Is this one reason why 4S is the same as 4?

PracticalMac

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Accessories.

By building the new iPhone 4S with nearly identical form factor as the previous 1.5 years if iPhone 4 to have not only a huge selection of accessories already on the shelves, but also build strong support from accessory makers who can keep selling its products longer, avoid new tooling costs.

One could also say is another slap at the “fragmentation” of the Android market, where each phone needs a different case, so fewer vendors are willing to support them.

I see a hell-of-a-lot more (cool) iPhone cases then compared to all the Android cases combined at BestBuy. Would not be surprised if the teen crowd demands iPhone simply based on the case.
 

anirudh

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Feb 28, 2008
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Accessories.

I see a hell-of-a-lot more (cool) iPhone cases then compared to all the Android cases combined at BestBuy. Would not be surprised if the teen crowd demands iPhone simply based on the case.
While this might not be the reason I believe why the 4S is the same (externally) as the 4, I completely agree with the point that some part (no matter how small) of a cell phone buying decision is dependent on the available accessories and the iPhone (or for that matter any Apple product) simply blows the competition away. I had a WP7 phone and it was one of the best phones I have come across. But once you begin to see that its an orphan no accessory manufacturer cares about, you feel left out :( This gets even worse when you see all the reviews, posts, threads about 'a cool new case' released for the iPhone :D
 

punchdrunk55

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Apr 13, 2010
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Personally I don't think that is the reason seeing as they did change it. The Verizon and 4S have slightly different layouts that caused case manufacturers to have to make completely different toolings for their cases. Sure it is very similar which made it a lot easier for them but a new tooling is still a new tooling and therefore an added cost.
 

sneaky butcher

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Nov 8, 2011
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Accessories.

By building the new iPhone 4S with nearly identical form factor as the previous 1.5 years if iPhone 4 to have not only a huge selection of accessories already on the shelves, but also build strong support from accessory makers who can keep selling its products longer, avoid new tooling costs.

One could also say is another slap at the “fragmentation” of the Android market, where each phone needs a different case, so fewer vendors are willing to support them.

I see a hell-of-a-lot more (cool) iPhone cases then compared to all the Android cases combined at BestBuy. Would not be surprised if the teen crowd demands iPhone simply based on the case.
no this is not the reason. apple couldnt care less about anybody else.

what did apple say about the 4s? did they even give a reason?

I imagine its a combination of components for the all new "iphone 5" not being ready in time. Or they just wanted to make more money off the old design.
 

Xenomorph

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This isn't some new thing. The 3GS shared the same shape/design as the 3G. Most cases, screen protectors, and other accessories designed for the 3G worked just fine with the 3GS.
 

Almy

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Sep 27, 2008
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It looks like they're on a two year external hardware run with a one year internal hardware run. Probably several reasons. Cost efficiency would be my guess for the biggest of them.
 

PracticalMac

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Personally I don't think that is the reason seeing as they did change it. The Verizon and 4S have slightly different layouts that caused case manufacturers to have to make completely different toolings for their cases. Sure it is very similar which made it a lot easier for them but a new tooling is still a new tooling and therefore an added cost.
I think the needed changes is much fewer then you think.
From all that I see, the only needed change was a larger clearance hole for the camera and flash, everything else is in the same location.

Now I see a lot of backward compatible cases, such as "4S, will fit 4"
 

PlaceofDis

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Jan 6, 2004
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this is one of the reasons why i am glad that i am not in sync with the external changes. i upgrade every two years and i started with the original iphone, so this means that there is already a good market of accessories to begin with. makes my life easier and i can see it helping keep costs down for apple as well.
 

PracticalMac

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no this is not the reason. apple couldnt care less about anybody else.
It is not about caring, its about strategy.

Apple couple easily say their is an iPhone accessory for every obscure need, while Android has very little. Build a huge local support base in accessory makers that will encourage more iPhone purchases.

Makers of course cannot expect the same design to last forever, but it makes them see much larger $$$ selling iPhone stuff.
 

punchdrunk55

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Apr 13, 2010
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I think the needed changes is much fewer then you think.
From all that I see, the only needed change was a larger clearance hole for the camera and flash, everything else is in the same location.

Now I see a lot of backward compatible cases, such as "4S, will fit 4"
The big one actually from the GSM version to the Verizon and universal 4S was that the volume buttons and the silent slider shifted slightly. Now most of the cases are universal but when the Verizon 4 came out most of the cases weren't perfect but were workable.

And I will second the statement that Apple doesn't care about anyone else but themselves and could really care less about the case manufacturers.
 

Xenomorph

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this is one of the reasons why i am glad that i am not in sync with the external changes. i upgrade every two years and i started with the original iphone, so this means that there is already a good market of accessories to begin with. makes my life easier and i can see it helping keep costs down for apple as well.
It may not seem this is a big deal, but it is.

When I got my 3GS, there were already a year's worth of accessories and add-ons I could use. On day 1 I was able to pick up a nice case, screen protectors, etc.

When I got my 4S, it was the same thing. I even ordered a case and screen protectors before I got the phone. I knew it would all just work.

With my iPad 2 ... nothing. Many web sites had "coming soon" info for cases and screen protectors. I saw some iPad 2s with iPad 1 screen protectors on them, covering the camera. I saw iPad 2s rattling around in "too big" iPad 1 cases. It took weeks before I was able to get the accessories I want.

I may skip the next iPhone (maybe). If it's an iPhone 6 in 2012, then I may get the iPhone 6S in 2013 and use all the existing iPhone 6 accessories.
 

sneaky butcher

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Nov 8, 2011
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It is not about caring, its about strategy.

Apple couple easily say their is an iPhone accessory for every obscure need, while Android has very little. Build a huge local support base in accessory makers that will encourage more iPhone purchases.

Makers of course cannot expect the same design to last forever, but it makes them see much larger $$$ selling iPhone stuff.
if you actually think 3rd party accessories have any influence on the decisions apple makes your totally disconnected from reality. If anything those accessory makers want newer designs faster so they can sell new stuff. People will just re-use their cases from the last model. As far as apple is concerned it means nothing to them
 

cynics

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Jan 8, 2012
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I think it's convenient for the consumer but not apples reason for sticking with this design.

Probably more convenient for apple since I'm sure there are quite a few parts the phones share.
 

Consultant

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Jun 27, 2007
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US contracts are 2 years.

iPhone form factors seem to be in 2 year cycles.

Think about it.
 

PracticalMac

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US contracts are 2 years.

iPhone form factors seem to be in 2 year cycles.

Think about it.
Well, I am sure Sneaky Butcher would have the same counter argument, why should and old design influence the look of the new one?


So, in a world where everyone wants something different every 6 months, why does Apple keep a case design over 2 years? It is almost impossible to tell a 4 from 4S, and 3G from 3GS.

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People will just re-use their cases from the last model. As far as apple is concerned it means nothing to them
That is where the argument falters.
Cases get dirty and ware out.

Besides, if the phone design stays the same, then change the case.
Cheap, easy, and have a vast selection.
 

sneaky butcher

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Nov 8, 2011
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Well, I am sure Sneaky Butcher would have the same counter argument, why should and old design influence the look of the new one?


So, in a world where everyone wants something different every 6 months, why does Apple keep a case design over 2 years? It is almost impossible to tell a 4 from 4S, and 3G from 3GS.


because its cheaper for them and lets them make more money.
 

wordoflife

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Jul 6, 2009
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Wouldn't have made a huge difference. Case manufacturers needed to alter their cases a bit anyways, especially for their nonUS markets.
 

wickerman1893

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Dec 16, 2008
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It does make it a lot easier for the case sellers. However, I think the main reason is for marketing. 2 straight years of the same design is going to make the next gen iPhone sell lots better than both current models. Yet they are still making money on the 4S like crazy.
 

PracticalMac

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because its cheaper for them and lets them make more money.
Do explain.
The guts are completely different, antenna different, back panel different (due to larger camera from what heard, but cant see any difference). I estimate only the buttons and front glass are the same (besides hardware).

Mfg lines are designed to handle any product, so I see not much savings in keeping the lines the same.

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It does make it a lot easier for the case sellers. However, I think the main reason is for marketing. 2 straight years of the same design is going to make the next gen iPhone sell lots better than both current models. Yet they are still making money on the 4S like crazy.
By that logic the 4S should not sell like it is becuase it is old look.

What was it, over 85% of iPhone sales are the new one?
 

wickerman1893

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Dec 16, 2008
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Do explain.
The guts are completely different, antenna different, back panel different (due to larger camera from what heard, but cant see any difference). I estimate only the buttons and front glass are the same (besides hardware).

Mfg lines are designed to handle any product, so I see not much savings in keeping the lines the same.

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By that logic the 4S should not sell like it is becuase it is old look.

What was it, over 85% of iPhone sales are the new one?
That's what completely blows my mind. Apple is selling basically the same phone with some minor upgrades (some are substantial) even better than the 4 did with a brand new design. This is why I believe the 6th gen will sell even better.
 

TechStooge

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Jan 16, 2012
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u dont factor in the costs to manufactur the iphone 4/4s.


redesigning the entire phone would result in changing the entire manufacturing process.