Apple has officially taken the wraps off of the next big firmware update for your iPhone: iOS 15. Announced during WWDC 2021, the up and coming release brings loads of new software features like redesigned notifications, Focus mode, ID cards, SharePlay for FaceTime along with Spatial Audio, and Live Text for images. You’ll also find improvements to apps like Messages, Maps, Safari and Health.
But that’s not even the half of it. The update will allow you to do even more with your iPhone, so if you’re looking for the entire list of new iOS 15 features, you can check them out on Apple’s website here. It’s a pretty robust list, so make sure you set aside some time to browse it over.
When will iOS 15 be released?
It practically goes without saying, but iOS 15 is the best version of Apple’s mobile software to date, and something you’re definitely going to want to get on your iPhone as soon as possible. Developers were able to get their first taste of iOS 15 beta in June 2021, almost immediately proceeding WWDC.
So when is iOS 15 going to be released for the general public? Although it’s possible for anyone to try out the public iOS 15 pre-release beta for themselves, the official release date is still up in the air. At this time, all we know is iOS 15 will be arriving for compatible iPhones later this year, so we can most likely expect it to arrive fall 2021.
Going by Apple’s previous iOS release schedule, we can most likely expect iOS 15 to debut on their latest iPhone models for the year. That means iOS 15 will arrive when the iPhone 13 series is released, with a software update being pushed out around that same time.
Which iPhones are getting iOS 15?
If you have a working iPhone, there’s a good chance it’s probably getting iOS 15. That’s because Apple says they’ll be pushing the update to iPhones dating all the way back to 2015. Here’s the full list of iPhones that will be receiving the iOS 15, and the best part? They’re all right here on Swappa.
iPhones with iOS 15:
- iPhone 12 Pro Max ($935+)
- iPhone 12 Pro ($850+)
- iPhone 12 ($650+)
- iPhone 12 Mini ($569+)
- iPhone SE 2020 ($220+)
- iPhone 11 Pro Max ($570+)
- iPhone 11 Pro ($515+)
- iPhone 11 ($415+)
- iPhone XS Max ($369+)
- iPhone XS ($295+)
- iPhone XR ($280+)
- iPhone X ($255+)
- iPhone 8 Plus ($200+)
- iPhone 8 ($164+)
- iPhone 7 Plus ($159+)
- iPhone 7 ($95+)
- iPhone SE 2016 ($50+)
- iPhone 6S Plus ($105+)
- iPhone 6S ($75+)
It’s worth noting that although all iPhones dating back to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will technically be receiving iOS 15, not all iOS 15 features will be available for every iPhone model. A handful of specific iOS 15 features will be missing on older iPhones that lack the necessary hardware.
For instance, some iOS 15 features are only available on iPhones equipped with the A12 Bionic and later (iPhone XR, XS, XS Max), while some are only on the iPhone 8 and later, and others on the iPhone 7 and later. That means older devices like the iPhone 6S won’t be compatible with features like Portrait mode-esque blurred backgrounds during FaceTime calls and more.
What’s the cheapest iPhone with iOS 15?
Unsurprisingly, the cheapest iPhone you can get with iOS 15 is also the oldest: the iPhone 6S. With an average price of $108 (64GB), it truly is remarkable how Apple has managed to shoehorn their latest firmware into a phone that will soon be over 6 years old.
Aside from an obvious lack of modern hardware features, Apple also had to cut some corners from iOS 15. For instance, the iPhone 6S doesn’t support iOS 15’s spatial audio with dynamic head tracking (available on the iPhone 7 and above), Walking Steadiness (available on the iPhone 8 and above), and of course, improvements to 5G connectivity (available on iPhone 12 and above).
It’s certainly not the best iPhone around, but iOS 15 could help breathe new life into the very affordable iPhone 6S. If you’re looking for something a little more capable, we’d also suggest going with the iPhone 8 which features a similar design but adds an A12 Bionic chip, water resistance, wireless charging, and stereo speakers.
You can also see how the iPhone 6S compares to every other iPhone out there in our iPhone 6S Upgrade Guide to better weigh the value vs hardware features.
The best cheap iPhone with iOS 15: iPhone XS
If you’re looking to get the best iOS 15 experience for the least amount of money, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are your best bet. Both of these devices offer premium hardware and are the oldest models that that support a wide range of iOS 15 features (like car keys and home keys).
With Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, 4GB of RAM, and long battery life — the iPhone XS and XS Max are the best iPhones with iOS 15 you can get for the money. The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice any major iOS 15 features, and either phone will provide you with a great experience for years to come.
On Swappa, the average price for the iPhone XS is $368 (64GB), while the iPhone XS Max is $455 (64GB). You can see for yourself using our handy widget below, or check out the Swappa’s official iPhone XS Buyer’s Guide for hardware specs, comparisons, and more.
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- Swappa moderators reviews listings to ensure all devices meet our strict listing requirements.
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- Swappa uses PayPal because of their extensive buyer protections.
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