With all the hussle and tussle over the iOS5 and iPhone 4S announcements earlier this week, we thought we would take our own unscientific and idiosyncratic poll of our RWW staffers and see whether they would be ready to plunk down their own hard cash money (we have to pay for own phones here, don’t you know?) and upgrade. The answer was a resounding No. Now granted, many of us have the regular 4 models, so an upgrade to a 4S isn’t as compelling. But read on for yourself what everyone has to say.
Jon Mitchell was as usual out in front of this issue, Tweeting yesterday about why he is sticking with his ordinary iPhone 4. “Apple rewarded those who adopted the iPhone 4 early. Those users will be able to happily upgrade to the eventual iPhone 5. That’s certainly what I plan to do. The iPhone 4 is one of my favorite computers I’ve ever owned. I feel no need to upgrade. I think it’s worth pointing out that this phone now costs just $99, now that the 4S covers the high end. For a phone this excellent, a $99 price point is crazy. I think the iPhone 4 could be come a ubiquitous smartphone at that price.”
Joe Brockmeier also uses an iPhone 4. “At the moment, I’m iffy on getting an iPhone 4S. The hardware upgrade is nice, but I just got the iPhone 4 a few months ago due to an incident involving losing my 3GS in SEA-TAC. This is not a bad thing, actually. While a lot of people are crying about Apple not releasing a major new phone, the 4S fits into the upgrade cycle for phones much better – every two years, rather than a must-have new phone every year.”
He continues: “While Apple’s phone strategy doesn’t seem to be playing into the media’s strategy of having something “awesome” to write about every few months, it fits much better into the way that the majority of people want to purchase and deal with phones. In particular, the free 3GS is a fantastic move on Apple’s part. It increases the market for iPhones and lets apple recoup on the R&D for the phone over a longer lifespan. Carriers will subsidize that design for an additional year, and presumably they’ll subsidize the design of the 4 and 4S over a longer lifecycle as well. This is pure win for Apple, its shareholders, and users. It’s a pity that most of the tech press is just geared to deride anything that isn’t a new shiny.” Well put, Joe.
Dan Rowinski says, “I actually have two phones on my family plan that are oscillating on 9-month upgrade cycles. So, I am usually up to date with what phones are coming and what I should be expecting. The last update in that cycle was a Motorola Atrix with the next upgrade coming sometime next February. Will it be the iPhone 4S? No. As a natural contrarian I feel obligated to be one of the only ReadWriteWeb staffers to not have an iPhone as my primary device. Part of that is looking ahead at mobile trends such as NFC and LTE and having a professional obligation to be an early adopter of those technologies. The iPhone 4S will not fit that bill.”
Jared Smith, our esteemed webmaster, says “I have an iPhone 4 that is undamaged and still performs extremely well. I also have a contract with another year on it and the improvements in the 4S just aren’t compelling enough to switch up at the full off-contract price. Barring a major development with Android or Windows Phone, though, Apple is almost assured of my money when the 4S’s successor is revealed. (The carrier I choose is an open question still.)” We’ll see if he switches over to Sprint.
Our newest staff member, Alicia Eler, says “Before upgrading to the free Palm Pixi, a practically dead webOS phone that will never change, I had the Android Google Eris HTC. It was wonderful feeling cool with that Android – it was one of the first on the market. I’m not upgrading to the iPhone 4S because I don’t trust the product yet – it hasn’t been perfected.
“After my experience with the super buggy Android, I’d rather use a phone that at least I can rely on as both a phone that can safely dial and receive calls and texts, and a pretty basic, bricklike device that reliably receives email, and can be used as a mobile hotspot. I’m not sure that I really need my phone-type device to do anything more, at the moment. Sorry iPhone, I’m just not ready to commit to you yet.” She also adds, “Aside from these geeky reasons listed above, the real reason I’m not buying the iPhone 4S is actually rather simple: I just can’t afford it right now. So, I’ll have to stay uncool while my friends all upgrade ;)”
Our community manager Robyn Tippins says, “I like my iPhone 4 just fine. I didn’t see anything that made me feel I had to upgrade, so I’ll hold out until the next iteration.”
John Paul Titlow says, “As an iPhone 4 owner, I feel the same way about the iPhone 4S as I did about the 3GS when it came out (and I owned a 3G): It’s an awesome device with a few worthwhile upgrades (especially the camera), but nothing so revolutionary that I can’t just wait until the next iteration comes out. Plus, I feel like less of a sucker if I only spring for every *other* Apple gadget.”
One possible buyer is our managing editor Abraham Hyatt. He says: “I might, but my fiancee definitely will. She has an old school 3G that’s deteriorated to the point where apps like Maps don’t work. Or as she puts it, ‘My 3G BLOWS.’ She didn’t buy the 4 when it came out because of the price, plus she was concerned about how long it would take Apple to work new bugs out of the feature-laden phone. But as time went by, ‘it made sense to wait for the next version.’ I might get one, but only because the battery on my 4 is fading. I like the 4S’ camera and the speed, but if it weren’t for my battery, it wouldn’t be enough to make me upgrade.”
Scott Fulton says “I am a disaffected BlackBerry user. I miss all the things that BlackBerry was going to be: a reliable, secure service on a strong, solid, well-built device. During my BlackBerry years, I appreciated the quality of service. When that went away – and that happened seemingly overnight – I could have switched to iPhone.
“I didn’t because Apple had yet, and has yet still, to build a mobile device that fits my style of work. My business consumes email the way the Twinkies factory consumes sugar. It’s been said I’m so busy communicating with people via email that I have no time left to be social. That, and I need a hard keyboard. On a hard day, I can conduct so much electricity that I short out phones (on some occasions, permanently) so touchscreens are almost pointless. I love the iPhone as a camera, but as a telephone, it fails because the antenna and me do not get along. And I cannot type an email message into it to save my life. Maybe I could complain to Siri, and maybe Siri would console me. Or I could stick with my Droid 2, which may be the Nash Rambler of smartphones, but it gets a signal.”
Me? I have a aging 3G original that is ready for an upgrade, and will mostly likely get the ordinary 4 and not the 4S. Why buck the trend? And given that I will probably be the last person on the staff to upgrade my desktop to Lion, that seems about right too.