Should You Get the iPhone 4S?

As a lot of us already know, the iPhone 4S was shown to the world a few days ago. Whenever a new Apple product comes out, I always go through this game in my mind of “is this worth buying?” Even if I am not planning on purchasing it myself, I like to think about it from a consumer point of view.

So does it make sense for you to buy the iPhone 4s? Let’s look at a few different scenarios and find out after the break.

iPhone 3GS Owner

This type of person is a no brainer, to some degree. If you own an iPhone 3GS and your two-year contract is up, it only makes sense that you upgrade. The only decision making you have here is do you go for the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S?

The difference between the two comes basically down to two things: money and hardware. You can get an iPhone 4 for about $100 cheaper than you can get an iPhone 4S. But is the 4S worth the $100 upgrade?

In my opinion, the answer would be “yes.” Here’s why: First of all, you can probably get about $50 or so for your used 3GS if you decide to sell it, which in turn makes the upgrade now only $50 more. Even if you can’t get anything for the 3GS or you don’t plan to sell it, you might as well get the best iPhone you can, being that you will be locked into a two-year contract. The way I see it, you might as well have the best equipment for two years than have something that came out a year ago and will now be three years old when you’re up again for another iPhone.

iPhone 4 Owner

Ok, this is where it gets a little complicated. First, there are those of you that are in your contract with either Verizon or AT&T and you don’t have a renewal coming up, which means you will have to pay full price if you want that new iPhone 4S. If that’s the case, you’re looking at paying $650 and up. There is nothing to me that can justify paying this amount if you already have an iPhone 4, so we’ll put that topic to bed.

The iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S

Where it starts to get really interesting is if you are in a group of people that can actually get the iPhone 4S with the subsidized price. The only way you would qualify for something like this is if you are on AT&T. Being that Verizon just got the iPhone, most people wouldn’t be able to do this. I bring this scenario up because I checked out of curiosity last week to see if I was eligible for the new iPhone. It just so happens that I am eligible at the subsidized price.

I started to get a little excited and then realized the consequence: I had to stay locked in for another two years if I wanted to upgrade. Thus, the wheels started turning in my head as to whether this would be a worthwhile purchase or not.

In the end, I realized that even though I could get the new iPhone 4S for practically free because I could sell my iPhone 4 for close to what I would buy a new iPhone 4S for, I just didn’t want to be locked in to a carrier for another two years and possibly missing a better, redesigned iPhone next year.

More iPhone 4S goodness

More iPhone 4S goodness

Now, granted, maybe you are in this position as well. You have some questions to ask yourself. Do you like the carrier you are with, which in this case would be AT&T? If so, are you going to bank on the fact that AT&T will let you do this again next year  — or worst case scenario, will you be okay holding onto the 4S for two years? I also think the other question you have to think about is the somewhat minor upgrade from the 4 to the 4S worth going for.

Infinity Blade II on the iPhone 4S

Infinity Blade II on the iPhone 4S


In the end, there are no easy answers and we could probably debate this for a long time. Me personally, I plan to hold off until the next one comes out. Even though I may not be able to get as much as I would like for my iPhone 4 a year from now, I think the extra money spent on the iPhone 5 (presuming that is what it will be called), will be worth it because of the major changes that should be made.

You have to remember, starting with the iPhone 3G, Apple kept the same design for two years in a row, just updating the inside of the phone, hence the 3GS and the 4S. So you have to believe the next iPhone will be pretty cool.

Lots to think about. In the end, you have to do what you think is best for you and your situation. Everyone is different, everyone has different wants and needs. So it begs to at least ask, what ARE  you planning on doing and why?