5 reasons I'm passing on the iPhone 5

5 reasons I'm passing on the iPhone 5

Summary: New connector, longer screen, upgrade price, and no NFC, just to name a few. And with iOS 6, the iPhone 4S is like a new phone. So, who needs an iPhone 5?

TOPICS: 4G, Apple, HTC, iOS, iPhone, AT&T

My colleague Jason O'Grady has put together a great list of iPhone 5 reviews, now that the embargo has lifted. To summarize, all critics love the iPhone 5 and are calling it the best iPhone yet.

So, with the above, why am I passing on the iPhone 5? I'll explain below:

It's not that different from the iPhone 4S

Critics will argue that it's longer, lighter, faster, etc., but with iOS 6, the iPhone 4S is new and improved, too. My iPhone 4S now boots super fast, and browsing is substantially improved. Also, you get improved Siri, 3D Maps, spoken turn-by-turn directions, Facebook integration, and a whole host of other improvements. One feature of note is when you download apps that you already own, you're not prompted for your iTunes information. In addition, when an app is first downloaded and isn't yet launched, it has a nice "New" band around it. It's subtle touches like this that make the iPhone such a pleasure to use. Of course the 3-D maps are very cool, and I have been browsing different parts of my neighborhood just for fun.


I've been watching mobile payments for a while now and was really hoping that Apple would dip its toes into NFC with the iPhone 5. The company has stated that it believes its Passbook app is enough, but my guess is that it's going to take advantage of its acquisition of AuthenTec and bring some fingerprint technology into a future iOS version.

New connector: Lightning

The last thing we needed was a new connector. Apple says that it did it for a number of reasons, including being able to keep the iPhone 5 and other iPods thin and light, but I'm so tired of new connectors. You can buy an adapter to make your iPhone 5's "lightning" connector work with older accessories, but that will cost you about $30 or so.

Screen size

The new screen is 4 inches. The old iPhone screen is 3.5 inches, so not that big a jump. I have heard that you have more real estate and that videos rock, but otherwise the screen is just longer. I haven't had hands-on time, but it sounds like it's going to be difficult to type in landscape mode. Of course, portrait will remain the same, but will the iPhone 5 now be a bit awkward to hold?


I'm an iPhone 4S user, so the first thing I did was check to see if I'm eligible for the iPhone 5. If you'd like to check for yourself, Apple has a dedicated page for you, that features AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. In my case, I checked with AT&T, and while I can get one slightly subsidized, I still have to shell out $549 for the 32GB iPhone 5. Granted, if I want to wait until May 8, 2013, I can pick it up for $299.


For now I'm holding off. The 4S does a great job for me, and the high price I'd have to pay to upgrade right now has me seriously considering the Galaxy S3, or something coming from HTC--there's an HTC event scheduled for tomorrow, last I heard.

I should also mention that I'm apparently in the minority since iPhone 5 pre-orders topped 2 million in the first 24 hours.

Are you picking up an iPhone 5? Share your yes or no reasons below.

See also:

Topics: 4G, Apple, HTC, iOS, iPhone, AT&T

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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  • Do you really even have to upgrade?

    4.0 in is no bigger than 3.5 imo. You got your 4s last year. why not wait till iPhone 6 or get the magic that is Galaxy Note 2?
    • Where Is It?!!

      Where's the goddamn like button?!?!
      Fat Albert 1
      • So with you.

        I won't be upgrading either. But not for any of the reasons listed - nfc is a gimmick and if it's just payments you want you can add a nfc chip to your phone for a quid!

        With regard to rhe port change; this summises it; the fact that we are talking about the port at all shows how much of a minor upgrade this was - update and form factor, that's it. So the changed the port; be real it was time - absolutely nobody else has kept any connector on a mobile device for so long. We only have stability for mini usb because the EU enforced it. Why stick with an ancient port? It was time to change, and i. No way affects my choice at all - apple know most people wont buy a 30 quid accessory any more than they buy the 25 quid mini usb accessory, they spend a fiver on ebay.

        The real reason I won't get a 5 is that it just didn't wow me- bigger screen is nice, but they didn't supe up the battery life, add new features, even iOS 6 felt a bit of s flop on my 4s.

        Don't get me wrong, I like the phone, I like the screen, I still like apple, but I've got a keen eye on the nokias and moto's at the moment. I don't want to wait a year for an update to the form factor just to be loyal. Ut all comes down to how windows perform for me ( having been burned twice before by android OEMs never getting around to updating theor OS's).
    • Hmmmm

      The battery will die before then. :-)
  • I'm upgrading to it...

    ... but not until I hit the full subsidy price. IMHO, no phone is worth more than $300 with a subsidy, and the price should really be closer to $200 with the subsidy for the 32GB version; the 4s should be free, the 16GB 5 should be $100, the 64GB 5 should be $300, and the 4 should have been free when it was released as an 8GB phone.
    • Holy Freakin Stinkin Piss

      This comment thread is on a role
      Fat Albert 1
  • Yes and No

    My work phone is being upgraded .... i4 to i5
    Personal phone remains GNexus.

    Yes, I will be comparing them.
    • Pointless

      I don't understand people who compare Droid to IPhones....It's like comparing your Microsoft PC to an Apple computer. They ain't the same and they never will be. I think it is a waste of time. Apple is a company that is gonna do it's own thing and nothing anyone says is gonna change that.
      Lynette Winchester
      • Why?

        Ultimately they're designed for the same task. Why not compare them?
        It's like saying you can't compare a 3 series with an Avensis. You can, it's the terms of the comparison that make or break it.

        Alright so a MAC is more media orientated and a Win PC more towards business but to say they can't be compared is just rubbish.
        Little Old Man
        • Agreed

          There is absolutely no reason why one cannot compare mobile devices no matter if they run iOS, Android, WP8, or BBOS... In fact when my contract is up with my iPhone and with my HT TBolt I plan on doing just that. With my personal phone I've invested quite a bit of time and cash in the iOS ecosystem but I could be persuaded to change depending on which device works better for me. With my work phone I prefer my HTC but if there is a WP8 or a BB device that wows me and can run what I need it to I may go with WP8 or go back to BB.
      • apple would disagree

        Hence their patent trolling to exterminate competition in our happy free market...
      • Compare? I m invested in both systems

        Unlike some, I am a user of and invested in both systems.
        btw: I have both a MBP and PC's.

        There is a lot of information out there. Each time it comes time for a device update. Always follow the same path:
        1. Write down my requirements
        2. Evaluate and build a shopping list of devices based on those requirements
        3. Physically evaluate (if possible)
        4. Make a decision

        So, do you just blindly buy?
        As an educated consumer, I sure as hell don't.
      • That is a bit of an odd way of looking at things.

        A Mac and a Windows based PC do the same exact things - Macs have traditionally been better with graphic design and for entertainment Windows based PCs have been a gamer's friend. Beyond that they perform the same functions.

        Comparing iOS and Android devices is an even closer comparison as most apps in one app store have an analog in the other app store.

        In the end a user's purchase should be an informed one based on research and actually using the devices a bit in the store prior to purchase. If you prefer to buy blindly that is on you. I'd rather make a more informed decision.
    • not really a good comparison

      GNexus is a developer phone and isn't manufactured for the same reasons as the iPhone.

      Comparing the iPhone 5 to high end consumer focused devices released in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2012 would be much better.
      Robert Frizzell
      • what?

        The GNexus a dev phone? How?
  • 5 reasons I'm passing on the iPhone 5

    I'm passing on it too. Don't see the need to buy an iPhone. I'll wait until October or November when more phones are released and make my decision then. There just isn't anything compelling about the iPhone. Don't forget all the accessories you'll have to spend even more money on. Joel you are making the right choice.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • You lying sod!

      You are not passing on the iPhgone 5 at all. To pass on it, you would have had to have entertained the idea of buying one. Such an idea never entered your head. You are an MS schill, you always have been and always will be.
      • I am passing on it

        I watched the presentation which was embarrassing for the Foo Fighters to be at to say the least. They had the chance to wow me but did not. I didn't see anything compelling about the info they released for the iPhone.
        Loverock Davidson-
      • You got trolled

        You do realize this is not the real Loverock, right? Note the dash at the end of the user name...
    • Just like you "passed"

      on every other version of the iPhone... and every other smartphone if I recall correctly.