Sunday, September 22, 2013

Got an iPhone4S... after almost 2 years of its announcement

Over the years, I take pride of myself trying out various operating systems in smartphones: Android, BB, iOS, and Windows Mobile. This is also quite embarrassing as I have so many phones which I've been switching back and forth. And recently I got hold of an iPhone4S.

iPhone4S, running iOS7
The interesting thing is when I got this iPhone it was almost 2 years since its debut, and Apple has already made iPhone5 and iPhone5S available, essentially making this model obsolete (a 8GB version is still available from Apple but, come on, what can you do with just 8GB of internal memory these days?).

So the question is why do I got myself this particular model?

Well, to begin with, I'm cheap, or cautious about what I'm paying for. It's known that smartphones are being charged way more than their manufacturing costs, and usually are "justified" by costs of design and marketing. It has been said that this particular model costs no more than USD200 to make, yet a new one costs you double, or even triple. iPhone5 and 5S are so expensive that each is the price of a decent laptop, or about a month of my expense on meals. So, I took advantage of it being an older model and got myself a used one for 270.

It also turns out that this is the oldest model that supports the latest and greatest iOS7, which is actually quite refreshing to use. It is going towards a flat minimalistic design which is being popularized by the Windows Phone OS -- the operating system UI I like the most.

To me, Apple has spent a long time in improving both the hardware and software of iPhone, which is now one of its biggest revenue sources (who knew Apple *Computer* is now making and selling phones). Albeit not as versatile as Android, or informative as Windows Mobile, it's a robust operating system and has a decent visual appearance. The physical form of iPhone4S is also strikingly good with two simple black glossy plates and a steel side band.

A few hidden bonuses are that it takes in micro-sim instead of nano-sim, allowing me to keep using other phones; and its back is easy enough to open if I really want to replace a battery or do some mods with the back (e.g. glowing apple logo). There is also a huge variety of accessories now become out-dated because of the new connector port for iPhone5 and 5C/5S, and hence going really cheap.

My point is, smartphones, like many other electronics nowadays, are being made and renewed so quickly that even a very good design can be replaced in no time. iPhone4S is a very capable phone and is made in a very stylish form. It's a pity that many newer generations just come out for the sake of being new. I think customers are kind of spoiled by the crazily fast product cycle and forgot about the essentials of the product they are using.

So, as a statement, I'll be using iPhone4S for some time. 

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