Question Time to upgrade, suggestions on which iPhone...

spdragoo

Splendid
Herald
So, coming up on the 4-year anniversary of when we bought our iPhone 6's (our very first smartphones), & it's looking like it's time to replace them. We're getting some minor to moderate glitches:
  • my wife's phone had the screen replaced about 2-3 years ago, & on a semi-regular basis is getting white horizontal lines across the lower part of the screen (started off at the very bottom, now comes up maybe half an inch from the screen bottom); she's also still on her original battery, so it's not lasting as long.
  • my phone had the battery replaced last year, but I'm starting to have some issues with charging cords not always getting a good connection. It happens on multiple cords (official & non-official ones), & I've cleaned out the port with compressed air & Q-Tips, so not sure if it's already run through the 2nd battery or not
Before anyone starts suggesting Android or a particular non-Apple phone, we have some compelling reasons to stick with Apple for future smartphones:
  1. Our music. Yes, I understand that there are almost certainly software tools out there that would allow us to convert our iTunes library to a non-Apple format (some of which may even be free) -- & since we've resisted the urge to use cloud storage, it's all stored on our desktop hard drive. The problem, however, is that we cannot just convert from iTunes to another software application...because then we'd lose the ability to add new music to our iPod Touch (4th-generation) devices. We had those before our smartphones, & currently we still use them quite a bit -- my wife's is hooked up to its own speaker system in our living room, & mine is plugged into my car's USB port. Switching to Android would mean we'd have to not only start using a new software app to manage the music on new Android smartphones, but every time we bought downloaded a new CD/digital album we'd have to add it to both applications (thereby doubling the amount of disk storage used). The disk space isn't that big of a problem, but the time wasted doubling the work is.
  2. Our other devices. As I mentioned, we both have iPod Touches. However, my wife also has for her work (professor at the local community college) an iPad Air and a Macbook Air that the college has provided her. She uses the same Apple ID for both the iPad & iPhone, which makes it easy to switch from 1 to another when she's working. Going to an Android phone would eliminate that compatibility...& anything that affects her productivity makes her very cranky.
  3. Phone size. Our iPhones are the perfect size for fitting in a purse or a shirt pocket, so going to a bigger phone of any sort is not in the cards.
From what our carrier (AT&T) is offering, we seem to have 2 options that might be acceptable: the iPhone 8 (drops the headphone jack, but otherwise is identical in screen size & dimensions to the iPhone 6), & the iPhone XS (barely larger than the iPhone 6/8 so it might still be OK, but the larger screen is at the expense of the physical home button).

Price-wise, they're about the same, so aside from the Luddite-like feeling I have about dropping the home button, would going for the XS be the best option, or should we go for the 8? As for the timeframe, this won't be immediate, but probably some time in the next few months.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
In my view, you're both in the only situation that makes sense to only consider an iPhone (opposed to iSheep - off topic).
With the entire ecosystem from iPods to Macbooks, sticking with an iPhone certainly makes the most sense.

As for the 8 vs XS.... Are we talking at price parity? If so, I don't see any logical reason to opt for the 8 vs a newer device, other than the physical home button.
Between software support, the larger battery (albeit with an increase in power draw for the device), improved camera etc - the 8 is a tough sell unless it's substantially cheaper.
 
Jun 29, 2018
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4 years using the same phones while having a contract? why dont you just get a new phone for each contract every 24 months ?

you are wasting a brand new top model phone every 2 years.

and stay with iphone . because you got used to it and you have Apple products.
 

spdragoo

Splendid
Herald
In my view, you're both in the only situation that makes sense to only consider an iPhone (opposed to iSheep - off topic).
With the entire ecosystem from iPods to Macbooks, sticking with an iPhone certainly makes the most sense.

As for the 8 vs XS.... Are we talking at price parity? If so, I don't see any logical reason to opt for the 8 vs a newer device, other than the physical home button.
Between software support, the larger battery (albeit with an increase in power draw for the device), improved camera etc - the 8 is a tough sell unless it's substantially cheaper.
That's what I was thinking, but I always like to have other opinions.

Price-wise they're pretty close. Looks like they just did a price drop on the 8 ($20/month for 2 years) vs. the XS ($33.34/month for 2 years), so I guess it's the balancing of better CPU/battery vs. lower cost.

4 years using the same phones while having a contract? why dont you just get a new phone for each contract every 24 months ?

you are wasting a brand new top model phone every 2 years.

and stay with iphone . because you got used to it and you have Apple products.
Assuming I didn't miss a sarcasm tag somewhere (LOL)...probably for the same reason we kept my last car for 14 years before replacing it, why we tend to buy our cars instead of just leasing them for a couple of years, why so far in our 21-year marriage we're only on our 2nd washer/dryer set (as well as only our 2nd stove, 2nd dishwasher, 2nd fridge, etc.): to paraphrase engineers, "if it ain't broke, don't replace it".
 
Jun 29, 2018
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That's what I was thinking, but I always like to have other opinions.

Price-wise they're pretty close. Looks like they just did a price drop on the 8 ($20/month for 2 years) vs. the XS ($33.34/month for 2 years), so I guess it's the balancing of better CPU/battery vs. lower cost.



Assuming I didn't miss a sarcasm tag somewhere (LOL)...probably for the same reason we kept my last car for 14 years before replacing it, why we tend to buy our cars instead of just leasing them for a couple of years, why so far in our 21-year marriage we're only on our 2nd washer/dryer set (as well as only our 2nd stove, 2nd dishwasher, 2nd fridge, etc.): to paraphrase engineers, "if it ain't broke, don't replace it".
umm Most Phone companies give a FREE top Phone with 24 months contracts ... you get the phone for FREEEEEEE..

That is , every 2 years you get a new Phone for FREE for each contract. I never paid for my phones .

and yes you keep the older one as well
 
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Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
That's what I was thinking, but I always like to have other opinions.

Price-wise they're pretty close. Looks like they just did a price drop on the 8 ($20/month for 2 years) vs. the XS ($33.34/month for 2 years), so I guess it's the balancing of better CPU/battery vs. lower cost.
They're close, but that's a 65% increase from the 8 to the XS. Similar, $20-$25 range I'd say it's a no brainer..... but it's tough(ish) to justify a 65% increase for the XS, in my opinion.
However, in the grand scheme of a 2 year contract you're 'only' paying another $320 for the XS over the term. That's pretty much the difference in MsRP for the base models ($699 vs $999) which sounds proportionate, but with the 8 being older, if you were buying outright, I wouldn't imagine it would/should cost $699 in 2019 - So, assuming the 8 should be ~$500 now, you're paying $320 more for the XS when it would cost you ~$500 outright.

Still thinking the XS makes the most sense for you, but pricing is a little disproportionate.


umm Most Phone companies give a FREE top Phone with 24 months contracts ... you get the phone for FREEEEEEE
"FREE" in theory, not in practice. You should have a device balance you're paying off for the 24 months. Once that expires, you should only be paying the cost of the actual plan. In my case (in Canada, major price fixing) it would only save me ~$10-$15/month of a ~$100 plan, so I'll always go & upgrade. As I understand in the US, if you're $45/month (for example) and $20/month is the device balance, you should only be $25/month total for years #3 & #4 in this instance.

Of course, if that's not the case and it's $33/month whether you have a new phone or you're in years #3 or #4, then yeah..... probably better to take the upgrade every two years.
 
Jun 29, 2018
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They're close, but that's a 65% increase from the 8 to the XS. Similar, $20-$25 range I'd say it's a no brainer..... but it's tough(ish) to justify a 65% increase for the XS, in my opinion.
However, in the grand scheme of a 2 year contract you're 'only' paying another $320 for the XS over the term. That's pretty much the difference in MsRP for the base models ($699 vs $999) which sounds proportionate, but with the 8 being older, if you were buying outright, I wouldn't imagine it would/should cost $699 in 2019 - So, assuming the 8 should be ~$500 now, you're paying $320 more for the XS when it would cost you ~$500 outright.

Still thinking the XS makes the most sense for you, but pricing is a little disproportionate.




"FREE" in theory, not in practice. You should have a device balance you're paying off for the 24 months. Once that expires, you should only be paying the cost of the actual plan. In my case (in Canada, major price fixing) it would only save me ~$10-$15/month of a ~$100 plan, so I'll always go & upgrade. As I understand in the US, if you're $45/month (for example) and $20/month is the device balance, you should only be $25/month total for years #3 & #4 in this instance.

Of course, if that's not the case and it's $33/month whether you have a new phone or you're in years #3 or #4, then yeah..... probably better to take the upgrade every two years.
you missed the fact that you KEEP the older phone , and you can sell it used every 2 years and iphones keep their prices and dont fall much.

if you calculate it RIGHT .. YOU GET FREE TOP iphone EVERY 2 yeaaaaaars
 
Jun 29, 2018
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Having to sell something to offset the new cost does not = "free".

Valid enough point, but it's certainly not "free'.
actually I earn from selling it :)

not only Free but Profitable !

Do the math :)

you will have to consider which plan you need and your DATA and voice Bill each month .

It is different from person to person . I cant give you full Analysis will take time .. but do the math and look at plans.

see ya :)
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
It's certainly not profitable :lol:, it's less expensive vs having a cheap phone absolutely, but it's not free, nor profitable.
If you want the latest and greatest, it's the price you pay - and you can recoup some after the fact. But please do not kid yourself that you're getting a 'free' phone, or getting paid for the privilege.

You buy a subsidized $1000 phone on contract, 24 months. Especially on the iPhone front, they're not 'free', or even discounted in most cases as Apple do not allow.
That $1000 phone /24 months is a device balance of ~$40/month + your voice/data plan.
After your contract, say you sell for $300 (as an example). Net 'cost' of $700 for the phone. Rinse & repeat year over year

Or, you could pay the phone out in 24months, reduce your monthly outlay and use it for a further year or two until it's no longer functional. $40/month for 24 months, and $0/month thereafter. (or $20/month for 24months etc, however you want to look at it).
 

spdragoo

Splendid
Herald
Exactly. Basically, unless the used phone you have is completely out of stock from the carrier (or just from any vendor, if you're using an unlocked model), I can't think of any situation where someone would buy your used phone for more than what their carrier would charge them. And let's face it: if your potential buyer is looking for an older model phone, given the choice between a (well) used model from you vs. a brand-new/unused model from their carrier (or even from Apple), chances are you're not going to be able to sell it for any more than they charged for it. Plus, since we didn't immediately trade them in after the 2 years were up, we had a couple of thousand dollars for other things: date nights, books, Deadpool 2, comic book conventions, vacation, etc.

BTW: it's really weird the pricing I'm seeing. I think I was originally looking at the prices on Apple's website (where you can even specify a carrier-specific model or even a "universal SIM" version), & their prices are way different than what AT&T is offering directly from them:
  • $600 full price or $25/month for the iPhone 8 vs. the $20/month from AT&T (64GB model, same storage as our iPhones), or about a $120 ($5/month) difference
  • $1,000 full price or $50/month for the iPhone XS vs. the $33.34/month from AT&T (also the 64GB model), or a $200 ($16.66/month) difference.
That's 25% more for the 8 and 50% more for the XS if you order from Apple, vs. ordering from the carrier. Yeesh.

Granted, I suppose I could find some way of selling my iPhone 6, although I would imagine AT&T might simply take it as a trade-in. And right there's the rub: buying from my carrier saves me $100-200...& the trade-in value of my iPhone 6 per Apple is only $150. So unless I can find a victim -- sorry, sucker -- sorry, "interested buyer" -- willing to pay $300 or so for a well-used 4-year-old smartphone, there's no way I'm going to make money off of it.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
I typically sell my old phones, but I don't recoup a lot. Had an S7 Edge, where the MSRP was ~$1,000 (Canadian), think I sold it for ~$170 in Decemeber

As a side-note, I would also suggest taking a look at Costco's mobility folks (assuming you have one near you/you're a member). They usually have some cash card deals, and slightly better plans than going to the carriers direct.
Up here, I picked up my Pixel3 XL, 10GB of data, voice etc for $10 down (as Costco can't ring $0 through their tills, so they charge a token $10), $110/Month and got $350 in cash-card for Costco.
Now, that's in Canada where we get hosed.... but the same deal direct from the carrier (Bell) was $0 down and $120/Month for 6GB data and no cash-cards (obv).



Just curious on pricing here, I'm assuming you're quoting the device balances, not your total month bill (including data+voice+sms etc), right?

$600 outright and $25/month is exactly what I would expect for an Apple product either route (directly or via a carrier), they rarely allow for discounts in any way. For an older device though, AT&T may well be able to subsidize that ($120 over 24 months) if they're making money out of you on the plan side of things.

As for $50/month from Apple for the XS, I assume there's some financing or something in place. Don't need to point it out to you of course, but $50 x 24 = $1,200. A 20% markup over the 'cost'..... so I would assume a finance fee.
Similar to the 8, while I'm surprised AT&T can offer below ~$40ish/month ($40x 24 = $960), they're likely not selling you the phone for any less. It'll be a slight of hand, where you're paying a slightly inflated fee somewhere else to cover the ~$10/month shortfall on the device itself.... At least, that's my understanding. Apple are notorious for holding firm on their prices throughout the supply chain, so while it might appear to be a 'deal', they'll still be paying the best part of $1k, and finding a way to get the money out of you - be it obvious, or slightly more sneaky.

Regardless, for the $33.34/month, the XS seems like a solid enough deal if you want a newer device and the benefits that come with it. If you just want a new phone with warranty etc, then the 8 is a damn good deal IMO.
 

spdragoo

Splendid
Herald
Those are the extra costs/month above & beyond my normal bill. Everything does kind of confirm what I was leaning towards, but will have to discuss with my wife which way we end up going. Considering that she didn't like it when Apple announced the removal of the earphone jack, nor the removal of the physical home buttons, it might come down to which "new feature" she dislikes the least...
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
At least you're not looking at a 7! Removing the headphone jack without adding in wireless charging was an odd one.

Either the 8 or XS will have wireless charging, assuming your wife is comfortable with that? I thought dropping the headphone jack moving from my S7 to Pixel3 would be difficult for me. Turns out the type-c to 3.5mm adapter just stays connected to my headphones.
 

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