This was not my point. The point was when I buy a phone on Ebay which belonged to a drug dealer for example before and he used it in combination with an unregistered/false registered SIM card as it was possible with Lyca prepaid SIM cards some time ago, and maybe still is possible. They can track his IP but won’t be able to find out who the owner was because the SIM card is not properly registered to anyone or to an inexistent person. They also see the IMSI which is associated with the SIM card and the IMEI which is basically a unique device number. So, now when I bought the phone on Ebay, I insert my SIM and use it. The police will now see that the device with IMEI xyz is being used with a new SIM so they’re going to check me out. Yes, I can explain that I’ve bought the phone on Ebay, but still the visit might be inconvenient. Same story could also happen if I sell the phone on Ebay and then a drug dealer buys it.
I think all Apple does is MAC randomisation which does help against the regular tracking on Wi-Fi hotspots etc. but they can’t randomise IMEI numbers to my knowledge, but I’m a noob so I don’t really know.
3 years, that’s pretty much the typical lifecycle of my phones.
Yes, if you’re going to keep your iPhones that long, it might really be worth it. In fact, I like Apple more than Android phones (because Google is such a despicable company and I try to avoid them where costs are not too high ;)) and iPhones just work without any issues, but my phones usually don’t last 8 years so I decided it’s not worth to pay the price for me. I’m still using a Macbook Pro though as my standard device at home which usually lasts around 7 years, so there I feel more comfortable to pay the premium.