iPhone 5 for the long term

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by surjavarman, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    #1
    How viable is it to buy an iphone5 now with the purpose of using it for 3-4 years?

    I am asking this because the iphone 5 does not have NFC and a fingerprint reader. There are also a lot of rumors about new iphones and apple switching to bigger screens. Possibly with new resolutions making the 4" screen obsolete. Furthermore the overall consensus on macrumors and just about every other tech site is that 4" is too small. Then there are android devices with 4.5"+ screens with 720p and 1080p displays with the latest CPUs and 2gb of ram, making the 1.3ghz dual core look fairly weak. Will it be able to run ios 7,8 or 9? Finally there is still no jailbreak for the iphone 5 and it might never ever come at all.

    It seems to me that the iphone 5 does not have a lot of longevity. Especially not as much as the iphone 4.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    R.Stoychev

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    #2
    These are just rumors, Apple will not make e bigger screen phone for now. If you want go and buy the iphone 5 :rolleyes:
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3


    Who keeps a phone 3 or 4 years nowadays :confused:
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    Many people. I'm still using my 3GS, & I still see many people in the public doing so. I even saw an iPhone 2G the other day. And what's wrong with people wanting to prolong the lifespan of their smartphones?
     
  5. macrumors regular

    F1 Fan

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I plan to. My 3G lasted 3 1/2 years (technically this was two phones due to a missed-my-pocket incident on a stoney carpark). Now on a 4S, 1 year in and hope to keep it for another couple of years as a minimum :)
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    Nothing wrong with it i suppose maybe it's just me :D i don't queue up to get the latest one out but i do change my phone every 2 years or sooner if i lose it which has happened :eek:

    I only change my home Mac every 5 years but i can tweak them to keep them up to date unlike a phone.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    MattInOz

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney
    #7
    Developers will still write for the iPhone5 in 4years. If current system continues Apple will sell them for almost 3 years, and people buying them will expect them to work for at least 2 years after that. So there will be 10's of Millions of iPhone5 still being used in 4 years. It won't even be obsolete in 4 years.

    iOS 7,8 and maybe 9 will be release in the time the iPhone5 is sold, so it should run all hardware supportable features of at least 7 & 8. Might not run all features of 9. Going by history to date.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #8
    Sooner or later the hype train will vanish and I'm speaking of the current trend of using a phone as some type of media centric device. A tablet is more suited at that, 4 or 4.5 inch screens doesn't matter, you still need the mobile version of a website to see the whole page, you still have to zoom in or non mobile websites.

    The reality is phones will go back to just being for communication purposes as it should be. 5.5 is still too small to watch movies comfortably on.

    These phablets are androids way of trying to eat into iPad sales, obviously android tablets aren't going to get it done so its time for plan b.

    720 or 1080 on a phone is mostly hype, address battery life and make good calls which is what I think should be done.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    sagar4995

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #9
    higher odds of u getting struck by lighting, tomorrow, at 3:59AM.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    You are questioning if you can use it for 3-4 years because it doesn't have NFC or fingerprint reading?

    Buddy, in 3-4 years the US (and most of the world) STILL won't be using NFC. Fingerprint scanning is an old technology that came in and out because of little usefulness and hurting more than helping. If you think those are dealbreakers, think again.

    Otherwise, yes, if you know anything at all about the history of Apple devices you know that all get at least 3 versions of iOS, so it will get 7 and 8 at least.

    New screens and resolutions won't make your phone obsolete. If you want a screen bigger than 4 inches and you want to use your phone for 3-4 years, common sense says buy a phone that has (now) a screen size larger than 4 inches.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Whatever you buy - and whenever you buy it, it's going to be out of date in a year at most. Probably less.

    That doesn't stop it being useful.

    The iPhone 5 is better built than a lot of the competition. If it has the features you need, then buy it - it will be just as good a phone in three years as it is today provided you look after it. The only difference will be that something newer will have appeared and that something newer may have features that you would like. That applies whenever you decide to jump - there's always something new around the corner.

    In three years, when you come to replace your phone again, you will have the same decision to make. Buy now or wait for the next big thing.

    If you need it now, buy it now. If you don't, well... errr.... don't.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    This will never happen, phones will never go back to just being phones.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #13
    Exactly. I upgrade every two, but then my old one goes to my GF for 2, so the phones are in use for ~4 years. Never had a problem with any of the after she swaps them back with me, however oddly enough my 2G seems to be in better shape than my 3G.
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #14
    What will determine whether an iPhone 5 will operate in 3 or 4 years depends upon what frequencies the carriers are using at that point.

    For example, the original iPhone will soon be largely obsolete because AT&T is phasing out the EDGE service that model uses. I believe in 2014 they said there will be no EDGE anywhere in the U.S. T-mobile *might* have it here and there.

    However, since LTE has just launched I think the iPhone 5 will be useful for at *least* 4 or 5 years. Believe it or not though, AT&T and Verizon are planning to start launching their "5G" networks later this year.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #15
    Fingerprint scanning and NFC, if it ever comes out, does not automatically mean your iPhone 5 will suddenly stop working.


    A consensus means there's general agreement, but no, not everyone agrees. Not to mention macrumors and "all those other tech sites" do NOT comprise all of the 50 million+ iPhone users out there already using 3.5 inch and 4 inch screens.

    Macrumors and "all those other tech sites" have also completely forgotten the issues that come up with having a zillion different screen sizes: app fragmentation. The huge-screen-size-of-the-week isn't very useful when app developers don't bother updating their apps for it, because they're worried that the top level of geeks, possibly compensating for something else that doesn't measure up, decide that 4 inches, 5 inches, 5.5 inches, 6 inches is "too small" and continually want to put something bigger up against their faces.

    Let Android continue to play the size game. If Apple does it, I might have to switch to Windows Phone. And them's fightin' words.


    Bu what standard? Are you playing crysis 3 on this phone? No. If you need multiple cores and multiple GHz to surf the web, sync contacts and play Words With Friends, then you have serious inefficiencies in your operating system.

    It'll probably run iOS 8. 9 will be iffy.

    If that's the case, what makes you think one will happen for the iPhone 5S or 6?

    It seems to me that iOS isn't the platform for you. You should really consider Android. But good luck with that: Android has a history for its devices not even supporting upgrades to the next version of the OS, let alone 2 or 3 like you're expecting.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Singapore
    #16
    If it's true, that's quite fast. My local carriers are only planning to support my whole country (a very tiny island) with LTE coverage by end of 2014.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    #17
    I bought my iPhone 5 because I dropped my 4s. I got AppleCare+ and I plan on keeping my 5 as long as I can. I would have kept my 4s for another few years if I could have. :p I'm tired of trying to keep up with the latest. Getting older might have something to do with that... :p
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    #18
    Well if the iphone had NFC but didn't have LTE would that increase or decrease the longevity of the device.

    And if Apple decide to can the 4" screen and bring out a new one with a totally different resolution, that would definitely make the iphone 5 obsolete. I just have the feeling that Apple are regretting the 4" and in that case its better to can it asap.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Alabama
    #19
    Not 5G but a better version of LTE, one that does voice over LTE. But I wouldn't be surprise if they call it 5G though.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Singapore
    #20
    Don't need to care whether it's obsolete or anything. I can guarantee it won't be that obsolete until 2015 or something.

    If the phone can still do what you want, why bother whether it is obsolete or not? Unless you're the kind of person that is only interested in the newest and latest tech...
     
  21. kmpoboy2, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Alabama
    #21
    This is 2013 not 2010-11 where LTE was being introduce. A flagship phone not having LTE now would be obsolete the very fist day of introduction in my opinion.

    I don't think they're regretting the decision. Well have to wait and see next week how the phone held up this past Q. But if all indications are correct, it will be a hit.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    #22
    The amount of misinformation and disinformation in this thread is just staggering.
     
  23. takeshi74, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

    macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #23
    Depends a lot on the user. For some people it would be. For others it wouldn't.

    Nearly everything in your OP is subjective and you need to make the call for yourself.

    If these are must-haves for you then why are you even asking if it would be viable for you?

    Consensus is irrelevant and you can't demonstrate it with forum posts anyway. What does matter is finding what works for you.

    How would we know? System requirements aren't available.
    I find the flawed assumptions and tunnel vision even more staggering. One's preferences are just one's preferences yet many don't seem to grasp that.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    #24
    Here's my perspective; take it for what it's worth (probably not a lot...)

    Determining device longevity primarily relies upon a few factors - applications ecosystem compatibility, task completion speed, frequency of punctuated delay or lag, physical durability, and systemic compatibility.

    The first factor is split between software-side and hardware-side dependencies, and has to do with whether the device will remain compatible with operating systems and applications software down the line. My understanding is that Apple has one of the best track records when it comes to support of older devices on the software side, in this respect. 3-4 years is, to date, roughly where they appear to be right now (with the 3GS being at the main tail end, and limited 3G support). I have serious doubts that Apple will drop software support for the iPhone 5's display form factor in the near or even medium-term. The hardware-side dependency is exceptionally user-specific. If you are mainly making phone calls, web browsing, and checking email, something like an iPhone 5 will be able to handle those sorts of tasks perhaps indefinitely when it comes to this particular side of applications support. However, if you are into playing the latest games, then 3-4 years is probably a stretch due to limitations in processing power, and conceivably display support.

    The second factor has to do with an aggregated measure of how long the user will have to wait to complete their various tasks. This is, again, user-specific, although most people probably find they "need" to upgrade once aggregated completion times fall below the average needed to complete daily tasks. My guess is, an iPhone 5 will be fine on this measure for 3-4 years.

    The third factor is somewhat different. This is how often the device has noticeable (and frequently considered displeasing) cases of lag time in completing a task. While an aggregated measure of completion may show the device as being OK, frequent cases of lag may nonetheless provoke someone to upgrade because it becomes too annoying to deal with an alternation between fluid operation and laggy operation. This sort of thing typically registers as inconvenient, in the minds of users, more often than a unit that is simply steadily slow in the aggregate. This is where I think 3-4 years may become an issue.

    The fourth factor, I'm not sure. Such a large change in chassis design, and combined with the relatively thin structure, means it's hard to tell I guess. I'd suspect it'll be OK, provided one exercises adequate care and perhaps uses a case. Battery life will probably deteriorate noticeably within that interval though.

    Fifth factor has to do with adequate compatibility with the cellular system, in this case. Since it does have at least the current generation of LTE, it may be OK 3-4 years down the line. Backwards compatibility with current GSM and CDMA networks (depending on your model) also helps. I'd imagine you'd be fine here.

    So, in the aggregate, I'd say it'll last but there is significant potential for having things to complain about on the operability front. Then again, I'm not sure there is a manifestly better choice currently on the market. Samsung's S IV will reportedly have a Cortex-A15/A7 big.LITTLE configuration on the SoC, but Android has a less robust track record of software support in the long term.

    For the most part, 3-4 years is asking a lot when it comes to a platform. This is usually only possible once a particular type of device has reached a late stage of maturity when it comes to consumer electronics. I'd say we're nearly there with smartphones, but it's not like where it is with personal computers, for example. Still, I suspect an iPhone 5 would probably be at least adequate for that period of time.

    As a general matter regarding NFC and fingerprint reading, I can't see how this would relate to longevity. NFC is a marginal technology; nearly as marginal as fingerprint-reading. These features are only peripherally related to the headlining uses of even smartphones, let alone phones in general. NFC will probably receive greater support over time, but it would have to become ubiquitous to place serious pressure on the viability of the iPhone 5 as an everyday-use device. I don't see that happening within 3-4 years.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    #25
    So what do you think about the nexus 4?
     

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