Goodbye to Apple’s iPhone 6. So now what should I buy as a budget option?

iPhone XR comes in six new finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.
Apple’s A12 Bionic-powered iPhone XR comes in six finishes: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and (PRODUCT)RED.

Jefferson Graham for USA TODAY:

Apple’s iPhone 6 was insanely popular in 2014, when it was first released. But now, Apple is essentially killing it. In September, the company will release the iOS 13 operating system… But iOS13 will work only with phones going back to the iPhone 6S, which first began selling in 2015.

So what to do? Many iPhone owners, who now hold onto their devices for longer than they used to, have a choice of several other iPhone models [including] iPhone 7 (released in 2016), $449, or $569 for the Plus version [or] iPhone 8 (2017 release) $599 or $699. If not new, what about used? We checked in with other resellers, Gazelle, Amazon and eBay and found extremely affordable models of the iPhone 8 available. The most economical were via eBay, which had them priced between $328 and $428, while Amazon had them for between $369 and $400 and Gazelle from $400 to $450.

MacDailyNews Take: We don’t recommend iPhones with Home buttons anymore. X-class iPhones sans antiquated Home buttons simply work faster without the unending, flow-disrupting, innumerable Home button presses.

If you’re looking for a budget iPhone, you’re likely to be someone who holds onto their iPhone for two, three, or even more years. A $300 higher sticker price over a period of three years is 27-cents per day. Do yourself a favor and future proof your iPhone purchase. The Home button is dead and, as anyone with an X-class iOs device will tell you, it’s awful in comparison to gesture-based iOS.

If you need an iPhone now, your best choice is an iPhone XR (new or gently used). If you can wait two months, do so since the new iPhones will be released in September (maybe October) and the XR, XS and XS Max will then each step down in price.


  1. MDN, not everyone hates the home button as much as you. Up until fairly recently I was using an iPhone 5s. Now I am using a 7 – great phone at a fair price. I love tech, in general, and Apple tech, in particular. But I see no need to shell out more bucks than necessary. Every purchase involves an opportunity cost, after all.

    I will get to a XS or later in a few years.

    1. You don’t hate the Home button because you’ve never used an iPhone without one.

      Once you use an iPhone XR, X, XS, XS Max or a new iPad Pro for a day, you’ll hate the Home button, too.

  2. I’ve used both and while I like face ID, there are times when the home button was more useful. Especially for use with Apple pay. It only took a second with my thumb on the button to hold it near the receiver and it registered. Now I have to hold it close and awkwardly stare at the phone to get it read. Over time I might get more adept at it, but the button method was better.

  3. As much as I like my buttonless XS, I missed the thumb printer reader. My X and now XS has never read my face while wearing sunglasses, which is a good part of my day. When at work and the phone is laying flat on my desk or in a meeting, I could just slyly tap it while it remained flat to unlock without having to lift it up for a face scan or punch in the unlock code. Would love to see the finger scanner return under the glass as an option to the face scan in a future design.

    1. Try scanning your Face a second time in the settings with your sun glasses on. Your iPhone can have two different Face ID scans in its memory, one with glasses, one without, give it a go, you might be surprised!

  4. My dad (77 years old) switched from an iPhone SE to an iPhone XR. He did not understand how to navigate without the home button. So he returned the XR and got an iPhone 8 instead. Newer iPhones have become too complicated for older people. Apple doesn’t seem to care about them. (I‘ve got a dozen more examples)
    Sorry but I personally will wait with a new iPhone until Touch ID is back. Until then I’m hanging on to my iPhone 6 with Touch ID and my beloved headphone jack! Even if I cannot upgrade to iOS 13.

  5. My wife’s 6 and my 6 Plus are still working just fine and there is no way I’m replacing them. I’ve bought a ton of Apple products since 1998, but my goal in life is not to needlessly add to their coffers at my expense. If it was up to MDN we would replace everything we own every time a product was updated.

    1. Hi Penny, you and your husband Kash Kruncher can buy an iPhone 6S each on the cheap, you can upgrade to iOS 13, stay secure, not put your banking or other passwords at risk, get a faster iPhone each than what you already have and sell your old models or keep them as spares.

      No point being pound wise and penny foolish, hey Pen?

      So don’t be a cheapskate, you and your husband can easily get a newer iPhone and stay SECURE and SAFE.

  6. I went to the Apple store to repair my son’s iPhone yesterday, and tinkered with the 3 iPhone 11’s. I didn’t know how to close an app, as I am so used to the home button on my 6. Swipe bottom to up wasn’t very responsive and I hated it. Now I’m thinking that Apple will arbitrary send out a script anonomously to screw up my phone so I’ll be forced to upgrade.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.