5 Reasons Not to Buy the iPhone 6s

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty ImagesHave an older iPhone model? You're better off upgrading to the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, instead of shelling out for the 6s.

By Mike Cetera

The iPhone 6s will almost certainly be one of the best smartphones on the planet when it goes on sale later this month.

Don't buy it.

The 6s and its big brother, the 6s Plus, will cram an enormous amount of power into a small space, making for a very, very fast mobile computing experience.

Don't buy it.

It will have an improved camera that will capture stunning pictures and video, rich with color and depth. It will incorporate new touch controls that promise to change how you use apps. And the new iPhone will even come in four -- count 'em -- four colors.

Don't buy it.

If the gushing passages above haven't made a convincing case that you should shun the latest Apple product, consider these five reasons why you really, truly, definitely should not buy the iPhone 6s -- at least not yet.

It's not really that much better than previous models.

%VIRTUAL-pullquote-Innovation is kind of slowing. It's harder to come up with a sort of whiz-bang, must-have feature that's on a phone.%When smartphones first hit the market, there were huge technological jumps from one year to the next. For example, the base model second generation iPhone, the 3G, doubled the speed and storage capacity of the first generation model introduced just a year earlier.

That doesn't happen anymore. Improvements are far more incremental, which means an older model still should suit most users just fine.

"Innovation is kind of slowing," says Marguerite Reardon, a senior writer with CNET, a tech news and review website. "It's harder to come up with a sort of whiz-bang, must-have feature that's on a phone."

This is good for consumers, Reardon argues, because it means smartphone owners should no longer feel compelled to replace their phones every two years.

Speaking of which ...

You should hold onto your phone longer.

This applies primarily to people who bought a phone without a contract -- a situation that will become far more common now that wireless carriers have begun moving away from phone subsidies. Those are the "deals" that allow you to take home a phone for as little as $200. But each month you pay for the phone -- even after you've repaid the subsidy -- because the cost is baked into your monthly bill.

Today, you can pay for the phone in full upfront or on an installment plan. Once the phone is paid off, your monthly bill should become cheaper.

This move by the carriers is going to retrain consumers, Reardon says, to keep their phones longer. And, if your phone is in working condition, there's no need for you to upgrade.

"I say hold onto it as long as you possibly can, until it doesn't work anymore," says Reardon, who writes the Ask Maggie column for CNET.

That means you, too, iPhone 5s owners.

So your phone is now two generations old. That must mean it's time to retire it, right?

"The iPhone 5s should run well on iOS 9 [Apple's latest mobile operating system update]," says Louis Ramirez, a senior features writer at DealNews, a bargain-hunting website. "However, your best plan of action is to wait and let others install the new OS on their phones before you install it on yours."

In other words, let someone else be the guinea pig to make sure iOS 9 works properly on older phones. However, if you absolutely need to buy a new phone, but your budget won't accommodate the 6s, last year's model -- the iPhone 6 -- is "your best bet," Ramirez says.

And there's good news there, too.

The iPhone 6 is about to get much cheaper.

Last year's iPhone was pretty cool. All the hip tech reviewers said so:

  • "The iPhone 6 is an exceptional phone in nearly every way except its average battery life: it's thin, fast and features the excellent iOS operating system. It was the best overall phone introduced in 2014." -CNET

  • "With fast performance, a great display, an elegant new design and a much-needed software update, it's one of the best smartphones you can buy right now." -Engadget

  • "The iPhone 6 is one of the best-built, best-performing smartphones you can buy. You can find a sharper display, you can find a better camera ... you can find better speakers, but you can't find all of them together in such a capable package." -Gizmodo

Now this phone that everyone raved about is about to land in the discount bin.

Apple will continue to sell both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and you'll pay $100 less for each model -- $99 and $199 respectively on a two-year contract.

You'll also be able to find deals on resale websites, particularly now that some iPhone 6 owners are looking to upgrade. The market is about to get flooded with last year's model, says Kendal Perez, a savings expert for CouponSherpa.com.

"There are so many used devices out there," she says. "It's a really great way to save money on smartphones."

One caveat: Before buying a used or refurbished phone, research the store's return policy and find out what kind of warranty your phone comes with, DealNews' Ramirez says.

Hey, wait, the iPhone 6s also will get cheaper.

Apple and the major wireless carriers aren't likely to offer you any deals on the latest and greatest smartphone. But other retailers soon will. If you absolutely must buy the new iPhone, you can save a few bucks by waiting a month or two, Perez says.

If past practice holds true, Perez says, retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy should start offering a $10 to $20 discount on the iPhone 6s within about a month. Wait even longer and those discounts could grow to $50 to $100, she says.

Still not convinced that you shouldn't rush to buy an iPhone 6s? In the end, it's your call on whether to upgrade. Just ask yourself if it's necessary.

"As long as you're able to run the apps that you want at a speed you're comfortable with, that's all that really matters," Ramirez says.

Mike Cetera is the mobile finance editor for Bankrate.com, a personal finance website that provides news and advice to help consumers make informed money decisions.

Originally published