On a typical 2-year cycle would you rather be on "X" or "XS"?

jonhoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 11, 2015
70
2
Assuming Apple continues the trend of new generation, refresh, new gen, refresh, etc etc.

My 3-year plan on my 5 is ending this year and I'm kind of waiting on 2016's 7 for a new form factor (or at least a flush camera lens). Even though the battery is a nightmare I'd tough it out for another year.
 

Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,550
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Italy
There isn't an universally valid answer to this question.
I think it's just better to change your iPhone when you really feel the need to change it. It could be during an X or an XS cycle.
 
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Chocolatemilty

macrumors 6502a
May 17, 2009
642
94
Los Angeles, CA
I thought about this quite a bit before upgrading my 4S to the 6, and I'm already think I'd really like the 6S with the 2GB RAM and the like. Nonetheless, I'd upgrade to the 6 again if given the chance, but if I were you, I'd go 6S later this year.
 

Obi Wan Kenobi

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2011
453
250
London, UK
This is a very personal choice.

I had the iphone 3G and the 4 when they first came out. It was great to have the latest model.

But, the S cycle is the refined version. It's the golden rule with tech, never buy the first version of anything. Testing in labs can never match real world usage in non-laboratory conditions. After the early adopters have found all the defects and niggles, the tech company can release a better product.

I'm now on the S cycle and I couldn't be happier.

It's also why I don't plan on buying this version of the Apple watch, or the new MacBook. Although I probably will buy them eventually.

I should add, Apple have changed the shape of the iphone every 2 years. Accessories like car / bike mounts and armbands need time to be developed, and brought to market, once the phone's dimensions are known. This can be annoying and inconvenient when you're on the X cycle. On the S cycle these irritations just don't arise.
 
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BMcCoy

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2010
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3,064
It is inevitable (and normal) for most people to justify their own situation.

Some like the new form factor and cosmetic design of each new iphone X.
Some like the big jump in spec and features that accompanies the XS.

For me, the 4S was possibly the best iphone release... and the 5S is still very good. But lots of people are loving the 6, and it remains to be seen if any 2015 release will be a huge leap in features or not.
 

RossMak

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2012
323
236
I am currently on the X release as has been pointed out it is a personal thing. I like to have the latest design phone, but when the XS of this version comes out I have considered upgrading early.
 

gmintz09

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2015
72
2
Assuming Apple continues the trend of new generation, refresh, new gen, refresh, etc etc.

My 3-year plan on my 5 is ending this year and I'm kind of waiting on 2016's 7 for a new form factor (or at least a flush camera lens). Even though the battery is a nightmare I'd tough it out for another year.
As everyone has said, you'll probably have better luck on the XS cycle since those are the perfected versions of the originals. If you wanna stick with your 5, look into a battery case like Mophie. Those cases saved me when I had my 5 before I bought my current 6+.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,970
68
I don't select based on X/Xs. I select whatever the current model is whenever I'm upgrading.
 

Matheew944

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2015
189
11
Prefer X cycles, new design, new features, . When I will get the Ip 7 later in 2016, I will upgrade early.. So, my suggest for you is- get the 6 now, or wait for Ip7 in 2016, 6S wont be much different from the current 6.
 

Nipommu

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2011
203
92
As I always say, nothing beats fresh new aesthetic design for me. The spec bump is minimal and never as exciting as holding a new design.
 

skiltrip

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2010
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New York
Not an easy question.

I had an iPhone 4, but only for a week or two. At the time, I decided to move to Android.

But if I HAD kept the 4, it's pretty easy to imagine how my upgrades would have gone.

When the 4S came around, I would have definitely stuck with the 4. The spec bumps were nice but not enough to warrant another purchase after only a year.

When the 4" size bump came around with the iPhone 5, I would have been pretty excited about that and would have made the jump.

The spec bump on the 5S was pretty sweet along with the fingerprint deal, but with rumors of another size bump, I would have hung in there for the 6.

Now I have a 6. I don't see them messing with the size again for a few generations, though I could be wrong. But I'm very pleased with the 4.7" screen and overall phone size.

Despite my certainty that I would have been better with the X cycle, I may go against that this year and upgrade to the 6S, and get myself into the XS cycle.

The S version truly is the perfected design and implementation. If you can live without the latest wave of physical change and innovations, it seems the S cycle is a good move.

Incidentally, I've always seen more people with S versions than the non-S versions, leading me to believe people generally hold on to S phones longer. I could be wrong on that though.
 

stonyboys

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2012
323
3
I'm just like you OP, I'm still on my 5 but even after updating to iOS 8, it's still working pretty well. Admittedly not as snappy as it was on 7, but still fast. If the battery is the only problem then I would go on ebay and buy a battery and tool kit for 15-20$. This is what I did, and did the replacement myself. Months later and it's still working fine. Personally I'm going to stay on the 5 until it gets too slow or something breaks. I recommend you replace the battery and restore it (unless you're still on 7.1.2, in which case I'd recommend you not restore and stay on it). I feel like I can use this thing for another 2 years.
 

puma1552

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Nov 20, 2008
5,559
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I've been on both.

First iPhone was a 3G, yeah, that one was a turd. Didn't buy it at launch though, bought it later on in the year.

Held that turd, smashed screen and all for about 2.5 years, until the 4S. Got that on launch day. That phone was phenomenal, and compared the the 3G the design was amazing, even though it was already an old design.

When I was due for an upgrade (back in the days of 18-20 month upgrades), I figured I was foolish not to take the upgrade whenever it was ready, basically meaning I'd get two out of every three phones. So I got a 5 in May of 2013. Great phone but had the defective battery. It was nice, but didn't seem like that big of a deal since it really wasn't a lot different than the 4/4S.

Ditched that contract early to switch carriers and got a launch day 6. Absolutely love it. Now that upgrades are 24 months, and with no plans to switch carriers, I'm on the initial cycle for good and should be able to get right on or right around launch day, depending how anal Verizon is with launch day upgrades depending what day of the month preorders begin.

Given my history it might sound like I'd prefer the S cycle, but I really don't. While it's nice to have a case and screen protector ready to go on day 1 with the S cycle, it's worth putting up with the initial accessory delays to have the newest thing IMO (lots of manufacturers still struggling with the iP6 accessories). Maybe it's just that the 5/5S weren't terribly different in design than the 4/4S, but by the time the 6 came out I was way more than ready for a design change.

Pros and cons to each, but Apple is slow to redesign things, so it's nice to get it while it's fresh.
 

technosix

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2015
930
11
West Coast USA
There isn't a definitive correct answer.

I buy every year, the experience I've had with my iPhone's since the first one, along with the additional four I buy each year for my family reveals each S model has been clearly better than a non S.

YMMV
 

adock

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2014
27
0
PA
I liked being on the x upgrade because I feel less compelled to upgrade the following yr because the design is typically the same.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
I'm on the non S cycle, just because that's how I started for the most part. I'm happy at this point, with sticking with that and in two years, I'll get a new phone.
 

AleXXXa

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2015
332
223
The xS is the way to go. Usually x has problems.
4 - antennagate
4s- OK.
5 - scuffgate
5S-OK.
6 - bendate and usually the apple logo on the back has a gap.
6S will probably be ok and will have 2GB of Ram.
 

1080p

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,709
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Planet Earth
Oh you silly people and your "2-year cycles." I buy the new iPhone EVERY year. Every year I sell my old iPhone for $600+, then I walk into the new one for $150-200 (which is basically the subsidized price when you sign up for 2 years anyway). I am 35 years old. I don't smoke. I don't drink. My personal vice is having the latest and greatest iPhone when it comes out. It costs less and is healthier than those other vices too!
 

Gryfter

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2011
362
77
Brooklyn, NY
I've been on the non-S cycle...

started with the 4...
4 to 5, wanted LTE...
5 to 6 Plus, wanted a bigger screen...

if I waited for the "s", I'd have to have waited an extra year for the options listed... S's typically dont have that big of an upgrade to do so annually... whatever bugs are associated with the non-S usually gets worked out through the updates...
 

soulghost

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2009
123
19
London
Oh you silly people and your "2-year cycles." I buy the new iPhone EVERY year. Every year I sell my old iPhone for $600+, then I walk into the new one for $150-200 (which is basically the subsidized price when you sign up for 2 years anyway). I am 35 years old. I don't smoke. I don't drink. My personal vice is having the latest and greatest iPhone when it comes out. It costs less and is healthier than those other vices too!
This, exactly how I do it.
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,383
1,017
Oh you silly people and your "2-year cycles." I buy the new iPhone EVERY year. Every year I sell my old iPhone for $600+, then I walk into the new one for $150-200 (which is basically the subsidized price when you sign up for 2 years anyway). I am 35 years old. I don't smoke. I don't drink. My personal vice is having the latest and greatest iPhone when it comes out. It costs less and is healthier than those other vices too!
hello twin.. except I sell the X cycles and I keep the S cycles.

6= sell
6s= keep
7= sell
7s= keep