Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

Summary: As a long-time Sprint customer it thrills me that the carrier will finally get the iPhone. Will I drop my Android phone for the iPhone 4S?


The big Apple iPhone event was understandaby overwhelmed this week, but the new iPhone was laid out in detail. While some felt the iPhone 4S was only an incremental upgrade over the iPhone 4, the new guts of the phone make it an impressive smartphone by any standards.

iPhone 4S specs

  • CPU: Dual-core A5 processor
  • Memory: 16, 32, 64GB options
  • Connectivity: GSM/EVDO, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Display: 3.5 inch Retina Display
  • Camera: 8MP low light
  • Size and weight: 4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches; 4.9 ounces

Both the processor and the camera are two nice upgrades, and while a larger display would be nice it's not a requirement for me. There is no question this phone will be very fast, which will come in handy for the Siri Assistant software.

The big news for me was that Sprint will finally be carrying the iPhone. I have been with Sprint for several years, through a Palm Pre, HTC EVO 4G, and currently a Nexus S 4G. The new iPhone lacks 4G of any type, so if I upgrade from my Nexus I will give up 4G connectivity.

Is the iPhone 4S on Sprint worth an upgrade to me? While not definite (I'm too big a geek to rule anything out permanently), my gut feeling is no. The lack of 4G doesn't bother me that much as my home office is still not covered with Sprint 4G (WiMAX). That's a real bummer that Sprint still has not covered my area, and at this stage probably won't. I end up using my Nexus S 4G over 3G or Wi-Fi most of the time, so the lack of 4G on the iPhone wouldn't really impact me much.

I have used a number of 4G phones, both WiMAX and LTE, and while the fast speed is nice it does run through batteries like crazy. I suspect this has something to do with Apple's choosing not to include 4G yet, especially since coverage is not universal yet.

Even though 4G is not a factor, I will likely pass on the Sprint iPhone 4S. It's purely financial, as I don't qualify for an upgrade on Sprint for another year. While the subsidies pricing with a new contract is as expected ($199, $299, $399) for the 16/32/64GB models, the unsubsidized pricing is pretty rich for my blood. As my buddy Matt Miller points out the subsidy is a decent $450. I could live with the 32GB iPhone 4S, but without an upgrade that phone will set me back a cool $749 and that's just not going to happen.

If I qualified for the subsidized pricing I might be tempted, but to tell the truth I am happy with the Nexus S 4G. It's not an easy decision given my addiction to new gadgets, but it's not a significant upgrade over the iPhone 4 to make me jump at all cost. Of course my wife sure likes her iPhone 4 on Verizon...


Topics: Telcos, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Use correct terms

    Please change the iPhone specs option "Memory" to "Hard Drive". It's incorrect and will push people in the wrong direction.
    • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

      @longshot902 Actually, "Storage" might be better since it's flash based.
    • Both are correct because it uses Flash Memory for storage. [nt]

    • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

      Hate to break it to you, but the iPhone doesn't use hard drives, it has solid state drives which uses NAND flash memory. In this article, "Memory" should be changed to "Capacity" as stated on Apple's website. OF course this is not to be confused with 512 MB of RAM also included in the 4S.
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    i think it not worth it buy this new iphone because it have only a little upgrade. i was so disappointed to wait this long time then only this upgrade are made. Android phone have a big upgrade every time in only short period of time. i use I4 and galaxy s2 and still i feel my s2 is better than this 4s.
    • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

      If you are using an I4, what were you hoping to have in addition to the specs on the 4S. and you paid, how much for that S2, LOL not $199.00 thats for sure. Dont tell me, you would be dissatisfied with a new processor, a better camera, new iOS with a gammit of features, all with no price increase!!

      Cmon people,
    • How SGS2 'better', if it twice slower in graphics, many times slower in ...

      @MalaysianTiger: ... floating point/multimedia calculations, has really low resolution display (though with better contrast since it is OLED), much weaker camera (small aperture, no IR filter, no image processor, times slower in operation), less battery life, no intellectual assistant, no AirPlay, poorer media and application library?
  • I got a case for 4S for free

    At fist I wasn't going to get a 4S but it does have some cool features so I will get it. Also I found the site ZooGue is giving away 50,000 free iPhone 4S cases I just ordered mine. http://www.ZooGue.com
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    I think the Epic Touch 4g is a better phone on Sprint ... 4.5 inch screen and it has 4g. Iphone needs a bigger screen ... Hopefully the 5 is not more than 6 months away.
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    But did you know that <a href="http://www.realnorthface.com/"><strong>North Face Outlet</strong></a> is an avid supporter and partner of outdoor nation Outdoor nation is an organization founded by a community of young "Outsiders" where young people can fuel their passion for the outdoors.
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    I'm going to pass on the iPhone 4S for now since it's midway through my contract as well... and I'm looking to replace my work BB with either an Android based or WP7 based device.
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    I was considering going to droid before i did my preorder. then i checked out their magazine which tells you all about android devices and went to a couple of verizon stores to play around with the demos and to my surprise the biggest problem i see with the android phones is not its os or the phone... its the applications they offer. they are so outdated especially in design and i don't know if its because of the developers or the phone.. and then my final no to droid was when i looked in their app store for workout apps... limited and the only one i saw even worthy was ifitness which ratings were wishy washy from android customers. nothing there compares to fitness builder from pump one for the iphone and since i gave the touch to my little brother. I decided after days of contemplating and getting hands on experience that i wasn't going the try it... and I'm not biased i kept a palm pixie phone for more than a year and a half.... and palm supporters are committed to their product just as much as an adroid customer is committed to their product. and in saying that... the palm pixie was horrible despite its convenient os because of its app catalog. just horrible why have a playstation 4,5,6 or whatever and only play 1995 nintendo games on it.
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    Paul Thurrott laid out a pretty convincing argument for exactly what Apple is doing with the 4S, and what will probably happen going forward. Essentially, the thinking is that from here forward, Apple will move to a roughly 2 year based upgrade schedule that will help buyers coincide with their contract begin and end dates.

    This is pretty brilliant, because it will damn near guarantee that EVERYONE who has an iPhone will run out and buy the latest and greatest since they won't have to make that agonizing decision about whether to pay the FULL price to the carrier for a non contract device. Meanwhile, they'll STILL get to move plenty of the CURRENT model with incremental upgrades for A: those that just have to have something every single year, and B: to reduce the price of the current model mid-way through its lifespan for those who balk at the $200.00 price tag of the newest model.
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    What is up with the damn comments not showing up right away or deleting several minutes later all the time these days?
  • RE: Sprint getting iPhone 4S, will I bite?

    Not this kid. I can't wait to finish up my Sprint contract and get away from this company. They could offer me a dozen <i>free</i> iPhones and I'd still tell `em to cram it.
  • Pricing...

    I called Sprint about the upgrade and I wasn't eligible. However they now offer an early termination for $90. So tack that on to the price and ignore the unsubsidized pricing. That's for the pure suckers who are too lazy to call or too rich to care.

    My main concern is the 3G speed. Is it still as slow and painful as reported late last year?