The Apple iPhone 5: Now or later?

The Apple iPhone 5: Now or later?

Summary: There's nothing quite as frustrating as purchasing the latest technology just before the newest, latest technology hits the market. Frankly, there should be a fix for it.


If you're anticipating the iPhone 5 announcement today, you're one in about 3 billion doing the same thing. The question of the day is, "When should you buy into new technology?" Should you wait until the latest thing has proven itself or should you constantly jump on the new product bandwagon as an early adopter? The latter choice is the more expensive option. Unfortunately, even as an industry observer and a technology writer, I tend to hold off--perhaps too long on buying into technology. Some of that comes from being a bit too fiscally conservative and some of it comes from being skeptical. And, then there's the "I don't care" factor.

Which is it for you?

If you're one of those people who buys the latest thing as soon as it hits the market, what's your motivation? Talk back and tell me because I'd love to know.

I'd also like to hear from those of you who wait, like I do, to see if the latest thing is really worth my hard-earned money and rapidly diminishing attention span.

Finally, if you're one of those curmudgeonly types who think yesteryear's tech is "good enough," I'd really love to hear your take on all this iGadget madness.

Yes, I do dearly love my iPhone 4 but do I really need an iPhone 5? I bought the first iPad about three months before the iPad 2 came out and was sad that I didn't wait. The new iPad (3) just didn't have enough new stuff for me to want it at all. I would still like to have an iPad 2, so if anyone wants to donate one to me, drop me a note.

A company named GoSpotCheck recently conducted a study of 182 retail locations in 27 different US states and came up with an interesting infographic with associated questions and responses concerning new technology and buying into them.

After you read that infographic and digest on it a while, write back and tell me what you think. Then, after watching Apple's big announcement today, if it happens, let me know if you've changed your mind.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Mobile OS, Mobility


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • Until it has a removable battery...

    ...isn't ever going to be in my pocket...if then.
  • Probably when pigs start flying....

    I'd love to have an iPhone. I have an iMac and MacBook Pro and work for an all-Mac company. But I'm an average 64-year-old lady who can't afford 2-3 new smartphones every year as many people seem able to do. And T-Mobile doesn't offer the iPhone. Since my company buys us any smartphone we want and pays our monthly bill (mine for 11 years; we've been with TMo since it was Powertel), I'd have to take on that expense myself in order to switch. Who would choose to do that? My year-old Samsung GS2 works beautifully -- so well that I gave my iPad 2 to my daughter (it was too big & bulky for me) and bought a 7-inch Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus -- and I've never in 11 years had a bad experience with T-Mobile. Yes, there are newer Android phones that do more, but that will always be the case with today's technology moving ahead so rapidly. So I guess I'm one of the few people who reads ZDNet but whose world doesn't revolve around the latest announcement from Apple.
    • Sheesh...

      "So I guess I'm one of the few people who reads ZDNet but whose world doesn't revolve around the latest announcement from Apple."

      But you are one of the many hoards here who brag about not caring about Apple but come to articles about Apple to tell us that you don't care about Apple. Congratulations.
      • Who let the kids out?

        @ Sheesh
        @ agree
        Children, children -- when you grow up and get to be big boys, maybe someone will teach you how to read and understand a whole 11-line comment AND actually relate it to the author's question. Until then, please stop annoying the grownups. Thank you.
    • agree

      I have no Apple products whatsoever, and have been on TMobilie for 10 years now and have no problems, so won't be switching to get some new fangled thing from Apple. Only once did I use someone's Apple product, it was foreign to me, never looked back.
  • Every other release...

    I've had an iPhone since the 1st gen but usually wait until there are really significant improvements. For example I had the original iPhone and waited for iPhone 3G, skipped iPhone 3GS and got iPhone 4. iPhone 4S didn't have enough changes/improvements to make spending $199 on a new phone feel necessary. I've had iPhone 4 since a month after release and I've been waiting for this announcement. I'll absolutely pre-order and sell the iPhone 4 back to AT&T when I get my iPhone 5. BTW I've been using the Samsung Galaxy S3 for about 10 days and can't wait to get rid of it. Give me an iPhone any day.
  • disappointed.

    iPhone 5 - not yet ready for me. instead will opt for SIII now.

    NEVER AGAIN will I be an early adopter of Apple products! I'm DEFINITELY going to hold off buying one of these until they've sold a bunch and have all of the "issues" worked out. I'm specifically concerned about the iPhone 5's Retina display which, if made by LG, may have the image retention problem that's plaguing many early adopters of the Macbook Pro with Retina display (including myself). Google "Apple - Please Recall Retina Macbook Pros with LG Displays" for more info. This problem is real, check out the photos we've taken of our screens. If you're a professional who needs the images on their screen to be accurate, please wait until they've fixed this issue - and that goes for the Macbook Pro with Retina display AND the new iPhone 5!
    • Retina Display Image Retention Issue (Links)

      Here are some quick links:
      (This one is 193 pages long as of 1:53pm PST on Wednesday September 12th, 2012)
  • I’m A Non-Hipster

    I’m happy to buy stuff that’s well behind the bleeding edge. When the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X came out and I needed a phone upgrade, I went for the (then already six months old) Galaxy Nexus instead. And you know what? It’s a beautiful phone.
  • If I choose an iPhone it will be the iPhone 5

    I'm a Cricket subscriber. My preference is Android and if Cricket offered a higher end Android phone I would probably choose it. However their best Android is low end compared to the iPhone. So the iPhone 5 will win somewhat by default if I don't like how the HTC One V performs.
  • iPhone5

    I like my 4S. It's a good product and does what I want it to. I may get the "5" one of these days but I'm not in a rush.
    Max Peck
  • The Apple iPhone 5: Now or later?

    How about never!