Other What is your backup iPhone?


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 3, 2017
If you’re on the iPhone upgrade program like a lot of people, you end up trading your phone in every year or 2. To those who ended up keeping their phone after 2 years or who paid cash, do you tend to pick a phone to hold onto as a backup iPhone? I am contemplating getting the X Max this year, but there is no way I would want to sell my 8+. Or do most people just roll with one iPhone and hope for the best?


macrumors regular
Nov 6, 2014
Central IL, USA.
Don't have one. Thinking of getting an SE (if I can find one unlocked) or getting an iPhone 8 as my backup.

Both will be the last of the Home Key/TouchID combo, it would seem. Will try to keep using those for as long as I can.


macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2008
Central New York
I have an iPhone 6s, and 7 Plus as my backups.

Daily Driver is my iPhone X. I have upgraded every year since the original iPhone in 2007, but this year I just did not see anything worth another $1,250+! Plus my iPhone X is blazing fast on iOS 12!



macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2006
My backup was a 6s until last week. I ended up giving it to my sister who needed a phone. This is her first iPhone.

I do have an old 4s sitting in a drawer if I needed to. Ideally I'd like to get an SE if I can find one before they go extinct. I am currently on the iPhone 8.


macrumors 68010
Jan 27, 2011
I guess I didn’t really realize people had backups. I always trade or sell my old phone when getting a new one. Although I do have an old iPhone 4 for some reason...


macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2014
Philadelphia, PA USA
STILL debating on keeping the 8+ as a backup. It's still a darn good super fast device with a great battery. I do know the longer I hold onto it, the cheaper the trade in gets. (Right now it's still $400) That value could drop like a rock by next week....heck maybe by tomorrow.


macrumors regular
Dec 30, 2014
My main phone is a 7 (feels like new on iOS 12) and I have a 5 in a drawer as backup. I popped my sim in the 5 for a week recently on a snowboarding holiday as I was afraid of breaking the 7 in a fall. The 5 running iOS 10 is slower than I’d like to deal with every day, but still totally functional and still a real iPhone.


macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2012
Iphone 7 will be my back up but I am likely to sell it next week. I don't normally keep backup stuff unless it's a girlfriend :)


macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2002
Houston Texas USA
There is an entire Apple store just a few miles down the street which is full to the brim with “backup” phones. It’s not something I’ve ever felt I needed to provide for myself.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2008
My backup is the unicorn that is the Amazon Fire Phone. I used it for about a month between selling my 5S and waiting for the 6S to be released 3 years ago. The last time I had to fire it up was for a couple hours while getting the battery replaced in my 6S. It surprising still holds up well enough for short stints. Though after using it for that month period, I appreciated iOS that much more.


macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2014
Philadelphia, PA USA
Does this count as a "backup?" The network may not exist anymore, maybe I can get a quick text message on Wifi out before the battery life of 2...maybe 3 minutes runs out. :confused:



macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2012
My routine is get the new iPhone every year, pass previous iPhone to my partner (helps alleviate any guilt / questioning about spending that much money on myself LOL), and my partner passes my then two year old phone back to me as 'the backup' - so in buying the Xs Max, my backup will become the 7+ and my partner gets to enjoy the X.

I've never 'needed' the backup, the backup tends to be the one I play games on while relaxing in the bath!


macrumors member
Aug 17, 2006
Batteries degrade and iPhones depreciate. I like to flip them as soon as possible, to maximize their value. There's no point in keeping an old one around if it's been replaced.

I take care of my stuff, so I don't feel like I need a "backup phone."

If I were to drop my iPhone into the bottom of the ocean three months before the anticipated launch of a new iPhone, I'd get some crap Android thing to carry me through. Then I'd buy a new phone.

If I were to drop my iPhone on the pavement and shattered the screen, I'd get it fixed, and do without for a day or two.
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