I'm Thinking About Not Upgrading to the New iPhone When it Comes Out

Like a lot of people I've been eagerly awaiting news on the new iPhone. I love my iPhone and it's definitely been the best phone I've ever had. That said, there's a good chance that I won't be upgrading when the new iPhones come out. I still haven't decided 100% or not yet, but in my book the upgrade path seems like a pretty crappy deal for the Apple faithful who purchased iPhones from the beginning.


The best that I can tell, the only thing I'd be getting with a new iPhone is faster internet speed. Apparently the 3G speeds are about twice as fast as the Edge network speeds (which royally suck). Other than this though I don't really get anything. There's no GPS in the new phones. There's no video. I don't use my iPhone for corporate email so I don't benefit from that. And I'm just not sure a slight boost in speed is really worth the upgrade price.


Now I'm not 100% totally versed on how the upgrade deal is going to work yet, but from what I've read it seems like I'd be eligible to upgrade, but would need to buy a new $199 phone, plus pay $10 extra per month, plus lock into a new two year contract.


So let's do the math. $199 (plus California sales tax I'm sure) = $215.92. Then I've got to pay an extra $10 per month for 2 years or another $240.


Now, I just checked my history on my iPhone for the last week and in the last week I accessed 46 web pages on my iPhone. I should use my iPhone's browser more but AT&T's network just sucks so bad that I hardly ever do.


Interestingly enough, of those 46 pages that I loaded in the last week, 28 of them were loaded at McCarran Airport on Sunday in Las Vegas where they had free wifi. So in the last week I really would have only benefited from a faster internet connection for 18 pages. Now right now it takes anywhere from about 15 seconds to 15 minutes for a page to load on my iPhone. I just tested a load page on my iPhone in order write this post and it took 63 seconds for my iPhone to load my Flickr Recent Activity page in downtown San Francisco.


So best I can tell, assuming I use the iPhone internet stuff the same way I am now, in the last week I would have saved about 9 minutes of waiting time with the new iPhone. 9 minutes per week is about 468 minutes per year or about 8 hours per year in internet browsing savings time.


So in order to save 8 hours of internet load time per year I'm going to have to pay $455.92 more than I'm paying now over the next 2 years. As much as I love my iPhone and Apple products, I'm just not so sure that this is a good deal.


Of course with a faster internet connection I might use my iPhone's browser a lot more often and the deal might be better because of that, but what if the 3G really is only 2x faster than edge? Or what if, even worse, it's barely faster at all? And what if free public wi-fi gets easier to hop onto over the course of the next 2 years and so the extra speed boost from 3G doesn't get used as much as I think it might. Already lots of places like Starbucks are talking about free wifi.


A lot of people say the new iPhone is cheap, but I'm not sure it's so cheap for people looking to upgrade who already shelled out $600 to buy an iPhone the first time. I know, Apple gave us $100 rebate back, but even after I activated my $100 rebate when I tried to use it at the Emeryville Apple store to buy Photoshop CS3 they refused to honor it so I still feel like I paid $600.


I'm still up in the air on whether or not I'm going to upgrade. Maybe I'll just do it anyways just for the excitement of the new phone and all, but then again maybe I won't. I would have thought that Apple would have treated it's existing early adopters better than that.


Update: Apparently GPS is included in the new iPhones. That might make things more interesting. Still not sure it's worth it though.

  • Jim Heid PRO 7y

    Yup, there's GPS, and the phone's camera automatically geotags photos taken with it. TomTom software on the way, too.

    And flickr's mobile site loads sooo much faster.
  • springtree road PRO 7y

    i don't have an iphone. i did, however, get my husband a $250 ipod for xmas 2006. it broke in january 2008 - un-rebootable, unfixable, and past warranty. i didn't think $250 for 13 months' rental of an ipod was a very good deal, though they offered us 10% off a new ipod at the apple store (which we declined). i'm not likely to buy any iphone anytime soon.

    but that's just my opinion. perhaps i need a glass of wine as well.
  • MizterForbz 7y

    Well thought out, definitely very good points and strong arguments...also very well articulated...but... it's shiny... I'm sold on the new iphone, july 11th here I come... (In Canada, I've been waiting over ayear now so there's not much that will hold me back on release day :))
  • Abdulrahman Al Ali 7y

    I'm upgrading for sure, Plus its fairly cheep here in Dubai.
  • richard winchell 7y

    The main thing with the new phones is the two year contract, meaning that if Apple comes out with super cool new hardware features next year (video, etc) you're likely stuck paying to get out of your existing contract or paying for an unsubsidized phone. Also, they've effectively stopped anyone from hacking it to use another carrier.
  • .btezra 7y

    the new price and speed have enticed me to finally buy one
    the GPS is only one more feature that sealed the deal, so I am glad I waited for the new phone and did not jump on one when they first came out

    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • Jason 7y

    Well it's the first iPhone available in Canada... not sure what the price will be up here, usually $100 more, even though the dollar is on par... liked your write up though - if it ain't broke don't fix it?

    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • sequacious 7y

    Hah! This is better than Consumer Reports. Thanks for doing the cost vs rti legwork :) Consumer opinion is important; especially the way you presented it here. Maybe some core Apple folks will see this and your seed will be fertile ground created as food for thought on rewarding early adopters.
  • pdxsean PRO 7y

    I'm still using a Samsung cell phone I bought in 2003. It doesn't even have a camera, let alone internet connections.

    Just, you know, to counterbalance the excitement.
  • Squid Vicious PRO 7y

    I'm right there with ya, I already have an iPhone and I'll get the same software update that the new iPhone will have. Portland has free wifi so 3g is no big deal. And waiting 9 more months for the 2 year contract to be up is no big deal.
  • tracer.ca 7y

    The biggest improvement in 3G is NOT the speed. It's the latency. Even though the throughput is not that much faster, everything FEELS faster because of the huge latency in GPRS.

    Side Note. Not getting the iPhone, have my OpenMoko Freerunner on order.
  • Rob LaRosa 7y

    The thing that stops me from getting an iPhone is that you can only have AT&T as a provider. Screw that. AT&T will never get another dime from me. AT&T succeeds in spite of itself.
  • richard winchell 7y

    Only four more years until AT&T's exclusive expires, IIRC.
  • βlope 7y

    I can't wait to NOT upgrade on iDay

    iPhone Classic FTW!!

  • Steve-SF 7y

    I am sooooo getting one. I held out for 3G.
  • Jeroen Elfferich PRO 7y

    Won't be upgrading, don't see that much benefit over the current one (Exchange is nice though, but supports all Iphones via software upgrade). I have an N95 also but hardly ever use the GPS in that either and Iphone already has cell-assisted location which is not that bad.

    I do keep my N95 in my bag because it's quite useful as a Bluetooth modem and photo/video camera in case I didn't bring my normal one. I'll wait getting a new Iphone untiel it comes with better camera/lens (e.g. Sony Ericsson k850i or Nokia N82 have decent ones), video capabilities and Bluetooth modem/stereo headphone support. If it'd have that, I could live without 3G and GPS.
  • Matt Penning PRO 7y

    I've got a Treo 755p on Sprint, and have had a secret burn going over the dog slow Palm OS, but Sprint recently upgraded to EVDO speeds here and woah, is it so much more fast to do internet now. I no longer dread having to access the Internet. That's my point. The speed change has brought much more utility to what I consider an old design phone.

    I'm holding out for the next generation OS phones - Android and other Open Source types, as well as whatever other surprises are ahead. EVDO speed just made that wait easier.
  • Yvette PRO 7y

    I'm on the fence with you. I think the GPS feature is oversold - it's not true GPS, but still uses cell towers and etc. to get you around. The only difference between this an google maps is that this will actually move with you. I'd rather have a dedicated GPS so I drain the hell out of my iPhone battery.

    The reason I'd get it is for the faster download speed! The Edge network is ridiculous slow! And the audio is supposed to be greatly improved!

    I still don't understand the AT&T bashers out there. To me, all cell phone companies suck! They all require contracts, drop calls, have horribly expensive plans for no good reason... My boss has been with every company out there and is right back with AT&T.

    Anyhoo... let us know what you decide!
  • Graham Blackall 7y

    I'm getting the iPhone 3G(hopefully the white one) either for my birthday in August. or in November.

    I'm so happy to get the hell out of Sprint.
  • Sita Marie PRO 6y

    i wont even read one sentence..
    it is to BORING!
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