iPhone 6s: Update, Keep, or Upgrade? A Guide for Satisfied Users

iPhone 6s: Update, Keep, or Upgrade? A Guide for Satisfied Users

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We love it when our customers and regular blog readers ask us questions they really need answers to. Recently, a user, Jim, asked a fantastic question on our blog. He said:

I have a IPhone 6se which I purchased new & understand that you are no longer updating this model. I have no preblems with it and wonder if it is best to keep it, update it or change it for a new model. Which model would you suggest if you recommend I update.
Thanks and regards,
Jim Everett

Many iPhone 6s users, like Jim, are happy with their phones but unsure what to do now that software updates have ended. So, we decided to write a detailed blog to help you make the decision to update, keep, or upgrade your trusty iPhone 6s.

Is iPhone 6s Not Receiving Any Updates?

That's correct. The iPhone 6s is no longer eligible for the latest iOS updates with new features and security patches. As of June 2024, Apple's support page doesn't list iPhone 6s as compatible with the current iOS version. The most recent version it can run is iOS 15.7.1, released in September 2023. This might concern some users who prioritize the latest security measures and features.

Apple typically stops supporting older devices after around 5-6 years to focus on optimizing performance and security for newer models.

Should You Keep Your Old iPhone 6s?

There are advantages to sticking with your iPhone 6s:

  • Familiarity and Functionality: You're comfortable with the phone's layout and features. If it's working well for your needs, there's no pressure to upgrade.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Upgrading can be expensive. Keeping your phone saves money, especially if you're on a budget.

Here's how to maximize your experience with an un-updating iPhone 6s:

  • Prioritize App Updates: Keep apps updated for security and bug fixes. Most apps still function well on older iOS versions, but outdated apps might have compatibility issues.
  • Focus on Security: Be mindful when clicking links or downloading files. Utilize strong passwords and avoid unknown Wi-Fi networks. There are also third-party security apps you can consider, but do your research before installing any.
  • Embrace Offline Functionality: Many apps can function offline, so you can still get some use out of them even without the latest update.

Is It Worth Upgrading From iPhone 6s to a Newer Model?

Upgrading from an iPhone 6s to a newer model depends on your needs and priorities. If the lack of updates or a desire for new features concerns you, upgrading might be the way to go. Here’s why it might be worth it to upgrade from iPhone 6s to a newer model:

  • Outdated Software: The iPhone 6s no longer receives the newest iOS updates, which means you might miss out on security patches, new features, and compatibility with some apps.
  • Slower Performance: Newer iPhones have significantly faster processors and more RAM, leading to smoother performance for everyday tasks, multitasking, and running demanding apps and games.
  • Camera Improvements: Newer iPhones boast superior camera systems with better image quality, low-light performance, and advanced features like multiple lenses, portrait mode, and improved video recording.
  • Battery Life: Battery technology has improved significantly. Newer iPhones generally offer longer battery life, which can be crucial for daily use.
  • Display Quality: Newer iPhones often have higher-resolution displays with better color accuracy and brightness, making for a more enjoyable viewing experience.
  • Durability: Newer iPhones may have more durable designs with tougher glass and water resistance.

However, here are some factors to consider:

  • Budget: Newer iPhones can be expensive. Consider a used or refurbished model from a reputable source (aka Phone Daddy) for a more budget-friendly option.
  • Desired Features: Do you crave a better camera, a faster processor, or a larger screen? Research what newer models offer to see if they align with your needs.

Some Upgrade Recommendations

If your iPhone 6s works fine for you, there’s no pressure to upgrade. But if you decide to upgrade, here are a few options to consider:

iPhone SE 3rd Generation (2022)


  • Most affordable option: Perfect if you're on a tight budget.
  • Familiar Design: Similar size and feel to the iPhone 6s, making for an easy transition.
  • Powerful Performance: The A15 Bionic chip delivers smooth performance for everyday tasks, multitasking, and even some games.
  • Latest Software: The iPhone SE 3rd Gen (2022) runs the newest iOS version, ensuring access to security patches, new features, and app compatibility.
  • Good Battery Life: Improved battery life compared to the iPhone 6s.


  • Smaller Display: Same size screen as the 6s, which might feel smaller than newer models.
  • Single Rear Camera: Lacks the versatility of a dual or triple-lens system found in other options.

iPhone 11


  • Balanced Value: Offers a good mix of features and price compared to the SE and flagships.
  • Great Dual-Camera System: Takes high-quality photos and videos, with features like wide-angle and improved low-light performance.
  • Excellent Battery Life: Known for lasting a full day or more on a single charge.
  • Larger Display: The iPhone 11 has a bigger screen than the iPhone 6s and SE for a more immersive experience.


  • Not the Latest Processor: Uses the A13 Bionic chip, which is still powerful but not the absolute newest.
  • Older Design: Bezels around the display are thicker compared to newer models.
  • Might Miss Out on Future Updates: May not receive software support for as long as the SE or iPhone 12/13.

iPhone 12/13


  • Cutting-Edge Technology: Boasts the latest processors, displays (OLED for iPhone 13), and camera systems with features like night mode portraits and advanced video recording.
  • Future-Proof: Will receive software updates for several years to come.
  • Large and Beautiful Displays: Offer stunning visuals and a more immersive experience.


  • Most Expensive Option: Comes with the highest price tag among the three.
  • Larger Size: May feel bulky for users who prefer a smaller phone like the iPhone 6s or SE.

Additional Considerations

  • 5G: The iPhone 12 and 13 support 5G connectivity, while the SE (latest model) and iPhone 11 do not. 5G offers faster data speeds but might not be widely available in your area yet.
  • Storage: Consider how much storage you need for apps, photos, and videos. All three phones offer different storage options.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your priorities and budget. The iPhone SE is a great option if affordability and familiarity are key. If you value a balance of price and features with a good camera, the iPhone 11 shines. And if you want the absolute latest technology and camera advancements, the iPhone 12 or 13 are the way to go, even though they come at a premium price.

The Final Decision

The best choice depends on your individual needs and preferences. If your iPhone 6s is running smoothly and meets your needs, keeping it is a perfectly valid option. Upgrading makes sense if you prioritize the latest features, security updates, or a better overall user experience.

We hope this guide helps Jim and everyone else navigate the iPhone 6s update situation. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any further questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is my iPhone 6s no longer getting updates?

Yes, the iPhone 6s is no longer receiving software updates from Apple. As of iOS 15.7.6, Apple has ceased providing major iOS updates and security patches for the device. This means the phone may be vulnerable to security risks and won't have the latest features available in newer iOS versions.

2. Should I upgrade my iPhone 6s?

Yes, you should consider upgrading your iPhone 6s. Since it no longer receives software updates and security patches, it may be vulnerable to security risks. Upgrading to a newer model will ensure access to the latest features, improved performance, and ongoing support from Apple.

3. Is it worth keeping an old iPhone 6s?

Keeping an old iPhone 6s can still be worthwhile if you use it for basic tasks like calls, texts, and light app usage. However, upgrading to a newer model is recommended for better security, performance, and access to new features. The lack of updates makes it less suitable for tasks requiring up-to-date software and security.

4. What if I'm on a budget?

If you're on a budget, consider buying a refurbished or used iPhone model like the iPhone SE (2020) or iPhone 8. These models offer better performance and longer support than the iPhone 6s at a lower cost. Look for deals, trade-in programs, or carrier discounts to make upgrading more affordable.

5. Which new iPhone is right for me?

Choosing the right new iPhone depends on your needs and budget. For the latest features and performance, the iPhone 14 series is ideal. If you want a balance of features and affordability, consider the iPhone 13 or iPhone 12. The iPhone SE (2022) is a great choice for a budget-friendly option with good performance.

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