Apple’s solid track-record with iOS updates means more and more people are comfortable buying and using older refurbished models like the iPhone X in 2021…

Do you need to buy a new iPhone? Like, really? If you don’t want 5G – or want to save some cash – going with an older model makes a lot of sense.

Especially during times like these.

2020 was a pretty crazy year and, while progress is being made in the fight against COVID, plenty of people are still very anxious about their prospects in 2021.

Businesses have been smashed by the pandemic, tens of thousands of jobs have been lost, and this spiral of uncertainty shows no signs of abating any time soon.

For this reason, more and more people are turning to older iPhone models – refurbished ones – for the upgrades, rather than buying a shiny new iPhone 12.

I spoke with refurbished tech retailer Back Market and, out of all the phones they sell, currently, the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus are the most popular.

And the reason? Price mostly.

The iPhone X is now a good few years old, so it can be picked up for a relatively small amount of money – less than $300 in some cases.

And the iPhone 8 Plus is even cheaper.

Is COVID driving more and more people towards cheaper, refurbished tech? Perhaps.

But according to data from IDC, the refurbished phone market has been experiencing a massive growth phase for a good long while now.

“Despite the recent declines in the new smartphone market as well as the forecast minimal growth, we expect that in the next few years, the used market for smartphones will show no signs of slowing down across all parts of the globe,” says Anthony Scarsella, research manager for IDC’s Mobile Phones program.

“Refurbished and used devices continue to provide cost-effective alternatives to both consumers and businesses that are looking to save money when purchasing a smartphone. Moreover, the ability for vendors to push more affordable refurbished devices in markets in which they normally would not have a presence is helping these players grow their brand as well as their ecosystem of apps, services, and accessories.”

And when you factor in Apple’s market-leading product support, whereby you can buy an iPhone now, new or refurbished, and be confident that it will not only work for years to come but that it will also get iOS updates as soon as they’re available.

And it is this reason, according to Back Market, why most consumers go for Apple’s iPhone over similarly priced and similarly specced Android phones from brands like Samsung and Google.

iPhone users KNOW that they’re going to be supported with software updates for years to come. The best you’ll get with an Android phone is three years. And that’s if you go with a Pixel phone from Google or one of Samsung’s more recent flagships like the Galaxy S21.