Apple announced today the next generation of their iPhone and named it the iPhone 4S. Overall the new iPhone is filled with improvements to the hardware and software of the device and appear to make significant improvements to the most popular mobile phone on the market.
But despite these improvements it appears that many iPhone owners were not impressed. This may be because the iPhone 4S looks like the iPhone 4 and in many ways will feel like the iPhone 4. iOS 5 includes improvements which will give many iPhone 4 owners a feeling of upgrade without having to pull out their wallets.
Even though the form factor is the same as the iPhone 4, and iOS 5 will be readily available to everyone on Oct 12th, there are still a number of reasons why iPhone 4 owners should upgrade to the iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 5 Isn’t Just Around the Corner
There are rumors around that the iPhone 5 will be released in a few months. I believe that the likelihood of that happening is extremely low. The iPhone 4S release schedule allows everyone (myself included) that purchased an iPhone 4 on the day it was first made available to upgrade now with a 2 year contract extension. The 15 – 18 month release cycle gives Apple a few more months for feature improvements and hardware production as well as increase the number of individuals ready for an upgrade. I’d expect the iPhone 5 to hit the market in February of 2013.
The hardware improvements on the iPhone 4S are significant. The iPhone 4s has a faster processer, improved camera, and more available storage. For the first time consumers can purchase the iPhone with 64gb of capacity. All these hardware upgrades will make the iPhone user experience very different and more enjoyable. The hardware for the best phone on the market just got better!
A Talking Personal Assistant
Siri will not be available to iPhone 4 users. Apple will probably argue that for proper user experience the A5 chip is required for Siri integration and that performance of the software on slower processors will frustrate users.
I’m not sure why this feature isn’t more sought after. If I told you when Apple first released the iPhone that in a few years the iPhone would include a personal assistant that talks back to you I’m pretty sure everyone that reads this would have jumped all over that feature and upgraded right away.
Because the iPhone 4S isn’t called the iPhone 5 it seems as if people feel like they’re getting an “in-between” upgrade when they’re really getting a significantly improved version of the best phone on the market.
Faster Download Speeds
While Apple isn’t calling the speed improvements to the iPhone’s download speeds “4G” the facts all point to the iPhone 4S outperforming most “4G” phones on the market. If you tether or access the internet often on your iPhone 4 then you will enjoy it that much more on the iPhone 4S.
Improved Batter Life
With each hardware upgrade across all of Apple’s products comes improved battery performance. The iPhone 4S battery supports 8 hours 3G talk, 14 hours 2G talk, Standby time of 200 hours, 6 hours 3G data use, 9hours internet via wifi, 10 hours of video playback, and 40 hours of audio playback.
Those numbers compare to the iPad 2 and will completely blow away the average mobile phone user. I’m sure no one would argue that improved battery support is not a good enough reason to upgrade to the iPhone 4S.