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In 2007, Apple launched the original iPhone, kickstarting the modern smartphone era which is now dominated by the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. We've had 17 generations of iPhones so far, with the latest models, the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, introduced in September 2023. Apple typically follows an annual update cycle, introducing new high-end flagship models while often discounting prior-year models and selling them at more affordable price points.

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iPhone vs Android

Over the years, the Android and iPhone platforms have evolved to the point where feature-wise, they're similar in function. Android smartphones are made by multiple manufacturers, but the core operating system is provided by Google, which leads to a wider variety of phones and price points to choose from, but poorer integration between software and hardware.

iPhone-12-v-Android-2020.jpg

Apple's control of both the iPhone and the operating system (iOS) results in a more consistent experience plus ongoing support. With iOS 17, Apple supports all iPhones that were introduced in the last four years, so the majority of active iPhone owners can and do upgrade to the newest version of iOS that Apple rolls out each year.

Android updates, though, are more inconsistent and often don't make it to all Android-based smartphones because each manufacturer has to implement support on an individual basis. So while Google also does yearly Android updates, the reality is that a lot of older Android smartphones don't get the new software.

With Apple's control and curation of the iPhone experience, the iPhone is largely considered to be the more secure platform, and Apple has made it a point to focus heavily on privacy. Apple's iOS is, however, less customizable than Android, so for individuals who prefer flexibility and customization options, the Android operating system may be worth looking at.

How Do iPhone Updates Work?

Here are the basics you should know about how Apple updates the iPhone and the iOS operating system.

Each fall, usually in September, Apple releases a new series of flagship smartphones. These often come at high prices and feature the latest technologies, with Apple offering high-end models and still high-end but more affordable models. Prior-year iPhones often stick around with lower price points as cheaper alternatives to the latest and greatest technology, and occasionally, Apple launches an iPhone like the low-cost iPhone SE outside of the normal fall timeline.

At the current time, Apple's iPhone lineup includes the iPhone SE (2022), iPhone 13 (2021), iPhone 14 (2022), iPhone 14 Plus (2022), iPhone 15 (2023), iPhone 15 Plus (2023), iPhone 15 Pro (2023), and iPhone 15 Pro Max (2023).

Apple also debuts an updated version of iOS at the same time that new iPhones launch, but new versions of iOS are pre-introduced every year at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference to give developers time to incorporate new features and technologies into their apps ahead of when the software becomes available to the public. The current iPhones run iOS 17.

In this guide, we go over all of the iPhones that are in the current Apple lineup, offer up some buying suggestions, and provide tips and resources for both new and existing iPhone owners.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max ($999+)

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The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are Apple's current flagship devices with all of the top-of-the-line features and the most bells and whistles. The Pro models are for those who want to get the most out of their iPhones.

Pricing on the iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999, while pricing on the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $1,199. The two iPhones are nearly identical when it comes to feature set, with size, battery capacity, and 5x telephoto lens technology being the three differences between the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a larger 6.7-inch display, while the iPhone 15 Pro has a 6.1-inch display. Both models look the same, but there were some slight updates to the chassis and the curve of the edges compared to last year's models.

Both iPhones have edge-to-edge OLED displays with slim bezels, a "Ceramic Shield" front cover that offers better drop protection, and a pill-shaped Dynamic Island that houses the front-facing camera technology and Face ID hardware. Apple is still using an all-glass body, but the company adopted a new titanium frame this year. Titanium is more durable and lighter weight than stainless steel.

The Dynamic Island has been incorporated into the iPhone's interface and it is able to show various notifications and app information for phone calls, timers, Face ID, Bluetooth connections, and more. The two iPhones are available in new colors that include natural, blue, black, and white titanium.

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are equipped with the A17 Pro chip, and this year, they are the only iPhones to use it. The standard iPhone 15 models have an A16 chip that was previously used in the iPhone 14 Pro models. The A17 Pro is built on Apple's 3-nanometer node, bringing notable performance and efficiency improvements. Along with up to 20 percent faster GPU performance, the chip includes support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading, allowing for console-level gaming.

There continues to be a three-lens camera setup with a 48-megapixel Main camera that offers improved low-light performance, a Telephoto lens, and an Ultra Wide camera, but there have been improvements to the Telephoto lens. In the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple is using Tetraprism technology to enable 5x optical zoom. The smaller iPhone 15 Pro has 3x optical zoom.

Crash Detection, a feature added last year, is able to determine if you've been in a serious car accident, alerting emergency services, and Apple has also added Emergency SOS via satellite. This feature allows you to get emergency help using satellites if you are out of the range of Wi-Fi and cellular.

Apple added a new Action button to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, and it can be activated to do things like launch the camera, turn on Flashlight, record a Voice Memo, or launch a Shortcut. All flagship iPhone models in 2023 have a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, allowing them to be charged with USB-C cables like the iPad and the Mac.

Other features include IP68 water resistance, 8GB RAM, ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate, faster 5G, an upgraded second-generation Ultra Wideband chip, and MagSafe.

Key Features:... Click here to read rest of article

Article Link: iPhone: 2024 Buyer's Guide
 
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PabloSRT8

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2016
69
48
I wish I could find a deal for paying in full.
I use Verizon, but I don’t want the payments since is going to be a gift.
 

bobdobalina

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2010
483
683
The 11 Pro is so good I literally went from a $450 SE to a $1450 11 Pro Max. I'm the guy who tells everyone to save their money, and I couldn't be happier. What can I say? They finally got me.

But the standard 11 is the smart buy :)

See you in three years.
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,902
The guide can be simpler.
If you are not sure, just get the iPhone 11.
If you want to save money, start with the iPhone 8. Want larger screen, get the XR.
Have $1k plus budget, then get the 11 Pro/Max.
 

NoIdentity

macrumors member
May 17, 2018
94
113
I understand this is an US site first. But I think it well surpassed that and is really catering to a wider global community. Wouldn’t it make sense and be more ethical to take that into account? Trying to include other pricing, list countries with new features l, etc.?

just a friendly observation.
 

CarpalMac

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2012
1,615
3,983
UK
I bought a Pixel 4 and 11 Pro and tested the cameras side by side.

Where one was weak, the other was strong. Much as I dislike the limitations of iOS over Android, the battery life of the Pixel 4 was absolutely unacceptable, so it got returned. There are so many people at Google who need to be fired, decision makers who seem to be completely disconnected from the consumer.

Thankfully (with Jony gone?) Apple have finally produced a phone worthy of replacing my iPhone 6S, the battery life is fabulous and I don't mind the extra weight. If it wasn't for the tax breaks though, I wouldn't have been looking at either. The prices are mental.

==edit==

Having said all the above, I've just discovered that my iPhone has however decided to delete all my health and activity data. Absolutely furious, what utter garbage software.
 
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Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
2,315
2,693
La Jolla, CA
IMO, ONLY the 7+, 11, 11 Pro, & 11 Pro Max are worthy of consideration:

1.) Apple did NOT put enough DRAM into the X or the XR.

2.) Both the A11 & A12 have a Hardware Bug in the Perf Controller (i.e., Cpu Scheduler).

High-Perf "CPU-based" apps run extremely well on the 7+, 11, 11 Pro, & 11 Pro Max !

NOT so on any of the other iPhones !!!

IMO, Apple should NOT be selling the XR, & MR should NOT recommend it as an Option (on this website).

The XR is seriously flawed (I know, I used it for a year, 7+ before that, & 11 Pro Max now).
 

doctor-don

macrumors 68000
Dec 26, 2008
1,604
336
Georgia USA
Bought an Android phone last year for myself and my wife. For our daughter I bought iPhone 11 - paid in full, delivered to me the next day.
 

k2parn

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2016
2
0
New Hampshire
Should I update to the iPhone 11 Pro now from my iPhone 7+;( which still runs good), or should I wait till next year for the iPhone 12 with 5g?
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,360
6,837
Bedfordshire, UK
The guide can be simpler.
If you are not sure, just get the iPhone 11.
If you want to save money, start with the iPhone 8. Want larger screen, get the XR.
Have $1k plus budget, then get the 11 Pro/Max.

I'll make it easier:

Just get the 11 for the best all-round phone on the market. Got extra cash and want the ultimate iPhone? Get the 11 Pro.
 

mixel

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
1,729
976
Leeds, UK
I allllmost got the 11 at launch but decided I'm happy with my 8+ for now. Might last me another update too at this rate.

Its weird the only thing I'd really be upgrading it for is the camera and the 8+'s camera is hardly bad. Low light photography could be nicer but Im not sure that's worth the cost of replacing it.
 
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