The Cupertino company takes it a bit further within their marketing ecosystem, and poses this question to its own customers every time a new device is released: should I upgrade my perfectly functional one or two-year-old device for the latest and greatest? Many articles are quick to say yes, citing technologies like the personal voice assistant, Siri, which uses cutting-edge voice recognition technology to assist your every smartphone-fueled desire.
The iPhone 4S does put a couple things under its belt that make even the least tech-savvy customers drool. For one, the 4S has increased speeds (downloading, processing, and improved graphics performance) compared to its predecessors. It is also the first Apple device to have 1080p video recording and has a bonus for shutterbugs with its aperture of f/2.4.
Awesome perks aside, you may want to take the following into consideration before dropping a few hundred dollars on a phone you might not really need at the moment.
iPhone 4 owners should definitely think twice before upgrading to a 4S. You will already be able to experience most of what the new iOS 5 has to offer without needing a new phone.
The iPhone 4S will be offered on a new network, Sprint, in addition to AT&T and Verizon; however, the increased download speeds will only be experienced on the AT&T network, with no support for higher-end 4G LTE alreayd utilized by an array of top-shelf Android devices. The only feature you will really miss out on is Siri and the obvious hardware changes. Do improved voice commands justify a loss of a few Benjamins?
On the other hand, iPhone 3GS and prior owners may definitely want to consider an upgrade. Though the 3GS is compatible with the iOS 5 update, it will most definitely be pushing its processing capabilities to keep up with updates native to the raw power of an iPhone 4S. Think of it as a full jump in generation of iPhone technologies, as A) your two-year contract is most likely up for devices this ‘old’, and B) why sport an iPhone if you can’t keep up with the latest technologies? In that case, there are plenty of lower or mid-range Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry devices that are more powerful, if you really want to find a balance between power and cost.
Current Sprint customers may well benefit from an upgrade to an iPhone 4S, as it will be available on the network upon release. The 4S will serve as an additional option to the current flagship phones Samsung 4G Epic Touch or HTC Evo 3D. As there’s no guarantee whether or not future iPhones released on Sprint will be compatible with its WiMAX 4G network, you may want to consider the 4S if you have wanted an Apple phone (like the rumored iPhone 5) or you do not want to make a carrier switch.
For those with Android ‘super-smart’ phones such as the Motorola Droid Bionic or Samsung Galaxy S II, you already have that phone for a reason. Raw power and fast 4G network connections are already at your fingertips. Upgrading to an iPhone 4S would be purely for the perks Apple has to offer over Google.
Still satisfied with your ‘feature phone’? It’s up to you whether or not you want to make the upgrade. Chances are if you’ve held off this long in the wireless device spectrum, you are only in it for the pure telephony and no bells and whistles. If your main concern is text and voice calls, the options you should weigh are carrier and plan-based.
Keep in mind that Apple has a release date slated, with preorders available on their website with the obvious influx of iPhone 4S accessories abound. Though some are disappointed in the fact that the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event did not entail the highly-anticipated and rumored iPhone 5, the 4S brings Apple closer to the current reign of Android super-smartphones. Apple, with all the hype that it and media generates with any iProduct, is bound to continue this cycle that was started with the 3G and 3GS models.