iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c: Should you upgrade?

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c: Should you upgrade?

2013 iPhone buyers guide: How to decide if you should upgrade to the high-end iPhone 5s, popular iPhone 5c, or zero-dollar iPhone 4s!

When a new iPhone is introduced - or this year when two new iPhones are introduced - one of the toughest decisions to make is whether or not to upgrade to the latest and the greatest. If money is no object, it won't matter. If you're due an upgrade on contract, it comes down to whether or not the new features in the iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s are compelling enough to be worth $100 or $200 or more to you. If you're not due an upgrade, or if you don't buy on contract, then that decision escalates to $550, $650, or more. So what are the pros and cons of upgrading to the iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, and when does the cost get overwhelmed by the value? Let's take a look...

iPhone spec comparison

Since its introduction in 2007 the iPhone has improved steadily over the years, adding higher density, bigger displays, faster Wi-Fi and cellular networking, better cameras, and new features like Siri and Touch ID. The above chart shows the evolution of the iPhone from the original to the latest iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, including pricing and capacity at launch. While what you paid for it when you got it might vary, you can check your current model and see how it compares to the ones available now.

iOS 7 compatibility

History of iPhone 3G: Twice as fast, for half the price

The ability to run iOS 7, and to be compatible with iOS 7 apps, is a major consideration. The iPhone 3GS won't be able to do either. The iPhone 4 will be, but in limited form. The iPhone 4S will be serviceable. That means you'll be end-of-lifed with the iPhone 3GS and hobbled with the iPhone 4.

Screen size

History of iPhone 3GS: Faster and more powerful

The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4s all have smaller, 3.5-inch screens. So even if the latter two can run iOS 7 and iOS 7 apps, it'll be in stunted, 960x640 pixel form instead of full, 1136x640 form. That means you won't be getting the full experience from new apps going forward.

LTE

History of iPhone 4: Changing everything - again

The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 tops out HSPA 7.2mbps. The iPhone 4s at HSPA 14.4mbps. None of them can access the much faster DC-HSPA+ 40mbps or LTE 100+mbps networks. That means you'll be stuck on dial up in an increasingly broadband world.

Also, the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s support an even greater range of LTE bands than the iPhone 5.

Camera

History of iPhone 4S: The most amazing iPhone yet

The iPhone 3GS has a poor 3mp/480p camera and no front-facing camera. The iPhone 4 has a marginally better 5mp/720p camera and a poor front-facing camera. The iPhone 4S has a fairly decent 8mp/1080p camera but still a poor front-facing camera. That means, with the exception of the iPhone 4S, any upgrade will enormously improve photographic quality.

Lightning connector

History of iPhone 5: The biggest thing to happen to iPhone

The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S have the old 30-pin Dock connector. While there remain an enormous amount of accessories for that connector, all new iOS devices will be using the all-new Lightning connector going forward. That means those models won't have access to the latest and greatest.

Siri

Everything you need to know about iOS 7 Siri: Apple's personal digital assistant gets a new look, new voices, and new connections to Wikipedia, Twitter, Bing, and settings.

The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 can't run Apple's virtual digital assistant, Siri. All though it's a second, natural language-based interface layer, it does provide all sorts of benefits, including hands-free features and will be integral to upcoming features like iOS in the Car

Colors

The iPhone 5c comes in 5 bright, polycarbonate colors including blue, green, pink, yellow, green, and white. The iPhone 5s comes in 5 metallic finished, including the same silver as the iPhone 5, and the new gold and space gray. That means with both new phones you get a variety of new color options.

Touch ID

iPhone 5s preview: Touch ID makes fingerprint authentication mainstream

Only the iPhone 5s will be able to use Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint authentication system. That means if you want to be able to unlock your iPhone or authorize iTunes purchases at the touch of the finger, you'll have to go to the iPhone 5s.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 3GS?

The iPhone 3GS was released in June of 2009 but was still available for $0 on contract until September of 2012. If you got one anytime shortly before then, you're probably still on contract. Early termination fees (ETFs) could make it financial unattractive to upgrade.

If you're not on contract, or are eligible for an upgrade for any reason, you absolutely should. If price is the most important factor, the $0 on-contract position has been taken over by the iPhone 4s, which not only has a Retina display, but Siri, a much better camera, and more importantly, the ability to run iOS 7 apps.

If you can afford it, however, the iPhone 5c is a much better option. Starting at $100 on contract, it gives you not only the new, bigger, 4-inch screen but the much more powerful Apple A6 processor, the new Lightning connector, and fast LTE cellular networking. It comes in bright plastic colors, but more importantly it's going to get iOS 8 next year, and likely iOS 9 beyond that, making it a far better long term investment.

Starting at $200 on contract, the iPhone 5s will give you an even better Apple A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor, a better iSight camera, and the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system.

The iPhone 3GS is end of life. Upgrade as soon as you can to whatever newer iPhone you can.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 4?

The iPhone 4 was released in June of 2010 but was still available at $0 on contract until September of 2013 (and is still available even now in China). If you got one anytime in the last year, you're still on contract. Early termination fees (ETFs) could make it financial unattractive to upgrade.

If you're not on contract, or are eligible for an upgrade for any reason, you should definitely consider it. If price is the most important factor, the $0 on-contract position has been taken over by the iPhone 4s. You'll be stuck on the same, 3.5-inch screen, but you'll get a much better camera and Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant.

If you can afford it, however, the iPhone 5c is a much better option. Starting at $100 on contract, it gives you not only the new, bigger, 4-inch screen but the much more powerful Apple A6 processor, the new Lightning connector, and fast LTE cellular networking. It comes in bright plastic colors, but more importantly it's going to get iOS 8 next year, and likely iOS 9 beyond that, making it a far better long term investment.

Starting at $200 on contract, the iPhone 5s will give you an even better Apple A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor, a better iSight camera, and the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system.

The iPhone 4 won't be a great experience on iOS 7. If you can, upgrade to whichever newer iPhone you can.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 4S?

The iPhone 4S was introduced in October of 2011 and is still available for $0 on contract. If you got one anytime in the last year, you're still on contract. Early termination fees (ETFs) could make it financial unattractive to upgrade.

If you're not on contract, or are eligible for an upgrade for any reason, you should consider it. The iPhone 5c starts at $100 on contract, gives you not only the new, bigger, 4-inch screen, and also the all-new Lightning connector, the much more powerful Apple A6 processor, and fast LTE cellular networking. It comes in bright plastic colors, but more importantly it's going to get iOS 8 next year, and likely iOS 9 beyond that, making it a far better long term investment.

Starting at $200 on contract, the iPhone 5s will give you an even better Apple A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor, a better iSight camera, and the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system.

The iPhone 4s is still serviceable but is showing its age. If you can upgrade, great. If not, next year is fine.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 5?

The iPhone 5 was introduced in September of 2012 but was discontinued in September of 2013. If you got one, you're likely still on contract. Early termination fees (ETFs) could make it financial unattractive to upgrade.

If you're not on contract, or are eligible for an upgrade for any reason, there are only a few reasons to consider upgrading, and even then, only to the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 5c is a repackaged iPhone 5 with a better LTE radio and FaceTime camera, and with new, colorful, polycarbonate casings. But they're otherwise identical. Unless you broke your iPhone 5 and need a replacement, there's no reason to make a lateral move.

The iPhone 5s will give you a better Apple A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor, a better iSight camera, and the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system.

The iPhone 5 is still an excellent iPhone. The only reason to upgrade is if you need the new LTE bands, or you simply have to have the latest and the greatest today.

Still undecided?

If you're still not sure about about upgrading to an iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 65 comments. Add yours.

stan1028 says:

"The iPhone 5 was introduced in 2012 but was discontinued in September of 2012". Shouldn't it be "... discontinued in September of 2013"? :)

Rene Ritchie says:

Yup, typo fixed. What's your view on upgrading?

romeo0569 says:

I definitely WILL upgrade. I can't wait to see what the new A7 64bit will be capable of!! Rene, will you be at Fairview Pointe Claire again for this launch?

lordjedii01 says:

It still exists, just an upgraded battery, and new back cover. Looks pretty nice too, what do you think?

Linebarrel86 says:

From a 4 or 4S, the upgrade is great. From 5 to 5S...its a tough sell.

Waiting means that the bugs from this model are worked out and in a year, the iPhone '6' will better utilize the new CPU.

Also...I've said it before...but Tony Stark would never use an iPhone. He's clearly an Android man.

Rene Ritchie says:

Stark would never run iOS or Android. He runs Jarvis. Although that could be a problem soon...

"Waiting for the bugs to be worked out" gives you an iPhone 5S. 6 will introduce new complexities, then 6s will normalize them again. That's Apple's cycle. If you're worried about bugs, go with 5c or 5s.

CORYK333 says:

Yup, I've been on the "S" cycle while my gf is the opposite & I find that not only am I happier overall w/my "S" device but also have had less bugs. (Disclaimer bc people get butthurt so easily: This is only MY & MY GFs usage/preferences, obviously others will feel the complete opposite.....and that's ok)

--I'd watch those Stark/OS-preference comments bc while obviously a joke......it really doesn't take much for the "my OS of choice is the best FTW" clowns to pop out of their holes & we really don't want more of that

lordjedii01 says:

Other than the screen size there's lots to upgrade for. Touch ID, 2 gigs of ram, all ios7 features, beefed up camera, gold color, A7/M7, bigger battery. I'm getting one Friday.

Solamar says:

I've an iPhone 5, want to upgrade.. not just because I want latest though.. I've a 16gb phone and finding I'm running out of space with videos. I want to get into a 32 or maybe 64gb phone for more room.

If I do, I think I'll jump to the 5s, since I'm upgrading for space / video, might as well as go for the better camera. I'm holding off though. I was going to go with Gazelle, but I think I can get more from eBay, even with all the fee's attached.

Guysreviews says:

Rene, I have a few questions about the 5s. I'll start off by saying I love the site and I've generally owned apple products. At the moment,I have an htc one. What is your view on coming back to ios? I left when I couldn't do anything to my phone phone and not a jailbreak in site. Should I wait for the 6 or jump with the 5s? Thanks

Rene Ritchie says:

iOS bugs me a lot less than Android but that's personal. I don't care about missing features, I care about interface and experience. Jelly Bean is still like fingernails on a chalkboard for me, so I don't use it often (I have an N4).

Other people hate not being able to do the things they want to do on iOS. That's equally valid.

I wouldn't even jailbreak any more. I don't see a need. If you do, you'll likely be happier on Android.

Guysreviews says:

Thanks Rene. I haven't found the perfect balance of iOS and android , that's my problem. The only jailbreak app,if any, would be bridge. I love being able to create something in an app and have it in my music library. I would love to mash all the features I like from both OS's and create the ultimate phone. Thanks again and in januarary, when jump starts, there will be 50 new android phones and rumors of the iPhone 6. Hopefully I can decide by then. :)

Kazem Ahmadzadeh says:

I do not have money to give me an iPhone 5

heberman says:

I pay for my phone and my teenage daughter's phone. One of us is due for an upgrade every year. She gets my hand-me-down and I get her upgrade since I pay the bill. I will go from the 5 to the 5s and she goes from the 4s to the 5. We are both looking forward to the upgrade. I should get about $150 trade-in value for her beat-up 4s (teenagers) so the upgrade is only costing me about $50.

My view is that my phone subsidy is already built into my monthly cell phone bill so I am overpaying by about 20/month, every month, if I am not on a contract with a subsidized device. It makes sense to trade in the old device and keep upgrading every time a line is eligible for an upgrade.

langley182 says:

This is exactly what I do with my sister. She gets a free phone every year, I don't have to worry about BS upgrade dates, and I sell off the old phone to recoup some of the cost. It is actually a great system, and I wish more people would do it. I feel like I get to stick it to the man (AT&T) a little bit every time. You are right though that we are paying the subsidy anyway...

douglaswilson says:

Ugh! Rene I am one of those people with an iPhone 5 and am due for an upgrade. I was all decided to upgrade and now after reading your take on the upgrade I'm back to being undecided!! With Gazelle giving me $330 for my iPhone 5, the net cost of the upgrade would only be about $60. Decisions, decisions.

Sent from the iMore App

Rene Ritchie says:

If it's $60 and you can afford it, do it. The A7, M7, and Touch ID are more than worth that. The camera, way more.

douglaswilson says:

Thanks Rene!! I like the way you think!!

Sent from the iMore App

Furt says:

The last iPhone I used was the 4. I've been buying android phones since then, but I don't really plan on buying a 5s to compare to Android. I'm more excited to see all the changes that were made since iOS 5. And I am buying the 32GB 5s off-contract, so this is a phone I'm hoping will last me a couple years.

infovestment says:

For the average user, none of the self proclaimed excellent new features of the iphone 5S or 5C make any difference in daily use. As a whole Apple phones are now barely matching Samsung's G4 or the HTC One, and those devices will be updated in a matter of months. If Apple delivers yet another unimpressive presentation in Fall 2014, they will really feel the hurt in sales.

The fingerprint scanner may be a great feature in general, but it is poorly executed. Without NFC, all it does is unlock the phone and allow you to pay in itunes, really?? Oh, and it probably completes the NSA database with the fingerprint info for several hundred million consumers. After the recent revelations, it is fair to say that Apple's statement about 'device storage for fingerprints' is in serious doubt.

In short, I do not believe these two phones are worth an upgrade or buying...and I am an avid Apple user (iphone, ipad, MBA, Mac mini)

Rene Ritchie says:

The increased LTE bands will be valuable to anyone in, or traveling to places, that need those bands.

Both HTC and Samsung make great phones. So do Apple. There's no simple answer anymore. That said, there's as much to recommend an iPhone 5s over both of those as there is the other way around. It depends on what a person needs and how they'll use it.

NFC is a chipset, not a feature set. It's a common misunderstanding it seems. It also has nothing to do with a fingerprint sensor.

Likewise, the NSA has access to anything Google knows about you as much as Apple, Microsoft, or anyone else. It's an incredibly big problem, and one that's so important it goes well beyond petty tech bickering.

infovestment says:

But that is exactly my point. If a manufacturer goes through the trouble of introducing fingerprint scanning to replace pass codes, he should do it in all consequence. This half hearted Apple approach for unlocking and itunes payments is not even worth spending the money on.

The second question is, whether with all the illegal stealing of data, be it by hackers or governments, is it a good idea to offer NFC and/or fingerprint scanning at all? If it is a bad idea, as I suggest, then any feature like that is not worth the upgrade to a phone, because in all consequence the owner would have to disable these features... Imagine you have a smart phone with fingerprint and NFC technology. You can pay by virtual credit card, authorize account transfer, maybe even open your front door with this combination...and so can everyone who gains access to your data set. So the government gets an all access pass and you might never know they were there...

Maybe smartphone evolution should go a different route. How about flexible displays, more energy efficiency instead. IMagine you could roll up your display and the phone looks like a pen when not in use or used via bluetooth. And when unrolled the electric current stabilizes the screen to make it usable. What you get is a pretty smart phone, which may weigh in well under 100grams, and no worries about safety of your personal data beyond what everyone has idiotically given away until now already.

beenz says:

While having your phone roll into a pen sounds like a good idea, I don't know of how many pens I've lost in the last year. But I know what you are getting at

langley182 says:

I agree that information like that is well beyond to scope of being legal. That being said, I also have the jaded view that if the NSA really wants my information, they can get it in any number of ways and any phone I have is going to allow them great insight into my life. So we wither accept that, or we challenge the legality of what the government really collects on us. I think that even though TouchID seems like a frivolous feature at the moment, there is an underlying potential that can be harvested from a simple addition now.

General Public says:

Your argument about the finger print scanner sounds to me like "since there's always a possibility that a thief can break in to your house, you should consider always leaving your doors open, because there is no point in locking it".

I'm more worried about the data google collects about me, then the mathematical image of my finger print apple can store. Google knows what article I read on Internet, where I'm traveling next, which day in which flight, my wifi password, the places I visit and so many. If you give away all those information to have chrome sync your data across devices, or google now to better predict the information you need next, giving away the fingerprint is not that big of a deal. That too when the probability of NSA getting it is much less compared to them getting the data google has about you. All this argument of Touch ID issues seems to me like just an extension of apple is doomed mindset.

Just an example for this double standard is how we react to moto X's always listening feature. Nobody is seems to claim its a bad feature since NSA could tap in to that and listen to every conversation we ever have with anyone, anywhere or simply anybody can mess with your phone by simply saying "OK google now, do this or that" if google did something, it's innovation and apple did something even better its gimmic or bad.

I could see apple couple Touch ID to Siri at least when you don't use a headset to activate Siri for authentication, in that way it can eliminate the annoying message of "you should unlock your phone before I do that" or to see is it really you or someone else trying to tweet from your phone using Siri to bypass the pass code. The possibilities of Touch ID is vast. 5S is just a bigening I think.

claustin says:

I've been arrested before, so I'm not worried about my fingerprints ending up in some database, and neither should anybody else (arrest record notwithstanding). It's like when I see people post pictures of their car online and they blur the license plate. You know anybody can see it anytime you drive, right? It's such a "cry wolf" argument. Your fingerprint is going to be a billion times more secure than any password. And you can't forget it. As far as the limited implementation of the fingerprint sensor, that's just Apple's slow rollout process. They'll add password management functionality for 3rd party apps eventually. It'll have something to do with iCloud Keychain. Also, NFC is a joke. At least in the US. AirDrop and eventually iBeacons will blast it into irrelevance.

the_inspector says:

I really enjoy your articles Rene. Keep them coming! I think it's time to upgrade from my 3 year old iphone 4. Anyone know how much I can expect to get for it unlocked? 32gb in pretty good condition. Just a little crack on back. Definitely going for the 5s - 32 gb in space grey. It'll be an upgrade for me in almost every way - Siri, processor, screen, camera, AirPlay, m7 chip, etc. I think the limitations on the 4 will be very apparent when ios7 is released. I'm hoping for a new Apple TV soon and a 3rd party controller. Looking forward to playing infinity blade 3 on the big screen!

champbaka says:

I have an iPhone 5 and honestly, if only I had money to burn I would upgrade definitely. I hold real judgement until the actual device is out and all those techies and YouTubers start doing video comparisons between the 5 and 5S, which they are bound to do.

mcoutts81 says:

LTE is not a factor for me at the moment. Currently in the NE of Scotland and LTE is being rolled out on a very staggered schedule.

Just got myself a 5 on eBay for £200 (about $300), returning to iPhone after a 12 month break. Think I've made the right choice. Other half is due an upgrade in the next 10 days. Upgrading her from a 4 to a 5S. She's a fingerprint analyst and is a little sceptical about TouchID. As are many in her profession.

claustin says:

I'm curious as to why they're skeptical.

mcoutts81 says:

It can take fingerprint experts hours, days, weeks to identify a print. They train for years and there is no way a scanner can identify third level detail in a blink if an eye.

Third level detail is going right down to how the ridges are made up and the positioning and shape of the pores. TouchID may only go on basic pattern.

agp101 says:

I think the "S" models are great because if a consumer decides to buy an S and always upgrade to an S model two years later, it works out pretty well. But that's one type of consumer. Where Apple fails, in my opinion, is to attract customers who like to upgrade and can afford to do so every year. Now I'm not saying there are plenty of Apple customers who don't do so already, but I get the feeling they're always left generally a little unsatisfied when the S model lands. Unlike with Samsung Galaxy's (as an example) which significantly renew themselves every year. Customers upgrading every two years get a VERY substantial upgrade, and once a year's get a substantial one as well. Samsung pushes hardware limits and this is very well known, so it's always exciting to see what they will come out next with. That being said though, its software always releases a little under refined.

And Apple is no better in my opinion. While ios7 is a more significant step up compared to other releases, and while iOS itself is smooth and well optimized, I always find Apple can just do a little more to modernize their mobile OS. It is still greatly inspired by their original 2007 model and is just not complex enough for my taste. I know complex and Apple don't belong in the same sentence but I can't help but feel that iOS just isn't driven enough by the user and his preferences, and I dislike that a lot.

Apple will sell tons of models of course, and analysts and uninterested users alike will keep scratching their heads as to why exactly it always happens this way, and I have to agree with them. I can't help but always feel there is no value in Apple products, and the pricing of the 5C along with its construction and similarity to the 5, is a perfect example of that. Based on my own personal principle, I just can never allow myself to be such a sucker. I feel it would almost show the lack of respect I have for myself; the inability to withstand being succumbed by higher powers of manipulation and reason.

This is of course only my opinion, and I would like to disclaim that I own neither an iPhone nor a Samsung smartphone.

CORYK333 says:

"Unlike with Samsung Galaxy's (as an example) which significantly renew themselves every year."
Galaxy S3 & Galaxy S4.......I'll just leave that there

agp101 says:

The gap between S3 and S4 in comparison to 5 and 5S is not really comparable. Statistically, the gap between the two is significant in favor of the former. And this makes sense given the S4 literally doubled CPU cores and memory over the S3, among other things like PPI even with updated screen size, which is impressive.

The upgrade to the 5S does not nearly quantify anything remotely close to these numbers. The gap is just not significant. Again, I own neither phones, so this is my unbiased opinion.

General Public says:

It's literarily doubled the cores, not technically. Technically it's still a quad core processor.

Apple technically doubled the performance (CPU and GPU) between 5 and 5S, technically improved the camera (Not the megapixels) and put security front and center, future proofed the device for next couple of years, added a new motion co-processor which could enable plenty of new features, still fell short in the gap?

What did they miss? A 5 inch screen?

As a whole package 5S bring better value over 5 than S4 brought over S3. It's just my humble opinion.

General Public says:

You have answered your own question. Why apple sell tons of these phones is, unlike you, there are millions of people for whome android is a little too complex. You can do 90% of the things in iOS that you would do on an android and 20% more things you cannot do in android in a such a simple OS. That is the value apple products are giving the users and that is what apple users are paying for. Android and iOS are in my opinion two different philosophies of a mobile OS and both has its strengths and weaknesses. iOS is not complex enough for your taste doesn't mean it's not simple enough for my taste or vice-versa.

iDisturbia says:

iPhone 5 here and can't wait for September 20 to get my hands on iPhone 5s and UNLOCKED!

Just wondering if I should stay with Fido or move to Wind or Mobilicity ;)

While in Japan, carriers are racing to get more customers by lowering their prices (http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/14/apples-iphone-sparks-japanese-...), in Canada, Rogers, Bell and Telus have been busy to come up with ONE fixed price for the whole country!

Thank to Lord, these 3 cannot move out of Canada or else ....

jmush says:

I think year-to-year upgrading for any product is ridiculous. Leapfrogging models has been perfect for me since the original iPhone. iPhone 5 users will survive just fine with all the new toys in iOS 7. It's 4S users like me who are really looking forward to a 5S.

iDisturbia says:

Agreed ... unless you have extra cash and want 5s bad! ;)

AustinSJ says:

I was thinking about biting the early termination fee bullet and upgrading my 5 to a 5s. I've always been on the "whole number" track for iPhones but I've also always been jealous of that refined experience that comes with the s-class phones. To make it worse, I feel kind of burned by the black iPhone 5 which, in retrospect, was obviously the wrong the choice.

On the other hand, I wouldn't have wanted to wait so long for the 4-inch screen, lightening port, and LTE. With that in mind, I have decided to wait and upgrade to the iPhone 6 next year especially beause of the potential for a bigger screen, 802.11ac and LTE Advanced. I'll bite that ETF bullet for the 6s, I think, when I expect we'll no longer see screen size changes or much faster radios for years to come.

jmush says:

The grass is always greener. I'm on the S-cycle. When a new numbered model comes out, I have to deal with seeing the new design while I stare my "old" phone. If you have a 5 and see a 5S, the superficiality of the new device isn't as teasing. However, I don't mind being on the S upgrade cycle. You are right, it is a 'refined' experience because I know Apple wasn't distracted with superficial designs, but instead focused on the little things. I was also not jealous watching all the iPhone 5 users deal with the lightning adoption. It took a while for third party accessory makers to get on board. And then there was antenna-gate with the iPhone 4. But watch the fingerprint sensor really suck and then S-users will be introduced to the pain of experimental new hardware :)

cam011182 says:

Rene, do you or anyone else know if the 5S on Verizon or Sprint will be able to use data while talking on the phone like the samsung phones? If so I will get one on launch day definitely! If now, I'll wait until the six probably....

beenz says:

I'm pretty sure you will not be able to talk and use data at the same time on Verizon or Sprint. Apple only uses one radio in lieu of better battery life, and you would need 2 to do that on CDMA.

claustin says:

This will be the case until voice over LTE is implemented. Even AT&T drops to GSM during calls to do simultaneous talk and data. At least that's my understanding of it.

dawggg63 says:

Looks like I will be sticking with my 4s for another year. Twice as fast - thanks, but my 4s is fast enough for what I need. Fingerprint ID - pretty cool, but not compelling enough to jump. Color? - puleaze. All I really wanted was a larger screen, and 4" doesn't cut it. I'm tired of having to pull out my glasses so my middle-aged eyes can read an email.

mad1at35 says:

I deliberately bought the smallest ip5 so I could upgrade to the next iphone and my wife could havd my 5. She has a trusty ip4 so will be very happy with the 5.

I must say I am more excited about the 5s than I was about the 5, though I really love the 5.

The camera looks great and I have wanted a convenient security system for ages and the fingerprint scanner fits the bill perfectly. It's interesting to see where Apple are going to go with low power bluetooth and a fingerprint scanner as an alternative to nfc.

Even more interesting is where Apple are going with 64 bit. It may be a convergence thing between os x and ios or some other reason. Whatever, Apple never do anything without a specific aim in mind.

And finally even an underclocked PowerVR Rogue series will give enough GPU power to push the performance closer towards the xbox and ps capabilities.

Interesting times. All we need is the usual suspects and an electron microscope to see all the details.

totallygone says:

I am definitely upgrading. I currently own a 16GB iphone 4. Definitely tired of having to delete stuff because I am running out of space. Will get a 64GB IPHONE 5s.....in Gold!!! I am hoping that the home button on the 5s is capacitive because the home button on my iphone 4 gives problems sometimes.

Becjr says:

For me, upgrading just isn't an option... Our household income has taken a huge hit, so it's my trusty iPhone 4S until next year.
Having said that, if I could afford it, the 32 GB 5S would be the way to go. Being a little stinker - I wouldn't buy the gold one... Someone would have to pay my to carry that one!
Id let my dark side show, since I have a white 4S. xD

Sent from the iMore App

Dionte says:

I've added up how much I can save by switching to tmobile vs staying with att another 12 months waiting for the contracts to end, its cheaper switching and getting new phones. Plus there will be no overages so even more money will be saved.

windingash says:

Can I have someone's opinion , I have a 4s which would you get 5c, 5s ,or 5 ? All I want is a 4inch screen at least 1gb ram and maybe a a6 or a7

claustin says:

Heh well any of them will give you everything on your wish list. My 2 cents is that if you're up for an upgrade get the 5s and get on the "S" upgrade cycle. S models are generally the upgraded versions of the number models. If you're buying outright it depends how much you want to spend. I'd still go 5s personally, because it'll "future proof" you the most.

jefferymitchell says:

I have a 4S that I purchased last year for $99 on a new contract with Fido. Paid the $50 and unlocked it 6 months later. I'm going to see how the iOS 7 upgrade goes and try not to buy a new iPhone until next year.

I don't like the iPhone 5C colours. If they'd made a red one with a white front (like the iPod Touch) I'd probably be upgrading.

The iPhone 5S is too expensive and I want to take a wait-and-see approach on Touch ID...it worries me. I could be wrong, but it has "Antennagate" written all over it.

If my 4S becomes a pig with iOS 7, I'll probably suck it up and by a 5C in a few months. Guess the blue one is not too bad....

yodaxl7 says:

I wonder if the m7 has more functions than let on, since Siri has just come off being a beta. Odd timing! With iOS 7 and m7, Siri starting to sound better.

FRoStYisGoD says:

It's real simple. If you have anything but an iPhone 5 go ahead and upgrade. If you have an iPhone 5 I wouldn't bother unless you have money to burn, which if you do good on you. The "s" upgrades usually aren't with it now a days. Back in the 3GS and 4 days ya but now not so much.

horizon says:

The iPhone 5c weighs 132g not 112g. If you are upgrading from an iPhone 5, you are going to feel a weight difference for sure.

raptorstv says:

Getting the 5C is more like a downgrade than an upgrade...

jholt1 says:

Will the verizon iphone 5S be able to surf and talk at the same time?

Plazmic Flame says:

The most exciting thing for me in all of this is that Apple did something that they've never done before... They released two new phones at one event.

Fingers crossed that they do this again next year and have the iPhone 6 with its new redesign and have the iPhone 6+ with a larger battery/screen.

happycamping says:

I am due for an upgrade from the 4S...I have been patiently waiting for the new phone. I am definetely upgrading, my husband is on the fence if he is going to. This will be the first year I have not been able to go stand in line for the phone. I am curious if we can order from apple online the day of launch and pick up in store or not?!? I am defeintely going to the 32GB which I have now. Color is not a concern for me. I will be happy with any color as long as I get a phone!

Redshirt says:

Did they change it to allow pre-orders on the 5s? If not, then you've also got to add in the whole "standing in lines for hours for a non-guaranteed chance at a 5s" to the equation.

klouny says:

Since the iPhone 5 was unlocked on Verizon, does anybody know if the 5C/S will be unlocked on Verizon as well? I hope so!

Kirara Ng says:

Wonderful advice given. Of all the Google searches I've performed while questioning whether I should upgrade or not, this is the first post I've seen that takes mention of 3GS and 4. Most of the other articles I've read talks only about upgrading from 5 or from 4S.

Thank you so, so much for this detailed article.

venom5150 says:

I have a 4s and will not be upgrading. I will likely wait till next year. I use 2 cell phones the other being a Nokia 1020 that plays into my decision since its my daily phone now. If I only had the 4s, I would upgrade to the 5s though. I was really hoping they would make a bigger screen. Perhaps 4.3" at 1280 x 768 minimum resolution. Anything less than a 4s seems like an obvious upgrade. The 4s probably has another year before one must upgrade.

Hannah Petrillo says:

I currently have the iPhone 4 16gb and I'm due for an upgrade. I'm either going to get the iPhone 5 32gb at best buy for $199 or the iPhone 5s 16gb for $199. I'm not sure which one to go for. I'm really interested in the better camera on the 5s. Also, in the long run, if I get the iPhone 5, my next upgrade will be in 2015 and by that time the iPhone 5 will be 3 years old and potentially run slower after iOS 7 and iOS 8 are installed. But at the same time, I currently have the iPhone 4 16gb and have found that I don't have enough room on my phone for all my photos and what not. If anyone could give me some advice, or what they would do in my situation, I would greatly appreciate it!! :) Thank you!!

chuthan20 says:

I am planning on upgrading only if Fido gives me 6 GB plan for less than $50. Apple should become a carrier and kill out big 3 in Canada. iPhone4 running iOS7 suffers a lot even after apple removing so much visual effects to make iOS faster. Also, not having 4G and dual band wifi makes safari and some other apps seems laggy. I was wondering if Rene heard anything about new MacBook Pro having TouchID? "Unlock your MacBook Pro with your finger tips" seems like a catchy and Ad friendly sentence.