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Is It Time for an iPhone Upgrade? Here's What to Consider

Écrit par : Franzria Ferriols



Temps de lecture 6 min

How to Know When It's Time for an iPhone Upgrade?

With Apple releasing new iPhones annually since 2011, it can be hard to keep up. The hype can be a factor in why you think you need an iPhone upgrade, but there’s much more to consider. This annual release cycle for the iPhone 16 can leave many users wondering if it's time to upgrade, especially considering the cost involved, which is why we created a guide to help you make an informed decision before a big purchase.

First, we’ll let you in on the easiest way to the latest iPhone upgrade. Dive in.

What Is the iPhone Upgrade Program Trade-in?

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If it's your first time hearing about Apple’s trade-in program, this basically lets you exchange your current iPhone for the purchase of a new one. Here's the breakdown.

1. Trade-in your current iPhone.

You send in your old iPhone to Apple (or its partner) in exchange for a credit.

2. Apply the credit towards a new iPhone.

The value you receive for your trade-in can be used to lower the upfront cost of a brand new iPhone on the iPhone Upgrade Program.

3. Finance the remaining balance (Optional).

The Upgrade Program allows you to finance the remaining cost of the new iPhone after applying your trade-in credit. This typically involves a monthly payment plan spread over 24 months with 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate).

There are some key things to consider with the iPhone Upgrade Program Trade-in:

  • Trade-in Value: The value you get for your old iPhone depends on its model, condition, and storage capacity. Apple provides an estimated trade-in value online or in-store before you commit.

  • Upgrade Eligibility: Your current iPhone needs to meet specific criteria to be eligible for trade-in. Generally, iPhones from the past few generations qualify.

  • New iPhone Lock-in: By participating in the Upgrade Program, you're essentially entering a 24-month financing agreement for the new iPhone. This means you can't easily upgrade to a newer model earlier unless you pay off the remaining balance.

The iPhone Upgrade Program Trade-in can be a good option if you want to get a new iPhone at launch without a large upfront cost. As long as your current iPhone is eligible for a decent trade-in value, you can take advantage of this program and cut costs.

🎉 Fun Fact: Apple broke tradition in 2020 when it launched two iPhones within a year. The iPhone 12 and Pro arrived in October, followed by the mini and Pro Max in November. This likely stemmed from global supply chain issues.

Top 6 Things to Consider Before an iPhone Upgrade

Whether you decide to trade in or buy the latest iPhone entirely, it’s wise to weigh the pros and cons. The following factors can help you determine the exact iPhone upgrade that meets your needs and satisfaction.

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1. Assessing Hardware Performance

A phone's processing power (CPU and GPU) dictates how smoothly it runs apps and games. Similarly, RAM allows for multitasking and storage space to hold your data.

The iPhone 16's anticipated hardware upgrades could be a game-changer if your iPhone is currently struggling with the following:

  • Keeping up with your daily tasks

  • Lagging when switching apps

  • Constantly running out of storage

2. Software and Operating System Updates

Apple has been providing software updates for iPhones for several years, bringing new features and security patches. However, older models might eventually become incompatible with the latest iOS updates, such as the new emojis, ARKit, and incredible AI features.

Upgrading ensures you get the best features and security protections. The iPhone 16 is expected to come with the newest iOS 18, offering a potentially smoother and more secure experience.

3. Battery Life and Health

Battery health degrades over time, resulting in shorter charge life. Check your battery health settings: a low percentage might indicate it's time for a replacement. Newer models like the iPhone 16 might boast improved battery technology, allowing you to stay connected longer.

However, if you’re upgrading from iPhone 15 to 16, the battery capacity may not differ significantly.

4. New Features and Innovations

Recent iPhones have introduced exciting features like improved camera systems, blazing-fast 5G connectivity, and the MagSafe ecosystem of accessories like iPhone MagSafe cases.

Consider how features and functionalities could enhance your daily phone use. However, if you're a casual user who doesn't need the latest bells and whistles, you might be perfectly content with your current iPhone.

5. Cost Considerations

Upgrading comes with a price tag. Compare the cost of keeping your current iPhone with the cost of the iPhone 16. Factor in trade-in deals offered by your carrier or retailer, as well as any changes to your monthly plan. Can you comfortably budget for an upgrade? Don't forget to consider the resale value of your current iPhone to offset some of the cost.

Rumors say the latest iPhone 16 will cost somewhere around $800 for entry-level models up to $1,000 - $1,100 or more.

6. Personal Needs and Usage

Heavy gamers, photographers, travel enthusiasts or vloggers, and business users might require more processing power, storage, and camera capabilities than a casual iPhone user. Consider what you prioritize in a phone – long-term functionality or the newest features.

Upgrading might offer long-term benefits like improved performance and security updates. However, if you're environmentally conscious, keeping your current phone and replacing the battery is a sustainable option.

Alternatives to Upgrading

iPhone thin phone case Thinborne

Before diving into an iPhone upgrade, explore ways to extend your current iPhone's life, such as:

  • Replacing the battery can significantly improve performance.
  • Optimizing phone storage and performance through built-in settings.
  • Considering other smartphone brands and models, or even pre-owned iPhones, as more affordable options.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to upgrade aesthetics, refreshing the look of your current phone with new accessories can be a great alternative. Consider a thin phone case - it's lightweight and won't significantly alter the phone's form factor.

Waiting for the iPhone 16: Pros and Cons

The iPhone 16 guarantees the latest features and technology without really hurting your pocket considering the price isn't a huge leap from its predecessor. But better consider this pros and cons list to ensure the best value.



Cutting-edge technology

Month- to year-long waiting game

Future-proofing/ Compatibility with the latest software updates

Potential price premium

Enhanced, more feature-rich experience

Limited reviews and user feedback

Here are the latest iPhone leaks, with potentially 5 big changes.

Final Thoughts

An iPhone upgrade is a personal decision. We’re simply here to help you weigh the essential factors discussed. You can make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and budget. Research the iPhone model’s specs and read user reviews. If your desired model hasn’t come out yet like the iPhone 16, leverage leaks and rumors to stay ahead of the curve.

To be completely certain, you can always visit a store to try out the new phone or check online for deals and reviews before making your final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the iPhone Upgrade Program the only way to trade in my old iPhone

No. You can also trade in your financed iPhone separately from the Upgrade Program, especially if you can get a better deal elsewhere, even if you're still paying it off.

What if I'm happy with my current iPhone but want a faster charging solution?

Even if you're not upgrading your phone, you can invest in a powerful wireless charger or a fast charging cable to improve your charging experience. Consider exploring Apple-certified accessories for optimal compatibility and safety, paired with a reliable magnetic phone case.

I'm concerned about the environmental impact of upgrading. Are there any sustainable alternatives?

Upgrading your phone less frequently is a great way to be more eco-friendly. Consider extending your current phone's life by replacing the battery, optimizing storage, or using a protective aramid case to minimize damage. There are also companies specializing in phone repairs, which can be a more sustainable option than upgrading entirely.

Related Readings

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Franzria F.

Content Writer of Thinborne - The super thin phone case made of aramid fiber.

"I write anything tech and help businesses reach their target audience with a messaging that best fits the reader's needs. I can obsess over grammar and bite-sized, readable sentences because I care about people more than search engines. When I'm not writing, I am just in charge of finding coffee shops."

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