Crazy but true! Apple “admits” you don’t need to upgrade to iPhone 15 (and I agree)

Crazy but true! Apple “admits” you don’t need to upgrade to iPhone 15 (and I agree)


At PhoneArena, we’ve been comparing phones for about two decades now, and I dare say we’ve gotten relatively good at it…

Now, Apple has its own take on the reasons you should buy the new iPhone, and it comes in the shape of a new page/tool on Apple’s website, which lets you compare “your iPhone vs the latest (iPhone)” so you can “see what you’re missing”.

The most intriguing part? Apple (or rather whoever put it all together) doesn’t think

. And while this isn’t such a wild suggestion, it’s a bit… bizarre.

But there’s a bit more to it…

Apple is weirdly honest: “You don’t need to upgrade to iPhone 15 from iPhone 14 or iPhone 13”

To get one thing out of the way, Apple’s new iPhone comparison webpage, which wants to show you exactly what you’re missing if you have an old iPhone compared to the latest model, is… pretty basic.

Of course, Apple’s pitch is led by the high-res 48MP primary camera found on the new iPhone 15 series, and continues with the iPhone 15’s ability to zoom without loss in quality, as well as the Action and Cinematic modes. A small section with a single sentence is saved for the USB-C port Apple was forced to adopt by the European Union.

Cupertino also makes sure to tell you the latest A16 Bionic chip “has an X amount of extra GPU power compared to your older iPhone”, which (if I had to guess) won’t convince anyone to upgrade.

The comparison is wrapped up by the notorious Dynamic Island, which “bubbles up your flight status, music, and more so you don’t miss anything”, and a side-by-side image of your iPhone next to the iPhone 15 model you’ve picked to compare it against.

Aaand that’s about it.

Apple’s attempt to convince people to upgrade to iPhone 15 is an unconvincing, missed opportunity: Here’s how you do it, Apple!

In case it wasn’t clear, Apple’s attempt to convince me/you to upgrade to iPhone 15 is pretty unconvincing.

As someone who’s used the iPhone 15 Pro Max for a few months now, my pitch for iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 users would’ve looked more like this:

Although I’ve criticized Apple for the overall repetitive aesthetic of the iPhone in the past four years, the mature design of the iPhone 15 should (arguably) lead the pitch for upgrading from iPhone 11/iPhone 12; I’d start with the fact that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are lighter than their iPhone 12 Pro counterparts despite bringing vastly improved hardware in all areas; the thinner bezels are also worth noting as they not only make the iPhone 15 series look more premium, but also make the latest iPhones feel more compact

Photo quality – although Apple has chosen the high-res 48MP camera, Action mode, and Cinematic mode for its pitch, I find the vastly improved image processing of the iPhone 15 series to be the most important (and most marketable) camera upgrade compared to any older iPhone; I’m talking about the tremendously improved HDR processing, lack of excessive sharpening, better low-light photos; and the much improved (automatic) Portrait mode experience with better edge detection

Battery life and USB-C charging, including data transfer speeds – the iPhone 15 series run circles around the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 in terms of endurance, and people would love to know more about that, Apple; also, why are we playing down the presence of USB-C on iPhone 15? Let’s make a bigger push – you’re stuck with it anyway…

MagSafe is another huge reason to get a new iPhone if you ask me, but Apple doesn’t think so, leaving the iPhone’s magnetic superpowers out of the comparison with the iPhone 11; for example, my MagSafe battery pack has become the single iPhone accessory I carry with me wherever I go/travel, and other MagSafe accessories (like wallets, cases, and chargers) have been fan-favorites for ages now

Whether you care about it, or notice the added smoothness or not, the 120Hz ProMotion display of the iPhone 15 Pro must be part of the pitch for upgrading from iPhone 11/ 12 to iPhone 15 Pro; not to mention, the iPhone 15 Pro’s display gets like a billion times brighter than the displays of the iPhone 11/12, which is a legitimate benefit

Apple is right! iPhone 13 users (probably, maybe, most likely) don’t need an iPhone 15

All that said, and going back to my point from the intro… What about iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 users – do I disagree with Apple, thinking they need to upgrade to iPhone 15? Well, it depends…

For example, the iPhone 15 Pro Max should be a pretty solid upgrade from the vanilla iPhone 14 or iPhone 13 models for most people, and in virtually all areas. After all, the iPhone 14 was basically the same phone as iPhone 13, which made iPhone 15 a big upgrade. But the same doesn’t hold true for iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro users.

However, speaking from experience, as an iPhone 13 (mini) user who’s been using the iPhone 15 Pro Max for months now, my take might be slightly cheap and controversial…

  • Yes, my iPhone 13 mini isn’t exactly as snappy as it used to be, but it’s still flagship-grade fast, and I don’t think my iPhone 15 Pro Max makes my iPhone 13 feel “slow”; the biggest difference in performance I’ve noticed is when it comes to (re)launching apps – the iPhone 15 Pro is much better in this regards thanks to having more (and faster) RAM

  • Yes, my iPhone 13 mini’s battery doesn’t last as long as it used to – not to mention, the mini model was never built with stellar endurance in mind to begin with; but that’s normal, and also – the larger iPhone 13 models actually had amazing battery life – in fact, many user find that the iPhone 13 Pro Max can outlast the iPhone 15 Pro Max

  • When it comes to the camera, which is the highlight of Apple’s upgrade pitch, I’d say my iPhone 13’s camera continues to serve me well to this day, and even impresses me; like during my recent trip to Turkey, when (with some editing) I was able to capture some great pictures and videos; sure, my iPhone 13 doesn’t have the iPhone 15’s resolution, dynamic range, or zoom flexibility (all valid selling points) but if I told you I really missed my iPhone 15 Pro Max, I’d be lying

Apple’s latest pitch for upgrading to iPhone 15 raises some questions: Do we need a new iPhone release every year?

In the end, Apple’s new harmless little “reasons to upgrade to iPhone 15” webpage raises a few interesting questions (I’ve asked before):

Do you need to upgrade every year? Apparently, Apple doesn’t think so, and that’s in the face of all the tech nerds (like me) who criticize new iPhones for bringing few upgrades over the previous model; Apple’s (implied) answer is that the latest iPhone is actually made for people still rocking 3-5 year-old iPhones, and I… agree

Do we need a new iPhone every year, or would a biannual release schedule be enough for most people? Of course, this question stands for every Android flagship phone too, and can have a nuanced answer – some people would be perfectly fine with “one iPhone every two years”, and might never notice the difference; however, with a two-year upgrade cycle, those with older iPhones might have to wait a bit too long to upgrade…

Are the new vanilla iPhone models just the “S” version of last year’s phone, and are the Pro models the “real new iPhone” (but only compared to last year’s vanilla iPhone)? If you ask me, the answer is yes, and yes; as I said earlier, people upgrading to iPhone 15 Pro Max from the vanilla iPhone 13 will see many noticeable differences, while those upgrading from the iPhone 13 Pro Max – not so much…

Should Apple leave iPhone comparisons to PhoneArena, because our iPhone comparisons are less biassed and far more detailed? Sure…


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