iPhone 5 offers few upgrades from 4S

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Apple is giving Android an even bigger run for its money with a thinner phone and larger screen.

The iPhone 5 officially hit stores Sept. 21, and according to an article by David Thier titled “Apple’s 5 million iPhone 5 Sales in First Weekend: ‘Disappointing,'” which was published Sept. 24 in Forbes Magazine, the initial sales of the phone were far less than anticipated.

Apple reportedly expected to sell between 6 million to 10 million units, and the actual sales caused Apple stock to drop by 2 percent. But despite the lower sales, iPhone experts and owners agree that the latest version is the best.

Simply Mac employee Tyler Green said there’s no mistaking the new iPhone is top-of-the-line. But he said those who currently use the 4S might want to hold onto their phones and forego an upgrade just yet.

“It’s really an obvious comparison,” he said. “The 5 is better. But is it worth the $100 difference if you buy a brand-new phone?”

Simply Mac employee Landen Ferguson said he’s content with his 4S as is. Many other iPhone 4S users may possibly fall into the same camp, which could have lead to the lower sales of the 5.

“I didn’t feel like they made enough upgrades to justify upgrading from the 4S to the 5,” he said. “I’d say if you’re on a 4 or earlier, definitely do the upgrade.”

Brandon Price, a senior communication and theater major from Brigham City, pre-ordered his iPhone 5 after his 2010 Android failed over the summer. He said the cost was worth the product.

“If you’re upgrading from a 4S, it would be a little tougher of a decision, but if you’re coming from a 4 or not having an iPhone, it’s definitely worth the price,” he said.

Price said the phone was a huge step up from his Android. The network and processor are incredibly fast, and he said he was especially impressed with Siri.

“In the commercials, [Siri] is like, really quick,” he said. “But it’s actually like that when I’m talking to Siri.”

Green said the processor speed is the fastest on any iPhone, and it’s 4G LTE compatible—something that hasn’t been available on an iPhone previously.

“[The 4G LTE] is actually faster than the Wi-Fi at my house,” Price said. 

In addition to the faster processing speeds and 4G LTE compatibility, the iPhone 5 is slimmer and noticeably lighter than the 4S. The new version is backed with aluminum, rather than glass, and the lighter material is coming with pros and cons.

“The big thing we’ve been reading online and hearing from customers is…the aluminum scratches because it’s a softer material (than glass),” Green said. “It’s just aesthetics, but I think it’s going to [result in] less repairs because you’re not actually having to repair broken glass.”

Price said he loves the light phone, and he said he’d prefer a scratch to broken glass any day.

“When you look at it, you don’t notice a difference,” he said. “But holding it, it’s significantly lighter…and the glass backs were so infamous for breaking.”

The iPhone 5 also has a larger screen. While it still isn’t as large as some Android screens, it’s still increased noticeably from 3 1/2 to 4 inches. Almost everything has been upgraded from the 4S.

“Even small things, like the external speaker, has a little more quality to it,” Green said. “And the new port is faster. It can go upside down and right side up.”

The new port size, which has been scaled down significantly from the standard port Apple consumers are used to, is rumored to be one of the few items customers are not happy with.

“[Apple has] been using this port since early 2000 with the original iPod,” Green said. “It’s the only company that hasn’t changed their port over that time.”

Ferguson said customers shouldn’t expect to pay too much money to have a new iPhone work with their other Apple products.

“I think the biggest thing people are upset about is that it’s just change,” Ferguson said. “Apple did make an adapter that’s going to allow them to use all their accessories with their new phone. I think once people get used to it, it won’t be a problem at all.”