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Would You Buy an iPhone 5 Sight Unseen? [Poll]

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Would you order the upcoming Apple iPhone 5 sight unseen?

That’s the question put to me by our own Xavier Lanier and my first reaction was, “Absolutely not!”

As I thought about it, that question isn’t so cut and dried, especially when you consider the hypothetical scenario he gave me.

The Scenario

What if something really strange happened and Apple announced that they would be taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5 starting Friday, but would not announce or reveal any of the pertinent details until an event scheduled for the first week of October. Who knows why? Maybe supply chain issues or just for fun social engineering experience that Steve Wozniak the prankster cooked up to help Tim Cook kick off the iPhone 5 launch.

Would you order the iPhone 5 sight unseen? The scenario gets harder if Apple also announced that for some reason you wouldn’t get one until next Spring if you don’t preorder now because they know they won’t have enough to meet launch day demand.

The unlikely scenario gets at one issue. Are Apple customers willing to place an order for an Apple product that proved successful through multiple generations, but will possibly change significantly in this next generation.

Possible iPhone 5 Mockup

I Wouldn’t

I don’t think I would for a number of reasons.

First, who knows what crazy changes they might cook up. Case in point – the Apple TV removed local storage in the second iteration and the MacBook Air’s third generation lost discrete graphics and we all remember the HP iPod disaster which required buyers to get tech support from HP instead of Apple.

Second, The iPhone 4 antenna issue and glass back shows that not all iPhone updates have been clear improvements. These issues didn’t affect me that much, but what if the new one has a similar issue that does.

Third, Apple iPhone has stiff competition from Android. Even if you love the new device specs and have to upgrade due to problems with your current phone you can get a really good Android phone, like the Droid Bionic, while everyone else waits around for the iPhone 5, you’ll already be enjoying your smartphone.

Finally, as an Android user, the new iPhone will have to have a few things before I’m willing to return. Here’s what I need, and need to know for certain before buying an iPhone again.

  • A larger 4″ screen – The 4.5″ display on my Infuse 4G has me spoiled.
  • Better voice integration – I love pushing a button to search by voice or enter directions without typing.
  • Better navigation – Android’s Maps app, beats the iPhone’s built in solution so bad it isn’t funny. I’d love to see a solution like Navigon, with offline maps, built in to the next iPhone.

My Wife Would

Despite these reasons, some would likely buy no matter what. I asked my family this question. While my two sons are happy with their present phones, my wife isn’t. If she could get the iPhone 5 sooner, rather than later, by buying sight unseen, then she would pay up.

Her current iPhone 3GS, which is her second iPhone, has a crap battery that quits on her at about 55%. She has to keep plugging it in to last through a single day. When I asked her why she would preorder not knowing anything about the new iPhone she said she didn’t think it would be worse than the current iPhone 4.

She like many other Apple customers believes the following:

  • Apple can be trusted to improve the vast majority of times. Few subsequent generation products from Apple have been worse than previous generations and with the iPhone. Apple’s track record for the iPhone is pretty darn close to 100%.
  • Even Apple really drops a dud iPhone on the market, you can always return it within 14 days.
  • Apple’s customers service track record inspires confidence that they will make good on any significant problems with the new iPhone, should one exist. Remember that they did give away a free case last year for people who bought the iPhone 4 and had problems with reception.

Would You?

Would you buy an iPhone 5 today, without any additional details?

View Results

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Kevin loves notebooks, tablets, gadgets and photography. He grew up with computers starting out on a Vic 20 and Commodore 64. The first computer he owned himself was an 8086 Compaq Deskpro. His foray into tablet computing began when he bought a Samsung Q1 Ultra. The smartphone market opened up for him with his Palm Treo 600.

21 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    09/04/2011 at 5:36 pm

    I research any phone before I buy it.  I want to know why I should spend my money on this phone instead of any other phones.  This goes with tablets, notebooks, netbooks, webcam, video games, consoles, etc. Practically anything I buy.  I really don’t get the “does it have an Apple logo” style of buying products.  Especially when so much information is available to consumers with the click of a button.  It really is possible to buy something that might meet your needs better and also be cheaper if you just put a little effort.

  2. michael roche

    09/04/2011 at 6:30 pm

    Interested article! Personally i thought this was about the Iphone 5 not just if you “would or Would not” buy it Guys if you want Info on the Iphone 5 Visit http://iphone5shopping.com they have great reviews, Info and Pics!

  3. Boomhauer

    09/04/2011 at 6:36 pm

    wow, cant believe so many idiots said they would buy it without knowing its specs or looks. lol…idiots.

  4. Guest

    09/04/2011 at 7:49 pm

    If it’s not LTE then forget it. No way I’m going to sign a two year contract for some slow out date tech phone.

  5. Guest

    09/04/2011 at 8:48 pm

    I’d buy it, but then again, I’m worse off than your wife… I’m still using a 3G (no S) and have been holding out for the new generation.

    • Kiko Reyes

      09/05/2011 at 1:44 pm

      still hanging on to a 3G, too… it’s already cracked in the back and beginning to feel slow, but i will hold out until the next gen.

  6. Mreilly

    09/04/2011 at 8:58 pm

    > My answer was, I’d buy, but only if it was 6 months early.  I’ve waited so long, I can wait a little while.
    > I’ve been waiting for years for an iPhone on Verizon.  In fact, I’ve been buying my phones for years on Ebay and Craigslist, to keep my plan option open for the iPhone.  My current phone was a Motorola Citrus I bought for $50 on Craigslist, on the last day I could get the unlimited plan (1-1/2 hrs before closing).  I also wanted to try out Android.  The Citrus is a horrible phone.  I guess it’s not a fair representation of Android, but it was the only smart phone I could find at good discount.  After the Citrus, I don’t like Android.
    > I would have bought a Verizon iPhone 4 when they first came out, if Verizon or Apple had told us they weren’t coming out with the next one until October.  I couldn’t see buying the ’4, when the ’5 would be out in 3 or 4 months.
    > The only thing that could change my mind about buying the iPhone would be if a Windows Phone 7(or 8) came out with a large screen phone like the Samsung Galaxy Note, with stylus and true text recognition.

  7. Trekvt12

    09/04/2011 at 10:22 pm

    Anything Apple makes will be an upgrade from the buggy piece of HTC phone I have now.

  8. Anonymous

    09/04/2011 at 10:51 pm

    To each his own I say, if you want to be “sheeple” for Apple, HTC, Moto, ect; then that’s your choice. I for one, prefer a more objective approach with phones. I will be caring only about the most capable, flexible, and future proof phone with little allegiance to any manufacturer when I upgrade next month. A few months ago I would have said the Bionic would be that phone, then the SGSII. Now its looking like the Prime might be it. To me, however, the Iphone 5 will be dead on arrival as it will likely be a generation behind current android top offerings (4g, 4″+ screens, micro usb, Micro SD, ect).

    • Guest

      09/06/2011 at 7:04 am

      Actually Android users are the sheeple! Yes I know shocking as that might be think about it: you use google search, google email, google videos (google owns YouTube), google facebook (google+), google twitter (google buzz) and now you use google phone. Android users are the followers, not iOS users, we didn’t sign our souls over to almighty Google. Oh and FYI, bragging about your megapixels and screen size is FAIL, no one buys a iPhone for megapixels, we buy it for iOS. I’d buy a iPhone with a 2mp camera if it had a fast CPU and ran the latest iOS.

  9. FtKnoxTMO

    09/05/2011 at 1:54 am

    No way!

  10. David Gaw

    09/05/2011 at 4:45 am

    Without hesitation, yes. I lost my iPhone 4 a couple of months ago.  I really liked it, I have invested heavily in iOS apps, and Android doesn’t really interest me, so I would buy another iPhone 4 if the iPhone 5 weren’t just around the corner.  Since it is, and I’m confident it will be at least as capable as the iPhone 4, buying one is offers nothing but upside for me.  I just wish Apple would get around to letting us know what I’m going to buying from them.

  11. Will Quick

    09/05/2011 at 7:22 am

    Having had all Iphones , lost my iphone 4 without insurance (let the mocking commence) and moved to android I can simply say that I would switch to the 5 in a heart beat no second thought.  IOS 5 is simply the best operating system, I have had my moments with Android where I go thats very cool! apple should do that !! but then that was far outweighed by the ‘piece of #@!!T’. The GFs crackberry is fun but not enough crack and too much berry.  What you can guarentee from the Iphone 5 is that it will be faster the screen will either be better or as good as the truley awe inspiring quality of the retina display.  Photos have have never been so good.  The phone may have a better camera , well that be a nice bonus but hardly essential(maybe some more work on low light levels).  Most importantly though I would be back on the IOS with a good App store with all my apps and games, i’ll now be able to stream my 200 gig music libary (mostly copied from mates) where ever I go.  Every picture I take is backed up, and viewable when I get back from holiday .. Apple just make it all so creamy rich and fun.  Never used and enjoyed anything quite as much as an Iphone, so when given the question would I buy without seeing it,  the answer is obviously yes! There just simply isn’t anything else ~!!     

  12. WhySoSerious?

    09/05/2011 at 2:13 pm

    Yes. if it has Verizon 4G LTE

  13. JayDub

    09/05/2011 at 2:51 pm

    No way !!!! I would have to see the specs 1st. Besides android is the way to go, so much more customizable, with apple you get what you get.Not so with android there are so many apps in the mkt. to customize your phone to your liking. Apple wants to charge you for everything can’t even change your keyboard if you want too.

    • Mustang380hp8

      09/05/2011 at 8:10 pm

      Lol, I heard all about this customization nonsense. I have an htc inspire and it blows. I “customized” which still had far less customization than a jail broken iPhone. And the buggy thing crashes all the time. Woo android it great lol… Not.

      • guest

        03/20/2012 at 2:05 pm

        you obviously dont know how to use technology D$%^%ss. go buy an IPhone and you wont have to worry about freedom they will tell you what you can and cannot do

  14. Anonymous

    09/05/2011 at 4:39 pm

    Would you order the iPhone 5 sight unseen? The scenario gets harder if Apple also announced that for some reason you wouldn’t get one until next Spring if you don’t preorder now because they know they won’t have enough to meet launch day demand…@davidgaw:disqus I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use http://bit.ly/grab306

  15. Anonymous

    09/05/2011 at 4:39 pm

    Would you order the iPhone 5 sight unseen? The scenario gets harder if Apple also announced that for some reason you wouldn’t get one until next Spring if you don’t preorder now because they know they won’t have enough to meet launch day demand…@davidgaw:disqus I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use http://bit.ly/grab306

  16. Guest

    09/06/2011 at 6:54 am

    Yes! Of course I would buy. The iPhone is about the only line of products that have become consistently better in quality and features with each new generation. That is one of thr nice things about Apple products, you can trust them to always release quality products which is not something I can say about Android products (yes, I’m looking at you <$100 chinese android tablets). I have a 3GS and my wife finally got a 3GS after playing with mine for two years. I love the 3GS but it's getting a bit long in the tooth and it's tine for something new.

  17. Anonymous

    09/09/2011 at 3:04 pm

    here GOOAPPLE (iphone 4 with android)sheap http://WWW.MYTOUCH-PHONE.COM and the new IPHONE 5
    http://www.mytouch-phone.com

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