Thinking More About Upgrading to an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus

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posted April 22, 2015

September of last year (after an Apple Event) I blogged about the upgrade cycle ("Do I Need It?").

It is only a little more than half a year later, and I am jonesing for a new iPhone (mostly after reading 6 Plus reviews by Federico Viticci and Marco Arment). I currently have an iPhone 4s (16gb) which I purchased October 2011. That's 3½ years!

However, a new phone is expensive. On the AT&T Next 24 plan, a 64gb 6 Plus would cost $850 (30 installments of $28.33). On the same plan, a 64gb iPhone 6 would cost $750 ($25/mo); and a 32gb 5s a little over $600 ($20.33/mo). I wouldn't consider a 5c because it only comes in 8gb and I'm already maxed out on my 16gb device.

To put this in perspective: a 6 Plus is close to twice the price of an iPad mini.

Given that I have made my 4s last this long, I think I wouldn't want to get a model older than a 6, because I'd plan on making it last 3+ years -- which means paying $150-$250 more than the 5s. It's not that I can't imagine paying an extra $20-30 per month on an installment plan for next couple of years; it's more that a 6 or 6 Plus is the cost of a laptop.

Oh, and if I sold my old phone to Gazelle, I'd get $40. (Not exactly a high trade-in value.)

I bet if I can hang in there for another 6 months, the iPhone 6s series is likely to be released in the fall, and the prices of the 6 models will drop.