Which is better for long-term use?

When purchasing through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • Comparing iPhone and Android phones directly is a tricky task, as they can all be compared now.
  • The real difference now is how well supported you are after you purchase your phone.
  • It is also important how long the phone maker keeps their phones backed by security updates.

Not so long ago, the debate over iPhone and Android phones was valid. There was a noticeable difference in performance, design and camera quality. And in the early days of smartphones, iPhones usually came out on top (and generally still do).

However, today this debate is old and tired and impossible to settle because both iPhone and Android phones offer relatively excellent performance, designs, features and camera quality, which is almost always down to personal preference.

Now, the discussion is moving beyond the phones themselves and into something more substantive and intangible: Once you have an iPhone or Android phone, How easy is it to fix, and how long does it take to update and protect its software from security threats?

True, these are not the most attractive things in your phone, because they are not features or functions that you use every day, such as cameras or playing games on powerful processors. However, these are now the objective points of comparison that can distinguish iPhone and Android phones.

iPhone vs Android: How easy is it to fix phones?

Technician repairs iPhone.

an Apple

In the US, Apple has the most comprehensive support system if you need to have your phone repaired.

Apple, Samsung, Google, and Motorola all have authorized service providers and email options, but none have as physical a presence as Apple with its 272 stores across the country, some of which can service your iPhone in-store, or At least facilitate the repair process by mail.

Physical presence like that of Apple is not absolutely necessary, as Android users can easily find authorized service providers. However, Apple Stores is a convenient additional option for iPhone owners.

To be clear, iPhone repairs tend to be expensive, so this is something to consider.

OnePlus, specifically, appears to have a lackluster support system with the option to send mail only in the US. I’ve been able to find local repair shops that service OnePlus phones, but they don’t seem to be licensed. If your phone is still under warranty, I recommend that you follow the official authorized path to ensure that the repair does not affect the warranty.


Apple, Samsung, Google, Motorola, and OnePlus all have one-year standard warranties. They all have their own extended warranties and protection plans.

It is impossible to determine which is better than the other, since there are many eigenvectors. Instead, the most important thing is that they all have services that provide extended protection.

iPhone vs Android: How long can you use your phone before it becomes unsupported and insecure?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus states that it has been updated to the latest security patch.

Antonio Villas Boa / Insider

When it comes to the age of the phone, Apple has always been the clear winner.

And as a lifetime pass, I’m talking about software and security updates. Admittedly, security updates aren’t exciting, but they are very important, and you should at least have a basic idea of ​​how long your phone gets security updates in the back of your mind.

Once the company stops supporting your phone model with software or security updates, it’s no longer a good idea to continue using it, even if it’s still working and running your apps. That’s because the phone is no longer protected from the latest vulnerabilities, security flaws, and



It’s true that many will buy a new phone long before their phones are no longer supported. However, it does give people the option to keep their phones on for longer periods, potentially saving money. With short support windows, companies basically force you to upgrade to newer models when you don’t necessarily want or feel you need to.

Apple iPhone devices

Apple has a proven history of keeping older iPhone models safe against common security threats.

At the time of writing, the oldest iPhone supported by Apple with the latest iOS updates is the iPhone 6S released in September 2015, which was six and a half years ago. This means that iPhone 6S owners can use their phones knowing that they are protected from the latest security threats.

To be clear, iPhone 6S owners don’t have all the newer features that newer iPhones support. And while there’s no iPhone 6S to test at the moment, I’m sure many will find it unbearably slow compared to the latest iPhones, not to mention that the cameras are much better on current iPhones too.

However, if iPhone 6S owners are happy with their phones, they don’t need to spend money to buy a new phone right now (but maybe soon), which is great.

Android phones

Android manufacturers have a relatively poor history of keeping their phones backed by software and security updates.

However, Samsung has made great strides here. The company recently announced that it will provide five years of security updates for its latest phones. It also announced that some older phones will get four years of security updates.

Not only does Google have historically great support windows for its phones, but they’re also getting better: The latest Pixel 6 series gets five years of security updates. Older phones, from the Pixel 5a to the Pixel 3a, only get three years of security updates.

OnePlus has a relatively trivial three-year support window for its phones and Motorola Two years The support window is simply sad and unfortunate.

bottom line

Apple users have a clear advantage over Android phones due to the extension of the company’s Apple Store stores as an additional and convenient option that is not only available to Android users, but it is also easy to repair your Android phone.

There is more contrast between iPhone and Android phones when you take security updates into account. Apple keeps more generations of iPhones backed by security updates than any Android phone maker we know.

However, this will not matter to you if you buy a new phone every two or three years. This mostly benefits those who want to stay on their phone for as long as possible, regardless of humiliating performance or stagnant camera quality.