Wait for iPhone 14? Or grab an older iPhone at a bargain price? 

It is official. Apple will be holding an event on September 7th and it is almost certain that we will see new iPhones on that day, in all probability called the iPhone 14 series. Going by what we have seen in the past, that means these new iPhones will be available in the market later in the month. And again, going by past record, their pricing is likely to be in the vicinity of their predecessors (with perhaps a slight bump up in the case of one or two models).

Apple iPhone 14

But even while we wait for the new iPhones, the existing ones in the market are getting more tempting than ever. This is because, as it happens almost every year, with the new iPhones on the horizon, a number of retailers (especially online ones) are offering the existing iPhones and slightly older ones at their lowest ever prices. So, should you bide your time and wait for the latest and greatest Godphones, or grab a deal on one and save some bucks for a rainy day (or another device or an accessory!)?

Let us work that out for you:

Q. With new iPhones all set to descend, does it make any sense at all to invest in the older ones that are around in the market?

iPhone 14

Ans. Unless you are someone who believes ‘latest is greatest’, investing in an existing iPhone might not be a bad idea. This is because while the new iPhones will come with improved specs and features, the 13 series iPhones bring a power-packed performance to the table as well – I mean, Android flagships are still comparing themselves with them! The existing iPhone 13 series can easily handle all the casual and power-hungry tasks you may throw its way. While the iPhone 14 series will come with improved performance, we do not think the iPhone 13 series will be a letdown performance-wise either. In addition to this, the series will also get the latest iOS 16 update and major iOS updates for at least a few years as well, ensuring that the phone stays up to date with the newbies. So, if you are someone who cannot wait for the new iPhones to appear and would simultaneously like to buy an iPhone which is power-driven yet more affordable than its upcoming siblings, investing in an existing iPhone model would actually be a good idea.

Q. So well, ok, if going for an older iPhone makes sense, what are the options I have?

Ans. If you go about it officially then the sales of the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone SE, iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini still continue. If you are looking to buy even older models, then some legitimate third-party sellers still offer iPhone 11 series phones. Anything older than that we would be cautious about.

Q. What are the prices I can get or expect for an iPhone 13 series or older?

iPhone 13 Pro

Ans. With the new iPhones just around the corner, the iPhone 13 series and older models are available with some decent discounts from offline retailers and online platforms. For instance, at the time of writing, the iPhone 13 is available for as low as Rs 65,999 on Flipkart, down from its launch price of Rs 79,990. The iPhone 13 Pro is available for Rs 1,07,900 on Amazon, well below its launch price of Rs 1,19,900. The iPhone 13 Pro Max can be purchased for Rs 1,19,900 at Flipkart while it was originally priced at Rs. 1,29,900 at launch. One can buy the iPhone SE for under Rs 40,000 from various retail outlets, although it was launched for Rs 43,900. The iPhone 13 mini was launched at Rs 69,900 but is frequently available at prices between Rs 60,000 and Rs 65,000. The iPhone 12 is often available at close to Rs 50,000, well down from its launch price of Rs 79,900 in 2020, and the iPhone 12 mini is retailing for Rs 52,900 from Reliance Digital, which is almost a third lesser than its launch price of Rs 69,900.

In many cases, there are special deals available for users of specific credit/debit cards and also for those looking to exchange old devices. As you can see, these are already sizable discounts and as we near the launch of the new iPhones, these discounts are likely to get bigger.

Q. But wait, I see that the prices of older iPhones are still higher on the official site, so is there a problem if I take them from another retailer? Will the warranty still work…

While the official prices from Apple have not seen major price cuts, you can get some significant discounts from other retailers and online platforms. Getting your iPhone from other sellers at prices that are different from the official Apple site, should not be a problem as long as the seller or platform is an authorised one. If that is the case, there should be no problem with the warranty either. Pro tip: you get very good exchange deals for older iPhones on the official Apple India site, so keep an eye on it as well.

Q. All right, let’s get into existing iPhones, then. Which one is the best in terms of the blend of performance and value for money?

iPhone 13

In our opinion, the iPhone 13 would probably be a good option for those looking to invest in an existing iPhone. It is powered by Apple A15 Bionic chipset which at the moment is one of the most powerful processors in the market. The phone can handle all your phone tasks with ease, may it be day-to-day chores or high-end gaming or even video editing. The dual 12-megapixel camera setup on the phone performs very well too, and is among the best in terms of videos. You get a high-quality full HD display in a compact frame, and it still cuts a very premium figure in terms of appearance. It is also the iPhone to receive the most software updates other than the new ones which will be launched in the coming days. So it is new enough to not feel outdated when Apple launches the new iPhones and is old enough to be available with some great discounts – the best of both worlds, we would say.

Q. The iPhone 13? Should I not go for the Pros?

If you think you could benefit from the extra camera, adaptive refresh rate or the extra inches on the display and slightly bigger battery (the latter two in the case of the iPhone 13 Pro Max) then perhaps you should go with the Pro models of the iPhone 13. While the Pro models do come with some tempting added features, Apple has the tendency to phase out the older Pro models. The Pro models are often also not very ‘value for money’ as it is, with discounts not being as impressive as on the non-Pro iPhones. The iPhone 13 runs on the same A15 Bionic processor, has the same display size and resolution and has the same main and ultrawide sensors as the iPhone 13 Pro. The 13 Pro Max does come with a larger display and battery, but it also has a very high price tag (even now). Finally, going by its past track record, Apple is more likely to bring more radical changes to the Pro range than to the regular one – so the sense of having missed out on something new is greater if you go for a Pro.

Q. Why are you not considering the iPhone 13 mini? It is very affordable and looks sooo cute!

If you feel uncomfortable using the ‘regular-sized’ iPhones then you can definitely opt for the iPhone 13 mini but other than that, it does not make a lot of sense to purchase it, especially if you plan to use it as your primary device. While it has the same A15 Bionic processor and the same cameras as the iPhone 13, you compromise on the display inches and battery capacity – the 13 mini has better battery life than the 12 mini, but is not as good as the 13. What’s more, if you are used to ‘regular smartphones’, the mini will just feel too small in daily use, especially while viewing content, typing or playing games. If cuteness is all that you seek, the iPhone 12 mini might make sense as it comes with a lower price tag, although its battery life can be an issue.

Q. The iPhone SE 2022 is the cheapest “new old iPhone”. Do you think I should consider it?

The iPhone SE 2022 is a great iPhone for those who want to enter the iOS ecosystem without burning a hole in their pockets, but if you are looking for a close-to-new iPhone experience, then the iPhone SE 2022 might not be the best iPhone to choose. The phone is basically the iPhone 8 with the new A15 Bionic chipset that is present on the iPhone 13 series phone. It features a 4.7-inch LCD Retina HD display, making it smaller than even the iPhone 13 mini in terms of display real estate. It has dated looks with thick bezels and a physical home button under the screen, and also features a single 12-megapixel camera, while a 7-megapixel camera sits on the front. The biggest USP of the iPhone SE 2022 is its price and if your budget is tight then the SE 2022 would be the perfect iPhone for you to start your iOS journey. That processor ensures smooth performance and you should also be getting regular iOS updates as long as the iPhone 13 series is getting them. It also opens the doors to using AirPods and the Apple Watch and is a great phone for shooting videos, but a new iPhone experience, it is not!

Q. Should I even be considering an iPhone 12 or 11 at all? Aren’t they outdated? Is the performance even worth it?

While the iPhone 12 and the iPhone are old and are likely to get slightly more dated as the new iPhones come, the iPhone 12 series is still good in terms of performance. The iPhone 12 series is powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic chipset which may not be the most powerful processor out there but can definitely handle most task-heat with minimum fuss. The iPhone 12 series features the same display size as its iPhone 13 series counterparts which means there is no compromise in terms of display size. While Apple has made some improvements in terms of camera software, the megapixel count on the iPhone 12 series and the iPhone 13 series phones remains the same. The battery performance of the iPhone 13 lineup is also slightly better but the difference is not likely to leap right out at you. And if money is tight, you could also opt for the iPhone 11 series. Yes, the performance compromises will start showing as it features an almost three year old processor, older camera sensors and an HD LCD display, but the phone will still get you through the day with ease, and should get updates for a few more years. Also, its still-sleek design and features like Face ID ensure it delivers a more modern iPhone experience than the iPhone SE 2022, even though it loses out on the processor stakes!

Q. Is there a chance that the prices of the currently available iPhones will get even lower?

Yes, absolutely. As more time passes, the chances of the existing iPhones getting more affordable definitely grow. This means if you wait longer (after the new iPhones have arrived) you are likely to get the older models at even more discounted prices. The festive season is also around the corner in India, and with great festivals come great discounts and offers, online as well as offline. As this is being written, rumour is rife that the iPhone 13 will be available for Rs 55,000 on some stores and e-commerce portals. Now, THAT would be something.

Q. Are iPhones older than the iPhone 11 worth considering? Some of the prices are so tempting – the iPhone XR sometimes is available for under Rs 40,000!

iPhone SE

Well, you can consider these phones if you are on a really tight budget, and want an iPhone rather than a phone that can keep up with current and upcoming future-hungry smartphone chores. While you will likely receive the upcoming iOS 16 update even if you opt for the iPhone 8/ 8 Plus, X, XR, XS and iPhone SE 2020 (unless you are planning to go super vintage with your iPhone choices), your phone might get eliminated from the list when it’s time for the next update. The phones launched prior to the iPhone 11 will get you through your everyday routine without too much trouble, take some decent snaps in good light conditions, and some of them still look smart, but do not expect them to do anything beyond that.

With inputs from Akriti Rana