How long can you keep using the iPhone?

How long can you keep using the iPhone?

Justin Duino / How-To Geek

iPhone upgrades are becoming less dramatic year after year, so there’s more reason than ever to hang on to the iPhone. It might be best to wait until you see real value in an upgrade, especially since you’ll get about six years worth of updates on an all-new model.

Gone are the days of meaningful annual smartphone upgrades, and it’s a better change for the planet and your wallet. Instead, the burning question has become one of longevity: How long can you keep your iPhone running before it’s time to upgrade?

Your iPhone should receive about six major updates

A modern iPhone should see support for about six or seven versions of iOS. Take the iPhone 7, which shipped with iOS 10 in September 2016 and ended support with iOS 15, which was released in September 2021. The iPhone 6S saw even more, starting with iOS 9 and ending with iOS 15.

Major Updates refers to major new releases for iOS, the iPhone’s operating system. They are released free of charge, usually in September each year. It guarantees compatible devices another year of smaller updates until the next major release.

Each year Apple decides which devices (if any) will end support, which means those devices will remain on the “last good” version of iOS until it’s turned off (recycledsold or forgotten in a drawer somewhere).

Compatibility with iPadOS 16
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Missing major iOS updates means missing out on new features and major updates for essential apps like Safari, Notes, and Messages. for example, iOS 16 Provide the ability to Edit and delete messagesHowever, devices still running iOS 15 cannot use this feature.

New functions like lock screen widgetsand UI fixes Productivity adjustments such as focus It usually only arrives with new major versions of iOS. Occasionally, Apple will introduce a new feature in the middle of the cycle, as it did with Apple Night Shift in iOS 9.3 And recently iCloud Shared Photo Library in iOS 16.1. This is the exception, not the rule.

If you use other Apple products such as a mac or IPAD And you appreciate features like Handoff and Continuity (which let you do things like Hand over calls to your Mac or sharing the clipboard with your iPhone), defaulting to a major version can cause these features to stop working.

Security updates continue after iOS support ends

While your old iPhone may miss out on the latest and greatest features, Apple has a proven track record of Continue to provide security updates for “old” devices. Take a look at Apple security update history to see evidence of this.

for example, iOS 12.5.6 It was released in August 2022, almost four years after the initial release of iOS 12. The iPhone 5S stopped receiving major iOS updates after iOS 12, but Apple continued to ensure that this device was patched four years later. Fixed update a Zero-day exploit in the WebKit rendering engine It was used by Safari (and with good reason, since it was suspected that the exploit had already been exploited).

This is a good example of the kind of important updates you can expect to see from Apple after official support ends.

Battery life may require an iPhone upgrade

One of the reasons many people feel they have to upgrade their iPhone is because of its reduced battery life. Speaking of experience, after about three years of standard use, you can expect your iPhone battery to show a significant capacity drop. It won’t last as long as it used to, which is a limitation of the lithium-ion cells used in most portable electronics

You always can Check the current iPhone battery health Under Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging. The Maximum Capacity reading gives you an idea of ​​how much total capacity has been lost inside your iPhone.

iPhone battery capacity in iOS settings

If you see a message under the “Performance Capability” heading that describes “Unexpected Shutdown,” your iPhone battery may have degraded to a point where Apple has implemented Performance Management Features to improve longevity. This means that your iPhone is effectively being throttled (slowed down) so that the system on a chip It does not consume much energy.

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The obvious remedy for this situation is Replace your iPhone battery. This can cost between $49 and $99 if you choose to get your own battery It was replaced by Apple. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a whole new phone, but it also offers you a choice.

If your iPhone is feeling a little long in the tooth, you might want to put money into a replacement model instead. Could you Sell ​​your old iPhone Or gift it to a friend or family member and let someone else deal with the old battery issue. Even Apple will offer you a storage credit if you decide to trade in your iPhone (though… This is not the best way to go).

Related: How to sell your old iPhone for top dollar

iPhone performance is also a good indicator

It could be poor performance A side effect of a failing iPhone battery. But it can also be an indication that your iPhone is starting to show its age. sometimes, Replacing your iPhone battery won’t fix your performance issues. Newer iPhone models feature larger CPU and GPU core counts, more RAM, faster internal storage, and better machine learning capabilities. Newer versions of iOS are built to newer specifications, so older devices will likely feel cramped.

It’s not unusual to find iPhone owners complaining after iOS upgrades left them with slower devices that sapped more battery life throughout the day. Apple drops support for older devices with almost every major iOS update, showing that over time the operating system becomes more and more demanding on hardware.

If your iPhone is slow, you may want to consider upgrading. You may notice a slowdown when scrolling through the home screen, browsing the web in Safari, or when using certain apps. Applications that make heavy use of a GPU Like 3D games they are usually the first to display the age of your device.

Basic features like Siri may take longer to process your requests, and you may see pauses when viewing widgets or performing a Spotlight search. Even launching apps and unlocking your device can be damaged.

Be aware that some recent devices such as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro when 120Hz “ProMotion” screen which has a weakness Refresh rate Non-professional models. While this leads to a smoother and more responsive user interface, it’s not necessarily the system-on-a-chip but the improved display that does the heavy lifting here.

Find useful hardware upgrades

Yearly iPhone updates seem less impressive as time goes on. Rather than a whole host of new features, improvements and radical redesigns, next year’s model will likely offer only moderate improvements over the past. This is especially true when it comes to performance, as most models from the past three or four years are “good enough” for most use cases.

This makes it easy to hold your iPhone until you see something you like. Things like the improved 120Hz screen, which makes scrolling menus and switching between apps a bit nicer, an improved camera system in the form of better optics, higher resolution images, or cleaner low-light performance.

Comparison of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 14 Pro camera systems

Most iPhone owners would like to see significantly better battery life, screens that are brighter for use in sunlight, and widespread adoption of design improvements such as Dynamic Islandand USB-C connectivity and more robust chassis and display designs; But those changes are unlikely to arrive all at once, on a single iPhone model.

When it comes to upgrading, take a look at the improvements Apple has added to the last two generations of iPhone since you last upgraded. Same advice Applies to Apple Watchwhich also stagnated somewhat in terms of promotions year-on-year but that too It remains the best example of its kind.

You can use Apple handy iPhone comparison tool To know the difference between older and newer models before purchasing.

What about older iPhone models?

Apple tends to keep selling last year’s iPhone model (and sometimes the model before that) for a modest discount. For example, the time this file was written iPhone 14 Its price starts at $799, while the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 start at $699 and $599, respectively.

While the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 are still capable modern smartphones, a modest $100 to $200 discount may not be worth the two-year discount for updates. If you can expand to the price of the latest model, you’ll get more for your earnings over the life of the iPhone.

If the older iPhone model was attractive, then you definitely will Save more money at the flea market.


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