Why, these days, even ‘old’ iPhones can feel amazingly future-proof

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When you buy a new phone, how long do you expect to keep it? In the case of many iPhone users, the answer could be literally years. This revelation was recently made in a survey reported by 9to5Mac and investigating Apple fans’ interest in the recently announced iPhone 13 series.

The survey quizzed more than 5,000 US-based iPhone users, of whom only 23.2% said they intended to buy an iPhone 13 model. Of those respondents decided against buying the iPhone 13, 32.3% said they intended to buy a new phone in the next two years.

Fortunately, they can evidently afford to – as, in terms of day-to-day usability, iPhones have become renowned for their stunning longevity. Whether you are holding onto an older iPhone or looking to buy one, here’s why you don’t necessarily need to insist on yourself getting an iPhone 13…

Apple’s software support for iPhones is legendary – literally

When the survey respondents skipping the iPhone 13 were asked why they were doing so, 12.1% said their current phone worked fine. This probably shouldn’t surprise, given that the latest major operating system release – iOS 15 – available for iPhones supports models dating as far back as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, both of which originally hit the market in 2015.

Even many iPhone models Apple has now largely abandoned on the software-support front still compare relatively favourably to many modern handsets. One good case in point is the iPhone 6, which arrived in 2014 but Alphr described earlier this year as “still a great phone”.

Face ID is not immediately appealing in the COVID era

Of the above-mentioned survey participants forgoing the iPhone 13, a whopping 29.3% said the absence of Touch ID was a major factor behind their decision. This makes sense at a time when widespread mask-wearing has blunted the appeal of the iPhone 13’s Face ID feature.

Apple first introduced this facial recognition system in 2017 with the iPhone X – but Touch ID, which initially appeared on Apple’s late-2014 round of new iOS devices, is now commonplace on many older iPhones, allowing users to unlock them by simply placing their fingertip on a built-in sensor.   

‘Old’ iPhone designs have aged well

So well, in fact, that Apple essentially recycled a design from 2017 for the second-generation iPhone SE, which launched last year. With its glass back, chunky bezels and 4.7-inch screen, this SE is practically an internally updated version of the iPhone 8 – an ‘iPhone 8s’, you could say.

This classic design could be set to stay for a little while longer, too – as, according to rumours mentioned by LaptopMag’s Darragh Murphy, a third-generation iPhone SE featuring the same 4.7-inch display as the current SE is in the works for release in early 2022.

So, you are unlikely to have to worry about an ‘old’ iPhone you pick up today looking dated in the foreseeable future. Online, it’s not hard to find an array of Apple iPhones, including refurbished models, available at attractive prices and with still-respectable technical specifications.

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