Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

Moderated by Jason Hiner | October 3, 2011 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: Did we say iPhone 5? We mean, the iPhone 4S. In any event: Is Apple's latest mobile device the smartphone of Matthew Miller and Jason Perlow's dreams?

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

iPhone Yes

or

iPhone No

Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow

Best Argument: iPhone Yes

Closing Statements

Happiness is an improved iPhone 4

Matthew Miller

The ZDNet audience voted overwhelmingly against the new iPhone 4S. While I was a bit disappointed by the same size display, what were people really expecting with this announcement? The iPhone 4S comes in at the same price as the existing iPhone 4 with a new dual-core processor, greatly improved camera, and longer battery life. iOS 5 is inside with amazing features like Siri voice technology, improved notification system, iMessage service, integrated iCloud support and much more.

Millions have purchased the iPhone 4 and now customers on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T can buy the new world phone and use it in the U.S. and when they travel abroad. Cases and accessories from the iPhone 4 should work fine with the iPhone 4S too.

Apple announced a significantly improved iPhone 4 in the 4S -- so be happy!

Oh Great iPhone 5, where are you?

Jason Perlow

If Linus Van Pelt were an Apple fanboy, that’s likely what he’d be saying right now.

Indeed, this week’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” launch event was the tech industry equivalent of the eternal wait for the Great Pumpkin. And the tech press and blogosphere were dragged into it like an army of Sally Browns.

As we’ve all learned since that Halloween cartoon special first aired in 1967, the Great Pumpkin is a sham. He’s purely a figment of Linus’ imagination. He never, ever comes. No matter how many times we watch it, no matter how much we want to believe.

And while I am an Android phone user, I too wanted the Great Pumpkin — the iPhone 5 — to be real. I wanted Apple to really push the envelope on smartphone hardware, rather than release a purely iterative and modest upgrade to an existing design like they did with the iPhone 4S.

Verdict: iPhone 4S, yes! Price is the killer feature

Jason Hiner

Apple's iPhone 4S announcement turned out to be a bit of a letdown for the press and the tech crowd, but we're still likely to see the new iPhone fleet win over a lot of upgraders and new customers. For that reason, I'm going to rule against the crowd on this one and declare Matt Miller the winner of the debate.

The iPhone 4S has its weaknesses, as Jason Perlow pointed out. The lack of a 4G LTE version will rule out an iPhone purchase for many high-end tech buyers, especially those who want to do LTE tethering. There's also the issue of the undersized 3.5-inch display and the question of whether one of the best new features -- iCloud -- will be able to handle the crushing load of traffic and maintain acceptable uptime.

But, there are more things tipping in the iPhone's favor. It still has by far the best and simplest integration of hardware, software, and services, and Android's inconsistency in this area is driving some of its first-gen customers to consider the iPhone instead. In the U.S., this will be the second iPhone to land on Verizon and the first one to land on Sprint, and Apple is also extending the number of carriers internationally. Finally, with iPhone 3GS turning into a free phone (with contract) and the original iPhone 4 (8GB) dropping to $99, there are going to be a lot more people who are willing and able to buy the iPhone. While all of the tech specs do matter, price will likely be the killer feature for the iPhone over the next year.

Doc's final thoughts: iPhone 4S? Save your moneyIN PARTNERSHIP WITH Ricoh

Doc

Even if you assume that all the speculation is correct and the iPhone 4S comes with dual-mode capabilities, voice control, an A5 processor, better antenna (about time), HSPA (4G sort-of) and the new iOS5, it’s still just another incremental device and nothing to get too excited about. Apple is good at making great products, and I’m sure the iPhone 4S will be just as terrific as previous versions.

But aren’t we all getting a bit carried away with our insatiable appetite for the latest and greatest gadget? The cell-phone industrial complex has us sucked into their endless year-after-year contracts, mostly because we can’t stop upgrading. Apple is making tons of money from people buying things they don’t really need. And all of this in the midst of a recession. Surely, we can find better things to do with our time and money than upgrading from an iPhone 3 or 4 to an iPhone 4S. I mean it’s great to spend and keep people employed, but Apple has enough of our money and probably isn’t facing layoffs anytime soon, even if some people hold on to their iPhones for an extra year or two.

If you don’t have an iPhone, then this may be a good time to jump in; but if you have an iPhone 3 or 4, go ahead and give this upgrade a miss. Your life won’t materially change.

Talkback

331 comments
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  • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

    for an unannounced product, I can only say wake up and smell the vapor
    hwrd_lwrd
    Reply Vote I'm for iPhone Yes
    • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

      @hwrd_lwrd
      it is funny we're all talking about a device that hasn't even been announced yet, and may not even be called the '5' but the '4S.' For me it's the new iOS 5 and iCloud integration that gives it potential upside for me- someone who drank the Apple cool aid and hasn't missed my Windows machine or iPAQ (remember those?) or Palm Pilot or Windows Mobile Phone in years... I am glad to see the notifications updated- badly needed.
      rprice54
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

      @hwrd_lwrd

      Thanks but no thanks! This is more hype than actual wow factor! Android and MS are doing so much more but since ZDNET is pro-Apple I don't expect anything less. I'll be sticking with WP 7.5 at my side!
      Rob.sharp
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

        @rob.sharp@??? Speaking of hype, ZDNet has hyped WP 7 (and WP 7.5) than anything I have ever seen. For a Mobile OS that has less Marketshare than Linux has on the desktop, there is sure a lot of hype on it.
        Rick_Kl
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

      Now that the fumes have cleared and everybody's coming down from their rumor-fueled high, I'm going to declare victory and pre-order an i4S. The i5 is vapor! Long live the i4S!
      hwrd_lwrd
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

    iPhone no way. Wastes lot of time for updating, need to open each application to update e.g., News, Weather, Calendar, Mail and Facebook etc. all need to open one by one.
    Android. Way to Go. Widgets do all magic. No need to open applications. All updates available at home screen.
    aquariun76
    Reply Vote I'm for iPhone No
    • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

      @aquariun76
      I guess u must've been looking at an iPhone wannabe. iPhone Apps are updated in one central place, and you get instant notifications for those updates even if you haven't used the app in ages. Good one though...made me laugh a little.
      greengarden74
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

      @aquariun76 Really, one by one? When was the last time you saw an iPhone, 2006? Get real.

      This website is full of Windoze and Android users. IT guys in backoffices. Enjoy your klunky Samsung or LG, with junk apps thanks to no ratification....but let's call it "open". Hmm.
      pkhunter
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

        @pkhunter
        /ratification/censorship/
        nigebj
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Great Debate: Is the iPhone 5 your dream phone?

        @pkhunter <br>I dont like closed iOS.
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        lucky2288
        Reply Vote I'm for iPhone No