It is now common knowledge that sales of iPhone have slowed down and with Apple’s stock price falling, some commentators have gleefully revelled in their difficulties.
Many accused Apple of outright greed – in effect strategizing high profit margins against actual sales. Last week Apple responded by slashing the price of its iPhone XR.
It may well be that Apple has also plateaued when it comes to differentiating between models. This year’s iPhone was so similar to last year’s that many people wondered why bother upgrading when the phone they have is so good.
Compare this to the 2014 launch of the iPhone 6 which saw a massive upsurge in purchases, especially in China and other parts of Asia.
But, while the strategy of concentrating on profit margin has certainly impacted on Apple’s woes the excellence of the phone hardware has also inadvertently contributed.
Apple’s core strength was its ability to persuade people to upgrade on their iPhone every year or two, but it has been some time since they boasted about the number switching from Android to iOS. Both are now well-established platforms with devoted followings.
The problem has arisen that there is now often no compelling reason for people to upgrade. Older iPhone models seemingly last longer than many Android competitors, are better supported and now run faster than Androids of a comparable age.
2018’s iOS update has now given some older models a new lease of life, meaning that if you have an iPhone 6 from 2014 it should run fine on the new iOS 12.
The fact that iPhones are well made and can be used far longer than intended means they retain their value much better than most Android-based equivalents. This makes them attractive for the second-hand market – where Apple gets no cut of the profits (for now).
Whilst a brand new iPhone from Apple will likely cost upwards of £900, a refurbished second-hand model can be obtained for as little as £150. So, it seems it’s a no-brainer to have a look at what is available.
Buying a second-hand iPhone
At present Apple does not sell second-hand iPhones on its UK Refurbished Store. It does offer Apple TVs, iPads, Macs and even iPods but not phones. But in the US, they have started selling iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models and it should be only a matter of time until we in the UK get the same.
For the moment though, we need to look to third-party outlets. Various UK carriers are offering models as old as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in their online stores on much cheaper contracts than the iPhone 8.
These carriers include EE, Three, O2, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile and Carphone Warehouse.
It is also worth checking out sites such as Buy Mobiles, Phones.co.uk and Affordable Phones, especially if you want to purchase an Apple Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) iPhone.
These are phones certified by Apple to be the same quality as a brand-new device. Currently you can pick up from these carriers the iPhone 7 32GB, iPhone 7 128GB and the iPhone 6 16GB.
The good-old 6
The iPhone 6 may no longer be on sale through Apple, but it is still widely available from third-parties both on contract and SIM-free. Unfortunately, there will be an eventual limit on their availability as Apple no longer manufactures them. So, in the end, the stock of phones will come to an end.
You can even find iPhone 5 or even earlier versions. But be aware there may be some issues with accessories and their compatibility. For instance, the old iPhone 4 still has the 30-pin connector, and this will limit the accessories available for the device.
Usually a second-hand phone is no problem, but it is worth making sure it has had a battery replacement. If not, you’ll need to factor that into the purchase price or you’ll end up with the device running out of charge after just a few hours.
Image: Jeremy Keith