The case to keep your old iPhone

The case to keep your old iPhone

June Wan/ZDNET

It’s the season. No, not the one with all the songs and decorations. Tis the season with all the new goodies… new iPhones, that is. Every fall for more than a decade, we’ve marked the change of seasons with the annual migration (physical or virtual) of Apple faithful to Cupertino.

This year was no different. Apple has launched the iPhone 14 series of phones. Compared to the previous year’s iPhone 13 series, Apple has added two important safety features: car accident detection and satellite call for help. ’emergency. The iPhone 14 and iPhone Plus have the same processor, screen resolution, storage, and camera capabilities as the iPhone 13 series.

Also: Your Google Pixel also has car crash detection. How to set it up

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max do add some new stuff. There’s “Dynamic Island,” a UI hack that tries to make sense of the notch where the front camera looks behind the screen. It’s well made and generally adds value, but that’s definitely not a reason in and of itself to buy a new iPhone. The more expensive iPhone 14 models also add a 48-megapixel camera (which is a big deal for photographers) and update the next-gen processor to the A16 Bionic, which offers a small speed bump.

Apple hasn’t updated the Lightning to USB-C connection, which means downloads from the iPhone 14 series, including the Pro with those very large image and video files, are still slower than necessary.

Also: iPhone 14 Pro: Huge new camera sensor, same slow Lightning cable data transfers

Apple gives and Apple takes back. Apple is withdrawing the ability to use physical SIM cards this year. All iPhone 14 models only use internal eSIM card implementations, which has its ups and downs.

I keep my old phone

My daily driver is now a refurbished iPhone 12 Pro Max, two generations old, and I keep it. I have no intention of buying an iPhone 14 Pro Max (which would be the model I would switch to, if I cared enough to do so). There’s nothing in Series 13 or Series 14 that rocks my world enough to shell out the big bucks to make a replacement. Plus, the eSIM is such a pain to change, almost always requiring calls to the carrier, that it’s just not worth it.

My wife, on the other hand, can still decide to upgrade to an iPhone 14. None of the new features of the iPhone 14 (as they are) particularly intrigue her. But she uses a relatively low-memory 64GB iPhone 11 Pro. If the low-memory configuration proves too boring this year, it might choose to upgrade. But this will not be due to the attractiveness of the new phones. This is mainly due to the underconfiguration of his old phone.

Also: iPhone 14 Pro Innovation Dashboard: Successes and Failures

Can’t Wait vs Upgrade Calculation

Personally, when it comes to tech upgrades, I usually approach them with one of two mindsets. The first is what I call the “can’t wait” mindset. It’s when I’ve been using a device for too long and it’s become too difficult. It could be because there is too little memory, the battery is draining too often, something is broken, or there is a problem with the apps. “I can’t wait” comes after I waited, desperately hoping for a new device to become available to meet some burning need.

The second mindset is the “upgrade calculation” mindset. This is when I look at the features of the new device to see if any of them seem like something I really need. It often depends on how late you are in the versions of the phone. For example, when I upgraded from my beloved 6s Plus to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I saw huge improvements in just about everything. Also, the 6s Plus had just stopped being supported by current iOS versions, which was a good motivation for the upgrade.

But if you have an iPhone 13 and buy an iPhone 14, you won’t notice any improvement unless you’re stuck in a cellular dead zone on top of a mountain. These two models are almost identical.

Also: Most people don’t need Apple’s flashy new adventure tech. Here’s what we really need

The case to keep your old iPhone

I talked about a bunch of reasons why I don’t upgrade, but back to you. Here are a few reasons why you might want to stick with what you have. You might want to keep your old iPhone if…

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new device. Although you can still purchase a bottom equipped iPhone SE for $429, iPhone 14 models start at $799 and top out at $1,599. That’s a lot of green to spend, especially in a near-recession year under the weight of unprecedented inflation. Given how little the iPhone 14 has added, it might be wise to save your money (and your phone) for another year.

If iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus add nothing, it will change your life. Unless you’re climbing mountains or traveling outside of cellular range, the iPhone 14 is iPhone 13 minus the SIM card slot. There’s nothing here that warrants an upgrade unless you’re coming from a much older model.

If your battery holds up. If your battery is holding up just fine, you may not need to upgrade. Even if your battery needs help, most Apple battery replacements range from around $50 to around $70much cheaper than buying a new phone.

If you have enough RAM. If you have plenty of storage space, you might not feel compelled to find a better solution. With 256 GB, I have plenty of RAM in my phone and it holds up well. My wife, however, decided to upgrade because she has a lot less RAM in hers.

If you don’t care about bragging rights. Some people like to show that they have the latest technology. Maybe it’s because he says they had the money to get it, or because they think it makes them cool, or just because they like the product. But if you don’t care, don’t spend.

If you don’t need it for a specific reason at work. I sometimes buy the latest tech to write about, but when it comes to my phones and computers (which are essential to do my job and run my life), I wait until I’m damn sure the disruption is worth it the penalty.

If you are traveling out of the country. That’s a tough one, because the satellite emergency feature is welcome insurance if something goes wrong while hiking in the Alps. But the eSIM swap is quite problematic, especially when you are outside the country. You might want to stick with an older phone.

If you are using a non-traditional carrier and don’t want to switch. It’s still the eSIM. Not all carriers support them.

If you don’t want to have to change eSIM. We’re hitting the eSIM drum again, but swapping eSIMs between phones will most likely require a trip to a carrier store or a few long, frustrating phone calls to your carrier’s helpline.

If you are comfortable with the physical size of your phone. If you like the size of your phone, there might not be a reason to buy another one, especially since you would probably buy the same size. This is also the case with the iPhone 13 mini. Granted, it’s only about 1/4 inch smaller than the iPhone 14, but it’s still smaller. Hands can feel the difference.

If you can still update iOS on your phone. If you have an iPhone 8 or later, you’re fine. If you’re using a first-generation iPhone 7, 6s, SE, or earlier, yes, it’s time to buy a new phone.

Are you updating?

I see a case strong enough to hold onto an older iPhone and a generally weak case for upgrading – especially from a recent iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. And you? Are you updating? If yes, why? Let us know in the comments below.

You can follow updates of my day-to-day projects on social networks. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtzon Facebook at, on Instagram at and on YouTube at

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