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Is the iPhone the best value smartphone?
I think it's safe to say iPhones hold their value. A recent visit to Gazelle (opens in new tab) finds iPhones going back to the iPhone 6s still for sale (granted why would you buy an $84 6S when you can get an iPhone 13 mini for $589?).
Even with all this, Apple's iPhone isn't always winning. In late, 2020, Apple was briefly Number 1 with roughly 20% market share, but then it dipped through the summer of 2021 as customers waited for the iPhone 13.
My point is, though, that people will always come back to Apple and its high-value iPhone and not just for the iconography or the ghost of Steve Jobs. They pay more because, in the end, they get more... More here.
The article above ticks most of the boxes for why the iPhone is ultimately one of the best value smartphones, and likely the very best if you have the money to buy it. My daughter uses an older iPhone 7 and it's working fine, and to date all of our family iPhones have been used for at least 5 years.