If you’re in the market for a new iPhone in 2024, do yourself a favor and cross the iPhone 5 and Phone 5c off your shopping list.
Buying one of these devices might be tempting, but the iPhone 5 isn’t a top option for those looking to save some cash and/or pickup a phone with a 4-inch display.
If you have your eyes on the iPhone 5, or the colorful iPhone 5c, you’re better off going in another direction. Here’s why.
Apple ended software support for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c back in 2017. Both devices stayed on iOS 10 and neither will device will get iOS 11, iOS 12, iOS 13, iOS 14, iOS 15, iOS 16, iOS 17, or Apple’s upcoming iOS 18 update. This has some major implications.
If you buy the iPhone 5, you won’t get features from iOS 11, iOS 12, iOS 13, iOS 14, iOS 15, iOS 16, iOS 17 or any of Apple’s upcoming iOS releases. This might not seem like a huge deal, but remember, features aren’t the only thing you’ll miss out on.
These devices will no longer get official bug fixes or security patches from Apple. You might be able to deal with a few problems, but it’s the lack of security that should have you worried. Apple’s devices aren’t immune to exploits.
If you store sensitive data on your phone, this alone should have you thinking about making the jump to another iPhone or an alternative.
We used the iPhone 5 for many years and we used every single iOS update Apple released for the device. Our experience was mostly good, but performance started dragging in the latter stages of the device’s life.
We had a pretty good run on iOS 10, but our iPhone 5 wasn’t immune to problems. It was laggy and, towards the end, extremely frustrating to use as a daily driver.
There’s no way to go back to an older version of iOS and there’s no way to upgrade to a newer version of iOS. You’re stuck with the performance you get.
If the iPhone 5 you’re looking to buy has a clean install, you might get good mileage out of it at first. However, over time, your experience will almost certainly start to deteriorate as you accumulate more photos, apps, and other data.
Wiping the phone and restoring from a backup will always be there as a nuclear option if the phone becomes unusable, but it’s a huge, time-consuming pain. This is especially true if you have to do it over, and over, and over again.
At this point, with the phone being as old as it is, and with iOS 10 running like it is, it’s probably a better idea to invest in a newer, more capable device. Fortunately, you’ve got plenty of options.
If you’re determined to go the iPhone route and you really want the 4-inch display, your best option is Apple’s iPhone SE.
The iPhone SE is cheap, comes with a 4-inch Retina Display, and delivers a better all-around experience thanks to its processor, RAM, and cameras. It’ll also get occasional security updates.
If you aren’t tied to the 4-inch display, make sure you take a look at Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone SE 2 or iPhone SE 3. They both possess better hardware. And, like the original iPhone SE, they’re extremely cheap.
And let’s not forget about the mind-boggling amount Android phones out there. You can get an outstanding Android device for under $200.
We loved our time with the iPhone 5, but do yourself a favor and avoid it in 2024. If you’re looking for a new device you can do a lot better without breaking the bank.
Wait for Performance Improvements
The iPhone 16 series should come equipped with a new processor (likely the A18), but performance improvements will likely go beyond that.
Kuo's information has been backed up by Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu.
That being said, Pu believes the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will come with support for Wi-Fi 6E which is currently limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Pu claims the base iPhone 16 models, presumably called iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, will come with Apple's A18 chip and 8GB of RAM while the higher-end models would come with an A18 Pro processor. He's reiterated this stance in newer notes.
This has been backed up by a report from a user on Weibo who says the lower-end models will come with the first Apple chip specifically designed for the standard models.
This is an interesting development because it means the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus would skip the company's A17 chip.
Early iOS 18 code, seen by Apple blog MacRumors, hints at this being the case.
Jeff Pu also says the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will sport Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X75 modem. This should lead to faster, and more efficient, 5G connectivity.
Pu believes the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will keep the Snapdragon X70 modem from Apple's iPhone 15 lineup.
Qualcomm recently announced it extended its modem license with Apple through March 2027 which means we'll see Qualcomm modems, and not in-house Apple modems, appear on the iPhone 16, iPhone 17, and iPhone 18 at the very least.
On top of all that, we've also heard the iPhone 16's OLED display might be more power efficient thanks to new material Samsung's developing for Apple.
Digitimes reports 1TB iPhone 16 Pro models could feature slower read and write speeds to help mitigate costs. Apple is apparently still evaluating the change so we wouldn't worry about it too much just yet.
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