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Do I need an iPhone 5 if I have an iPhone 4S? September 12, 2012

Posted by ronannarbor in Apple, Gizmos.
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The answer is – no. Will you want one when you get your hands on one, yes. Is the LTE really that much faster? Well, depending on where you live.

Let’s start with the LTE question: If you have LTE in your neighborhood, its faster. I used LTE on my iPad in Orlando and it was faster than any of the local wireless systems via WiFi. Here in Michigan there IS NO LTE for ATT, and there won’t be for some time — and while there is LTE “sometime coming soon” according to ATT, it will be in Detroit and Grand Rapids only.  So, depending on your wireless service provider and where you live, it may or may not be helpful to you — at least for another year or so.

The form factor is virtually identical to the iPhone 4S — a bit taller, so it has a true 4″ screen for wide-movie viewing (similar to the dimensions on your HD tv, only way way way smaller). If watching movies on your 4″ screen sounds like a must have, then go for it.

The phone does have a new charging cord. I don’t know about you, but I have a cord at home, one in my bag, one at work, and one in my car for charging. That means, with the one new cord included, I would need to buy 3 adapters (29.00 each!) to continue to use my system the way that I have been for years. So that means an additional 90.00. Third party accessories (stereos with built-in 30-pin connectors) will instantly become incompatible. Think about that if you use things like alarm clocks with built in docks.

Also — ATT, for the first time ever, is NOT allowing a lower-priced iPhone for those with current contracts. That means if you have an iPhone 4S with ATT, you will be shelling out the full price for the phone AND extending your contract by two years.

Here’s something that Apple has been VERY quiet about — on September 19th, they are releasing the latest OS software for the iPhone — that will be available to everyone with an iPhone 4 and higher…that means you will get the exact same features as the iPhone 5 for FREE.

How about the speed?…Well, changing from a dual A5 to an A6 chip will no doubt increase your speed a tiny bit. I have not handled the iPhone 5, but all accounts so far of those who have indicate that the increase in speed is not noticeable — until you have been using the unit for about a half hour, at which point you start to see that things open a bit more quickly. But ask yourself: is your current iPhone 4S too slow?…Have you ever thought to yourself, wow, this is slow?  I have never noticed an increase in speed of processing from the iPhone 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 4S…I’m pretty sure that the normal schmoe will not notice any speed increase to the 5…

Finally — there is the form factor: yes, it looks great. Yes, Apple wants to always have the biggest and most beautiful. Yes, it looks gorgeous. But the reality is that only you and you alone would be aware that you have the newer version of the phone…it looks that similar.

So — as usual, my advice? If you want the latest and greatest, by all means update. If you already have the iPhone 4S, don’t waste the money on this current update — download the new iOS software on 9/19 for free and you will be good to go. If you have an iPhone 4 or older, absolutely update — you missed the major update from the 4 to the 4S, so now is the time to upgrade for sure….but if you have the 4S, not so much.

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