I am a big believer in old technology. I think we can all stand updating our devices less and pushing the things we have to the limit. Of course, nothing lasts forever: eventually there will come a day when, like it or not, you’ll have to buy a new iPhone. However, when that day comes, instead of walking into an Apple Store or Best Buy, I think you should buy something used.
While I’m wary of making technical predictions, the news doesn’t look like it big for the price of the iPhone 14 Pro. While the base 14 should be in line with the price of the iPhone 13, rumor has it Apple raises the price for the Pros by $100 ($139)† While the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $1,000 dollars ($1,388), the iPhone 14 Pro could start at $1,100 dollars ($1,527). Of course you get something new for your money: If speculation is correct, the 14 Pro will come with a less obtrusive front camera design to replace the notch, a next-gen Apple chipset and an always-on display. , as you’ll find on recent Apple Watch models (and many Android devices).
And, well, that’s about it: a few nice new features that set this phone apart from last year’s 13 Pro, for $100 ($139) more. I’m not trying to beat the hypothetical device itself: I’m sure that, like any new iPhone, it will be the fastest, most feature-rich model yet. Buying one lets you take advantage of everything Apple has to offer on iOS (at least until next year), so if you want one, you’ll have more power.
But right now I see the where the when buying the latest and greatest more. $US1,100 ($1,527) is a lot of money for a phone, money you don’t have to spend to fully enjoy the iPhone experience. This idea is not speculation either: with the announcement of iOS 16, Apple not only confirmed: which iPhones would be compatible with the new softwarethe company also detailed which of those iPhones would be compatible with which features†
Sure, if you still have an iPhone 8 or even an X, you’ll get the new update along with the latest iPhones, but you’re missing out on a lot of features. You cannot use your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac with Continuity Camera; you can’t instantly cut a subject from a photo with just a long press of the button; you cannot use Dictation and Typing at the same time; and you cannot end a conversation with Siri.
However, all those features are available on the generation of iPhone after those A11 devices: the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. There are 12 confirmed features available on these devices that are not compatible with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X, and since there is a tons of hidden iOS 16 features Apple never talked about it, there could be more exclusives too.
Back in Sept, I called the XS the best used iPhone on the market. When I wrote that article nine months ago, the average price for an XS on Swappa was $US309 ($429). It’s now $US247 ($343), making it an even better deal than ever. For the price of a pair of AirPods Pro, you can buy an iPhone that can keep up with many of the features of iOS 16, and is almost guaranteed to support at least iOS 17 as well.
Of course these A12 don’t support iPhones all of iOS 16’s new features, just the most. If you’re interested in features like live captioning (including live captioning during FaceTime calls), as well as Center Stage and desk view with Continuity Camera, you’ll need at least an iPhone 11. That will cost you an extra $67 ($93) on average about the XS: if you need the XS’s OLED screen, or if you want a third camera, the 11 Pro is raking in nearly $400 ($555) these days†
Still, you can buy an 11 Pro with its incredible screen, excellent cameras and still powerful A13 chip for less than € the third generation iPhone SEwhich has an outdated 750p IPS display, a single (decent) rear camera, using the same design language that Apple first introduced in 2014.
However, as you continue to climb the job ladder, you begin to see less and less return. You need at least an iPhone 12 to take advantage of Studio Light with Continuity Camera, an iPhone 12 Pro to detect objects in Magnifier, and a 13 Pro to blur the foreground in portrait mode. For the money, you’re probably better off with the XS or 11 line as most of the best iOS 16 features will be available on these platforms.
Don’t completely ignore the A11 series either: While they certainly lack features, they’re still compatible with some of the biggest new features in iOS 16, including customizable lock screens, editing and undoing messages, and passkeys, Apple’s password replacement. If someone gives you a big deal on an iPhone X, know that you are getting a lot of iPhone for very little investment.
The thing is, the value of a used iPhone is pretty unbeatable: an iPhone 11 Pro may not be able to do that everything the iPhone 14 Pro can, but will the latest features of the latter be worth more than $700 ($972)? I do not think so. Finally, a battery replacement is sometimes all an older, supported iPhone needs to feel like new, and I feel like it’s all most of us iPhone owners really need.