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Thursday, 23 September 2021


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Sounds like Verizon made the decision for you in the end. Makes a lot of sense to "ride out" this phone now. I was somewhat astonished to hear a trade in value of $600-800 given an MSRP of $769-969 (for an unlocked model, you probably got a discount when buying with a monthly plan). That's very little depreciation over 5 years...

Re: security updates, Apple has only this year changed its policy where users can stay with the current OS (in this case iOS 14) and get security updates for that version, rather than having to upgrade to the new OS to get security patches. Assuming this policy remains next year, people can then upgrade to iOS 16 or stay on 15 while still getting security updates. And even if the policy changes, Apple does still provide security updates *even for older OS's* (though it may be a subset it patches, I'm not 100% sure about that). See Apple's page here (https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201222) where, for instance, iOS 12 got an update in May 2021, supporting devices like the iPhone 5S which dates back to Sep 2013 (!).

I wouldn't worry too much about the new battery creating additional waste, since you can still trade in that phone whenever you end up upgrading. There's a gigantic global secondary market for used iPhones, including "ancient" ones (at least by US standards). And 100% agree on the need for more systemic solutions rather than only focusing on individual behavior. I highly recommend Michael Mann's "The New Climate War", which focuses exactly on this issue. He shows how there has recently been a deliberate strategy from e.g. big oil to subtly try to make individuals feel wholly responsible for going green ("minimize your personal carbon footprint!") even though at least as important is to get elected officials to enact systemic change through public policy choices (which those firms would rather avoid).

I'd buy the 13 anyway. Your 7 will go out of support soon, probably late this year. It will stop taking iOS updates and apps will one by one cease to update over time.

I had to upgrade my well-liked and still-working-great iPhone 6s last year for the same reason. Fortunately, I like the iPhone 12 mini I got.

So, I guess my iPhone 6 is worth about dick50 huh?

Now that's a sensible boy, as my father used to say.
I know that you have a penchant for the A6600 but do not forget the GRIIIx which slips into a pocket and moreover communicates very very well with the iphone. Decisions...

Someone has already suggested it but, depending on how bad the battery is, a portable power bank could be the answer and woukd still be useful when the 7 Plus is replaced. The bigger ones are a bit too heavy for pocket carry though.

Selfishly, I would think the 13 Pro Max would benefit the blog more than the A6600 would*!

* “would” thrice in one short sentence, luckily no trees to obscure them.

This is just further proof that "the universe is forcing [you] to buy a camera."


Like you, I used an Olympus XA along with a Contax SLR in 1982. I might do something similar by supplementing my Sony with the new Ricoh GR IIIx (instead of the iPhone that would cost me as much--I could simply continue to use my present phone).

I look forward to your review.

Apple marketing at work. Keep the old one too long (by THEIR definition) and there won’t be any more security updates or iOS updates. With desktop machines, another common issue is non-compatibility over time with key third party software applications. It’s all about selling new products, according to their time frame.

I'd have to disagree on the moral:


My strategy for cars: buy new, take care of it, drive it till the wheels fall off. Ignore the consumer society advertising that tells you to upgrade, or you deserve the best.
Much the same applies to phones and cameras.

Sorry, but you never would have gotten they trade-in deal, even two years ago. There would have been a major catch if so, just like with car trade-ins (except for maybe this year).

Just buy the new phone if your current one has issues. The cameras are way, way better now. A battery replacement on a five year old iPhone is frankly foolish. The phone will no longer be supported within two years, and who knows what else will come up on a model with known long-term reliability issues? You don't need the Max. The Pro is more comparable to the 7 Plus than you might think.

Also, you'll typically get better resale value if you sell the old device yourself, so long as the hassle is worth it.

So changing phones regularly to get $800 in trade in order to buy a new one at $1100 makes sense? It means you are bleeding to the tune of $300 (say annually).

Why not save your $300 for 4 years and then just buy a new one at $1,200 and still keep your old phone as a backup?

I started out on a rant about it is downright NUTS to buy a $1000 phone on credit. This seems particularly so if you have a camera you like and the impetus for getting the new phone is its photographic capability.

But I realize that it makes sense for some folks. I have these arguments all the time with my brother, whom I dearly love. He tells me that I need an iPhone, and I point out that as I work at home I have a perfectly fine phone that sits on my desk all day and cost a modest amount of cash many, many years ago. And I sit in front of a computer, which has better Internet access than my cell phone ever has. And does better photo editing than his iPhone, of whatever generation, etc. etc. Also in my home is all my music, all my pictures/documents/etc. on one or another non-phone device.

Here's what I actually need a cell phone for: I am a professional, so I need my clients to be able to reach me -- by voice or e-mail -- when I am at the dog park, or traveling. I am on our volunteer fire department, so I need the fire dept's phone app, often to tell me where I am going in my rural town in the middle of the night. I need the navigation features of the phone more generally, when I am on the road. The cell phone gives me freedom that I otherwise wouldn't have.

But I don't need it for most of the things that the new iPhone appears to be good at. Or more precisely, I have not evolved fast enough as a user of a phone to actually need most of what it now does. Which is where the notion of getting stuff I don't need on credit strikes me as bonkers. I realize that this is my particular Luddite tendencies coming through in a contrarian way. But I guess my overall approach to this is: beware of tech companies bearing gifts. In general, I think they need your cash more than you need their stuff.

IMHO, the sweet spot for phone upgrades is generally either every other year or ever third year. You stay relatively current, but you also avoid the inevitable incrementalism that happens if you do it every year.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the business model when the phones hit the inevitable performance wall, which has almost already happened with the CPU and is certainly on the way with the cameras.

Yeah, well, my old man kept insisting we should wait for "good" color TV in the '70s and we put up with crappy B&W (and I mean crappy) until around 1972. It was embarrassing.
Sometimes you just need to admit technology marches on and it is going to cost you if you want to keep current and relevant. What are your needs, your desires, and what do you want in your life? What, in the end, makes you happy?

$900 to $1000 for a mobile phone?? Wow, is that why many Americans are essentially broke? Remember the 2008-2009 housing crisis, when we learned that many families had no assets on which to fall back on in times of trouble? Keep you old phone; just use it. For taking pictures, use one of your many cameras.

Consider a snapon Battery/protective case from Amazon: Upgraded 6000mAh Portable Rechargeable Charger Case for iPhone 6s/6 Extended Battery Pack for iPhone 8/7/SE(2020) Protective Charging Case (4.7 inch) -Black
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Save $3.00 with coupon It adds a little thicknesss to your phoFne, an economical solution. For added capacity, by a cheap power bank and keep it handy. It will recharge your phone 3 or 4 times.

Those trade-in values sound peculiar to me. Looking at the current UK table, an iPhone 12 Pro Max -- current top of the line -- would only be worth "up to £610". An 11 Pro Max is "up to £380". An iPhone 8? "up to £105"...

I know Apple have long been in the habit of pricing their products here by simply swapping the dollar sign for a pound sign. Perhaps for UK trade-ins they reverse the exchange rate, or even move the decimal point...


This reminds me of the conventional wisdom from the dawn of digital photography. If you want to stay current and lose as little money as possible, trade your old unit in immediately when the new one is issued. You retain the highest trade in value, and lose the least amount of money. This was a sea-change from the mature film world, where you could use a camera forever (I just checked function of my 37 year old Hasselblad 500 CM and CF lenses yesterday, everything still working fine).

I mentioned in an earlier thread that I have an iPhone XS and plan to hold on to it as long as I can. The picture quality of the sensor easily exceeds any of my film cameras in most light, but, far more importantly, the focal lengths of its two lenses nearly match what I've been using over the decades, and what my way of seeing has become. The 28mm and 56mm lenses are a pair of lenses that are very close to the 28 or 35mm and 50mm lenses I carry around in my camera kit.

I'm skeptical that I'll be able to adapt to the 13mm/26mm/77mm trio on the new iPhone 13. There's huge gap in the middle.

Of course, Apple wants users to adapt to their understanding of what digital photography should be. Computational (i.e. digital) zooming is a big part of their design philosophy, and the built in cameras on their phones are made with modern cellphone imaging use in mind. Wide angle videos, vlogging, selfies and the like.

So, I'll hold off for a while.

Not that this is a contest, but I've got you beat! I'm still rockin' a 6 Plus! Can't update to even the last latest OS or many apps, but it sill does what I need--texting and the occasional phone call.

Newer software releases are just more power hungry. So a new battery will help, but it won't be as long lasting as it was 4 years ago. (But 70% health and falling fast is bad!)

Don't do it Mike, get rid of the old iPhone and upgrade. Apple will stop supporting the phone soon and there will no longer be software upgrades. I would contact Verizon sales via the 800# and see if they have promotions that the stores don't offer (yes, it's possible) then ask about other discounts they offer. I just traded in my 6 for a 12 pro a couple months ago and although they basically gave me nothing for the phone, there were a few more incentives to reduce the price of the purchase. Be prepared to spend time doing this, but sometimes that's what it takes.

I checked out the iPhone 13 Pro at my local T-Mobile store today. Frankly, I wasn't that impressed. I like the 5G capability and the enhanced battery life. But virtually every other feature the phone offers simply doesn't matter to me. I can't stand the way the camera lenses stick out - forcing the phone to lie tilted. In fact, I don't care about the camera and lenses at all. I have dedicated cameras that I much prefer. I care even less about the 120hz screen refresh rate. The Mac forums are all abuzz about the smaller notch and bright, new colors. I don't even notice the notch and could care less about whether graphite is as dark as black. I guess it'll be at least another year before I go 5G. My iPhone 11 looks new and works fine.

I’d say it depends upon how you frame / define what you need (or is it want?).
A. Is it a communication and work tool that, as a bonus, happens to take images? Therefore, does an upgrade add to the capabilities of the tool in ways that are meaningful to you & your work - e.g. is moving to 5G of any benefit?
B. Or, is it a digital camera which, as a bonus, can take phone calls and do stuff other than process images?

Basically, if B. do you really need another camera? At the risk of crazy-talk on a forum mostly related to photography - if you get a new camera, what camera does it replace that can be sold, not counting the current iPhone 7 :~)

Re the economics aspect (and I’d say this mostly relates to A, but can factor into B). If you want to retain resale value, then as others have said, iPhones should be turned over roughly every 3 generations. Note that this is resale value on Apple’s terms (which also includes the retailer - Verizon).
Alternatively, if you don’t need to live on the bleeding edge of tech, if you don’t like being stung for the ever increasing new price of the latest and greatest, then buying 1 or 2 generations behind latest & greatest can be more economical, including refurbs - especially if there is little difference in how you use it as a work tool. But once again, this may be on Apple’s terms etc.

However, once you step outside of doing business on Apple’s terms, and buying and selling on your own terms (2nd hand or other tech vendors), you may find it is a completely different ballgame, in terms of what generation to buy, how long to hold, any resale value etc. The difference is the increased risk of a painful buying &/or selling experience, and buying a dud phone. There are still ways to mitigate these risks, but only if it’s worth the effort of not having to deal with Apple.

Work out what is important to you, what you can live with and what you don’t want to put up with. At the end of the day, it’s just money, right? :~)

From Apple US website: they still give trade in for iPhone 7+ against eg iPhone 11 or 13 Pro. It’s only $110 max though which sounds much more likely than the $600-800 you were quoted. You could sell it privately for more of course.

I’ve stuck with my iPhone X since Jan, 2018. 44 months. $1100. That’s $25/month and its still going strong. No need to change now, as I have portrait mode, Face ID, and most of the goodies.

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