Released in late 2014, the iPhone 6 was a revolutionary change to Apple’s smartphone lineup. For the first time, the iPhone was able to compete with its Android counterparts for consumers who preferred larger screens. Available in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch designs, the iPhone 6 also brought several new camera and payment features to market. As a result of its new design, larger screens, and innovative hardware features, it should come as no surprise that the iPhone 6 was the best-selling iPhone model of all time upon release. That was then, however, and this is now. Nearly two years later, is 2014’s flagship iPhone still worth the asking price?
Price: Does the Phone Still Represent a Good Value?
Apple always allows its older iPhone models to remain on the market for several years after they’ve been replaced by a newer iteration, typically offering the older ones at a discount to encourage budget-sensitive customers to make the switch. That’s exactly what happened with the iPhone 6 upon the release of its iPhone 6S successor in 2015. Today, the iPhone 6 starts at least $100 below Apple’s asking price when the device was brand new. There are a few reasons that this actually represents a good value for consumers looking to either upgrade to the iPhone or switch from a competing device:
- The 24-month installment price on a major carrier will be less each month, making it easier to integrate the iPhone 6 into monthly expenses.
- For customers paying the price up-front, it will be easier to resell the iPhone 6 in the future for a resale price close to the current retail price.
- While base storage on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is still 16GB, the lower price of entry makes it easier to upgrade to a more generous amount of internal storage.
- The more affordable device is a perfect match for kids, who tend to be a bit less careful with their electronic devices.
The current price of the iPhone 6 represents a great bargain for younger shoppers, budget-conscious consumers, and those who simply want to be able to upgrade to more internal storage. As a result, the value proposition still works in favor of buying the iPhone 6 in today’s smartphone environment. What about features and software, though?
iOS Updates: How Long Will the iPhone 6 Be Supported?
Price is only one of many considerations when it comes to picking between available iPhone models. Many people are especially sensitive to to the intersection of price, previous model availability, and the likelihood of long-term iOS updates. This should come as no surprise in a world where some Android phones barely receive software updates for a year beyond the phone’s initial release date. Apple does things a bit differently, however, and that’s good news for both consumers and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus themselves.
Consider the case of the iPhone 4S, released all the way back in 2012. Originally released with iOS 5, the device has reliably received every single iOS update over the past four years. The iPhone 4S still works well with iOS 9 and has received most major software features that have been added to the mobile operating system in the almost half-decade since it came to market. What does that mean for the iPhone 6?
Well, the iPhone 6 is dramatically more powerful than the iPhone 4S was. Its processor is several generations newer, it includes more RAM, and offers more storage in the base model. This should allow the iPhone 6 to keep receiving iOS software updates for at least the next three or four years. If history is any guide when it comes to Apple’s long-term software commitment, the iPhone 4S shows that even the oldest devices on the market will keep getting new features, security patches, and optimization in the future. That’s another key factor that makes purchasing the iPhone 6 worthwhile in 2016 and beyond.
Hardware Features: How Will the iPhone 6 Hold Up?
One of the last, lingering questions about purchasing a new iPhone 6 more than a year after is release is one that centers on the included hardware and how htat hardware can be expected to perform in the future. This is another area where Apple’s commitment to long-term software updates and device maintenance makes the difference in comparison to Android brands. The iPhone 6 comes with an Apple A8 processor that is reportedly dual-core. To power its larger screens, the phone has a quad-core PowerVR graphics chip that can drive up to a 1080p retina display. To power applications, 1GB of RAM is present under the hood.
What does this all mean for the end user? For the most part, it means that the iPhone 6 from 2014 is powerful enough to keep running new versions of iOS and popular applications long after its initial release. In fact, the keynote presentation shown by Apple during the iPhone 6 announcement indicates that the phone is exponentially more powerful than its predecessors. With a larger screen and unique camera features like optical image stabilization, the device will likely be responsive and a joy to use for several more years. This reality helps increase the value of the phone for budget-conscious buyers.
A Strong Device That Will Stand the Test of Time
Apple’s smartphones are not like their competitors in the Android space, where software updates are hard to come by and longevity is more of a pipe dream than an everyday reality. The iPhone 6 was an industry-leading device upon release, with a large screen, innovative imaging features, and a custom-designed processor that put earlier iPhones to shame. That reputation is what will help the device remain a solid value well into the future.
In fact, based on past sales patterns, Apple isn’t likely to discontinue the sale of the device until at least the end of 2017. Even then, judging by the longevity of the iPhone 4S, it may be 2019 or 2020 before iOS updates for the iPhone 6 are ended for good. What does this mean for iPhone buyers looking for a good deal? Buy the iPhone 6! It’s a great phone, made of great materials, and powered by top-notch components. With Apple’s commitment to long-term support, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are no-brainers for discerning buyers.