Best Argument: iPhone Yes
Happiness is an improved iPhone 4
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?
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
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
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.