Trading in for new iPhone 5 headache

The next iPhone, commonly dubbed the iPhone 5, is still the smartphone that many are talking about and although we’re some way away from a launch we thought we’d look ahead to when it does appear. As with any Apple iPhone release it’s bound to be a bit success and many people will no doubt be left with an iPhone 5 headache as they try to decide whether to trade in their current smartphone or not.

There’s still a lot in question about when the iPhone 5 will release but the two most likely timeframes are in June at Apple’s WWDC or more likely in fall, roughly a year after the release of the last iPhone, the iPhone 4S. Of course no specs and features are yet confirmed but some of the most widely reported and expected are a larger screen, improved processor, better camera, LTE connectivity and maybe even the next operating system, iOS 6. If most of these enhancements do appear on the iPhone 5 there will be many people sorely tempted to upgrade.

Some people drawn into the desire to upgrade may well be prepared to jump from their current operating system (eg. Android to iOS) or even carrier (eg. T-Mobile to Verizon). Others may be those who already have an iPhone, even the latest iPhone 4S, but still find themselves being lured to the next best thing, the iPhone 5. This is where the headache comes in though.

Most smartphone purchases involve a 12, 18 or 24-month contract and consumers may be faced with a large early upgrade bill for ending their contracts early. Whereas once that typical two-year contract may have seemed a great deal to get their hands on the latest and greatest device, that same device doesn’t stay latest and greatest for very long. With technological advances in the mobile world seemingly accelerating faster than ever before, the temptation to end contracts early to upgrade gets greater all the time. For instance last year we were making a lot of fuss about dual-core smartphones and now only a year later the first swathe of quad-core phones are coming out.

If the iPhone 5 does arrive in the summer the iPhone 4S won’t even be a year old. However there will still be some who, however delighted they were with their iPhone 4S, might be attracted to upgrading to the iPhone 5. Bearing that in mind, if you’re in a current contract you may want to start considering your move for when the iPhone 5 releases. By then you may be out of contract but if not and you decide you want the iPhone 5, will you be prepared to pay a large early upgrade charge? Maybe you currently use an Android smartphone but may be moving to the iPhone 5. If that would involve a large upgrade payment would you willingly pay it, or maybe you’ll wait until your contract is up before you make the move, at which point the brand-new shiny iPhone 5 may have slightly lost its initial release excitement?

We feel this is likely to be a dilemma for many smartphone users drawn to the iPhone 5 so it may be well to start looking ahead and trying to decide now whether you will or will not upgrade. Maybe that will depend purely on what the iPhone 5 has to offer when all is revealed? In this case why not let us know what you feel the iPhone 5 would need to have before you’d consider paying for an early upgrade, by sending us your comments. Maybe you’ve already decided to purchase the iPhone 5 even before confirmed specs are available and despite any early upgrade bills?


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