The original iPhone was launched on June 29, 2007, after Steve Jobs first revealed it on January 9 during a keynote at MacWorld. This small 3-in-1 device (a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and an unprecedented internet connectivity tool, Jobs said) literally changed the world, as nearly every other cell phone maker switched to similar designs in the coming years.
But surprisingly, I didn’t get my first iPhone on launch day, as many of you probably did. In fact, at this time, I didn’t even own a single Apple product. I heard about the iPhone, and it definitely piqued my interest. At the time, I think I had a Sony Ericsson K790i, which I mostly wanted in camera capabilities – a massive 3MP at the time (LOL).
I remember my mom bought me my first iPhone as a birthday present in 2008, and I was so surprised. I fell in love with it right away because it was my first Apple product, and I was amazed at how easy it was to use at the time. Entire web pages on a cell phone? You definitely beat the horrible WAP pages back in the day. But my clumsy self eventually dropped my bare iPhone on hard cement, shattering the screen. I knew I couldn’t handle having a broken screen, so I planned to buy a new iPhone 3G with some money I had saved.
This started a yearly tradition of buying a new iPhone, and I’ve continued to do so for the past 14 years. The original iPhone also ignited my affinity with Apple products in general, and I eventually bought a white plastic MacBook (I really wish I had a black plastic MacBook), iPods, iPads, and Apple Watches. That’s what I learned from my annual tradition.
iPhone camera upgrades sparked my love for mobile photography
Before using the iPhone, I was interested in general photography and got involved in it during my college years. I even bought digital cameras when it was common to have one with you everywhere, just to capture all those spontaneous moments with friends and family. As much as I loved taking pictures with my camera, I always thought it was annoying having to carry it around.
Although the iPhone had a 2-megapixel camera to begin with, I enjoyed the convenience factor. The 3.5-inch screen was larger than the small 2-inch screen on the K790i, and despite having fewer megapixels, I liked having a larger display as a viewfinder. It made taking pictures more fun because you can see more.
But it wasn’t until the iPhone 4 that Apple started taking photography seriously. The iPhone 4 came with a 5MP camera (versus 3MP on the iPhone 3GS) with LED flash, which changed things and set us on the path for future camera updates every year. iPhone 4S up to 5C has 8MP cameras, and the first generation iPhone SE/iPhone 6S started with 12MP cameras that we still have today, even in the iPhone 13 Pro.
But along the way, there have been many camera upgrades that go beyond the megapixel count, such as HD video recording, portrait mode, night mode, ProRAW, ProRes video, cinematic mode, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, sensor shift optical image stabilization, and Much more. Apple keeps adding powerful new camera features year after year, which is why the annual upgrade is so attractive to me.
Plus, with the App Store, there are many great third-party apps that serve as an excellent alternative to the original Camera app, or provide more powerful tools than Apple offers in the Photos app. On top of that, a lot of developers, like Halide, are updating their apps to include features that take advantage of what the best iPhones have to offer.
With such a vast arsenal of readily available tools, I simply love using my iPhone for all of my photography and videography needs. You don’t need a standalone DSLR or anything bulky like that. I am not a professional photographer who makes a living this way; I just work at it for fun, and the iPhone is good enough for me with all the Apple upgrades. And I have certain apps on the iPhone and iPad that I enjoy using to edit my photos when they need to.
Again, I’ve always been interested in photography, but the convenience and power of the iPhone can’t be beat.
Other than the camera, other iPhone upgrades are usually incremental
As I just mentioned, my biggest attraction in getting a new iPhone every year is the upgrades and improvements to the camera. This is mostly what I look forward to during announcements because other than that, most of the upgrades Apple offers are too small for most people. There are some exceptions, of course, such as moving from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 with Retina Display.
Yes, every new generation of iPhone will include a new, faster chip. But honestly, I’m very happy with the iPhone 13 Pro’s A15 chip because it’s still pretty fast for what I need an iPhone every day, and I’m sure many other people feel the same way. The A15 won’t get incredibly slow once the A16 debuts, and with recent reports that Apple will only put the A16 in the iPhone 14 Pro and not the standard iPhone 14, I’m pretty sure the A15 will still hold up just fine. Will launching my Twitter or Instagram/Facebook app quickly again make a huge impact on my life? I’m sure having a faster chip might be more important for things like playing graphics-intensive games, but until then, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you were using an A14 or A15.
Then there is the show. As much as I love my ProMotion display on the iPhone 13 Pro, it’s negligible for the average person. I can’t even really tell the difference unless I put my device alongside an old one that doesn’t have ProMotion, and even then, the non-ProMotion screen still looks great. I think the only time the screen wasn’t just an incremental update was when Apple jumped to Retina and then OLED. Other than that, display optimizations are often too subtle for the average person.
Again, I think Apple’s biggest upgrade of every new generation is the camera. If you wait a few years between iPhones, these will look a lot bigger, but from year to year? Not much.
Do you definitely need an iPhone every year? iPhone upgrade software is the best way
Before Apple introduced the iPhone Upgrade Program, I would have bought my new phone and then sold the old one on something like Craigslist (I don’t like dealing with shipping) since iPhones have a good resale value compared to competing devices. I would also occasionally exchange it for a buyback program like Gazelle because I didn’t want to deal with slobs and, frankly, I was lazy.
But when Apple launched the iPhone Upgrade Program, it became the best solution for those who upgrade every year like me. Buy an iPhone on what is essentially a 24 month interest-free loan, make 12 payments, and then when the next iPhone comes, turn on your current iPhone (by ending the loan) and upgrade to the new one, starting a new 24 loan a month again. Basically, you rent the iPhone every year for only 12 monthly payments.
Of course, if you pay, you can keep the iPhone and do whatever you want with it — no need to hand it over after making 24 payments.
The monthly payments for the iPhone Upgrade Program are a bit more than if you would get them from your carrier, or even if you use the monthly Apple Card payments. That’s because the iPhone Upgrade Program also includes two years of AppleCare+, which count toward your monthly payment. It might be a little more than usual, but honestly, I find the nice extra peace of mind in case anything happens.
If you want to get the newest and best iPhone every year, the best way to do that is through the iPhone Upgrade Program. There is no good reason why it is not available in your country and you always want to own the shiny new game.
The iPhone upgrade program is not perfect. Last year, with the iPhone 13, there was some kind of a bug that prevented me from doing my iPhone upgrade program with my Apple Card, and I didn’t want my Apple Card not to be used (you get 3% cash back though, even on the Apple Card). upgrade), so I bought my phone directly. It was a huge bit of a change (I got a 1TB iPhone 13 Pro), but it’s also kind of a liberation from not having another monthly payment to worry about at the moment.
I may or may not go back to the iPhone Upgrade Program this year, but for most people, the monthly payments are a lot easier than swallowing more than $1,000 at once.
iPhone only works for me
I’ll admit that I wanted to try some of the newer Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, because the hardware is unique, and I can really customize the device in terms of software. But then I think about what I use on a daily basis — iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, iPad — and then reconsider.
For me, the Apple gear works best for me (despite working for iMore). I use AirDrop constantly throughout the day to easily get photos out of my iPhone and from my iMac, without the need for cables. I also use Handoff and Continuity frequently across all my devices to pick up where I left off smoothly. I’m not sure if Android devices have such a feature that works with computers, but I can’t do without it.
I probably don’t necessarily need the latest iPhone just to have seamless integration with all my other Apple devices (I don’t upgrade my Mac, iPad, or Apple Watch every year), but I like to think of it as future-proofing. After all, Apple has shown several times that it likes to keep some new software features locked behind the latest hardware — see Stage Manager for iPad debacle in Exhibit A. My iPhone is probably the device I use and rely on the most, so I’d like to update it as often. possible.