The Reason not to buy Apple iphone5
We’re just hours away from what will certainly be one of the most massive hypefests of the year: the introduction of Apple‘s newest iPhone-iphone5. Even without the benefit of Steve Jobs to add that extra touch of magic reality distortion to the proceedings in San Francisco, the entire tech world will see a plunge in productivity for several hours starting at 10 a.m. Pacific while they watch and chew over the launch of what looks to be called the iPhone 5.
No doubt Apple will sell a ton of the new iPhones. Indeed, though I find this hard to believe, iPhone sales could even add a big boost to this year’s Gross Domestic Product. Diehard Apple fans, and there are millions upon millions of them, won’t be able to resist lining up at Apple stores the night before they become available to be among the first to buy the latest and greatest iPhone
But you shouldn’t be one of them. Here’s why I think most of you–not all, but most–would be better off not buying the new iPhone:
Five reasons you Shouldnt Buy New Apple iPhone5
* It probably won’t be revolutionary. I know–blasphemy! The many leaks of what the new one will look like and the way it will work indicate the new iPhone will, of course, be thinner and faster and sport a bigger screen. So what else is new?
And think about the last time. The iPhone 4S had Siri, the voice assistant that was supposed to revolutionize the way we interact with devices and, oh, by the way, kill Google search. It did neither (though ask me again in a few years, as Siri no doubt steadily improves).
Anyway, let’s face it, smartphones in their current incarnation may not get much better fundamentally. As Steve Shankland at CNET recently pointed out, we’re in an era of incremental refinement more than revolutionary change. At some point, Apple may well come up with yet another product that actually resets the standard for computing and communication devices. But by all reports, the new iPhone isn’t that product. Simply put, you don’t need to own this phone.
* There’s always a risk that something won’t work quite right on the new model, leaving you with buyer’s remorse. Apple’s better than most at avoiding this sort of thing. But remember that faulty antenna in the iPhone 4 two years ago?
* The older iPhones are still great. Even though some reviewers criticized Apple for touting a machine that didn’t provide many advances, such as a larger screen, the iPhone 4S last year still was widely seen as the best iPhone yet, and still the best overall on the market.
* The older iPhones are also cheap–or free! For one thing, used iPhones are flooding the market as people get ready to buy the new one. Last month, Sprint Nextel and even Apple itself discounted the iPhone 4S, and it doesn’t stretch the imagination to think that when the new model appears, prices for older iPhones will fall across the board. When the iPhone 4S came out, the iPhone 4′s price fell to just $100 and the 3G model was (and still is) free with at AT&T contract. If the pattern holds, doesn’t a free iPhone 4 sound pretty sweet?
* If you go with an older model, you can also save bigtime on service plan costs. If you go with a prepaid carrier such as Virgin Mobile or Cricket, you have to pay more for the phone, but over a couple of years, their lower-cost data plans save hundreds of dollars. It’s not clear whether similar deals will be offered with the new iPhone, but it appears unlikely at the outset–so your only way to get those savings is to go with an older model.
* There are–yes–other smartphones out there. Android phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S III, and even some Windows 8 phones such as Nokia’s Lumia 920, get rave reviews.
I’ll grant that iPhones, including most likely the new one, may still have an edge on rivals in most cases. Physical design is often misunderstood to be Apple’s edge, but it’s actually the way Apple creates a compelling package of hardware and software. But I would contend that it’s not enough of an edge anymore to make it the best choice for everyone.
All that said, I understand that millions of people will ignore this advice. And there are good reasons to do that. One in particular: faster data connections. It looks pretty certain the new iPhone will use LTE, the next standard for data, providing a pretty big leap in connection speed. That could be really important, at least for when you don’t have WiFi access.
Then again, many millions of iPhone users have been satisfied with 3G. Those that weren’t have had many other choices of LTE phones, too. What’s more, you’re going to pay dearly for that extra speed. If carriers view LTE as a cash cow, you can be pretty sure you’re not getting the most value out of the deal. Then there’s the likelihood that LTE could drain the battery faster.
Mainly, buying the new model is worthwhile under the following conditions: if you don’t have a relatively recent smartphone now (and want one; only about half of American adults have smartphones already), or if you have a really old one that won’t upgrade to a new enough operating system that allows you to use popular apps–and if you tend not to upgrade your phone very often anyway. That’s a lot of ifs, but in that case, you might as well spring for a machine that will no doubt keep you happy for several more years.