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Do you feel that Apple adds enough to each new iPhone model to justify an upgrade?

  • Yes, absolutely.

    Votes: 14 33.3%
  • No, there aren't enough new changes annually.

    Votes: 28 66.7%

  • Total voters
    42

MICHAELSD

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
5,431
3,437
NJ
Every year I become very satisfied that I decided to upgrade, and I have upgraded every single year since the first iPhone I so passionately bought in 2007. In almost a decade, I've yet to be disappointed by that decision.

Despite all the changes this year it took me a day or two to become fully satisfied, though a main part of that is I wasn't as enamored of the Jet Black finish at first as expected though I also began to enjoy it for the fingerprint magnet it is over just a few days. Gorgeous finish, just a bit overhyped; it could be much better on future models with oleophobic/anti-scratch coatings but I digress.

The iPhone 7 is a huge improvement over the 6s though; the significantly better, more vibrant display makes the 6s' display look incredibly dull, the stereo speakers aren't even in the same class as what Apple has been putting in older iPhones as they are are surprisingly good (seriously, somebody took measurements and found the frequency response above 450Hz to surpass even some very expensive speakers) though they'd be great if they weren't still lacking bass, the haptic touch is more pronounced and used to greater effect, the 50% performance difference is noticeable, waterproofing is extremely nice to have in the back of the mind and also for cleaning purposes, and as a cherry on top the headphone adapter works and sounds better than the headphone port did on past iPhones.

Though admittedly minor changes like an unadvertised display improvement (I feel, through side-by-side testing, that Apple has improved the display on the iPhone every single year) go a long way towards making me happy with my upgrade, but every year there are about a dozen upgrades -- even the iPhones that don't sound like major upgrades on paper feel better and more premium year-after-after without fail. Heck, I was envious of my buddy's iPhone 6s just for the new 7000 series aluminum while I was awaiting my rose gold Plus.

By the way, in case anyone was wondering: forums are my go-to, rather than Candy Crush, when no one else is awake yet ;).
 
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rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,788
13,006
Personal opinion and what features matter to you.

For me, the answer is just sometimes. Granted, I upgraded every year on the old-style family plans because the upgrade was already available and I was paying the $450 subsidy regardless if I upgrade phones or not.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
5,431
3,437
NJ
I can't say the iPhone 7 was a massive upgrade over the 6S for me. I was disappointed enough to stick with a 6S.

Using my 6s right now while my 7 is charging, and it feels practically ancient already. Mainly due to the screen since it looks so dull after getting used to the 7, but also the haptic feedback is better on the 7 Plus. New home button is less fatiguing to press too. It actually cramps my thumb a bit to press the old home button, especially noticeable now.

To each their own though.
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Personal opinion and what features matter to you.

For me, the answer is just sometimes. Granted, I upgraded every year on the old-style family plans because the upgrade was already available and I was paying the $450 subsidy regardless if I upgrade phones or not.

Those subsidies were the best. Buy new iPhone for $399, sell on eBay and make $500+, repeat every two years. Though I bought every year so I did pay full price some years, but it all works out after selling annually.
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors P6
Jan 17, 2013
16,722
24,542
Wales, United Kingdom
Using my 6s right now while my 7 is charging, and it feels practically ancient already. Mainly due to the screen since it looks so dull after getting used to the 7, but also the haptic feedback is better on the 7 Plus. New home button is less fatiguing to press too. It actually cramps my thumb a bit to press the old home button, especially noticeable now.

To each their own though.
Yeah each to their own. Having used both I can't agree or relate to any of that. It certainly wasn't worth 200 quid more.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
5,431
3,437
NJ
Yeah each to their own. Having used both I can't agree or relate to any of that. It certainly wasn't worth 200 quid more.

While I appreciate every little touch (no pun intended :rolleyes:), I'm a stickler for display improvements. All they really need to do to satisfy me is to add an OLED display to iPhone 7s/8. Most people don't care as much as I do about the display spec, but I can't go back to the 6s after seeing how much better the display on the 7 looks. Though to be honest I don't think there was ever an iPhone release where I thought to myself that I could revert back to the previous model.

In fact it's free marketing for the new MacBook Pro display since it also has the same improved color gamut. While I was underwhelmed by the lack of backlight improvement on the MacBook Pro, using the iPhone 7 long enough could convince me to buy a new MBP for the same quality.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,788
13,006
Those subsidies were the best. Buy new iPhone for $399, sell on eBay and make $500+, repeat every two years. Though I bought every year so I did pay full price some years, but it all works out after selling annually.
I never sell. We have 4 lines in the family plan so I would upgrade 2 lines every year. I get the brand new model and the year-old phones get handed down to the two lines in the plan. The 2-year old phones are given away to extended family.

Honestly, I prefer the newer style plan + device installment over old-style subsidized. My monthly cellphone bill is lower now because people in our family plan aren't really interested in upgrading. Only reason they'd replace their phones is if it's not working properly anymore.

On the old plans, I felt forced to upgrade yearly so we don't waste the subsidy.
 
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MICHAELSD

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
5,431
3,437
NJ
I never sell. We have 4 lines in the family plan so I would upgrade 2 lines every year. I get the brand new model and the year-old phones get handed down to the two lines in the plan. The 2-year old phones are given away to extended family.

Honestly, I prefer the newer style plan + device installment over old-style subsidized. My monthly cellphone bill is lower now because people in our family plan aren't really interested in upgrading. Only reason they'd replace their phones is if it's not working properly anymore.

On the old plans, I felt forced to upgrade yearly so we don't waste the subsidy.

Yeah, I feel the old plans may have been better for the phone manufacturers since it encouraged more frequent upgrades and led consumers to believe $649 phones were $199. As of right now though the new plans are better for most people.
 

Reno Raines

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2015
1,473
777
I would say no reluctantly. I think the iPhone 7 looks too much like the 6 and 6s. I know the internals are upgraded but there is something nice about new aesthetics.
 
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ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
2,142
1,230
To be honest, iPhones have always worked for me.. otherwise I wouldn't purchase them (best tool for the job and all of that). I honestly feel Apple needs to slow down.. we don't absolutely need to have a new killer feature every single year ('tis why I skip models frequently).
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors P6
Jan 17, 2013
16,722
24,542
Wales, United Kingdom
While I appreciate every little touch (no pun intended :rolleyes:), I'm a stickler for display improvements. All they really need to do to satisfy me is to add an OLED display to iPhone 7s/8. Most people don't care as much as I do about the display spec, but I can't go back to the 6s after seeing how much better the display on the 7 looks. Though to be honest I don't think there was ever an iPhone release where I thought to myself that I could revert back to the previous model.

In fact it's free marketing for the new MacBook Pro display since it also has the same improved color gamut. While I was underwhelmed by the lack of backlight improvement on the MacBook Pro, using the iPhone 7 long enough could convince me to buy a new MBP for the same quality.
I don't focus too much on display spec to be honest. My screen brightness is on about a third during the day to save my eyes so that's the reason. If an OLED comes to the iPhone my habits won't change. Therefore the difference between the 6S and 7 is minimal in that department. The interface is the same and I use it the same.

This is the first time I've reverted back to the previous model and I think this may start a trend. It's cheaper and I don't feel I'm missing out on much.
 

Septembersrain

Cancelled
Dec 14, 2013
4,347
5,451
TBH, Apple could take the 7, put exactly the same insides/outsides on the 7S, and just add one color : blue

and 90% of this forum would upgrade.

It got me to buy my first iPhone throwing blue onto the 5c. Haha. Now it's my desire for jet black that had me upgrading. Went with the 7+ so it would make the most of me moving from the 6s.
 

44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
37,642
42,493
It got me to buy my first iPhone throwing blue onto the 5c. Haha. Now it's my desire for jet black that had me upgrading. Went with the 7+ so it would make the most of me moving from the 6s.

Great choice. And the differences are there between the 6s and 7. In the 7 Plus, the dual camera and increased speed are easily my favorite features. The speaker quality with the stereo speakers is actually quite impressive. And it has an additional two hours of battery life over the 6s.
 
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Septembersrain

Cancelled
Dec 14, 2013
4,347
5,451
Great choice. And the differences are there between the 6s and 7. In the 7 Plus, the dual camera and increased speed are easily my favorite features. The speaker quality with the stereo speakers is actually quite impressive. And it has an additional two hours of battery life over the 6s.

The 7+ lasts a full 10-12 hours longer than my 6s. It's crazy. I got maybe 5-6 on screen time and at most 10 hours on standby. This wasn't a release day 6s with the acknowledged issue, however my guy has the release day 6s I'd bought. So his battery is even worse and turns off...

I just didn't feel the 7 could offer me enough of an upgrade to be satisfied. I'm sure some did though.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,718
I personally see little reason to upgrade annually, the cost of such an action is prohibitive, at least with my budget.

Since subsidies have gone by the board, I think I'm less inclined to even upgrade every other year, unless there's a specific feature I want.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,392
19,460
I personally see little reason to upgrade annually, the cost of such an action is prohibitive, at least with my budget.

Since subsidies have gone by the board, I think I'm less inclined to even upgrade every other year, unless there's a specific feature I want.
It seems like carriers have still figured out ways to do subsidies through credits--they will offer the device payment plan and then a credit to offset some part of it or all of it which would be split across 24 months, that way to get the full credit you'd want to stay with them that long and not upgrade again until then, which is almost like the contracts with subsidies that used to be around. The more things change the more they stay the same, as the saying goes.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,788
13,006
It seems like carriers have still figured out ways to do subsidies through credits--they will offer the device payment plan and then a credit to offset some part of it or all of it which would be split across 24 months, that way to get the full credit you'd want to stay with them that long and not upgrade again until then, which is almost like the contracts with subsidies that used to be around. The more things change the more they stay the same, as the saying goes.
That's just business. Up to the customer to decide if the terms are favorable for them.

Personally, if AT&T or Verizon wants to give me $650 for a phone that's only worth $200-300 as long as I stay with them for 2 years (which I'll already be doing regardless), then why not?
 

44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
37,642
42,493
It seems like carriers have still figured out ways to do subsidies through credits--they will offer the device payment plan and then a credit to offset some part of it or all of it which would be split across 24 months, that way to get the full credit you'd want to stay with them that long and not upgrade again until then, which is almost like the contracts with subsidies that used to be around. The more things change the more they stay the same, as the saying goes.

And the carrier trade in promotions they offer are fairly competitive and tempting. Some of these carriers offer almost full trade value for your device and spread the credit over the course of months to your bill, which really pays for itself, with very little left over to contribute to the invoice.
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,601
Colorado
For me, the annual upgrades stopped with the iPhone 5. I picked that year to buy my first Android phone and never regretted that decision. I bought the 5S.

The next year, I skipped the 6 and bought a 6+ and a Note 4 and a Note Edge. I bought the 6S and 6S+ last December and two S7 Edge phones in February during the pre-release.

I have no plans to buy a 7 this year. My next phone will be the S8 Edge.
 
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