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Why You Shouldn’t Buy the iPhone 4S Right Now



Even with the iPhone 5S launch date inching closer, there are still plenty of smartphone shoppers out there that have their eyes on another iPhone. In particular, some buyers may have their eyes on Apple’s iPhone 4S, a device that is still one of the better budget smartphone options available and one that will be getting a boost when it gets iOS 7. That said, there are several reasons why right now is not the time to buy the iPhone 4S.

In October of 2011, Apple released the iPhone 4S, an ‘S’ model iPhone that replaced the companies iPhone 4 with new antennas, a new camera, a better processor and unique software that included Siri, the personal assistant that never came to the iPhone 4. For a year, the device was Apple’s flagship smartphone, advertised on televisions and computer screens across the planet. And then, the iPhone 5 happened.

Last September, the iPhone 4S was replaced by the iPhone 5 as Apple’s flagship iPhone, bringing a larger 4-inch display, Lightning port, improved camera, sleeker industrial design, faster processor, and 4G LTE data speeds to the table. Of course, even with the upgrades, the arrival of the iPhone 5 didn’t do away with the iPhone 4S completely.

The device has remained on board as a $99 budget iPhone option and thus far, it looks like the scheme has worked. Apple’s iPhone 4S reportedly still makes up for 30% of iPhone sales, an impressive feat in its old age.

To this day, the iPhone 4S remains an attractive option, not just because of its feature set and price but thanks to the fact that it will be getting iOS 7 sometime in September. iOS 7 should breathe new life into the iPhone 4S and give owners with expiring contracts a reason to pause.

That said, right now is a terrible time to buy the iPhone 4S and here’s why.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy the iPhone 4S Right Now

Don't buy the iPhone 4S right now.

Don’t buy the iPhone 4S right now.

iPhone 5C on Horizon

Maybe the first reason to pause and hold off on buying the iPhone 4S is because Apple is rumored to be coming out with an iPhone 5C, a cheaper version of the iPhone that is said to be coming with several different colors, a plastic shell, a 4-inch Retina display, Lightning dock connector, a camera that could be on par with the iPhone 5’s and more.

Most buyers looking at the iPhone 4S will be thinking about two things. One, the price. Well, the iPhone 5C is likely going to be extremely cheap as well. Second, whether or not the latest specifications are necessary. Well, one of the big perks of the iPhone 5C is that it should unify Apple’s products, meaning, it will have 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and a Lightning dock.

The iPhone 5C is expected to join Apple's iPhone 5S.

The iPhone 5C is expected to join Apple’s iPhone 5S.

The iPhone 4S doesn’t have that type of aspect ratio with its smaller 3.5-inch display and it doesn’t have the Lightning port which will mean fewer accessories going forward.

There is no guarantee the iPhone 5C will come to the United States but for those thinking about buying the iPhone 4S, it’s worth it to wait and see.

More Options Too

So maybe the iPhone 5C doesn’t come to the United States. So what? By waiting a few weeks, prospective iPhone 4S buyers open themselves up to two very positive things.

The first being the options that will become available to prospective iPhone 4S buyers in the coming weeks. On September 4th, the Galaxy Note 3 will arrive, giving buyers another flagship to consider. That will in turn drop the price of the Galaxy Note 2.

Expect an improved camera with supporting software.

There will be an assortment of options come September.

Then, we have the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5S will likely check in at $199.99 and with its upgrades, will be worth looking at. We should also see the iPhone 5 price drop as well which will give buyers another budget option with 4-inch display, Lightning port, 4G LTE and more.

We are also close to launches for the LG G2, LG’s new flagship, Moto X, Motorola’s new flagship, and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. And we should continue to see big name flagships like the Galaxy S4, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z continue to fall in price.

By waiting a few weeks, iPhone 4S buyers will have more options, some budget, some not, and at that point if the iPhone 4S is still the winner, at least the decision will have been an informed one.

Price Drop

We should see the price of the iPhone 4S drop as well, even if the iPhone 5C replaces it. Retailers will need to offload stock if it does get discontinued and it could be that they offer it for free to entice buyers to get it out of their hands. There is also a chance that we see it survive and get dropped down to free much like the iPhone 4 price right now.

Either way, the price is going to drop when the iPhone 5S arrives, whether it’s through retailers or through other means, just another reason why buyers should avoid the iPhone 4S and its $99 price tag right now


And finally, heed this warning. The iPhone 4S will be getting iOS 7 but it won’t be getting all of iOS 7’s features. Specifically, it won’t get the benefit of AirDrop or the ability to view photo filters within the Camera application. It also won’t get any unique software that the iPhone 5S gets, software that is said to be for the fingerprint reader and or camera.

Maybe the missing features won’t matter to some people but it’s worth waiting to make sure that that is indeed the case. No sense in buying the iPhone 4S now and wishing that you hadn’t thanks to missing software features.

The iPhone 4S is also about to turn two years old which means, that at the most, it has one year of software support left. Even then, the iOS 8 that comes to the iPhone 4S next year will be watered down and will be missing features. This makes it extremely tough to recommend signing a contract with the iPhone 4S.

For a little more money, buyers can get the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 5 or even the iPhone 5C which should get software updates for years to come, rather than year to come. It may not seem like much now, but just wait until iOS 9 or iOS 10 come out. Something to think about as we get closer to the iPhone 5S launch.



  1. m.kinger (@mkinger2)

    08/22/2013 at 7:55 pm

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  2. kevin7

    08/22/2013 at 10:45 pm

    til I saw the check for $6355, I didnt believe that…my… brothers friend was like they say realy taking home money parttime on-line.. there friend brother has been doing this for only 15 months and just repaid the loans on there villa and got a gorgeous Mazda. go to………..

  3. Robert

    08/23/2013 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Adam, I’m from South Africa and have both the 5 & 4s love them both.I do have a Nokia 920 as well and I’m satisfied,android was a dissapoinment?I won’t buy one again,I still believe a 5c won’t equal a 4s, the glass feels so premium and elegant and I like the screen size,it’s perfect for me.It all boils down to once choice.The only problem with apple devices it’s expensive to download apps,outside the US.

  4. Kukz

    09/12/2013 at 9:21 am

    Hi adam, i ve used both 4s and 5 but i dont think 5c can give the premium solid glassy feel like 4s or 5. Apple seems to have copied design cues from nokia 501 and shinny polycarbonate seems cheap for an Apple product but anyways the handset isnt cheaper in asia as apple promised thou cheaper than 4s! But looking at the spec sheet surely 5c is a winner! Anyways 4s perfectly fits my small hands and love the premium alround metal.

  5. Tad

    09/17/2013 at 8:51 am

    After reading this article, I am definitely set on the 4s. I was considering the 5 for a long time, but this article proved to me that the 4s is the better deal. Thank you so much!

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