The Apple iPhone 4S may no longer be the king of smartphones. (Photo : Apple)
The iPhone 5 has finally been unleashed and it turned out to be what everyone dreamed of and expected. But after all the dust has settled, the iPhone 5 is truly not Apple's best smartphone deal on the market for the uninitiated. That distinction belongs to the iPhone 4; a device that is now two generations old. The question that will immediately arise is why? The answer to that inquiry comes down to one word: Economics. The key word is uninitiated.
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For a new iPhone 5, Apple allows you three options with a contract. A 16 GB version for $199, a 32 GB version fro $299 and $399 for 64 GB. For the phone with no contract, customers must turn over $649.00.
For 8 GB version of the iPhone 4 with contract, users will have to pay $0. Yes, that means that for a contract you get Apple's perfectly useful iPhone 4 for no price at all.
Invariably, a few points will be brought up by iPhone 5 defenders: LTE, a bigger screen, and a better camera among others. LTE is the major seller here, but the other two are moot at best. Yes, the iPhone 5 has a superior camera to that of the iPhone 4. The 4's camera shoots 5 megapixels and 720 video while the 5 shoots 1080p HD video and 8 megapixels. And this is certainly a huge sell, but is it enough to dish out $200 extra for? And finally comes the question of the bigger screen; a full half an inch more of screen for watching movies and the like. But again, is it really worth dishing out an extra $200 for a screen. In that case, an argument could be made for the Samsung Galaxy S3 which is now selling at Verizon for $139.99 or at Sprint for $99.99 and guess what? It has a 4.7 inch screen. So the question beckons? Is it worth spending an extra $200 for a smartphone just for a larger screen when there are cheaper options on the market with a bigger screen size to begin with? From an economic standpoint, it makes no sense.
Then comes the question of the Siri and the iPhone 4S. Why not consider them? The 4S has the same screen size and camera as the iPhone 4 and its main differentiator is Siri. With Siri people can now talk to their phone and receive responses. On the 4S, the feature is rather limited and after the initial shock and surprise of getting responses from your phone, the effect wears off and becomes tedious or useless. And the 4S is $99.99 for the 16 GB version. So is a phone that is virtually identical to its past generation really worth an extra $100?
And let us add the fact that the iPhone 4 will be compatible with the new iOS 6, which brings it up to date with the iPhone 4s and 5 in terms up interface. Yes, the iPhone 5 will be faster, but the iPhone 4 was not all that slow.
Ultimately this will come down to preference, but an uninitiated iPhone customer should really look through their options before investing in their first Apple smartphone. The iPhone 5 has all the hype and deservedly so, but it is not a world apart from the phone Apple unveiled two years ago. And nothing compares to a price point of $0 with a contract when trying to convert to the Apple line of smartphones.