Other Users of multi year+ older iPhones, easier to resist upgrades further out?

easier to hold out further out?

  • Yes — ain’t no big thing after getting over ‘the hump’

    Votes: 44 64.7%
  • No — still tough to not upgrade when new stuff comes out but still dont

    Votes: 18 26.5%
  • Not sure actually

    Votes: 6 8.8%

  • Total voters


macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 1, 2007
seeing lots of 6s and 7 series users humming along just fine as far as I can tell, confidently still holding out and skipping this year.

The people that seem to upgrade, upgrade feverishly (This is usually but not always me, I’m sometimes on the two year plan, never been on a 3 or over though, that sounds kinda cool in a weird way)

I have a theory, and feel like after you break past the 2 years+ of not upgrading (though its not an estimate not an exact science, the timeframe and Threshold depends on individual), you are more inclined to get over it more easily and not give a crap... akin to what I would imagine its like coming off nicotine, tough in the beginning, near impossible, then supposedly gets easier the further out you go without, once you’re past the hot sweats phase and the critical point of hooked you dont even think about it (all in theory of course, not saying as an ex smoker, or anything just conjecturing from what it sounds like). Or akin to obsessing about the first scratch, then with time and more scratches, caring significantly less.. Diminishing effect, type thing. Any discipline that gets easier with repetition and time and some form of practice.

This is of course barring functionality deal breakers almost literally *forcing* someone into an upgrade as they see it, that they are and would be relatively indifferent about otherwise but do out of ambivalent necessity — severely cracked screens, slowed devices to a crawl through a bad configuration or just being THAT old a phone its barely supported, useless battery life, water damaged device, stuck buttons or failed authentication hardware, Storage alerts all the time that they cant trim down for the life of them, etc.... etc.

Anyways, genuinely curious during this time of iPhone ordering season!

It’s a little silly of an ask in a sense, because by virtue of already being on older devices, they’ve necessarily held out successfully and not upgraded and given into temptation — but I’m more curious about the *level* of temptation involved with upgrade dodging specifically, not the bottom line result of not upgrading which is a given, if that makes sense.
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macrumors regular
May 23, 2012
I have the 7 plus at the moment and probably could have waited another year before upgrading but my phone is starting to wear down on me (speakers distorting, battery charge not holding etc).

I could have just got a repair but I feel after 3 years I want to treat myself to an upgrade.

Totally agree though that with each passing year my urge to upgrade lessened.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2017
I’m happy to be in a two year cycle, I really don’t know how people are claiming there 6s is still amazing as mine was really struggling 2 years ago. It wasn’t that device either as I got it swapped for a battery recall 6 months before I sold it and the problems were shared across the two devices.


macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2006
My 6s Plus had a new battery this year, and is doing just fine. I thought about replacing it this time around, but on reflection, I don’t need a replacement. It should last at least another year.


macrumors 68000
Dec 3, 2017
I am going to hold onto my 8+ until year 2 of 5G. I don’t take any pics of myself, or much else for that matter. The new phones are basically a bit faster with a better camera every year. I’m not busy enough to need much more speed than an a11, and I don’t care at all about picture quality so a newer camera isn’t even on my radar. I am very intrigued by the new battery life that apple claims is a massive step up, though.


macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7 Plus here with new battery, visibly better pixel density than XR/11 screen, 3 GB RAM (same as XR), and proper portrait mode on dual-lens camera (more than XR).

The two must haves for me for my next phone are 5G and significantly improved camera, which means 2020 and probably Pro Max.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2012
It works both ways I find.

If your current device is missing some killer feature you really want then you'll find it hard to resist an upgrade which has that feature.

If the new update is missing some killer feature you really want then it's easier to resist.

eg. My partner always wanted a massive water resistant Apple phablet. Whined for years about it. When the XS Max came out he pre-ordered it and loves it. iPhone 11 Pro comes out without 5G which is available now in our area and neither of us want it. To us it's a total dud so it's easy to resist.

Really depends on what you want. There will be people out there who have been dying for Apple to release a wider lens camera for example, and they'll be wetting themselves to get the Pro, and couldn't care less about the missing 5G.


macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
iPhone SE here... back when I bought it, I just wanted to buy into the ecosystem since I already owned iPads and MacBooks at that point of time. After that I never saw much incentive to upgrade any further.

The shiny new iPhone X was certainly hard to get over, but once the initial excitement of everybody wore down, so did my desire for it. Then, in 2018 I got a new work phone, an iPhone 8. It was a great phone, really liked it. But once I left the company and so the phone, the only incentive to upgrade was my SE’s defunct charging port, that wouldn’t work like 80% of the time.

So I decided to wait it out for the iPhone 11 and fortunately enough it turned out to address exactly the shortcomings I was looking for: a better camera. I definitely got lucky here, since this was all i personally needed.

In general, I don’t look forward to anything else in the iPhone segment, except for even better camera upgrades. So I would‘ve said I wont upgrade for a long time, but since my girlfriend needs a new phone I‘ll just bump mine to the 2020 model. Not much excited about it to be honest though. I guess the ToF sensor will be a nice upgrade, which might push camera capabilities even further.

Im much more excited about the other product categories of Apple. I’m a big Apple Watch fan, the always on screen is such a big improvement to me, I almost went for it having a Series 4.
And obviously, I’m super excited about AR as a technology, and therefore Apple glasses (As described in another thread, I’m not a big fan of AR on an iPhone, even though it looks gorgeous).
Finally, I’m a big fan of the iPad Pro, I wish the day was there were I wouldn’t need my MacBook anymore. But unfortunately, that’s not happening anytime soon.
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macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2015
Virginia Beach, VA
I’m the only one in my family that has a new phone addiction, everybody else keeps their phone until it breaks.
The wide angle lenses has me excited this time. I have an Android phone too.
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macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
My partner always wanted a massive water resistant Apple phablet. Whined for years about it. When the XS Max came out he pre-ordered it and loves it.
It should be noted that the 7 Plus is IP67 and the XS Max is IP68. Certainly an improvement in water resistance but not a night vs day difference.

“IP67 means the unit can be dropped into a body of water up to a meter deep for half an hour, while IP68 guarantees protection in water up to 1.5m deep for the same period of time. Both are resistant to dust.”


macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2010
I am still rocking a 16GB iPhone 6+. I have an iCloud data plan for my photos and would really like to record in 4K video. I thought this was going to be the year I upgrade but honestly I am really torn about upgrading this year as opposed to holding out until next year!

I don’t personally feel like the pro justifies the price tag at present and am left wondering if we will get three lenses on the iPhone 11s or not. I really don’t want to get a phone this year and then feel next year’s one is the one I really want.

It was easier back in the day when phones were a 2 year commitment (I went from 4 to 5 to 6 all day 1 preorders) but I just don’t think I can justify a 2 year cycle anymore, I’m not sure there is enough in a iPhone 11/Pro that would justify the circa £1050 spend.


macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2019
Georgia, USA
Love my 7 Plus. Does what I need a phone to do.
I "upgraded" to it from a 4S (4.5yrs).
I just purchased a 2119 MBP coming from a 2012 cMBP (6.5yrs).
So yes, I have no problem resisting. :D
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macrumors 65816
Apr 8, 2015
As long as mine works fine, I don’t care.

I was using the 6s on iOS 9 up until three weeks ago when I got the Xʀ, and pretty much the only reason for which I wanted to upgrade was battery life.

Was it because the 6s’ battery life sucked? No, it got 7-9 hours of on-screen time depending on usage (I was happy with that), it was because I had been using a 7+ on iOS 10 for a year and I loved the battery life (10 to 13 hours of on-screen, again, depending on usage, I bought it for that reason), but its camera was broken and it wasn’t working very well, so I traded it in for the Xʀ.

If my 7+ were working just fine, I wouldn’t have upgraded.


macrumors member
Sep 14, 2019
I have a theory, and feel like after you break past the 2 years+ of not upgrading (though its not an estimate not an exact science, the timeframe and Threshold depends on individual), you are more inclined to get over it more easily and not give a crap...
If my memory is right, I had a 3GS, 4S, then a 6... the entire 5 series wasn't appealing enough to me and I was thrilled when the 6 came in a new form factor. Back when features and hardware were changing so rapidly, every 2 years was almost a necessity. But once we hit the 6, speed aside, I think the phones have become more durable, more forwards compatible, and my 6 lasted me 5 years with 2 battery replacements.

As phones started getting bigger, I was also trying to be *less* available and away from the phone more often, so I picked up an AW4 when they narrowed the bezels. Kind of a personal preference evolution in parallel to the tech form evolution. Now I carry an iPhone SE to be able to get iOS 13 to stay current on watchOS for my AW4, and my ideal setup would be a standalone watch.

I might be in a minority, but for the most part I don't have a use for a phone that isn't replicated by either my laptop or the watch. In my opinion, Apple has made it easier to avoid upgrading every year not harder.
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now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
I've posted this on other threads, but I'll post it again here:
Running an iPhone 6 Plus on iOS 9 and have zero desire for the new phones. In fact, I wouldn't use an apple OLED iPhone if it was given to me (cuz of screen flicker) and the 11 has a smaller screen than my plus.

I'd use an 8 plus if someone gave it to me, but at this point (going on 5 years) it's more enjoyable using my old phone to see how far it'll take me. I don't miss the fact that most apps now are incompatible with iOS 9, I have all the apps I need and don't update the ones I have (cuz they all work fine).

I'm curious how far this phone will take me. 10 years?


macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
Any place but here or there....
I'd rather wait until the notch is gone and I have another biometric sign in choice besides Face ID. Besides, I'd rather spend that $ on other Apple tech I use a lot more.

So I'll hang onto my 8+.


macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2010
My theory is that 4 full years is the maximum threshold most people are willing to use a smartphone before the itch for something new and shiny becomes unbearable. Most will upgrade well before the 4 years is up.

For me personally, my timeline is something like this:

Year 1: it's so fast and the battery lasts all day! I could use it for a few years...

Year 2: Battery is just okay, but still usable. Phone is still good.

Year 3: Battery sucks, replace battery. Phone still works fine and capable, but bored of the design now compared to all the thin new hotness out there. Usually I will upgrade at this point, but if I don't...

Year 4: I want a new phone, soo bored of this thing now and missing out on all the modern features and fancy cameras. I'll get whatever they release at the end of this year even if its lackluster.
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macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2011
The ones who upgrade every year and own 3-5 other other devices are a tiny majority of iPhone users.

When I am on the train, with friends or at work I see lots of people with older iPhones - even high earners.

Scream And Fly

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2017
Florida and New York, USA
I sure am grateful that I don’t obsess over my devices where I need to fight an urge not to upgrade. Yikes.

I think the thing here is to look past the yearly sales pitch for every single new model and ask yourself if the phone will actually do anything relevant to your needs that your current device cannot. With every new model, Apple (and others of course) claim it’s the best screen, the fastest chip, the most powerful, the greatest, and to use a word Steve Jobs relied heavily on to describe a new device every year - it’s gorgeous.

I suppose the people that somehow see their phones as a status symbol for public consumption (silly as that seems to me) might not care about anything the new model phone could actually do at all.
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macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
It’s always about trade offs. I’m a man that doesnt like extremes, I like the balance in the middle. Upgrading all the time will hurt your wallet, but wont return you the same amount of value. Equivalently, upgrading every 10 years will cost you next to nothing, but will hurt your everyday productivity/enjoyability in a disproportionate manner.

So I personally think, a wise thing is to stick to upgrade intervals somewhere between 3-5 years, depending on personal preferences and usage patterns. But again, just my opinion
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macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
There’s quite a few reasons people upgrade:

1: They have to have the latest and greatest tech, colors etc.

2: They care what other people think and need to feel elite

3: Their current devices are no longer meeting their needs

4: Getting something new makes them feel good. They look forward to things like this and they get bored easily with what they have.

5: Fear of missing out

Of the five reasons above, four of them are EMOTIONAL and not LOGICAL and I would bet most people on these forums are using one of these reasons to upgrade. Now, some people are financially irresponsible with these reasons and others can afford it. For example, I know it’s a poor financial decision to shell out 1k for an iPhone 11 Pro like I just did considering I have a 2 month old iPhone XR I received from work for free, but I make a nice living, I save roughly 2k a month and can afford it. I try to find the balance of enjoying life but also saving for my families future. Buying this phone is not forcing me to sacrifice my way of life. I acknowledge it’s not the best financial decision. However, I sold my X two months ago knowing this day would come, netting me $679, $100 more than the current value. It helps ease the financial purchase somewhat.

I fall in category 4 above mostly but also do like to have the latest tech. I have skipped two upgrades in the past such as the IPhone 7 and XS and launch day was a tough day for me, but I got over it.

I have a friend who struggles financially who is also getting the iPhone 11 Pro and upgrades every year to basically every new iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. I am not sure what category he falls under but he is being financially irresponsible. Apple and the carriers makes it easier for these people to be irresponsible by offering the iPhone upgrade program where they feel like they aren’t spending any additional money, but actually are just extending their debt. These people do not acknowledge their poor financial decision and justify it and usually get defensive over it.

One of my former employers’ owner every year had to send his assistant out to get the latest iPhone. He was extremely non-technical and did not understand the upgrades but had to feel elite amongst his peers.
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macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2012
I like your 5 points above, think they're well considered and accurate.

Point 3 should have a caveat however. People develop needs they didn't know they needed until a new feature is released.

I saw a guy yesterday saying he fell a lot so needed a new Apple Watch because of that.

Sorry, but an Apple Watch that alerts someone when you fall over is not a need. If it is, then anything can be a need :p


macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2004
In general when I upgrade I consider the following:

1) is there something new / innovative in terms of design and features that my current phone does not have?

2) what will it cost me to upgrade? If I can get a deal where it costs me less than $500 (include sale / trade of my device) I usually pull the trigger, otherwise I have to think about it.

3) the camera is a big deal to me because it is what my wife and I use to take pictures and videos of our family / life and when I look back a few hundred every couple years to have better quality memories is worth it to me.

4) if I wait another year, will it cost me more to upgrade (e.g. if I can do it for $300-$500 now will it be >$500 a year from now)

5) can I live with my device for another year? Up until the 6 I was on a 2 year cycle and then I skipped the 7 (I am not on the S cycle) - going 3 years is very reasonable now because the phones don’t really slow down like they used to.

I would have preferred no notch or a reduction to it, but that is not a deal breaker.

5G is not important to me at this time.

I actually like the look of the new phones and the incentives are reasonable right now to make the upgrade so I am going for it - back to the 2 year cycle for me. The X has been great though, definitely my favorite iPhone to date.