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No iPhone 5: So What Am I Supposed to Buy?

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For the past three years, Apple’s announced a new iPhone at its World Wide Developers Conference and made them available for purchase soon after. But Apple failed to announce the iPhone 5 at WWDC, leaving many early adopters with nothing to upgrade to as their contracts come up for renewal with AT&T.

AT&T typically allows its subscribers to purchase new phones at the lowest subsidized price every two years. In some cases, subscribers with heftier monthly bills are allowed to purchase a new phone at those low prices every year. I fall into that category and have purchased each of the iPhone models that Apple’s released.

While I was prepared to fork over another $300 for Apple’s iPhone 5 this month, Steve Jobs and friends didn’t announce a new phone and likely won’t  until iOS 5 is ready to ship, which is this fall. Will AT&T allow users in my situation to buy alternative phones at their subsidized prices? While iOS 5 does look very nice, some iPhone users are tired of the platform and are being drawn to Android devices, which have several features not found on the iPhone.

A larger group of AT&T subscribers will be up for grabs until the iPhone 5 is announced. That’s the millions of iPhone 3GS owners out there who purchased their iPhones during the summer of 2009. Their two-year commitment to AT&T will be ending before the iPhone 5 is even announced. Even if they choose to stick with the iPhone platform, it’s completely possible that they’ll switch over to Verizon, which is known for delivering a superior voice experience in some areas.

AT&T is likely not happy with the later than usual announcement and release of the next-generation iPhone. AT&T has everything to lose with the delay, while Verizon has everything to gain.

So what are Apple customers supposed to buy this summer? iCloud is free (mostly) and OSX Lion is only $30, which is coming in July. Apple is missing out on a summer of spending by not releasing a new iPhone right when millions of its customers are ready to buy one. There will not be any lines spilling out of Apple stores this summer. Students won’t be maxing out their credit cards to get the latest iPhone. There won’t be a rush to buy all those super-profitable iPhone accessories.

Xavier Lanier is the publisher of Gotta Be Mobile and a photographer. He uses too many devices to count, but his current favorites are the iPhone 5s, HTC One, Nikon D800 and Sony RX 100M II. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

80 Comments

  1. i_Fox04

    06/06/2011 at 8:09 pm

    i’m in the same boat

    • Guest

      06/07/2011 at 7:23 pm

       i know. What am i supposed to do because its been time for me to get a new phone and I want to get the iphone but if i get the iphone 4 now im probably going to miss out on the iphone 5. And I cant wait any longer. So what should i do?

  2. Teebone69

    06/06/2011 at 8:11 pm

    Oh well, maybe next year.

  3. Guest

    06/06/2011 at 8:15 pm

    >So what are Apple customers supposed to buy this summer?This poor customers… how about vacation? I know, you can’t buy it in an Apple Store, but it would give you some time to think about your Apple addiciton and the compulsion to buy stuff. And do not forget to leave your gadgets at home!

  4. Tom

    06/06/2011 at 8:26 pm

    Oh my god, I have to use a phone that’s two years old for another few months? How unfashionable can I get!?

    • franz

      06/06/2011 at 8:55 pm

      Oh no…I’m pretty sure he’s upset that he has to use a phone that’s one year old for a couple of more months. He did state that he’s bought the new one every year.

      • GoodThings2Life

        06/06/2011 at 11:11 pm

        He has multiple phones on multiple carriers, actually.

        • Xavier Lanier

          06/07/2011 at 12:59 am

          Yes, that’s correct. When I go to bed I plug in six wireless devices on my nightstand…It’s not about fashion, but being able to get to know the devices/platforms. That and i have an addiction of some kind ;-) 

  5. Tom

    06/06/2011 at 8:26 pm

    Oh my god, I have to use a phone that’s two years old for another few months? How unfashionable can I get!?

  6. nuffsoca

    06/06/2011 at 8:48 pm

    Well, my phone is dead and I was hoping to get a new iphone.  I wont buy a new 4 if a new 5 is around the corner.  A little news as to how long I would have to deal with my current piece of junk would have been nice. I can’t wait forever so I will likely get a droid.  Maybe in two more years :(

  7. ymi17

    06/06/2011 at 8:50 pm

    this is ridiculous.  ”I haven’t been provided a product to spend my money on!  The humanity!”  Why don’t you put that $300 away for a few months and go buy lunch with the interest?

    • Anonymous

      06/06/2011 at 9:26 pm

      at mcdonalds…interest rates are da suc…

    • Jesus

      06/06/2011 at 9:48 pm

      i will use $10 for your mom for a start, then grab some lunch.

  8. Psychfam

    06/06/2011 at 8:54 pm

    I am in same situation, but I still have just the 3 G… & is falling apart. I have 2 get now… Is Iphone 4 worth it with all the antenna trouble, etc?

    • Joeblow

      06/06/2011 at 9:04 pm

      Jobs sucks for not announcing when iphone 5 will be coming out. I wouldn’t buy iphone 4 with all the antenna issues.

      • Anonymous

        06/06/2011 at 9:45 pm

        If you bought an iPhone 4 today, you wouldn’t see those antenna issues, they fixed them. 

        • Xavier Lanier

          06/07/2011 at 1:08 am

          The iPhone 4 still drops a lot of calls without a case, especially if you have big hands like me. Your mileage will vary depending on your grip and coverage. 

    • Zero

      06/06/2011 at 9:21 pm

      iphone 4 is great and the antenna is a non-issue really.  (and yes, I was worried too but it IS NOT worth the worry).  Sounds like you waited expecting a 5 and are now out of sync w/ the cycle.  Bummer….  If need be the 4 will still be awesome if you have been using the 3G happily up until now…

    • Gary Pearson

      06/07/2011 at 8:13 am

      I’ve had the IPhone 4 for a year now and never had any antenna issues or dropout, it’s all media hype! I had loads of problems with reception on my HTC Touch HD tho!

  9. Sarang8

    06/06/2011 at 8:59 pm

    Just use ur existing iPhone till fall. Ur phone does not stop working as the contract expires.

    • Bill

      06/08/2011 at 2:32 pm

       Totally agree. I’m still using the original iphone after 3 years. However, that being said, I look forward to the next iteration only because, 1) I’m nearly maxed out in memory, 2) The battery is no longer holding it’s charge as long as it used to (maybe I’m just using it more ), 3) Some of the updates to the apps I use now cause them to crash & I suspect it may be because they’re written for 4.0 or higher. Or maybe its too demanding on my hardware, 4) Verizon is more prevalent where I live, though I didn’t have much of a problem with AT&T.
       I don’t understand the need for constantly upgrading when your current phone is probably still quite serviceable.
       There’s nothing wrong with loving Apples products, but there is something wrong by being obsessed by them.

  10. paulmevans

    06/06/2011 at 9:14 pm

    Plenty of 3GS users on the O2 network in the UK in the same situation too!

  11. DL

    06/06/2011 at 9:18 pm

    Do not buy an iphone – don’t wait for an iphone.  I’ve been with them since the beginning and now I’m extremely dissapointed.  The new features in ios5 did not catch them up with android.  I wanted a voice recognition update.  I need to listen to my emails/text messages while I’m driving, and I need to be able to reply to them via voice.  This really sucks.  In my opinion, they did not catch back up.

    • HT

      06/06/2011 at 10:37 pm

      they’ve had narration on the iphone for a while… it’s in settings and called voice over

      • allan kluttz

        06/09/2011 at 6:35 pm

        yes but its not like android. We are talking about text to speech conversion, or speech to email texted conversions

    • allan kluttz

      06/09/2011 at 4:54 pm

      well I was slightly disappointed too, im waiting on vlingo to update it to work, supposedly things are progressing. I dont know. Anyway look at vlingo, I use blueant.

  12. Thomas Taber

    06/06/2011 at 9:27 pm

    A new phone every year? Why? There’s been a civil year that’s waged for thirty years in Sri Lanka, famines in Mexico, all of Europe, India and in China – grain prices have spiked past doubling multiple times in the past decades – the United State’s economy is in shambles, and you’re worried about getting a new phone?

    Shut the hell up and suck it up. Barely anyone in this world can even dream of the superfluities that you or I posses, so why don’t you give that $300 to an organization that has more allegiance to humanity than it does to stock owners.

    • Anonymous

      06/06/2011 at 10:18 pm

      Ok so i guess I should just stay at home, save every penny and NOT enjoy my life because other parts of the world did not get as luck y as me!!!!!

      Yeah now that sounds cool. Lets be miserable just becasue the entire world cannot afford an iPhone!

      Thomas please drink some bleach and do not poisen this world anymore!!!

      • Thomas Taber

        07/20/2011 at 7:57 pm

        Did I tell you to do anything like that? No, I was simply pointing out how decrying a corporation’s inability or lack of desire to push out a new product in a set product cycle is ridiculous. Further, I was ridiculing the desire to have a new piece of gadgetry every single year. This then parallels the macrocosm where people in Sri Lanka, Sudan and Ethiopia have yet to even touch a computer. I was, perhaps, suggesting that some of personal wealth that we use on needless superfluities (a new phone, every single year), should be use to aid more humanitarian efforts that better our world, instead Steve Jobs and Apple stockholders.

        And seriously, you have to have a new phone to enjoy life? I can enjoy life by taking a hike. Maybe you should put your technology down and go do something for a change.

        P.S.
        It’s American consumerism and push for superfluities that’s poisoning this world (global warming, CFC’s…)

    • Church

      06/06/2011 at 10:42 pm

      Civil wars and famines in other countries have nothing to do with me, so I should not be able to spend my own money how I feel necessary? Your argument is silly.

      • Thomas Taber

        07/20/2011 at 8:00 pm

        Your psyche is apparently underdeveloped as you haven’t even begun to transition from the selfish “I” to the socialized “me”, where concepts like social imagination become paramount to our existence.

        Your thinking is exactly how the holocaust happened.

    • Rmn2011

      06/07/2011 at 6:14 am

      our economy runs on people buying stuff. if everyone stopped buying luxury items, and I use the word luxury loosely, then our economy would go downhill fast.

      • Thomas Taber

        07/20/2011 at 8:01 pm

        Didn’t superfluities and indulgence cause our economy to collapse anyway…?

    • Rodney Hammersmith

      06/07/2011 at 7:11 am

      Thirty years is certainly a long time for a civil year to go on.  Please, explain how such magic is possible.

      • Thomas Taber

        07/20/2011 at 7:52 pm

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_Civil_War
        When outside forces begin to support different factions, tensions increase. The support of the Indian government on behalf of the Tamils, whilst the international world decrying the Tamil Tiger’s “inhumanities” kept the war from its apex, as it was artificially being continued.

  13. Thomas Taber

    06/06/2011 at 9:27 pm

    A new phone every year? Why? There’s been a civil year that’s waged for thirty years in Sri Lanka, famines in Mexico, all of Europe, India and in China – grain prices have spiked past doubling multiple times in the past decades – the United State’s economy is in shambles, and you’re worried about getting a new phone?

    Shut the hell up and suck it up. Barely anyone in this world can even dream of the superfluities that you or I posses, so why don’t you give that $300 to an organization that has more allegiance to humanity than it does to stock owners.

  14. Ben Townsend

    06/06/2011 at 9:38 pm

    I think iPhones should go on a two year schedule anyways. Most mobile phone companies give you upgrades for no cost (besides the hardware itself if you choose to buy a decent phone) every two years. That would be way better for the Apple Addicts. Then their mobile phone schedule would be on a good track. Too bad Apple wants to make a ton of money annually

    • Anonymous

      06/06/2011 at 9:46 pm

      The iPhone will never be on a ‘free upgrade’ system

      • Mertin

        06/06/2011 at 10:38 pm

        iPhone 3GS is free in Canada.

    • Zen

      06/07/2011 at 4:08 am

      Crawl back in your hole.  If they didn’t want to make a ton of money annually, they would be out of business.  No one would be sitting around reading these ridiculous articles waiting for Apple products to come out and drain their bank accounts.  Wake up, they are in business to make a bunch of money all the time, not to make cool things without a profit.  Pretty much every decision they make is to get you to part with as many of your dollars as they can get you to, while maximizing profit and minimizing cost.  Get it.  It’s called business.  Now go out and spend your dollars wisely.  Or better yet, spend as few of them as you can, without making yourself miserable.  Maybe then you can start a big multinational corporation that employ’s thousands of people, makes great products that we all want and we can fill up blogs about you.

  15. Misirali185

    06/06/2011 at 9:39 pm

    i have been a fan of iphone
    but today it put me off
    what a shame apple
    was really looking forward for a new iphone 

    • Anonymous

      06/06/2011 at 10:20 pm

      I agree! I have bought the new iphone every years since it came out! I enjoy having the latest Apple gadget. I have th Ipad 1 and it was passed on to my kid sis when i got the iPad 2.

      Apple… WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?!?????!?!?!?!??????!?!?!?!?!??!?!?

      Gimme my new iPhone! I dont care if the world is coming to an end. Id rather die with the newest iiphone in my pocklet!

      lol

  16. Azarafail

    06/06/2011 at 9:40 pm

    I cant believe noone has said …wait a minute if my entire life is stored on apples servers what happens if the get hacked?…. oh wait noone will think of that because so many people are addicted to a gadget thats out dated …. nice lol

  17. Guest

    06/06/2011 at 9:44 pm

    this is super LAME of Apple….

  18. Anonymous

    06/06/2011 at 9:48 pm

    Oh the hillarity, seriously!

    You people really need to learn self control and patience.Did I WANT to see a new iPhone this time? Absolutely. 
    Can I WAIT a few months? Definitely!
    self discipline and patience. No wonder the U.S. is known for it’s greed, from EVERY class

  19. DS

    06/06/2011 at 9:50 pm

    Unless you must upgrade due to your phone being damaged, just wait it out.  It’s not like at&t forces you to sign a new contract if you don’t upgrade.  Just go month-to-month until a phone you love comes out. 

  20. Dominik Szewczyk

    06/06/2011 at 9:53 pm

    This announcement was padded with software overload — almost too padded, it seemed. I think there will be a surprise within the next several months in regards to a phone. If you follow some of the reputable leaks, there was some hardware build delay. It’s all there. Paint the picture. At the end of the day, Apple has to come make a profit, and it has to serve its investors – whether it’s in tangible or non-tangible fashion.

  21. Thedac84

    06/06/2011 at 9:53 pm

    The Nexus S 4G on Sprint looks mighty fine right now. I can ASSURE you everyone with a 3GS in the LA area is leaving AT&T. 

  22. nakedidea

    06/06/2011 at 9:54 pm

    Looks like the Android is on the fast track; iPhone is stuck on traffic.

    • Anonymous

      06/06/2011 at 10:22 pm

      What did you say you d a m geek?

      Please just STFU!

      • Anonymous

        06/07/2011 at 6:10 am

        You are a complete and utter moron.

  23. Noliver2761

    06/06/2011 at 10:01 pm

    I’m just gonna get the 4 and get the 7 in ’13

  24. One

    06/06/2011 at 10:03 pm

    Ill bet anyone here $100 September the iphone 5 will be announced :p apple will call a press conference muqhahahaha apple I tell trade secrets

    • Lion

      06/06/2011 at 10:38 pm

      apple already announced iphone 5 in fall n it began in september so no need for betting $100 

    • Lion

      06/06/2011 at 10:39 pm

      mean ios 5 will land in fall so sure iphone 5 will be with it 

  25. Harrypop73

    06/06/2011 at 10:07 pm

    Waiting for iPhone 5 from 6 months. Contract up in Dec 2010. This sucks. I am going to Android and to Verizon. AT&T is crap.

    • Lion

      06/06/2011 at 10:40 pm

      Yeah i too going with verizon . Verizon here i  come ….Bye Bye Apple n ATT hello Android n bionic or charge

  26. GoodThings2Life

    06/06/2011 at 11:16 pm

    I’m officially removing GBM from my news feeds after this thread. If you seriously have to go into desperation for lack of a new iPhone, then your priorities are completely out of whack. Every article has become a complete rehash of each author’s posts about the latest iPhone or Android news, not one of which brings anything new to the table. This is why I’ve read infrequently and comment even less frequently these days.

  27. Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    06/07/2011 at 12:08 am

    From a different perspective, why would Apple give up a quarter’s worth of revenue this year and for years to come due the the phones being sold under a two year contract. This makes no sense and investors at least deserve an explanation.

  28. Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    06/07/2011 at 12:08 am

    From a different perspective, why would Apple give up a quarter’s worth of revenue this year and for years to come due the the phones being sold under a two year contract. This makes no sense and investors at least deserve an explanation.

    • Zen

      06/07/2011 at 4:23 am

      Exactly right.  Their is either a hardware delay, or a pivotal last minute design change, or a business decision regarding release time or something that caused this.  They are in this for one reason, to make money.  It would seem like a product delay would not help in accomplishing that, but we don’t have all the facts.  My guess is that the delay is not of their choosing, but they will put the best spin they can on it.  One thing is for sure, it is getting them a bunch of free publicity, and when this thing does release, it will be a big hit.  I’ll bet it gets a lot of Christmas dollars thrown at it.

      • Carolyn Nicander Mohr

        06/07/2011 at 2:36 pm

        Zen, you’re right and Apple isn’t making a lot from selling Lion or iTunes Match for $30. The hardware is what makes the money and Apple should announce when the new hardware is coming as an indicator for revenue projections.

  29. Juda

    06/07/2011 at 4:15 am

    You know why so many people are up in arms about the lack of an iPhone release? Because people actually want the product. I’m an iPhone 4 owner and am waiting patiently for the iPhone 5. You know why? Because Apple produces a very nice, very polished product. I don’t need a bunch of battery wasting inelegant features on my 5″ AMOLED screen with a battery life of ~4 hours. Android being a volatile OS is what keeps my money from reaching their hands. And please let us not forget that every single Android device on the market is there to compete with a single OS, iOS.

    I don’t want my phone to be an Apple knockoff, no matter how many extra bells and whistles Android OS developers add to the fray. I want my phone to work. And so far, Apple is the only company that manages to do it superbly. When Android versions 1 through whatever they are on now somehow manages to wrangle hardware and software into a cohesive and handsome package NOT made by Kyocera or another off brand company, then perhaps I’ll give it another look. To put it another way, I’d rather own last years BMW 5 series than this years Hyundai.

  30. Bccannon

    06/07/2011 at 6:33 am

    We have 3-year contracts here in Canada, so I’m just due to replace my 3G with a new phone in August.  Since my phone was orphaned (no more upgrades) by Apple a few months ago, I’m not going to upgrade until the 5 comes out.  Period.  If my old phone cannot handle the upgrade, fair enough.  Upgrading to iOS 4 has allowed some of my apps to start working after a long delay on iOS 3, but at a price of some speed and a noticeably shorter battery life.  Still, if they orphan a phone after 2.5 years on the market, I don’t want to get stuck with a 4 that cannot be upgraded a year and a half from now.  So I will be patient.I love my phone and can’t wait to upgrade to what the new OS and (hopefully) the new phone will be able do.  If I knew there was to be no new phone for a year, I’d go iPhone 4 now but I won’t jump ship to Android (or any other) over this.  My girlfriend has a Windows phone, which is very good, but no overall improvement over the iPhone 4.  There are some advantages it has over the 4 and vice versa.  She has a 4.3″ screen, for example, but the 4 has a nicer one.  My old 3G still downloads stuff way faster than her brand new HTC HD7.  More importantly, I have over 100 apps on my 3G AND already know how to use it and them, so why would I switch?  Any other phone would have to be a 4 generation improvement to get me to do so.I think the last statement is the most relevant and the reason most people won’t be jumping back and forth from platform to platform.  ’Nuff said.

    • Relygn

      06/07/2011 at 10:32 am

      Apple seems to fail to understand how eagerly we wait for the newest iPhone release. Must thank them for neglecting our hopes and expectations.

  31. Tiger

    06/07/2011 at 7:31 am

    I’m getting either the iphone 5 or samsung galaxy s ii, maybe just whichever comes out first because I’m tired of waiting. 

    • Relygn

      06/07/2011 at 10:34 am

      Apple seems to fail to understand how eagerly we wait for the newest iPhone release. Must thank them for neglecting our hopes and expectations.

  32. Relygn

    06/07/2011 at 10:31 am

    Can’t stop being disappointed until now. This is just stupid. This year’s WWDC really sucked. Failing to announce the phone literally in the event for it. Just great.

    • Fodistpo

      06/07/2011 at 11:51 am

      the event is actually for SOFTWARE DEVELOPEMENT not for the device at alll and has been going on for apple prior to iphone. It’s a developers conference… New devices are just the plus. But it’s cool that this has become a spectacle like watching a football game

  33. richardpk

    06/07/2011 at 11:45 am

    I am still happy with my dial home phone.Its been in the family for 40 years.

    http://www.zibzoom.com/portal/richardpk

  34. Missharkiss

    06/07/2011 at 3:56 pm

    Remember, that some people haven’t only been waiting for two years for an upgrade, but some 3G owners didn’t upgrade for the iPhone 4 as they wanted it in White, then after waiting almost a year, they thought, why should I get an iPhone 4, when there will be a newer version in the summer? Well, Apple will be making money on those people now, as lots of them will just be sick of waiting and ordering an iPhone 4.
    Not me… I’ve got an IPad to entertain me, the 3G is just a phone…when it doesn’t freeze… Hahaha

  35. Missharkiss

    06/07/2011 at 3:56 pm

    Remember, that some people haven’t only been waiting for two years for an upgrade, but some 3G owners didn’t upgrade for the iPhone 4 as they wanted it in White, then after waiting almost a year, they thought, why should I get an iPhone 4, when there will be a newer version in the summer? Well, Apple will be making money on those people now, as lots of them will just be sick of waiting and ordering an iPhone 4.
    Not me… I’ve got an IPad to entertain me, the 3G is just a phone…when it doesn’t freeze… Hahaha

  36. Sanchodayus2308

    06/07/2011 at 8:39 pm

    iphone 4 all the way baby, and with imessage on ios5, who needs a blackberry really? :)

  37. Redbaron

    06/08/2011 at 1:34 am

    And what to think of the new Iphone users that have heard the rumors about Iphone5. 
    Even I’ll be waiting till the new one comes out iso having to buy something old…..like an Iphone4.

  38. Olawale Daniel Tayo

    06/12/2011 at 2:48 pm

    This is really cool to hear. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

  39. mich

    06/17/2011 at 5:31 am

    Is there any way to get a temporary phone (any type) for just a month or two without costing loads of money? I have a BlackBerry that my company pays for and will have to give it back when I leave my job in early August. What can I do for the month in between while waiting for the iphone 5? Cricket?

  40. Westppc

    06/20/2011 at 10:34 pm

    Got an Infuse and never looking back.

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