iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S: 10 Reasons the New Smartphone Wins Out

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple's iPhone 5 is launching on Sept. 21 with a host of improvements that aren't available on the company's iPhone 4S.

Apple's iPhone 5 is finally launching on Sept. 21. And when it does, expect consumers around the globe to rush to carrier and Apple stores and do their best to get their hands on what will undoubtedly be a short supply of iPhones. Once again, Apple has found a way to appeal to customers who want the latest and greatest features today's smartphones offer. And like always, its sales will reflect that.

But let's not forget that the iPhone 5 will be backed up by not one, but two other smartphones: the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. Apple has started offering the iPhone 4 for free, and the iPhone 4S will be sold for $99. The result? More options for customers.

However, the iPhone 4 is obsolete at this point, and likely won't sit atop too many customer wishlists. The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, however, will duel it out. And for today's users, whether they are consumers or IT professionals, trying to decide which smartphone should be purchased – and which should be ignored – might not be so easy.

So, to make it a bit easier, we're going to look at the 10 ways in which the iPhone 5 beats out its predecessor.

1. A better camera

Apple has offered up a far better camera in the iPhone 5 that comes with an 8-megapixel sensor, panoramic support, and an enhanced lens that'll do a better job of snapping photos in low-light areas. It's a nice improvement for those who have been snapping photos with the iPhone 4S camera for far too long.

2. 4G LTE

The mobile market has moved past 3G wireless service. Therefore, sticking with the 3G available in the iPhone 4S might not make much sense. Apple's iPhone 5 comes with full support for 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE), meaning surfing the Web on that device will offer up much faster speeds.

3. The long-awaited A6 processor

Apple's iPhone 4S got the "S" for delivering better performance than its predecessor, the iPhone 4. The iPhone 5, however, comes with a new chip, the A6, that'll offer twice the processing power found in the iPhone 4S. Plus, it has twice the graphics power of its predecessor. Translation: speed, speed, speed.

4. The 4-inch screen

Apple's 4-inch display is notably bigger than the 3.5-inch option available in the iPhone 4S. And although they both come with the same Retina display pixels per inch, the additional screen real estate offered by the iPhone 5 is worth getting for those who want to play games and access apps.

5. More storage

Although Apple's iPhone 4S used to come with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage, now that the iPhone 5 is around, customers will need to choose the 16GB option, only. Apple's iPhone 5 is the device that now comes with the most storage space. Keep that in mind before choosing one or the other.

6. More mobility

Apple made it clear in its presentation that the iPhone 5 was designed to be more mobile than the iPhone 4S. To achieve that goal, the company made the device substantially thinner and lighter than its predecessor. However, it is a bit taller, so keep that in mind.

7. Faster syncing

Apple has launched a new port in the iPhone 5, called Lightning. Although it hasn't made many folks who own dock accessories happy, Apple claims it'll deliver faster syncing speeds and deliver a host of other benefits customers will like. Plus, it's smaller, giving Apple more leeway with its product designs.

8. Improved calling

According to Apple, it has added several features into the iPhone 5 to improve the calling experience. The device has better noise-canceling features in the earpiece and has added a third microphone spot to improve with voice recognition. That should translate to better calling experiences on the iPhone.

9. A slightly nicer design

Although the design differences between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S aren't all that great, it's hard not to think the newer smartphone has the edge. As noted, it's thinner and lighter, and it has a nice, aluminum backing that adds a bit more class to the otherwise glass-based handset. The iPhone 5 wins on design.

10. A longer wait until obsolescence

Finally, we must consider the company that's building the iPhone. With every product Apple sells, it has an obsolescence plan in mind. Basically, the sooner it can force a device into obsolescence, the better. For consumers, that calculation, therefore, must be made. The iPhone 4S will be obsolete a year before the iPhone 5. Keep that in mind before buying your next device.

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Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...