Should you switch to the iPhone 5? Ehhhhh… maybe?

By 09.17.12

The iPhone 5 is coming out Friday, and a lot of people are wondering if they should switch. The answer is really less about technological superiority and more about image than anything else.

iphone 5I’m going to tell you something that nobody else seems willing to admit. What phone you use? It’s largely cosmetic because you don’t push your phone very far.

There are reasons you may want to choose Android over iOS and vice versa, but they’re largely boring nerd arguments about open-source software and platforms. As a boring nerd I find these exciting and compelling, but you probably don’t. The reality is, if you’re buying a smartphone, you’re probably using it for a handful of functions: Web-surfing, transactions (think movie tickets), maps, text messaging, email checking, the occasional YouTube video, camera functions and, oh yeah, phone calls, and both systems are intuitive and easy to use.

If your phone is a year or so old, and you want to upgrade, then you should. If you’re stepping up from, say, Android 2.3 to Android 4.0, Windows Phone 8 or iOS 6, it’ll be a much better experience.

But look into your options first and think about your digital life. If you don’t buy music from iTunes or use other Apple services or products, there’s not really a terribly compelling reason to get an iPhone 5 over another high-end smartphone outside of hipster cred, and Apple is going to sell millions of these things.

The iPhone 5 is an excellent smartphone at a competitive price, but treat it like any other product: Weigh your options, try out the product, and shop around. This thing is only going to be cool for about a month, then anybody will be able to get one. So don’t let scarcity affect your decisions.

Unless you plan to sell it on eBay.


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