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iOS 7: Why it’s Time to Replace the iPhone 4



With the impending launch of iOS 7 sometime this fall, we believe this is a good time to update an iPhone 4 to a newer model thanks to improvements in hardware and most notably the changes in iOS 7 some of which won’t work on an iPhone 4.

A new iOS 7 beta 3 hit the Apple developer’s website July 8 and got installed on iPhones and iPads with few significant changes. The best new feature includes a nice Wi-Fi and Cellular switching that kicks in when a user’s Internet connection on their Wi-Fi network quits working. We also learned that some features won’t work on iPhone 4 or older. We already knew about a few things like AirDrop, the new filters in the Camera app and the panorama feature in the Camera app.

The iPhone 4 will get some of the new iOS 7 goodness, like the Control Center and iTunes Radio support. That’s why the iPhone 4 will still make a nice iOS 7 device for those who don’t care about the new features or for someone to get as a first smart phone since users can get one today for free if they sign up for a new two year contract.

iOS 7 Features Skipping the iPhone 4

Some of the features the new beta lists as not available on the iPhone 4 and earlier include the following:

  • Dynamic wallpaper which moves in the background when the user moves their phone
  • Blurred layers that show up when the control panel covers the background
  • Parallax effect which is the dynamic wallpapers fit this category but other things like multiple tabs looking 3D and icons floating above the home screen fit this as well and won’t show up on iPhone 4 and older
  • Letterpress text which gives developers the ability to change how text looks in their apps with better looking type
  • Weather conditions animations won’t show in weather app

Safari Parallax example

The iPhone 4 marks a big cutoff and can’t handle the above features mostly because of the weaker display hardware. iOS 7 displays the interface needing more power because of the 3D look, blurred backgrounds and dynamic motion home screen and lock screen backgrounds.

That makes iOS 7 and the introduction of the new iPhone 5S, or whatever Apple calls the next generation iPhone, a good upgrade point for owners of an iPhone 4 or older. Here are the primary reasons why.

  1. iOS 7 will likely run slower on iPhone 4 or older hardware
  2. iPhone 4 or older won’t get the above mentioned features
  3. Most iPhone 4 owners will likely find their 2-year commitment to their wireless carrier fulfilled making an iPhone 5S much cheaper to buy than those who will have to pay full price
  4. Batteries on older iPhones don’t run as efficiently

Users who can wait till the fall should. Most Apple observers believe a new iPhone 5S will get launched in September or October. People who can’t wait should definitely get an iPhone 5 so they can enjoy most of the new features in iOS 7. Look around because many retailers will offer great deals in advance of the new phone’s launch.



  1. skeptical1

    07/08/2013 at 2:58 pm

    Oooo! new wallpaper! Let’s empty our bank accounts before it’s too late. (lol)

    • John

      07/10/2013 at 6:55 pm

      Exactly. I expect to have my iPhone 4 for at least 5 yrs. It already does more than I need it to.

      • D

        09/12/2013 at 3:38 am

        Is having a smart device for only 2 years smart? If one takes care of it why not 5 years. How many features does the average user really need / use. Also if I have to upgrade, I am sure as heck going to look at all the options out there. If a pc / Mac can last and run well for 5+ years why not a phone?

  2. Tony

    07/08/2013 at 4:28 pm

    Why waste your money on the iPhone 5S half-baked version when everyone knows the better iPhone will be the iPhone 6. If you still have the iPhone 4 you may as well wait one more year, maybe less, and get the real improvements. Like hopefully a bigger screen for one.

  3. fefita

    08/01/2013 at 5:35 pm

    I think the writer is an apple fan! The iphone 4 can handle for another year, plus there it will not pass much time for jailbreaker to make those available for older divices! ;)

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