Is Buying The Newest iPhone Worth It Anymore?


The annual September release of Apple’s latest versions of the iPhone has become a tradition – given the same reverence and fanfare as the Super Bowl and Black Friday sales.  However, as the prices for new iPhone versions have increased (The iPhone XS and XS Max retail for $999 and $1,099, respectively), it’s natural to question whether the upgrades make enough of a difference to justify the steep price tag.

Here are some of the key things to ask yourself while deciding whether to drop the cash for the latest and greatest, or stick with your iPhone X for another year.

Are the hardware upgrades worth the cost?

While last year’s model offered some pretty radical improvements concerning the camera, processor, storage, and other hard metrics, it’s not a given that every year will see upgrades on that scale.  For example, the oversized, 6.5″ screen on the iPhone XS Max has it straddling the line between large phone and small tablet. This may sound counterintuitive, but this makes it a potential inconvenience to customers who don’t want to lug a phone that big around with them all the time.

When you throw in the minimal upgrades to the camera, and an XS battery that tests show actually holds less power than the iPhone X, the “improvements” may not warrant your annual camping trip in front of the Apple store like it did in years past.

How much will you have to spend on accessories?

iPhones are incredibly expensive devices to own, especially when you consider that Apple all but forces its customers to buy proprietary versions of accessories that can only be used with their hardware.  These exclusive accessories, by the way, often cost at least three times what you’d pay for a standardized version of the same accessory (headphones, for example).

Any Android owner will tell you that one of the big draws of Android devices is that they have an open design that uses the same standard accessories and plugs as other electronics, at a fraction of the cost.  As outrageous as iPhone prices have gotten, accessories represent an entire hidden layer of additional expenses.

grey iPhone on red table, with cover facing up and laptop and earphones beside it.

Apple may intentionally make your iPhone perform worse to get you to buy a new device

Apple found themselves embroiled in a full-blown scandal in 2017 when it was revealed that they were intentionally slowing down older devices without the knowledge of their customers.  They claimed it was to preserve the performance of older batteries as they wear down, but that didn’t satisfy those who suspected that they really did it to make customers want to buy new iPhones.

Throwing fuel on the fire of those conspiracy theories is the fact that Apple actively lobbies against right-to-repair laws that would force electronics manufacturers to publish hardware manuals and make maintenance tools and replacement parts readily available to the average consumer.  Such an act would obviously be a big blow to their highly-lucrative service business, which itself is dependent on vaguely-worded product warranties.

Do you believe that an electronics manufacturer would try and drive business by intentionally breaking their older products?  You can decide that for yourself, but the scandal was enough to give many longtime Apple users the impression that customer satisfaction was less important to them than squeezing their customers for every penny they can.


Even though the latest versions of the iPhone feature the same design and smoothness of use the brand is known for, many of the features offer minimal or cosmetic improvements over last year’s iPhone X. Between that and the other factors discussed above, they may just no longer be worth the cost of an annual upgrade.

All that being said, Apple still has a vast and loyal customer base, making them the ideal choice for business owners who want to have their own app to leverage the massive audience they boast. iOS App Development Philadelphia can help you get the most out of this year’s enhancements with an app that will help you meet and exceed all your business goals.

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