Is it worth never updating past our iPhone's original firmware?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Ternary, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. Ternary macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2015
    So here's a question regarding the value of iPhone when kept on the original firmware and your personal take on this issue. (Original firmware meaning iPhone 5 on iOS 6, iPhone 6 on iOS 8, etc).

    As most of us know, newer versions of iOS tend to slow down older devices. That, coupled with the inability to downgrade, has led to an interesting market of selling iPhones on specific firmware versions. Take iOS 6 for example. It's a sought-out version of iOS for its speed and design, especially when it's paired with its most powerful device: the iPhone 5. Because of this, the iPhone 5 with iOS 6 has a noticeably higher resale value on eBay than any other iPhone 5.

    This makes me wonder: from a customer's perspective, are we better off never updating past our iPhone's original iOS? By not updating, our device configuration become rarer by the second, right? Wouldn't that, along with the desire to use a specific version of iOS on its most powerful device, help better maintain the resale value of our iPhone? But then again, this requires a sacrifice to the customer. He or she would never be able to experience any new compelling iOS features and would have to remain vulnerable to security exploits for the duration of ownership.

    Other points to consider:
    • Are the final revisions of iOS versions more valuable? (8.4.1 vs 8.0)
    • Is the iOS version's ability to be jailbroken more important? (9.1 vs 9.3)
    I would definitely appreciate your observations/opinions on this matter.
  2. bufffilm, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016

    bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    Yes, a phone that is on a jailbreakable firmware would be more valuable than one that was not.

    So a phone (or iPad) on iOS 9.0 to 9.0.2 or on 9.1 would be theoretically worth more (assuming a potential buyer was looking to JB that phone) than if it were on say...iOS 9.2 which is not jailbreakable.

    A phone on iOS 7.1.2 would be worth more than one on 7.0 because while they are both JB-able, the former is on a slightly later firmware. One could say I'm splitting hairs to say that...but it is true, nonetheless.

    And as you stated already, some iOS versions are more desirable than others, but I'll leave it at that.
  3. na1577 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 20, 2008
    If somebody is specifically seeking out a specific version of iOS (especially an obscure one), then they are probably willing to pay more for it making it more valuable. In general, earlier firmwares are likely more sought after than newer ones. But I would imagine that small differences in version (such as 8.4 versus 8.4.1) would have little to no impact on the selling price. I think the final version of an OS would be the best buy, but I can't imagine somebody paying an extra $30 (for example) just to get iOS 8.4.1 over a device with iOS 8.3 unless they have a very specific reason for wanting it.

    I don't resell my old devices, so holding back on updates for the sake of resale value is not a factor to me. I own multiple iOS devices on different versions, so holding back on one device doesn't mean I can't still experience new features. Ultimately if you plan to resell and you don't find newer versions of iOS compelling, then it's worth it to hold back. But if a new update excites you, there's no sense in missing out on new features and apps for years just so you can eventually resell your phone for $350 instead of $300.
  4. bufffilm, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016

    bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
  5. Ternary thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2015
    Those are great factual answers, and I most certainly agree with what you said. Here are two questions I have after reading your response.
    • When iOS 10 is released (meaning we cannot go back to iOS 9.3.3) and iOS 9.2+ theoretically never gets jailbroken anytime soon, would you say that iOS 9.1 is more valuable (for the jailbreak) or iOS 9.3.3 (for the performance improvements/stability)?
    • Say for instance that a customer who is not interested in jailbreaking gets an iPhone on iOS 9.1. Is it in his or her better interest to not update for resale value or to update to iOS 9.3.3 since it would provide a smoother experience to them?
  6. bufffilm, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016

    bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    The answer to both those questions is that it depends on the buyer and how they intend to use the phone.
  7. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I always keep my devices up to date with the latest software. I think it's worth it to keep up to date with new features and security patches.
  8. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    I can't imagine being limited again to the feature set of iOS 6, or willingly going around with years of security patches missing from my phone.

    But then most "collectible" markets have bizarre fetishes I don't understand.
  9. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    Given the ease of updating your software, I can see the logic behind it. You can always update a phone with older software, but you cannot downgrade a phone on the latest OS.

    I would be indifferent, as I always upgrade the day the software comes out.
  10. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2011
    I never go past 2 major updates on my ios devices. My iPhone 5 is on ios8 and I'll never put it up on ios9.
  11. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
  12. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    And yet…you have people seeking earlier versions so they can jailbreak.

    Good reason…ignored by many.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2016 ---
    No, I'm sorry, most of us do NOT know.

    My iPhone 5 is just as fast on 9.0.1 as it was on 6.1. Perhaps this might have developed into a thing because Apple kept the iPhone 4s on the stage for too long but I don't have any slowness issues with my 5.

    That said, if I could get my iPhone 5 back on iOS 6 I would love to. I like that version the best, not just because I hate the multi-colored unicorn puke Apple calls iOS after version 6 but because I prefer how iOS 6 worked.

    In any case, speaking to your main point. From a jailbreaker's perspective it is always best to update/upgrade to the latest firmware that is jailbreakable. When there is no jailbreak for a version it then becomes a guessing game. Sometimes you guess right, sometimes you don't.

    I don't always upgrade/update right away for that reason.

    My 6s+ is jailbroken on 9.0.2 right now. I won't be updating to iOS 10 until there is a jailbreak for it.
  13. ErnstStavroBlohard macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2016
    Yes, it's worth it.

    Laggy keyboard presses are THE WORST.
  14. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013
    I always update, though not necessarily right away for a major iOS release. I waited a month to go to iOS 7 and a week or so for iOS 8 and 9, just in case major issues occurred. .x and .x.y updates I try to apply same day of release.

    Security updates are important and I don't want to leave my phone open to malware attack.

    I'm more satisfied with 9.3.3 on my iPhone 5 than I was with iOS 6. Apple never fixed a wifi bug in 6 that limited my download speeds to 0.5 Mbps.
  15. HEK macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2013
    US Eastern time zone
    Seems ridiculous to me. I always update to latest iOS. For two reasons, first I want to take advantage of any and all update, fixes, features that latest software has to offer. Second I want all the latest security updates, fixes that are a major feature in each update even if not highly advertised

    Have always updated, never had any issues and this is across iphones and iPads. Do the same with my various Mac Pro laptops.
    Two each of 3GS, 4s, 5s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus and one each iPad Air and iPad Air 2.
  16. janeauburn, Jul 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016

    janeauburn macrumors 6502a


    Nov 22, 2015
    A big NO on upgrading iOS. Never, ever, ever, ever (EVER) upgrade iOS beyond the major release that came on your device. If you do, you're asking for trouble, and you know why. Apple will MAKE YOUR DEVICE UNUSABLE with its inevitably slower "upgrades." You know this. You don't need the new features of ANY iOS update. Your device will always run quickly if you keep it on the same iOS version you had when you got it.

    Ignore me if you want. But keep these words handy and don't say you weren't warned when you go crying that the latest Apple update made your device slower.

    "When iPhone 4s owners are faced with the dilemma of continuing to use a slow, buggy phone or spend hundreds to buy a new phone, Apple often benefits because consumers will often buy a new iPhone to keep their investment in the App ecosystem. […]"

    Like Microsoft does with Windows, Apple should stop the de facto FORCING of iOS upgrades (that all but brick older devices) and instead provide security maintenance patches for older versions of iOS on a publicized schedule that stretches out for years. Not to do so, I think, justifies the lawsuits that Apple repeatedly gets from angry users.
  17. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I think not updating iOS beyond launch version or +1 was a good idea until the iPhone 5. After that the devices have not slowed down as much - I guess either the processor upgrades are plateauing or Apple has put more competent engineers on newer iOS's than the ones that coded the first 5 or 6 versions.
  18. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    I always upgrade my phone to the latest version of the OS for better security.
  19. Ternary thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2015
    You know, you do have a point. The iPhone 5 on iOS 9 isn't nearly as bad as the iPhone 3G on iOS 4. That being said, the devices still are slowing down, which I believe still makes this discussion relevant. Even if iOS 10 reverses this trend, there might still be people who would prefer the features/design of earlier firmwares.
  20. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    The only iPhone that I have running something other than the latest iOS version is my original iPhone. I have downgraded it to iPhone OS 1, just for nostalgic reasons, as I only use it as an iPod now. Other than that, the rest (an SE and 4S) get the latest updates for security reasons, as I actually use them as phones.
  21. andyw715 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2013
    The amount I may sell my old phone for is way down on the list of pro/con for getting a new phone.

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