Whether or not Apple’s next overhaul of the iPhone meets your needs, you should still wait until September to commit to a new phone here are three things to remember when iPhone shopping:

1) The next iPhone will always be better than the current one.

2) No matter the season, Apple will always try to sell you an iPhone.

3) The next iPhones usually come out in September, at which point prices on at least some current iPhones will drop.

In summary, do not buy an iPhone once June rolls around. Wait for the new one.

This year, there are plenty of reasons to wait. The iPhone 6s, while a very good phone, failed to address some of the biggest complaints we have about our smartphones—most notably battery life. In the meantime, Samsung released the Galaxy S7, the best phone hardware you can buy right now. It’s got the camera to beat and can survive a dunk in the pool.

The next iPhone, however, could return Apple to the best-smartphone throne. It will purportedly look a lot like the current iPhone and lose the headphone port. It’s also likely to be thinner and more water resistant, with substantial camera improvements.

There’s another big reason to hold out: You’ll likely keep your next phone for a while. As the introduction of must-have features slows and carriers move away from two-year upgrades, people are hanging onto their devices longer. Now 12% of iPhone owners have them for more than three years, up from 5% two years ago, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

So choose your timing carefully, hold out for features that matter most to you—and do what you can to keep your old phone running.

What to expect

Other than Apple’s top brass, no one knows for sure what the next iPhone will look like, but here some industry speculations:

Apple is expected to break with the tick-tock tradition of refreshing the phone’s design. The next incarnation won’t be a radical departure from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.

Improved water resistance and a thinner design mean we’ll have to give up a port we’ve lived with since we popped tapes into Walkmans—the 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, you’ll use a wireless headset or Apple earbuds that plug into the Lightning charging port.

While it may be annoying to have to charge and occasionally deal with pairing issues, Bluetooth headphones don’t get tangled. For all the people who have nice old headphones they want to plug into their new iPhone, Apple would probably sell a dongle of some sort. Bad news for you; great news for the dongle business.

This year’s larger Plus-model 5.5-inch iPhone is expected to have twin camera lenses to improve overall photo quality and add depth-of-field effects. The regular 4.7-inch iPhone is expected to get a single camera with a better sensor. The software that will ship on the next iPhone, iOS 10, includes enhanced photo organization.

The new iPhones are expected to have more storage for those photos. Instead of 16GB as a starting point for the entry-level iPhone, the new starting point will be 32GB.

Battery life will likely improve. Apple’s recent iPhone SE—which is safe to buy right now if you are looking for a smaller phone—lasts at least two hours longer than the iPhone 6s.

How to Withstand the Wait

If you’re itching to buy a new phone, it’s probably because your current phone is on its last legs. According to Gallup, 47% of Americans upgrade only when their phone stops working or becomes obsolete. Here are some tips for extending the life of your current iPhone:

To fix a cracked screen, shop around for the lowest screen-replacement price. Apple will fix a cracked iPhone 6 screen for $130. iCracked will do it for around $140. On Gazelle, an iPhone reseller, the iPhone 6 with a broken screen fetched about $100 less. If you trade in or sell the phone later, you’ll get some of that money back.

Buy a back-up battery. Fast battery drain is a sign of an aging iPhone. You can try tricks like lowering screen brightness and enabling Low Power Mode to eke out more time, or pay Apple $80 to replace the battery. If you don’t want to spend that much, go for a cheap battery case like the $40 Anker Ultra Slim Battery; for an iPhone 5 or 5s, get the $34 Lenmar case.

Clear some space. Backing up old photos and videos to the cloud will help keep your overstuffed phone from running like your grandpa’s old Pontiac. Google Photos lets you upload files for free. Also, go into Settings, select Storage and then Manage Storage to spot the most bloated apps. If web-browsing is slow, clear the cache by selecting Settings, Safari and then Clear History and Website Data.

You may decide to wait until 2017, when the 10th-anniversary iPhone is slated for a major design overhaul. Apple design chief Jony Ive is said to be aiming for it to look like a single piece of glass, no home button at all. Odds are, the next iPhone will always be better than the previous one.

Edited to fit this format from an article by Joanna Stern for wsj.com

photo courtesy of thetipsguru.com

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