Apple Fans Will Keep Dreaming of iPhone 5

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-10-18 Print this article Print

5. The iPhone 4S is ahead, but for how long?

As mentioned, the iPhone 4S is such a fine smartphone that when compared with all the other devices on store shelves today, it's still quite far ahead of the competition. But for how long? Both Motorola and Samsung have their sights set on the iPhone 4S and will offer products in the coming weeks and months that, depending on whom one asks, at least come close to matching Apple's latest smartphone. The iPhone 5, however, was expected to be groundbreaking and a guaranteed step up over anything consumers have seen yet. It's that prospect for greatness that makes customers still think about Apple's yet-to-be-announced smartphone.

6. 4G, anyone?

When Apple showed off the iPhone 4S, it spent considerable time talking about the iPhone 4S' new "wireless system." The company said that the device would give users 14.4M bps download speeds over 3G, helping it to match the 4G speeds its competitors offer. However, only AT&T customers will be able to see that gain in speed; all others are left with 3G speeds. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, was expected to come with 4G connectivity, which means any customer on any network would be able to enjoy those faster speeds. The iPhone 4S' lack of 4G is a problem.

7. A new step in design

Apple has long been the leader in design. And when the company unveiled the iPhone 4 last year, it made that abundantly clear. But this year, with the launch of the iPhone 4S, Apple didn't innovate on design. Instead, it brought the same look as the iPhone 4 with a few internal improvements. It was a disappointment for some customers, especially those who were hoping for all the design improvements that were rumored to be coming to the iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S design, while still quite nice, is making some folks wonder what the iPhone 5 will look like.

8. An even greater step up in mobility

Although it didn't get too much attention, a rumor prior to the announcement of the iPhone 4S suggested Apple was planning to make the iPhone 5 a thinner, wider option in order to accommodate the aforementioned larger display, but also make the handset more mobile. It was something that many folks who heard the rumor celebrated, and it's something that those same people are waiting for from Apple.

9. iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 pricing

Apple's decision to start selling the iPhone 4S for $199 and up is fine. However, the company's decision to price the iPhone 4 at $99 and make the iPhone 3GS a free offer might make at least some customers think twice about the iPhone 4S. After all, spending at least $200 this year and then another $200 next year when the iPhone 5 is expected to launch doesn't sound all that appealing. But only spending $99 or nothing this year to wait until the iPhone 5 launches isn't such a bad financial proposition. Sure, switching devices might push the price of the iPhone 5 up a bit, but when it's all said and done, Apple's reduced pricing on the older iPhones makes it easier for those who want the iPhone 5 to wait a bit longer.

10. A two-year carryover

As mentioned, it might not be long before the iPhone 4S is trumped by competing devices from Android vendors. Furthermore, it might not take long for the device to be bested by the iPhone 5. The problem is, the iPhone 4S does not provide a two-year carryover for customers. Instead, it's a stopgap for Apple until it can get its next major refresh on store shelves. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, will give customers two good years of market leadership in terms of functionality. The iPhone 4S is fine, but if the rumors about the follow-on device are to be one's guide, it's no iPhone 5.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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