I am part of Apple’s iPhone problem.

You see, I own a perfectly fine iPhone 7 plus that I’ve had for over two years, and I feel no pressure to upgrade.

My screen isn’t cracked. All the apps I need are running smoothly (despite the occasional crash). And I like to think that my photos still stand up when compared with the images of my friends, who shoot with their new, notch-laden iPhone XR and XS.

Bah humbug! I’m sticking with my 7!

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I was curious, though, about how much it would cost to upgrade, and whether that cost would be justified.

I headed to my local Apple store in San Francisco’s Union Square to figure out if I should finally upgrade or not

The Face ID feature to open a locked screen seems nice (my thumbprint only works 50 per cent of the time when it’s sunny out and zero per cent when it’s raining). And maybe having Portrait Mode on the front facing camera would help make me look less awkward in selfies. Maybe not.

Anyway, I headed to my local Apple store in San Francisco’s Union Square to figure out if I should finally upgrade or not.

Here’s what I found:

If I were to buy the cheapest of Apple’s new phones – the 64GB iPhone XR – my monthly fee would be US$37.41 through its financing programme.

That US$37.41 is exactly what I was paying per month for my 7 Plus.

But since I haven’t upgraded my phone for over two years, my monthly payments are no longer. Since last September, I have owned my phone outright and have been paying US$0 to Apple since.

So, if I were to upgrade, I’d have to get used to making monthly payments again.

If I traded in my 7 Plus (which is in good condition), I would receive a US$300 credit through Apple’s GiveBack programme.


That credit could be used for future monthly payments and paying taxes on my next phone.

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Shoot! I always forget about the taxes. Let’s figure that out real quick.

The 64GB XR retails for US$749, and the sales tax in San Francisco is 8.5 per cent. So to walk out the door with my new XR, I would have to pay US$63.67 in taxes.

According to the specs, my 7 Plus is thinner and lighter than the XR and actually has a higher resolution display

After taxes, I would have US$236.33 left from my trade-in credits, which would be enough to cover my first six months of fees on my new XR. That’s not bad!

But, do I really want an XR?

I wasn’t impressed with the look or feel of that phone.

According to the specs, my 7 Plus is thinner and lighter than the XR and actually has a higher resolution display.

If I were to upgrade, I’d go with the 256GB XS Max which comes out to US$60.33 per month through Apple’s financing programme.

That’s quite a bit more expensive per month than the XR and after taxes on the US$1,249 XS Max, I would only have three free months from my trade-in credit.

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Going from US$0 to US$60.33 per month is a hefty difference. And for what reason?

My 7 Plus is still looking good!

I’m proud that even without a case (which gets in the way of how a phone is supposed to feel), I only have minor scratches.

For now, I’ll happily continue to be in upgrade limo and a poster boy for Apple’s current iPhone problem

Also, my battery life is still holding strong. And as the Apple employee kindly reminded me, if my battery does deteriorate, I can replace it with a new one for just US$49.

Further, even with improvements to the newer cameras in the XR and XS, I still stick by the quality of shots I’m able to capture with my 2.5-year-old “clunker”.

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I’m not sure what it’ll take for me to finally upgrade from my 7 Plus – maybe if those intermittent app crashes become more consistent or god forbid, my AirPods can’t connect.

But for now, I’ll happily continue to be in upgrade limo and a poster boy for Apple’s current iPhone problem.

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This article originally appeared on  Business Insider .





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