The Case for Keeping Your Old iPhone When You Upgrade


It’s tempting to get caught up in the hype of a shiny new iPhone release. But before selling or tossing your older generation iPhone when upgrading, consider the many benefits of keeping it as a secondary device. Here are compelling reasons to hold onto your old iPhone when the time comes for a new model.

It Still Has Plenty of Life Left

Today’s iPhones are built to last thanks to durable designs and long-lasting batteries. The iPhone 6S from 2015 amazingly can run the latest iOS 16 released in 2022. Older iPhones have years of use left even if you upgrade annually. Your former daily driver can become a handy secondary device.

You Can Pass it Down to Kids or Family

Your used iPhone could become a child’s first phone or provide tech access to less privileged family members. Even if apps and services phase it out over time, an old iPhone still offers calling, texting, music, videos, books, and basic internet for kids or technologically marginalized relatives. Pass it down and get more mileage from your investment.

It’s a Great Media Player

Turn your old iPhone into a dedicated media playback device. Load it with playlists, podcasts, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, and ebooks for enjoying entertainment anywhere untethered from your primary phone. The compact form factor and ample built-in storage of iPhones are perfect for this purpose.

You Have a Backup Communication Device

Keep your outdated iPhone charged as a spare emergency phone. If you ever lose, break, or have your main phone stolen, you won’t be stranded without any means of calling, texting, emailing, or using messaging apps to get help or coordinate replacements. The peace of mind of having a fallback device can be invaluable.

Use it as a High-Quality Camera

Even several generations old, iPhone cameras remain capable of taking great photos and videos compared to budget options. Turn your old iPhone into a dedicated camera for certain uses like your kids’ sports games, outdoor adventures, concerts, or a loaner for friends and family. It can save your primary phone’s camera lifespan.

It Can Function as a Smart Home Hub

Outfit an old iPhone with apps to use as a smart home controller. Mount it on the wall with power connected to manage lights, thermostats, security cameras, door locks, and appliances through an easy-to-access interface. Repurposing it this way beats buying an expensive proprietary hub.

You Have a Universal Remote

Thanks to infrared sensor capabilities, old iPhones can act as TV/media remotes via apps. Control your television, streaming box, stereo system, and other electronics from one handy device anywhere in the house. Far cheaper than buying multiple dedicated remotes.

It’s a Great GPS and Car Computer

Mount your old iPhone in your car dashboard as a dedicated GPS aid for navigation and managing music/podcasts on the road. The iPhone’s smooth UI and accurate maps excel for this application. Add a cell plan for emergency capabilities. The iPhone’s hands-free integration with your car stereo outshines built-in infotainment systems.

Use it as a Mobile Gaming Device

iPhone gaming provides console-quality experiences, especially for younger kids. Load your old iPhone up with games to turn it into a portable amusement device for keeping kids happily occupied on car rides, planes, and anywhere else. The smaller form factor is perfect for little hands.

You Have a Network Analyzer

Install network analysis apps on your outdated iPhone to use it as a handy network scanner while traveling or troubleshooting connectivity issues. View network security protocols, identify nearby devices, test speeds, scan for dead zones, and log connection metrics through dedicated tools optimized for the iPhone’s mobility.

It Can Replace Single-Purpose Devices

The iPhone’s powerful hardware, apps, and versatility let it take over jobs from an array of single-function gadgets. Use your old iPhone as a scanner, fax machine, walkie-talkie, fitness tracker, voice recorder, ereader, audio processor, or oscillator. Get more value as an all-in-one tool.

In summary, even outdated iPhones remain incredibly capable devices thanks to Apple’s robust hardware and software support. Finding new applications to extend an old iPhone’s utility offers great value over discarding it. A little creativity goes a long way in getting the most out of your investment.

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