Seeking long-term purchase scenario recommendations

kylera

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
1,195
27
Seoul
For simplicity's sake, let's assume there are no contracts and subsidies, and that any purchase will be done off the Apple Store. Moreover, because I'm not in the United States, there is no AppleCare+ or the upgrade program.

A friend recently asked me for smartphone recommendations. She's interested in iOS this time around, and her uses are basic - calling, texting, social media, web browsing, photography.

It got me thinking - would it make more sense to buy the iPhone 5S, which is still available brand new, and update to whatever is the entry-level model every 2-3 years, or would it make more sense to buy the latest flagship model every 4-5 years?
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,902
3,475
Boston, MA
If I am not mistaken, the 5s is only available in 16gb. Depending on the amount of photography she will be doing, this may be a contstraint. The good news is the phone has a solid camera, and I do believe it still runs nicely (it did on iOS 8 for us, but we sold before 9 hit).

All that said the 6s, along with its Plus variant are solid devices. The deciding factor for me is actually warranty concerns. You're out of warranty after just one year, but it sounds like the 5s will be replaced within two years, whereas the 6s would be replaced after 4-5. At four years old you're at a greater risk of out of pocket repairs than you would be with that two year old phone.
 

techspin

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2014
765
323
Latest flagship all the way for a few reasons, including: longer battery life, larger display size, better front & rear cameras, and this buggy version of iOS needs all the help it can get from hardware improvements the 6S offers. She could resell her phone to recoup some money if she wanted to upgrade sooner.
 

kylera

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
1,195
27
Seoul
If I am not mistaken, the 5s is only available in 16gb. Depending on the amount of photography she will be doing, this may be a contstraint. The good news is the phone has a solid camera, and I do believe it still runs nicely (it did on iOS 8 for us, but we sold before 9 hit).

All that said the 6s, along with its Plus variant are solid devices. The deciding factor for me is actually warranty concerns. You're out of warranty after just one year, but it sounds like the 5s will be replaced within two years, whereas the 6s would be replaced after 4-5. At four years old you're at a greater risk of out of pocket repairs than you would be with that two year old phone.
I don't know about the US store, but the Korean store sells 32GB models for the 5S.

Her current phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, though I have no idea whether she got it when it came out or whether she got it after some time.
 

kylera

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
1,195
27
Seoul
Latest flagship all the way for a few reasons, including: longer battery life, larger display size, better front & rear cameras, and this buggy version of iOS needs all the help it can get from hardware improvements the 6S offers. She could resell her phone to recoup some money if she wanted to upgrade sooner.
I see. Do you tend to get the latest flagships as well, and if you do, how long do you tend to hold onto them?
 

sunking101

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2013
6,695
1,864
I wouldn't buy an iPhone or iPad with 1GB of RAM now, unless I was skint and had to have iOS. Even then, I would only buy used as it's just not worth ploughing a lot of money into outdated tech. The 5S is still a good phone, RAM aside, but I would hate to be using one in a year or two.
 

Conan86

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2012
327
137
Singapore
Yep, get the best you can afford for it's gonna last a good 3 to 4 years being supported (iOS update wise).
The 5s is a very capable device, but the screen size actually turned me off from browsing with it because the text is really too small. I have the 6s now and I see myself using it to surf much more even when my iPad is very accessible right in my bag, before this I would definitely choose to use the iPad than to squint browsing on my 5s.

If you're gonna hold on to the device for a long period of time, don't buy an aged product and shortchange the experience.
 
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