Apple overnight announced the iPhone 5, which goes on sale here in Australia next week. If you're an existing iPhone user, is it a worthwhile upgrade?
One quick and obvious point to make; I'm pitching this guide at those already within the iOS ecosystem. Yes, there are alternatives, and they're worth considering at any point, but that's a different point of complexity to consider.
You can see the full details of the new iPhone over at Gizmodo, but what's worth considering more from a Lifehacker perspective is whether the upgrade makes actual financial sense.
Apple hasn't done anything at all to the relative pricing for the iPhone 5 in its three storage capacities. A 16GB model will cost you $799, 32GB is $899 and 64GB is still $999, so certainly right now would be a terrible time to invest in a new iPhone 4S, but what if you've already got one — or an older model?
As I write this, none of the telcos have announced their pricing plans for the new phones, and if history is any guide, we might not see those until some time next week. Then again, taking history as a guide, it's fair to suggest that it'll be positioned in the premium price caps for each of the telcos if you do opt to go down the contract route.
The jump from the 3GS, or if you've held out for a very long time indeed, the 3G would be a rather immense one, and anyone on a phone that isn't a 4S should be rather solidly out of contract by now. You won't get much for an iPhone 3/3GS/4 any more; the best strategy (and one that I've employed myself) would be to dedicate it fully to being a music or games player and handing it over to a relative.
The positioning for iPhone 4S users is a little bit harder to discern. There's no doubt that the 5 is an upgrade from the 4S in most respects, but whether it's enough of an upgrade — especially if you're not as keen on the stretched 4 inch screen — is a tough issue to work out. With the single year gap, most iPhone 4S users will still be on contract to a telco, unless they purchased outright. Penalty fees being what they are, you'd have to seriously love the new stretched iPhone 5 look to break contract right now, but what if you bought an iPhone 4S outright last year?
A quick check around the usual sites that offer to buy old iPhones suggests that you'd get something in the $400-$500 range for a working iPhone 4S 64GB; less for a broken one or one with lower capacity, and you almost certainly wouldn't get the cash before the iPhone 5 launches here. Still, that'd knock nearly half the price off the top of the range iPhone 5 if you opted to go down that route.
Will you be lining up for an iPhone 5 next week, and if so, what's your plan for your existing iPhone?