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15th of October 2018

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Apple says goodbye to the iPhone 6S, but I refuse to

After Apple's release of three brand new phones, there are still plenty of reasons to keep your 3-year-old iPhone 6S.After Apple's release of three brand new phones, there are still plenty of reasons to keep your 3-year-old iPhone 6S.Image: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images2018%2f06%2f26%2fc2%2f20182f062f252f5a2fphoto.d9abc.b1c04By Matt Binder2018-09-13 21:14:00 UTC

Every year when Apple holds its big iPhone event, there’s always one older-generation model that's removed from Apple Stores.

This year is no exception. Apple has finally put the iPhone 6S out to pasture. Bye-bye, iPhone 6S!

But while Apple may not be selling it’s 3-year-old iPhone anymore, the existing iPhone 6S devices out in the wild still have a lot of life left in them. So really, the 6S isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

A recent study by analytics company Mixpanel confirmed this notion by suggesting that the iPhone 6S is currently the second most in-use iPhone model in the world. Second only to the iPhone 7, the iPhone 6S is more popular than the iPhone 8 and iPhone X with 13.01 percent of the iPhone market share, according to the study.

Of course, with the release of three brand new iPhones this year, the 6S will certainly see that percentage fall as users decide to upgrade their older phones. 

Last year, Mashable explained why the iPhone 6S was the last of the great iPhones. Much like the mid-2015 Macbook Pro, the iPhone 6S is the last model that features the original design that brought its respective product into greatness. Back in 2017, we made the case for keeping your iPhone 6S, and there are a number of reasons why that still holds true today. Here's a rundown:

1) The iPhone 6S is the very last iPhone model with a headphone jack.

That little 3.5mm headphone jack might be the most obvious reason some users are holding onto their iPhone 6S. The removal of the headphone jack starting with iPhone 7 was a big deal when it happened, and judging by every model since, there’s no going back. 

With the iPhone 6S, there’s no need to replace all your headphones and buy new ones with a lightning connector. You don’t have to spend the extra money to buy a dongle, either. Headphone jacks may be a thing of the past soon, but we’re not quite there yet. Most popular headphones still come with a wire.

The iPhone 6S is also the last iPhone to have a real button. Starting with the iPhone 7, the “button” on iPhones stopped being an actual button. The home button after the 6S was nothing but a visual. 

Using haptic feedback, the "button," if you can really call it that, was powered by software and only made a clicking sound and vibration when you pressed it. And, going by the latest phones, full touchscreens are now going to be our only options. But with the iPhone 6S, I still have a home button that I can press whenever I damn please — even if the power is off and the battery is dead.

2) The iPhone 6S was the first to include many features that are still used in iPhones today

Many of the features that were new with the iPhone 6S are still apart of even the latest announced iPhone models. For example, the 6S was the first to include Live Photos. It was the first of Apple’s smartphones to offer 3D Touch. While other aspects of the iPhone camera have been upgraded in future models, the 6S was the first with a 12-megapixel camera, and Apple has kept that as the standard for all new iPhones, including the new iPhone XR. 

Selfies also became reasonably good with the iPhone 6S, as the front-facing camera jumped from 1.2-megapixels in the previous iteration to 5 megapixels. That was a big jump in quality, and quite honestly, just fine even for today’s selfie standards.

3) New iPhones are freaking expensive

Sure, the new iPhones are faster. But come on. Do you really always need that shiny new gadget? The answer is no, you probably don't. The iPhone 6S is still fast and supported by Apple. The 6S is light, not too big, not too small, and most importantly you’ll save a ton of money. In fact, one of the reasons I went with the iPhone 6S is because it was the last of the AT&T subsidized iPhone models. 

Until 2017, when Verizon was the last carrier to drop iPhone subsidies, you could pick up a new base model iPhone for $199 — all you had to do was sign a 2-year contract. No purchasing a thousand-dollar iPhone at full price. No monthly fees to payoff that full-priced phone through a loan. No need to trade in a phone you haven’t fully paid off. After 2 years of service, that normally priced $649 iPhone 6S was fully yours to keep, and all it cost you was $199. 

With the base model iPhone XS starting at $999 and the high-end iPhone XS Max model topping out at $1,449, there’s no way I’d possibly pay to upgrade when I last paid $199 for my phone.

4) It's almost like Apple wants you to keep your old phone. Almost.

Of course Apple releases new iPhones in hopes that you’ll upgrade and give them more money. But after public outrage over Apple’s admittance that they slow down your older phones on purpose, the company is doing things a little different with their next iOS release.

Apple has announced that iOS 12 will basically be its most friendly mobile operating system for older model iPhones ever. They’re focusing on performance issues with this latest release and have said that the new iOS will actually make your older iPhones, like the 6S, even faster than they are already. 

Combine that with the fact that iPhone 6S owners still have 3 months to replace their battery with a brand new one, thanks to that aforementioned iPhone slowdown scandal, it’ll be like getting a new brand new iPhone for a total of $29.

So, here’s to all the iPhone 6S users that will once again pass on Apple’s latest, expensive phone offerings and keep their cheaper beloved 3-year-old model. Hold onto it for as long as you can. I'll be doing exactly the same.

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