Is The iPhone XS Discontinued? What You Need To Know
Apple’s iPhone XS – and iPhone XS Max – were released in 2018 and were fairly popular updates. But is the iPhone XS still available to buy?
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were the follow-ups to Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone XR. The XR was one of Apple’s most popular iPhones to date; it outsold both the iPhone X and the iPhone XS by a considerable margin, thanks to its lower price and colorful chassis.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, however, were still fairly popular with consumers in the US and UK. Apple sold quite a few of them. But is the iPhone XS still available to buy? Or did Apple discontinue the phone? As always, let’s dig into the finer details and find out what the deal is as of right now – circa late-2021.
Is The iPhone XS Discontinued?
If you’re looking to pick up the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max via Apple’s official channels in 2021, you’re bang out of luck. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were discontinued in 2019, following the launch and release of Apple’s iPhone 11 range.
Usually, Apple keeps one or two of its older iPhones around, offering them as a cheaper alternative to its newer models. You can still buy the iPhone 12, for instance, even though the iPhone 13 is now official. With the iPhone XS, this didn’t happen. And the reason is fairly simple.
With the iPhone 11, Apple released three models of its iPhone for the first time. You have the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 was priced pretty aggressively for an iPhone; it was marketed as an entry-level iPhone and was cheaper than the iPhone XS.
With the iPhone 11, Apple covered more ground than it did with its iPhone XS range. You had options for all types of users and all types of budget, from entry-level (the iPhone 11) to flagship options (the Pro and Pro Max). The iPhone XR was kept around in 2019, alongside the iPhone 11 range, as Apple’s new “cheaper” iPhone model.
This is why the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were discontinued by Apple so quickly after their release. Apple had all of its major bases covered with the iPhone 11 range and the cheaper and enduringly popular iPhone XR. But what about buying and iPhone XS in 2021? Is it worth it?
Is The iPhone XS Any Good In 2021?
Like ALL of Apple’s iPhones before the iPhone 12, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max do not feature 5G. This means if you go with one of these phones in 2021, you will not be able to access 5G connectivity.
This would be the main downside to buying an iPhone XS or XS Max in 2021. Beyond this, both the XS and the XS Max are still very solid performers, they both have ultra-sharp OLED displays, and decent camera modules. You also have support for up to 512GB of storage.
Powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were two of the most powerful phones on the market back in 2018. In 2021, the A12 can still hold its own against most Android phones, especially mid-range ones, but it is dwarfed by the performance of Apple’s newer A14 and A15 chipsets found inside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.
For the average user, however, the XS and XS Max have more than enough performance. I mean, think about it this way: most people only use about 10% of their iPhone’s processing potential. You don’t need laptop-grade performance on your phone. It’s nice, sure. But no one ever takes full advantage of it.
And because the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are now a couple of years old, you can pick up either phone for very little money (for an iPhone). How cheap are the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in 2021? You’ll pay around $400 for the XS and $450 for the XS Max – or, almost half the price of an iPhone 13.
That’s still not as cheap as an iPhone XR, you can get them for around $250 these days. But the XS and XS Max have far better specs, including a vastly superior camera module, a more advanced CPU, and OLED displays. The XR lacks all of these things, hence its “affordable” price status.
If you’re not fussed about having 5G and you want to pick up an older iPhone flagship for a lot less money than a non-flagship new iPhone, like the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, then, sure, the iPhone XS and/or iPhone XS Max are still extremely viable options in 2021. From the camera to the phones’ overall performance, everything is still very solid.
iPhone XS & iPhone XS Max
The iPhone XS / XS Max launched in 2018, they run OLED displays and have very decent cameras. 5G is missing but both phones are still well worth a buy in 2021 if you’re after a budget-iPhone…
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.