Should You Wait for the New iPhone?

Several friends and coworkers have been asking me the same question lately, “Should I wait for the new iPhone or get the iPhone 4S?”  My answer is, if you definitely want an iPhone, wait.

Why wait?  There are a few reasons, based on some pretty widespread ‘confirmed’ rumors.

Screen size – Lately, with smartphones, it seems like it’s all about screen size.  Many of the current batch of Android phones sport screens large than the iPhone 4’s 3.5″ screen.  It looks like the ‘iPhone 5’, as the sixth generation iPhone is known as for now, will be increased to be at least 4″.  That’s pretty significant if you are watching a video or playing a game.

LTE – From what I’ve seen, LTE is amazingly fast compared to 3G.  I have an iPhone 4 (3G) and the new iPad (LTE) and, when I am on Verizon’s network, the iPad leaves the iPhone 4 in the dust.  While some of that may be attributed to a faster processor, a significant portion is due to the LTE network.  To get the iPhone 4S now with its 3G network just doesn’t make sense.

Smaller dock connector – It looks like Apple may be going from its current 30-pin dock connector to a 9-pin or 19-pin connector. While this may be an issue if you have other Apple mobile devices in terms of interoperability of accessories, the smaller dock connector takes up less room and could potentially result in a trimmer, lighter iPhone.

Near Field Communication (NFC) – If the next iPhone has NFC, you will be able to store credit card and loyalty card information and use your iPhone to make mobile payment to pay for purchases.  Google Wallet users can store their information and use the app for purchases anywhere that accepts MasterCard PayPass transactions.  Apple announced their Passport app earlier this year.  While they only talked about storing plane ticket and theater tickets in the app, it’s a pretty sure bet that this will be a full-blown NFC app in order to compete with Google Wallet.

It looks like Apple may announce the next iPhone on September 12th with its launch date of September 21st.  If that doesn’t come to fruition, it’s nearly a sure bet that the launch date will be in the September / October timeframe.  What makes that a near certainty is that fact that the iPhone’s new operating system, iOS 6, is scheduled for release this fall.  A new release of iOS is typically done right before the release of the new iPhone.

With the launch being just around the corner, it just doesn’t make sense to me to get the iPhone 4S now.  You’ll have two years until your next upgrade and be stuck with an ‘old’ phone.

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