customers will download the free software for such features as enhanced photo and video management and editing tools, improved privacy controls and an all-new look to Maps.Â
But iOS13 will work only with phones going back to the iPhone 6S, which first began selling in 2015. (Apple yanked the iPhone 6 off the market in 2017, but customers were still able to use it and get software updates.)
So what to do? Many iPhone owners, who now hold onto their devices for longer than they used to, have a choice of several other iPhone models.Â
â€“ iPhone 7 (released in 2016) , $449, or $569 for the Plus version.Â
â€“ iPhone 8 (2017 release) $599 or $699.Â
â€“ iPhone X: Apple doesn’t sell the 2017Â edition phone any longer, but third parties like Best Buy and Amazon have it, for between $800 and $900.Â
â€“ iPhone XR (2018) $749
â€“ iPhone XS (2018) $999 or $1,099 for the Max version.Â
If not new, what about used? We checked in with other resellers, Gazelle, Amazon and eBay and found extremely affordable models of the iPhone 8 available. The most economical were via eBay, which had them priced between $328 and $428, while Amazon had them for betweenÂ $369 and $400 and Gazelle fromÂ $400 to $450.Â
Apple would want you to know that the current phones have several improvements since the days of the iPhone 6, including water-resistant bodies, better cameras and more power.Â
Maybe those don’t resonate, and you just don’t want to spend the money. Why not just continue with the iPhone 6?
Because when Apple discontinues a product and with it, operating system software updates, you’re both leaving yourself vulnerable to potential security breaches and having the phone be basically inoperable, thanks to Apple’s corporate stance.Â
Which iPhone is for you?
Savvy Apple watchers know that Apple historically releases new models in September, when it typically will tell you of the improved camera, power and features of the latest and greatest.
You could choose to wait two months before buying a new model, which again, historically, has been the best choice, thanks to the savings. Older models of iPhones have been discounted by about $100 with the release of each new iPhone.Â
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What if you need a phone now? Two choices. You could spend $1,000 or more on the top of the line XS models, $750 for the XR, or go budget.
We would recommend steering clear of the iPhone 7, even though it’s an excellent device because what happened to the 6 will eventually happen to the 7. Apple will discontinue that one as well.
Our advice: The iPhone 8 is probably best for budget buyers, and you can expect at least twoÂ to threeÂ years of life with it.
Or you can wait for the models expected to be called iPhone 11, of which the current crop of analyst reports say will have three cameras for the first time â€“ similar to the Samsung Galaxy S10 models released earlier this year.
Reader Jonathan Milenko on Twitter disputes our analysis of the iPhone 6, and suggests that “keeping an iPhone 6 running seems like a valid choice for most people,” in that while the iOS updates are over for the model, security fixes won’t go away anytime soon.Â
While Apple at the beginning of the year alerted investors to a slowdown in iPhone sales, blaming issues in China and customers holding onto their older models longer than they used to, the iPhone remains the top-selling consumer tech device in the world. Apple is on track to sell over 200 million this year.Â
Readers: have questions about which models if iPhone is right for you? Send your questions our way, on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham
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