Don’t write off the iPhone 4S

I was disappointed to read some of the reactions and previews to the new iPhone 4S that Apple will be releasing on Oct. 14.   So called experts and aficionados were irritated that the new iPhone will have the same size screen as previous models and is being given the model name “4S” instead of 5.

My reaction:  Apple doesn’t need to compete spec for spec with Android or Windows Phone 7 models.  I personally do not use an iPhone, but I am willing to say that Apple is leading the pack when it comes to the customer’s entire smartphone experience.  The same iPhone will be available on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint networks, along with the previous iPhone 4 model which will be sold new at $99 with a contract.  The new iPhone 4S will be sold at $199 with a contract.  Customers ineligible for contract cycle upgrades can still get new iPhones at a price ranging from the $500’s to $600’s (the true full cost).  And as crazy as that seems, plenty of people will be going that route.  A smart phone really is a mini computer.  Without a doubt, the iPhone is the easiest smartphone to use right out of the box.  The $199 or $99 price advertised by cell phone companies is a subsidized price.  Subsidized by what?  Your two year contract!

The new iPhone 4S features a better processor, a camera that is just about as good as any sub-$200 camera on the market, and a voice activated system called Siri that will only be available on the 4S.   Furthermore, Verizon (and Sprint) models can now be used for worldwide roaming on your overseas trips.  The AT&T model always had this capability.

If you just bought an iPhone 4 on AT&T last year or on Verizon this year, do you need to upgrade?  Only if you really want to and pay full price for doing so.     To quote my friends on the Your Mac Life weekly show, if you have a 3GS or 3G iPhone you should definitely think of upgrading.