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Reader opinion: when should I buy a new iPhone?

per Rodrigo Guimares Goulart Assis

I have seen many people complaining about the iPhone 6's slowness due to the update to iOS 11. Some are quite angry, saying they are already thinking about going to Android. Complaints and repetition of the term programmed obsolescence appear as the theme of several websites and technology podcasts.

In this article, I attempt to demystify some concepts on the subject.

How long should my iPhone last?

Well, if you are a careful person, make use of a film and cover to protect it, do a thorough cleaning, it should last for a good five years or even longer.

iPhone 6 lying and on its side

But the question here shouldn't be this, but how long will my iPhone be operational. Operationality is a set of situations that can vary both objectively and subjectively.

Applications are constantly being updated, incorporating new technologies, such as the new framework ARKit, improving design, gaining functionality. All of this implies more hardware cost for its execution, that is, heavier apps require a more powerful device. I know people who use an iPhone 5s and do not complain, as well as some that a 7 Plus is no longer enough, since there are already higher versions on the market.

To answer the previous questions effectively, I need to ask another one beforehand:

I am a casual user or one heavy user?

If you only use social networks, phone and messages, take selfies, play at most a light game eventually and the like, you fall into the casual user category. In this case, a top-of-the-line iPhone, bought new, can last for many years, at least three, if you are a careful person.

For others, who use the iPhone to run heavy games, like to try new apps, are tech enthusiasts, like to take quality photos, etc., happily or unfortunately, you are just "Heavy users". To avoid frustration I recommend, depending on your economic condition, to change your iPhone at most every two years.

What changes the most?

The most noticeable changes year on year are in camera hardware and chip / processor performance.

With the fierce competition in recent years from Samsung, Apple's biggest competitor today, the rise of Google Pixel and the maturation of other brands such as ASUS, Xiaomi and others, the technological race in this sector is increasingly tough . This consequently generates an increasingly accelerated dynamic of changes.

Throughout the year, on the launch dates of each company, we see cameras with exclusive resources, and subsequently all competitors strive to reach or overcome the new features implemented. The consumer always wins better products, however, to have access to new technologies, we need to pay small fortunes.

Taking all these facts into account, we return to the initial question:

When should I change my iPhone?

In the very subjective end, it is a question of what you can or cannot bear. In the case of people who use the iPhone for work, need quick answers or do not have the patience requirement (in which case I fit), there is nothing to think about the necessary update and period.

IPhones cases

The economic factor weighs a lot at this point, as I need to pay a good amount for the update. If you don't have money but you have urgency, a good choice may be the update plans, in which you pay an amount per month and update your iPhone annually. Another option would be to gradually increase the model, that is, if you have an iPhone 6, you can exchange it for a 6s, and then the 7 and so on; the little price difference between the versions and the performance improvement is significant.

If you are looking for a specific feature, such as Portrait Mode or Face ID, you will have to buy that specific model, or, if you don't ask iOS, look for cheaper alternatives in the Android ecosystem. But make no mistake: both Android and iOS, each system with its defects and qualities, both will be out of date.

As written by Bruno Santana here at MacMagazine, there is no scheduled obsolescence; what is a very fast evolution of the software, on which the hardware cannot maintain the same performance efficiency. Developers could improve compatibility a little, but with that, perhaps apps would become more expensive and time-consuming to reach the market, making them economically unviable.

I believe that, in the future, many of these situations will be solved with the development of more sustainable technologies, making software more independent from hardware, which would increase the life cycle of products considerably.

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And you, how long does it usually take to update your iPhone? Are you going to catch one of Ma's latest releases? Leave your opinion in the comments!