Apple iPad 2

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Apple iPad 2

For those looking to get in on the iOS craze, buying an iPhone 4S might be just fine. However, when consumers already own a smartphone or like the handset they have, why buy the iPhone 4S when the iPad 2 is available? The tablet offers far more productivity and comes in at a $499 price tag that many folks can live with. Its a fine alternative to the iPhone 4S.

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The majority of consumers today arent trying to buy iPhones; theyre picking up Android-based smartphones. When they do so, they might just find something to like with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. That handset is one of the best Android-based smartphones available right now.

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The Long-Rumored Google Tablet

OK, so it might not even be available, but all the latest rumors suggest Google will be launching its own tablet in the coming months. The timing seems perfect. Android needs a kick start in the tablet space, and what better way for Google to achieve that goal than by introducing an iPad competitor? For consumers with finite cash, waiting on the Google tablet is a solid idea.

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LG Spectrum

Like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the LG Spectrum is a flagship smartphone. More simply, the devices are designed to compete against Apples iPhone 4S. And the Spectrum, like the Galaxy Nexus, does an exceedingly good job at that. The Spectrum comes with a display that features more pixels per inch than the iPhone 4S, and runs Android—the chosen mobile OS today. Plus, it only retails for $199. Thats a great deal for a fine smartphone.

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Ultrabooks are expected to make a splash in the notebook market this year. And although they might not seem like direct iPhone competitors—after all, ones a smartphone and the other is a notebook—they both appeal to customers hoping to be productive while on-the-go. Consider buying an ultrabook this year before jumping for an iPhone 4S.

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HTC Rezound

The HTC Rezound doesnt always get the attention it deserves, but its arguably the best smartphone Verizon Wireless carries. The device has a 4.3-inch HD display, runs Android and supports 4G LTE. Its that last feature that might make it just slightly better than the iPhone 4S.

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Nokia Lumia 900

For those looking to break away from iOS or Android, opting for the Nokia Lumia 900 could be a good idea. The device is widely expected to be the best Windows Phone 7-based smartphone when it launches in the United States, and could future-proof owners for years to come. Add that to the fact that Windows Phone 7 has been recently touted for being an outstanding mobile operating system, and picking up the Lumia 900 instead of an alternative might not be such a bad idea.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

As noted, there are some folks that might want to buy a tablet rather than the iPhone 4S. They reason that tablets offer more productivity options than Apples smartphone. For those people, choosing the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is a good idea. The device not only works as a tablet, but when connected to a keyboard, it can turn into a small notebook. The product delivers the best of both worlds.

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Pick a BlackBerry

Research In Motion is doing something that Apple just isnt: trying to appeal to enterprise users and consumers with physical keyboards and admittedly outdated software. Although it might sound odd to include such a device as an iPhone 4S alternative, its important to point out that many people like the idea of using BlackBerrys. And for those folks, a device such as the BlackBerry Bold is an ideal alternative to the iPhone 4S.

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Apple iPhone 5

Apple hasnt even acknowledged that it exists, but its looking increasingly likely that the company will be launching the iPhone 5 in the coming months. When it does, it will probably be a far more appealing device than Apples iPhone 4S. So, why not wait for that smartphone to launch?

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