Would You Buy An iPhone 4S?

By Mike Wheeler

After the dust has settled over yesterday’s iPhone 4S release, the question has to be asked – would you buy the latest iPhone?

In the past, Apple has been as a world leader in the consumer electronics space – not only in terms of beautiful design, but also in functionality.  From the iMac, through to the iPhone 4 – whether you’re a fanboy or not, you can’t deny it has left its mark on the technology landscape. Until yesterday.

So why was the overall feeling of the tech press one of negativity? For a start, Apple has set a high barometer since former CEO Steve Jobs returned to the company 15 years ago, and the feeling is they failed to meet this standard with the iPhone 4S. As pointed out in this piece, maybe they are waiting to release the iPhone 5 when the 4G network is up and running. However, you have to ask, why not wait until the 4G service is ready? Well, they want a product for the Christmas market. Fair enough, but why risk your reputation with something that is underdone? A scenario that even six months ago would have been unthinkable for Apple.

It probably has a lot to do with the pressure being offered by their rivals in the space, especially those utilising the Android operating system such as HTC and its Desire S, Samsung’s latest Galaxy S2 – and those offering non-Andriod functionality, but just as many features such as Blackberry and Nokia (who themselves have found out over the past 12-18 months what it’s like to be in catch-up mode).

Most severe criticism aimed at the new handset was the ‘so what?’ effect. Sure it has a better processor, and arguably a better screen, but Nokia’s N9 screen is fantastic, and you can’t beat the speed of the Galaxy S2. Apple also put a lot of stock in its Siri service that comes with the handset (a sort of virtual secretary), but that comes under the ‘cool’ app header as opposed to the “I must have this phone because of this app’ header. In other words, it’s nice, but not a deal breaker.

There are other features that Apple spruiked for the handset, which could be listed here, but at the end of the day there were no true Wow factors. So in answer to the question, “would you buy the latest iPhone?”  If looking for a new handset because it was time for a trade in, then the iPhone 4S would be on the short list. However, 12 months ago, it would have been the only one of the list.

And as an aside, one of the smartest headers that wasn’t yesterday (a contemporary emailed it, but didn’t post it): Apple’s Cook Delivers Half-Baked iPhone, About sums it up really.

Let us know your thoughts on the iPhone 4S.