iPhone 4 owner. Do I upgrade or wait it out another year?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by neoelectronaut, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    Okay so here the deal, ladies and gentlemen.

    I've got an 32GB iPhone 4, which I purchased in late October of 2010. It's a great phone. No cracked screen, no major scratches (just a few of those light ones on the screen that are invisible while the phone is in use), and it's in overall great shape. I don't really play games on it, and I can count the number of times I've visited the app store this year on one hand with fingers to spare.

    I listen to music on it, I browse the web on it, I send and receive text messages, and I use it for an occasional photograph. That's about it. I'm the lightest of the light in terms of iPhone usage.

    I went ahead and downloaded the iOS7 GM, just as I did with iOS6 last year, and I'm not seeing any of the lag or slowdowns that others are complaining about the internet over. It's fine, really. I don't see any issues.

    But now that the iPhone 5c is available for pre-order and the 5s is available soon, I've been kicking around the idea of upgrading. For an hour I'll go through all the reasons in my head that I'd like a new phone, but then the next hour I go right back to "nah, what I have is fine, I'm better off with those $200-$400 in my pocket."

    I used to say for a long time that I'm not ditching my iPhone 4 until it physically fails on me...battery finally stops taking a charge, the internal storage hits its read/write cycle limit and just dies, the backlight goes out...something. And I'm still leaning towards that...but man, it's tempting.

    Anyone else going through the same conundrum?
  2. antoniogra7 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    If you don't need more and you're happy with your phone there is no reason to upgrade, at all. Neither now nor next year. You should just stay with your iPhone 4 until it stop working or you need/want something better. There is no reason to upgrade for the sake of upgrade.

    I'm staying with my iPhone 4 for now too.
  3. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2010
    I loved the 4. It felt good in the hand. But mine had a problem with people not being able to hear me when on a call...it was a launch day unit, and even though I took care of it well, I also dropped it quite a few times, and the glass held up without cracking.

    I think you will appreciate the upgrade so much more if you do acquire one. You can always return within the return period if you're not satisfied. But I'm sure you won't look back.
  4. djransom macrumors 68040


    May 14, 2008
    Excellent advice.
  5. iMacGuru macrumors newbie


    Aug 18, 2009
    I have no doubt

    I too have an iPhone 4 that is in great shape. However, I'm going to upgrade to the iPhone 5S before the end of the month. It has all the features I've been waiting for: Much faster processor, Siri, the M7 chip, much improved camera and flash, improved battery life, etc. I can get at least $80 for my iPhone 4 from Gazelle or better. so for about $120 I can upgrade. It's a no brainer in my mind. :D
  6. defboob macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    You are your cell phone carriers ideal customer, you buy the phone and hold onto it forever, meanwhile you keep giving them cash each month for the built in subsidy that you never get a break from. Stop giving them free money and go get a new phone, you can either trade in your 4 or sell it Craigslist/eBay and it won't cost you very much for the new hardware
  7. Kurso macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
    I'm on the iPhone 4 as well. I'm upgrading to the 5s but if the feature set is right I will upgrade to the 6 next year as well. Here is why:

    I want better photos
    I need more storage (only 16GB)
    I want Siri
    I want LTE
    I want to unify my cables around the house (other lightning devices)
  8. Purant macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2012
    Maybe he bought his iPhone 4 unsubsidized?
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. I am pretty much the same way. I don't upgrade each year just because a new model has been released.
  10. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    Same. This makes the most sense to me. If you're asking for reasons to upgrade, you're probably better off holding out until the 6 comes out.
  11. RadiDoc macrumors member

    May 17, 2011
    I'm going to wait and see what iphone 6 will bring to the table. I also use my iphone 4 for basic tasks as well. Mostly watch youtube videos and check e-mail.
  12. bushman4 macrumors 68020

    Mar 22, 2011
    Iphone4 is now a classic. Unique in style and functionality. And fully supported by Apple
    While the 5S offers some nice features do You really want to part with the 4 ???
  13. Rocko1 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2011
    That thing will be a dog on IOS7. Sell it and upgrade. Quit waiting for something better, it ain't coming.
  14. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    As has been mentioned, if you are paying contract subsidized phone monthly rate anyways, you are highly advised to upgrade (even if you get it and just sell the new phone).

    A used iPhone 5 is the best way to go. You can even get a new 5S on contract, sell it, and buy a much cheaper 5 which is a nice upgrade over your 4, and the price difference would make it roughly free. Or get a free-on-contract phone, sell it, and keep your 4.

    Don't pay contract pricing and get nothing in return, though.... That's not fair to yourself.
  15. CoolSpot macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
    I would only upgrade when any of the following happen:

    Apple releases a version of iOS that won't be ported to your device. This is a sign that they consider your device obsolete and its time to move on. Apple isn't super aggressive about obsoleting products (iPhone 4 from June 2010 will get iOS 7) so you won't be rushed.

    Apple releases a major design change to the phone; a larger screen or retina display is a major change, a fingerprint scanner and tweaked camera are not.

    You are eligible for a carrier discounted upgrade. Any time you have completed the contracted period for your current phone, its good economic sense to get a newer one. You still paying the subsidy cost every month regardless of the age of your device so you should take advantage of it and get new phones as often as possible. This only applies if you are buying the phone on contract; if you are buying the phone outright, it isn't a factor and you should only focus on the first two.
  16. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    Well let me ask this as well instead of making a new thread...where would I find the value of my phone? Trade-in sites range from around $125 to $165, but I'm having a difficult time finding its value if I decide to sell it outright via eBay or Amazon.
  17. VenusianSky macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2008
    iPhone 4 32GB here also. Got it early October 2010. Still works fine and still in great condition. I just wish I had more space for music. Haven't really decided if I am going to upgrade. Not interested in a larger screen or any other features that have been added since. The LED flash has been the most useful feature since I use it as a flashlight.
  18. AppleFan91 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2012
    Indy, US
    Man from the iPhone 4 you'd get:
    • Siri
    • Dual core processor
    • 8MP Camera
    • 4G LTE
    • Bigger Screen
    • Larger Storage space available

    And let's be honest, iOS 7 will be gimped on the iPhone 4.
  19. defboob macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    You can do a search on ebay narrowed down to your specific iphone 4 memory size/carrier, etc and then turn on the "completed items only" option in the search criteria so you can see completed auctions and what they ended up selling for, that'll give you a good idea for what recent ebay transactions ended up going for.

    I think in your case if your local area has LTE, that would be your soul reason to upgrade to take advantage of that, next biggest reason is the 4" screen in terms of how you are using the device.
  20. TAI182 macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    I plan on upgrading to the 5s from a 4. I think it's about time.
  21. benji888 macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2006
    United States
    Yeah, sure, a stripped-down version of iOS 7 works on iPhone 4, but, it doesn't have the same appearance (no parallax, some things are black instead of translucent/transparent), and, considering they have stopped selling this phone, Apple will not necessarily be porting the next iOS on it, next year.
    OP: Firstly, do you share your photos, or do others share their photos with you? If so, AirDrop, an iOS 7 feature that will only work on iPhone 5 & newer, makes it super easy to share photos (with others that have AirDrop). (Any iPhone 5 will also have a nicer camera).

    You may also notice the iPhone 5 models have better sound for voice calls. And, if you do upgrade, be sure to get a 32GB model, since you have music on your 32GB iPhone 4 now, if you cut back to 16GB, you will be sorry. I have a 16GB iPhone 5 and wish I would have gotten at least 32 as, between my music & photos, it is full, have to archive videos and photos on computer.

    You could go with a 5c, considering you won't care about the extra features on 5s. I would wait until you can go to the Apple store or your carrier store and check out the 5c, you might be happy with it. ...as far as prices go, considering Apple sold new iPhone 4's a few days ago at $450 for only 8GB, you should get more than the trade-in value...remember, the trade-in people will take that phone and sell it to make a profit off of it.

    One thing you can do is search on ebay for sold iPhone 4's. Look at the 4S also, to compare. People say they get more $ selling iPhones on craigslist, people who will unlock the phone, don't have contract plans will pay you cash for it.


    One thing to keep in mind also...if you don't need the cash, you can keep your iPhone 4 and use it as an iPod touch, for your music.
  22. neoelectronaut thread starter macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    Problem is that I'm only a 200MB data plan, so LTE would just mean I'd manage to get overages quicker.


    The amount of music I have in iTunes is well over 32GB, so ideally I'd like the 64GB phone, but paying $400 for a cell phone makes me sick to my stomach, frankly.

    Ideally I was leaning towards the iPhone 5c in the blue color, if anything.

    Craigslist makes me nervous as hell, frankly. Too many shady characters there.
  23. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    I have the same phone as OP and have thrown iOS7 on it to test with the option of restoring iOS6 before the window of opportunity closes on the 17th.
    Currently, I was considering upgrading because my phone loses its data connection intermittently and cannot reconnect without a reboot. This was annoying enough for me to consider dropping £630 on an upgrade this time round.

    So far, so good. No data dropouts. However....

    iOS7 is pig ugly. Truly hideous. I haven't followed the iOS7 threads or articles because I didn't really care enough to check. I want my OSes to facilitate operating my apps and then to get out of my way. iOS7, on the other hand, is no shrinking violet. Awful, indistinct fonts, garish colour schemes from hell and the whole thing just looks amateurish. More like a prototype for iOS before given a professional lick of paint. If you thought the icon for Safari was bad wait until you see the small icons at the bottom of the washed out webpages. It really is a visual disaster zone.

    Unlike the OP, I find the interface really laggy. iOS6 felt really slick in comparison. I also wonder why the brightness audio controls have disappeared when double clicking the home button to bring up the task manager.

    So I'm torn. iOS7 seems to have solved my data problems but I am never going to love the interface the way I appreciated iOS1-6. Also, a couple of my daily apps don't work properly under iOS7. I hope those get fixed soon.

    I am inclined at the moment to sit this round out. I can live with what I have for another year at least. It would be a lot of money just to eliminate the lag and I don't think the 5 series phones are as robust. I am hoping for better things for iP6 and iOS8.
  24. benji888 macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2006
    United States
    Are you already using the scale down to 128kbps option? If not, this saves space, doesn't affect sound quality for me, in my car.

    Considering what you do with your iPhone now, I think you'd be happy with the 5c. LTE/safari is very fast, at 200MB you will need to watch data use more closely.

    this is an example of a refined search on ebay, though, it shows iPhone 4 & 4S in 32GB size, used, sold http://www.ebay.com/sch/Cell-Phones...pacity=32%20GB&Model=iPhone%204&_nkw=iPhone 4

    You could search all sizes though, as, sale prices vary depending on what you sell with it (charger, case, etc), condition. Selling on ebay you get better prices with better pics showing everything and close ups showing any damage and descriptions. Show pics of it running iOS 7, that will help too. ...Although, with an older iPhone, sometimes it's better to go back to iOS 6 while you can, then they have the choice of using iOS 6 or updating it.
  25. Blorzoga macrumors 68030


    May 21, 2010
    You might want to consider just getting an iphone 5. A buddy of mine got one at the AT&T store for $99 on contract. They're trying to clear out old stock before the 5S arrives. The LTE, alone, is worth the upgrade.

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