The iPhone 5 has been officially announced and pre-sales sold out on Apple’s site in one hour. Guess what? If you have an iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 isn’t necessarily worth the upgrade. Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 6, will be able to run on your device, so you’ll get all of the same great enhancements, from the smarter Siri to Facebook integration. Here are 5 other reasons why it may be better to hold on to your current iPhone–and you money–just a little longer.
Apple put a faster processor in the iPhone 5 with its slimmer and lighter design. Well, of course its faster, slimmer and lighter. Every new model since the iPhone’s initial debut has been faster, slimmer and lighter. Despite the new svelte profile, it’s not as if people have been complaining about the bulk or weight of the iPhone 4 (now free) or iPhone 4s (now $99).
The iPhone 5 will take beautiful pictures…just like the iPhone 4S. Both have an 8-megapixel camera with all the same bells and whistles. The main difference is that the new iPhone 5 has a sapphire crystal lens, which Apple says will help prevent scratches. Apple says the camera is 40 percent faster, but for many folks the 4S is fast enough.
The biggest improvement is to the software, which will be available to both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S with iOS 6. So you’ll be able to share those Photo Streams with your iPhone 5-toting friends. Want panoramic pictures? That’s part of iOS 6, too.
Is there anything less attractive than viewing an older iPhone application in a letterboxed view on the iPhone 5’s new 4-inch screen? Apple is requiring app developers to redesign their applications for this new larger screen. Therefore, your favorite iPhone app may operate in letterbox-mode indefinitely, not just wasting the extra space, but looking worse than it would on the previous display.
The iPhone 5 has a new connection port called Lightning, and it’s not compatible with any existing hardware. Sure, you can buy a huge adapter for $29 (!), but this adapter won’t help connect all those accessories with built-in iPhone docks. Plus, the adapter is huge, and will no doubt be an eyesore against the new iPhone 5’s beautiful aesthetic.
And if you just bought a new car with a built-in 30-pin iPhone connector, the large white adapter is certain to detract from the intended seamless iPhone integration.
Now let’s talk about the list of features not on the iPhone. The biggest omission is Near Field Communications (NFC), which would allow wallet-like features with a tap of the phone. NFC seemed like the perfect compliment to the new Passbook application, allowing coupons, airport check-ins, and loyalty cards to register with a quick tap. Instead, the iPhone 5 is stuck with barcodes, and the app will work exactly the same on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
The iPhone 5 is shiny and new, but it’s important not to get lost in the marketing hype. The bigger screen, 4G LTE speeds, and superslim design will be enough to win over lots of shoppers, but others may want to wait for something even better. After all, the iPhone 5S is only 12 months away.