It looks like the iPhone 11 will be discontinued next September - here's why

iphone 11 pro
(Image credit: Future)

Another year, another new collection of iPhones. With the arrival of the iPhone 13 series, we not only got Apple's latest flagship collection but also saw other iPhones fall in price and, for some, become discontinued.

Apple finally brought the axe down to remove a collection of popular iPhones. This meant the end for the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max but more interestingly, the iPhone XR.

Launched all the way back in 2018, the iPhone XR became one of Apple's longest-standing devices by the time it was removed in Apple's September event this year, and its life and end could well reflect the future for Apple's popular iPhone 11.

Following in the iPhone XR's footsteps:

Apple is a company that is consistent through and through, and that consistency can be relied on to predict the lifespan of its smartphones. The iPhone 11 is currently following the exact same route as the iPhone XR did before it.

The iPhone 11 came out back in September 2019. Since then, Apple has released two new series of devices - the iPhone 12 and 13. After each of these newer launches, the iPhone 11 has had its price tag dropped significantly by Apple.

While it started at £729/ $699 back when it launched, it can now be bought for only £489 / $499. The same thing happened to the iPhone XR - two launches followed its own with two consecutive price cuts.

However, three years on from its release, instead of getting a further price cut the iPhone XR was discontinued. This makes perfect sense - who needs a three-year old phone when there are now two newer alternative generations to choose from?

As we stated above, the iPhone 11 came out in 2019 which would make Apple's September event next year its three year anniversary, and most logically the date it becomes discontinued.

iPhone 11 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Can the iPhone 11 buck the trend?

Of course, we are not fortune tellers able to predict the future. Apple could well surprise us and keep the iPhone 11 on past next September. However, that would make it Apple's longest standing device ever.

Of Apple's 33 devices to date, many of them have been in production for a full three year life span but never more than that. While the iPhone 11 is certainly a popular handset, it would be a very surprising turn of events for this device to make it to 4 years in production.

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Lifespan of iPhones
Header Cell - Column 0 iPhone 4iPhone 4SiPhone 5iPhone 5CiPhone 6iPhone SE (1st gen)iPhone 7iPhone 8iPhone XiPhone XRiPhone XSiPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max
Launch dateJune, 2010October 2011September 2012September 2013September 2014March 2016September 2016September 2017November 2017October 2018September 2018September 2019
Discontinued dateSeptember 2013September 2014September 2013September 2015September 2016September 2018September 2019April 2020September 2018September 2021September 2019October 2020
Length of time available3 years3 years1 year2 years2 years2 years3 years3 years1 year3 years1 year1 year

Should you buy the iPhone 11?

So the key question, should you buy the iPhone 11? In a nutshell, yes. It is Apple's second cheapest available smartphone, beaten only by the budget iPhone SE.

Realistically, now is actually the best time there's ever been to buy the device. The iPhone 11 has seen two major price cuts from Apple and retailers and carriers are offering really affordable plans on the device.

Black Friday next month will likely be the last time we'll see the iPhone 11 featured in a big saving event and while it will still be available after its discontinued, prices will likely shoot up to compete with demand and lack of stock.

While it isn't Apple's best device anymore with two newer generations available, it holds onto the key features. Its A13 Bionic processor is still more powerful than most chips you'll find in similar priced devices and other than the lack of 5G and Magsafe, it feels pretty similar overall to the iPhone 12 and even 13.

And what about the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max?

Apple has a tendency to get rid of its more powerful smartphones first. This means that we saw the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max get removed back in 2020 - just one year  after their release.

This is a trend we've seen elsewhere with the same thing happening with Apple's iPhone X series and its iPhone 12 series. In all of these instances, the more powerful devices are discontinued first.

This does mean it is now very tricky to get the iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max. Instead, you'd be better off going for the iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max where stock is yet to dwindle.

Alex Hughes

Alex is a journalist who has written extensively about all things broadband, SIMs and phone contracts, as well as scouring the internet to land you the best prices on the very latest in gadgets and tech. Whether that be with the latest iPhones and Android handsets, breaking down how broadband works or revealing the cheapest SIM plans, he's in the know, and will help you land a bargain.