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Goodbye iPhone 3GS, Hello iPhone 5

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Apple has yet to announce the iPhone 5 but I already know exactly which iPhone 5 I’ll be ordering if the rumors hold up.

For the past three plus years, I have been an owner of the iPhone 3GS. And while I own a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, the iPhone 3GS remains my daily driver. To date, it has been the best smartphone I’ve ever owned. However, now that Apple looks like it finally is going to get rid of the iPhone 4S/iPhone 4 design and upgrade the iPhone with 4G LTE data speeds, my iPhone 3GS is likely headed for retirement.

And while there are an assortment of options for me out there in terms of a replacement, I have decided that I am going to be pre-ordering the iPhone 5.

Read: iPhone 3GS Review: Three Years with the iPhone 3GS.

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My iPhone 3GS will be replaced soon, likely by the iPhone 5.

In fact, I have already decided which carrier I’ll be pairing with my iPhone 5 and how much storage space I am going to need.

Here’s how I came to my conclusion.

Why I Am Buying the iPhone 5

One of the main reasons I’ve held onto my iPhone 3GS is because of the support that Apple has given to it. I’ve seen upgrades over the past three years first to iOS 4 then to iOS 5 and now, my iPhone 3GS is in line to get some of the features that will be coming with Apple’s latest piece of software, iOS 6.

That kind of support, at the moment, is unparalleled. Microsoft isn’t upgrading any of its current Windows Phones, even its 2012 Windows Phones, with Windows Phone 8 and Android is so unpredictable with its updates that it makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

Read: iPhone 5 Release Date Set for September 21.

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The iPhone 5 rumors will come to a head on September 12th.

When I buy a phone I don’t want there to be a chance that I’ll get the next big piece of software, I want to know that I’ll get it and that’s a big reason why I’ll be buying the iPhone 5.

There are several other reasons as well:

  • Apple is heavily rumored to have added a bigger display. A 4-inch display is my sweet spot. Screen isn’t so big that it feels like a tablet, and it isn’t so small where watching content is a pain.
  • 4G LTE data speeds. I refuse to buy another phone without 4G LTE and the iPhone 5 is rumored to have it on board.

With iOS 6 and 4G LTE, I have a phone that will last me for the next two years and it will likely do so without showing too much age. While my iPhone 3GS isn’t perfect, it definitely does not feel like a device that was released three plus years ago and I love that.

Nexus Debacle

Software, hardware and the iPhone 3GS aren’t the only things that have sold me on the iPhone 5 though. In fact, Apple’s competitors have pretty much done Apple’s job for it.

As many of you know, I own a Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, a device that I feel has completely tainted the Nexus name and has convinced me to never buy an Android phone attached to carrier again. Even a Nexus device.

Read: Verizon Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean Update Release Date “Expected Soon”.

Being last to a major Android upgrade is one thing but not getting a crucial bug fix update for five months, to a Nexus device no less, is unacceptable in my book.

Android, at this stage in its existence, offers me too many headaches. And while I’m excited to see what Google announces later this year with its next Nexus, the Galaxy Nexus experience tainted me too much to think about buying it.

Windows Phone

I’ll admit, Windows Phone 8 has me intrigued. If I wasn’t going to buy the iPhone 5, I’d probably go Windows Phone for my next device. However, the lack of awesome applications frustrates me (Instagram, Flipboard and others to name a few) and until Microsoft shores that side of things up, I’m going to stay away.

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It’s hard to get excited about WP8 and its hardware without any release dates.

That Lumia 920 looks really nice though. Too bad it doesn’t have a release date, something that the iPhone 5 will have after Apple announces it on September 12th.

So those are the reasons why I am buying the iPhone 5. And now, here’s what I will be pre-ordering, specifically, on launch day, assuming I have the option to do so:

AT&T/Verizon

With the iPhone 5, maybe the biggest decision I am going to have to make is what carrier to get it on. My contract with AT&T is up and I am free to go where I want.

And while Sprint and Verizon are definitely viable options, I am likely going to stick with AT&T with the iPhone 5. No, I have not taken crazy pills. Hear me out.

Read: Sprint 4G LTE Hitting 100+ Cities ‘Months’ after iPhone 5 Release.

My place of residence has 4G LTE service available so lack of 4G LTE with AT&T isn’t an issue for me. In fact, the Bay Area itself is pretty well covered by 4G LTE. Verizon is here as well but Sprint is not which effectively eliminates Sprint altogether, unlimited data and all.

So really, it’s a fight between AT&T and Verizon and at this point, I can’t decide between the two.

I’ve been with AT&T for three years and haven’t had any issues. I’ve had my Galaxy Nexus on Verizon for less than a year and while Verizon screwed up updates, it hasn’t overcharged me or done anything suspicious.

Customer service, at least for me, has been a dead heat between the two.

There are, however, two things pulling me in AT&T’s direction. One, AT&T’s “4G” network which will likely serve as a backup should my iPhone 5 not be able to connect to 4G LTE. AT&T’s “4G” network, which is HSPA+ in name, is faster than normal 3G. Verizon only has a 3G network to back up its 4G LTE network.

The other is the fact that I am an unlimited customer grandfathered into a plan on AT&T. My understanding right now is that I’ll be able to keep unlimited data, throttled of course, if I upgrade with AT&T.

Here is what AT&T told me when I asked about keeping my unlimited plan:

Customers can grand father their unlimited data plan as long as they are upgrading from a smartphone to another smartphone type device. You will be prompted to select a new data plan for the upgrade order. When you received your new phone, please call customer care to grand father your unlimited data plan for you.

This is much more appealing than a shared data plan on Verizon and thus, right now, AT&T looks like it may win my business.

32GB of Storage

With the iPhone 3GS, I was the owner of 16GB of storage. I have been dangerously close to using up all of that space for about the entire time that I’ve owned the phone.

Read: iPhone 5 Price and Storage Options Revealed?

iPhone-5-Release-Date-Rumors-Photos

So, that rules out the 16GB model. And while 64GB is great, there is absolutely no way I am going to fill it up with that amount of content, music and all.

Read: Why I Regret Buying the 16GB New iPad.

That means that 32GB is going to be my sweet spot this time around, an iPhone 5 storage option that should cost me $299.99.

What about you? Are you buying the iPhone 5?

8 Comments

  1. Alex

    09/10/2012 at 4:47 pm

    I’m happy for you!

  2. Misty

    09/10/2012 at 6:37 pm

    hell yes i am…can’t wait

  3. Yoric

    09/11/2012 at 1:07 am

    Good rational article, the iPhone is obviously the best phone for you. I’ll stick with the Galaxy Nexus (not tied to a carrier), as it poops all over the iPhone IMO. I had the 3, 3GS and the 4, but the GNex is much better, and not being carrier tied I get the updates straight from Google.

  4. sharon

    09/11/2012 at 1:14 am

    my iphone 3 just doesnt work with its applications again,what could be d cause of dis?

  5. Bryan

    09/11/2012 at 1:19 pm

    I have the exact same phone down to the gigabytes. I’m on AT&T and grandfathered. I only need to decide on the 32 vs 64. I don’t have a huge navigation app on mine but I hope if I decide on 32 GB that I don’t regret it. Even though my 3Gs works better than ever, I think it’s time for a speed, megapixel and Siri bump.

  6. Bryan

    09/11/2012 at 1:23 pm

    Sharon, have you force quit the app(s)? try these. In iOS 4 or higher, it’s easy to kill the offending app by taking advantage of the built-in Fast App Switcher.

    To access this, double click the home button to reveal the row of apps below the dock
    Slide the apps from side to side to find the one you want to quit
    When you find it, tap and hold the app until a red badge with a line through it appears. The apps will also wiggle like they do when you’re rearranging them
    When the red badge appears, tap it to kill the app and any background processes it might be running
    When you’re killed all the apps you want, click the home button again to return to using your iPhone.
    Force Quit the App

    On older versions of the iOS that didn’t include multitasking, or when the Fast App Switcher won’t work, hold down the home button at the bottom center of the iPhone for about 6 seconds. This should quit the program and return you to the main home screen. If it doesn’t, you may need to reset the device.

  7. Tim

    10/05/2012 at 6:23 pm

    Adam, I am a very busy guy, and admittedly don’t pay as much attention to my bills a I should. I also have the unlimited “grandfathered” plan. I have not been very happy with AT&T’s coverage out of town, and thought since I need to move from the 3GS (which has been flawless other than the battery life lately) to the iPhone 5, I should check out Verizon as well. Verizon is priced based on data usage tiers, so I went to my AT&T account to see how much I really use, since I don’t pay attention having an unlimited plan. I noticed that there was an unlimited plan listed on their site for $69.99 per month. Mine has been costing me $99.99 per month, and I’m somewhat embarassed to say, I have been paying the extra $30 for nearly 3 years. After about 30 minutes on the phone with them, I ended up with a partial credit and 6 months of “free” messaging. I’m out about $650 over that time in the end. They say it’s my fault for not checking back to see if plans had changed, and to some degree that may be true. But if I made my customers check a website regularly to be sure I wasn’t screwing them, I wouldn’t stay in business long. And it’s not like we have been incommunicado (sp?) over the years. I wonder how many other people are/were in this boat. For those who didn’t wait to avoid the crowds like me, it’s a moot point, as new contracts are in effect. For me, I think I will take a couple months of no bill, charge my phone twice a day, then jump ship to a company with decent coverage, after I give them one more chance to make it closer to right. I only went back to AT&T back then for the iPhone anyway, never been a huge fan.

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