by Jim Lynch

iPhone: How often do you upgrade?

Mar 06, 2017
Apple Consumer Electronics iPhone

Each year Apple releases a new iPhone, but how often do you upgrade to the latest model?

iphone 6s plus space grey
Credit: Apple

Apple introduces a new iPhone each year. Some years the latest iPhone features a big redesign of the hardware, while at other times the company offers a tweaked version of the same hardware.

But how often do you upgrade your iPhone? This question came up recently in the Apple subreddit. I’ll share my thoughts below, but here’s a selection of messages from that discussion thread.

Mir_universal started the discussion with this message:

I heard that iPhone users are more likely to upgrade to the newest iPhone every year than Android users. So I make this post to settle my curiosity.

Do you always upgrade every year

Or do you always upgrade to the new numbered iPhone (Example: from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 7)

Or do you always upgrade to the ‘S’ version iPhone (example: from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone 6s)

Or do you always upgrade every 2 year because of contracts

Or do you follow the below guidelines when buying a new iPhone. 1 – Buy the newest iPhone 2 – Use until break 3 – Repeat step 1

Or something else completely?

Can’t wait to hear from ya. 🙂

More at Reddit

His fellow redditors responded with their thoughts:

Call_me_Tom: “I upgrade when my current phone stops working.”

Jonny: “I upgrade when it gets too frustrating to use. iPhone 2G, iPhone 5, iPhone 7.

The 7 was a gift. I could have gone another year or two with the 5.”

NorbertDupner: “I started out every two years, but lately I’ve let it slip to three. They changed incrementally now, and I see no reason to upgrade until they come up with enough new features to justify spending the money.”

Gareth321: “This is me now. I used to update every year but they’re slowing down on what I consider to be innovation. There’s so little that changed between the 6S and the 7. In fact, I see the removal of the headphone jack as a giant step back. It will take some serious upgrades to convince me to get an iPhone 8.”

ILikeAppleStuff: “Every year.”

Oxii88: “I usually renew every 2 year , for example from 5s to 6s.

I tend to experience that 2 years is the optimal user experience for iPhones. They still work pretty good after 2 years but the software is slow and battery is mostly at 60-75% of the normal capacity.”

Srivarthan: “As long as it lasts.”

Hoobleton: “Used my iPhone 4 for 4 years, will keep my 6 for 3 or 4 years.”

DaBatman82: “My upgrade depends on what the phone actually does to improve on the iPhone I’m currently using. Used a 6 Plus for almost 2yrs, upgraded to the 7 because storage, picture quality and ultimately I wanted a jet black iPhone.”

ArkLinux: “I’m still on my iPhone 3GS.”

More at Reddit

iPhone upgrades have become a bit boring

I have to confess that I used to upgrade my iPhone more frequently than I do now. I bought the very first iPhone when it was released and started buying a new one each year. But that was back when the iPhone was a new product, and each year brought significant advancements.

These days I’m using a 6s Plus, which is still a relatively new phone. But I didn’t buy the iPhone 7 because there just wasn’t enough to it to make me want to spend such a large amount of money to get it. The iPhone 7 didn’t offer me anything worthwhile that my iPhone 6s Plus can’t already do.

The iPhone 8 is supposed to be an amazing upgrade, with a significantly different form factor than the 6s Plus and 7. But I have to admit that I really don’t care much about it at this point. I suppose I might consider getting one if there are enough changes to appeal to me, but right now I feel very ho-hum about the iPhone 8.

Another reason why I’m skeptical of the iPhone 8 is its potential price. There have been numerous rumors flying around that it could cost more than $1000. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but if so then it certainly puts a damper on my desire to buy one. A thousand bucks is a heck of a lot of money for a phone!

Right now though my 6s Plus does everything I need it to do. My use consists mainly of ebooks, web browser, a few apps and that’s about it. I’m really not a heavy phone user. I spend much more time on my Mac than I do on my iPhone.

Some of my friends are yearly upgraders, however. One of them is a total camera junkie. He absolutely must have the latest and greatest iPhone so he has the best camera for his photos and videos. I am a casual camera user, so I don’t care much about buying a new iPhone for a better camera.

I suspect that I’m probably not alone in being less interested in upgrading my iPhone than I used to be years ago. Smartphones have matured to the point where there’s little excitement in getting a new phone.

Perhaps the iPhone 8 will change my feelings of smartphone boredom but somehow I doubt it, especially if it costs a grand or more.

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