Why I’m (probably) not buying an iPhone 5S

Why I’m (probably) not buying an iPhone 5SWell, the iPhone 5S is finally very much a reality, alongside the controversial, slightly cheaper iPhone 5C, and this Friday is the date us Apple diehards (joke (sent from my MacBook Pro)) finally get our hands on new Cupertino hardware.

That is, those of us who are bothering to upgrade. Immediately after the launch, Matt asked if I was impressed enough to make the leap, and my answer was a tentative “nah”. One week later, with the dust settled, I’m still tending towards nay, and my typically wordy explanation follows.

You want reasons? I’ll give you reasons, Timothy. How about five?

Why I’m (probably) not buying an iPhone 5S1. iPhone 5S features

As I wrote last week, the headline iPhone 5S features are really threefold: Touch ID fingerprint scanner, Slo Mo slow motion video, and the 64-bit A7 processor.

To be honest, neither of those is hugely appealing. Fingerprint scanner? I’m not exactly storing top-secret information on my iPhone 5, and a password is more than enough peace of mind for me. Hell, some people don’t even bother with that.

Slo Mo slow motion video would be nice to mess around with initially, much like the iPhone 5’s formerly exclusive Panorama feature or even Siri, but – like voice recognition – it’s not something I can see having much practical use.

And as for the 64-bit A7 processor, I tend to do most of my gaming on the iPad, so I don’t need that extra horsepower under the smartphone hood.

Actually, all things considered, I’d be more likely to upgrade to an iPhone 5C over an iPhone 5S.

2. The cost

Looking at Apple’s Reuse and Recycling site, I can get £270 for my 64GB white iPhone 5. That’s a hit of £430 on the original £700 asking price, though – as someone pointed out – it’s kinda just under half price. Hmm.

Incidentally, I don’t think I mentioned that I’m currently rocking a spanking new iPhone 5, did I? See, the Power button was starting to play up on the original beast, and Apple kindly replaced it in-store.

Anyway! Taking my £270 off the iPhone 5S price (let’s say the 32GB at £629), that leaves £359 to pay. Good lord, those numbers are outrageous.

Why I’m (probably) not buying an iPhone 5S3. iOS 7

iOS 7 drops tomorrow, and Apple says it’s like “getting an all-new phone that you already know how to use”. Indeed, iOS-6-to-iOS-7 will probably be a bigger change than the iPhone-5-to-iPhone-5S hardware side of things.

In addition, as I mentioned before, I tend to do the majority of my gaming on ye olde iPad, so it’s questionable if there’s much sense having an iOS-based smartphone too. Dare I make the jump… to Android? Or, crazier still, Windows Phone?!

Which brings me nicely to…

4. The alternatives

I suggested in July that we’re in a golden era for smartphones, with all the big names stepping up to the proverbial plate with more-than-decent offerings.

There’s the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (I have an inexplicable hatred for the S series, but a significant soft spot for the Notes); the Sony Xperia Z1 with its impressive camera antics – and similarly the Nokia Lumia 1020; the LG G2; and – according to the rumour mill – the HTC One Max and Google Nexus 5 both inbound. Plenty of choice.

Why I’m (probably) not buying an iPhone 5S5. No iPhone 5S online pre-orders

Ok, this is a silly one, but the fact that there are no iPhone 5S online pre-orders is a slight turn-off.

For starters, I’m not quite sure I’m prepared to lower myself to turning up at an Apple store on release date, jostling with fellow nerds for a phone I’m ultimately not too fussed about.

Of course, I could wait for online pre-orders to open (pretty sure that’s Friday too), but not getting the phone on release date kinda makes it less appealing.

Yes, I have the mentality of a five year-old, but at least it’s saving me a small fortune. Maybe...

Read more about: Apple iPhone 5cApple iPhone 5s

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5 comments

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 17, 2013 at 15:40

Maybe 6) You're quite happy with what you have?

SpeedyG  Sep. 17, 2013 at 15:54

Or maybe

7) Everyone gets on with their lives because no-one cares?

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 17, 2013 at 16:42

I'm tempted by the slo-mo cam, actually. I love ripping frames from high speed video.
There's a lot you miss... Of course, it depends on the quality. I'd have to try a 5S before I'd consider buying one.

The rest? Meh... I can see the convenience factor of the scanner, but have personally no demand for it. No need. The processor and RAM? I'm not into gaming (on a fr*gging 4-inch screen?), and come on, video editing on an iPhone's small screen? I have no idea why people run out of RAM or experience lag or force closes... on an iDevice? Never happened to me. And my wife now and again throws quite some heavy work at her iPad 2 - same thing: zero problems.

So, if I had an iPhone 5, the 5S wouldn't be on my shopping list - unless the 5 broke.
Also: iOS 7 - no jailbreak, no go.

SpeedyG  Sep. 17, 2013 at 16:49

The main issue is the memory isn't large enough for slo-mo cam video library tbh. Unless Apple give you a large online back-up for your iPhone, I don't see the point.

No iOS feature or game uses 64 bit yet so future proofing aside, its unnecessary addition (for coding) and has little use in the smartphone world compared to the computer world.

I think Smartphones need to walk before they attempt to race Usain Bolt and be more balanced rather just media consumables with average to poor call quality/battery life and forcing crappy camera sensors down our throats.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 17, 2013 at 17:01

The main issue is the memory isn't large enough for slo-mo cam video library tbh. Unless Apple give you a large online back-up for your iPhone, I don't see the point.

No iOS feature or game uses 64 bit yet so future proofing aside, its unnecessary addition (for coding) and has little use in the smartphone world compared to the computer world.

I think Smartphones need to walk before they attempt to race Usain Bolt and be more balanced rather just media consumables with average to poor call quality/battery life and forcing crappy camera sensors down our throats.


Agree... I was expecting larger options - 64Gb and 128GB to facilitate slo-mo video.
Haven't read anything yet about the compression... If they turned it into something just to show off on the device, I'm not interested.

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