Would the iPhone 4 last me at least 2.5 years?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Furifo, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Furifo, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

    Furifo macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    I'm currently waiting for the iPhone 5 to be released because I'm guessing iPhone 4 prices will drop by then. I'm 95% certain I won't be able to afford an iPhone 5 (being a student is so expensive :O) and so I'll try and pick up a brand new/refurb iPhone 4 at a cheaper price than the current £510 asking price here in the UK.

    If I am going to be spending a fair amount of money on an iPhone 4, I'd like it to last me 2.5-3years. I will of course be buying Applecare so I'll have at least 2 years of coverage. A friend of mine has gone on holiday and has left his iPhone 4 behind - he let me use it for a few days while he is away. Over 3 days, I used ~50-60% of battery per day. If these batteries are supposed to last 300-400 charge cycles then I should be okay on the battery front.

    What is worrying me is the home button problem. How common is it for an iPhone 4 to eventually develop a dodgy home button? Is this inevitable?

    Finally, if they discontinue the iPhone 4 in my time of owning it and my home button messes up, what will Apple replace my phone with if I take it into the Apple store while I still have warranty?

    Apologies for the long post - thanks for taking the time to read it.

    EDIT!!! - I really can't wait guys, plus white iPhone 4s can be had for as little as £360. I can use the cash I have saved, buy applecare and then sell the phone after 2 years.

    My question is this - if somebody has an iPhone 4 contract and has received a white iPhone 4 replacement from their network (for the sake of argument, let us assume this was given to them on the 1st May), would I still be eligible to buy this, purchase Applecare and extend the warranty to 1st May 2013 or only extend it 1 year past the date of the pre-replacement phone?
  2. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    Battery replacement is quite cheap.

    If you purchase the Apple Care plan you would get a battery replacement and coverage for your home button concern for 2 full years.

    Yes, they will have warranty units to replace your iPhone 4 for quite some time. They still have iPhone 3G warranty units floating around.

  3. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    Apple will not discontinue the iPhone 4 in 2.5 years. They are still selling the 3G and 3GS, so don't worry about that. I don't have any home buttons issues, so I can't address that problem. Apple products are built to last. I still have the first generation iPod, which still works great. As far as battery use, 50 to 60% a day is not bad at all.
  4. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Battery replacement is £55 over here. I'd rather not spend that but I will if I have to :D

    iPhone 3g replacements still around? Wow. Thanks for that piece of info!

    Another question - will the A4 chip be sufficient enough for my needs for apps coming out over the next 2-3 years? I know this is hard to predict as tech is moving so fast...

    My uses:
    - Light, quick pick up and play games like fruit ninja
    - Various medical apps
    - Dropbox/Evernote
    - Basic phone stuff - SMS/email/err... calls? :p

    I have an iPad 2 and I love the performance of the A5 chip. The iPhone 4s A4 doesn't seem that much slower to me tbh as I did a side-by-side comparison.
  5. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Your phone will last you for a long as long as you can maintain it in good condition. 4 years later I still people using the original iPhone and are OK with it. Their battery may not last like it used it and they are no longer receiving updates, but they're OK with that.

    Regarding warranty, Apple will replace your iPhone 4 with another iPhone 4, and if your device has been discontinued and they no longer have refurbished models available, they will actually send it to Apple Care for servicing. You will not be getting a free upgrade.
  6. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Thanks for the reply! I feel more comfortable that I'm buying a phone that won't be discontinued so soon :D

    I have no concerns over the overall build quality, my iPod nano of 5 years ago is still performing like a champ and my MBP (2010) has been as solid as a rock.

    Damn, so no iPhone 5 replacement then :p

    I'm constantly cleaning my MBPs screen (glossy attracts ALOT of dust) + my iPad screen (basically, just a giant fingerprint magnet that is running iOS). I'll be taking good care of my iPhone.
  7. nunes013 macrumors 65816


    May 24, 2010
    wasnt there an original iPhone that was buried and then found like 2 years later and still worked :eek:

    the iPhone 4 will last you 3 years if you take of it. im sure you will because of how u are with ur stuff. don't worry OP. you will be fine. have fun with it!
  8. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    My husband and I both kept our 1st gen iPhones for about 3 years, bypassing the 3G and 3GS upgrades. We each bought an iPhone 4 last summer (and neither of us intend to upgrade this time around). His original iPhone is in the hands of a friend who is still using it daily. Mine sat in a drawer for the last year--it seemed DOA when I pulled it out a few weeks ago, but after putting it on a wall charger (not charging through the computer) overnight, it powered right up and has been doing fine again ever since.

    The battery life obviously isn't what it was when they were new, but they're both still extremely usable. I'd say anyone buying a brand new iPhone 4 will be fine planning to hold it for 2-3 years.
  9. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I'm not sure about Apple producing the IP4 for the same duration as the 3GS - mainly because of manufacturing cost. I think the relative low cost of building the 3GS is why it stuck around so long. The IP4 having a more expensive display, glass and stainless everywhere - isn't the frugal product the 3GS is.

    That's my theory, at least.

    As for durability - I have to say I'm disappointed with the IP4, one year on, with the same (if not better) treatment than my original iPhone 8G, it's in sadder shape. Lots more scratches on the screen. Mind you, I used the launch iPhone from launch day, until I purchased an IP4. That little shiny bezel did quite a bit of screen guarding, that I didn't appreciate until the IP4 came around...
  10. Peterson8765 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2010
    The iPhone 4 as it is right now is a more than a year old phone, if you bought one now and held on to it for 2.5 years it would be almost a 4 year old device and in 2013 almost every phone on the market will most likely have faster 4G and quad core devices while you would be stuck with a 3G single core device.
  11. Reach9 macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2010
    In America
    Agreed completely.

    OP, if you plan on getting an iPhone, then i suggest you pitch in the extra money for the iPhone 5. I understand how difficult it is, being a student. But if you want something for durability, and a long life-time the iPhone 4 isn't it for you.
    I mean that externally with it's horrible glass design, and internally as the A5 Dual Core chip will last you longer than the iPhone 4's.
  12. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Damn I'm confused now. Some of you are saying the iPhone 4 is built brilliantly whereas others are saying it isn't built that well.

    As for 4g - I'm content with my 3G data plan and don't plan on paying extra until I graduate from med school - funds are quite tight for me.

    I could buy the iPhone 4 and have enough cash to cover both my iPad and iPhone with AppleCare but now I don't know whether or not it is worth sacrificing AppleCare on 1 device, saving a little more and getting an iPhone 5.

    I guess I will have to check out prices when it is released as the A5 chip is really nice however, will I really need an A5 chip when nearly all the apps I want can run on an iPhone 2g?
  13. iEnvy macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2010
    This is a question you should ask a iPhone 3G user waiting for the iPhone 5, basically similar situations.
  14. mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2010
    If you bought an iPhone 4 today it would be new. No reason why it should last at least 2 years with apple care.
  15. Zepaw macrumors 65816


    Apr 18, 2010
    I have never had a hardware problem when I had iP4 for a good while on AT&T and then Verizon. The biggest question is software. You will certainly be fine for the next year with iOS 5 and probably even iOS 6 but it will start to miss out on features that point.
  16. davedude, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

    davedude macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
  17. bandofbrothers macrumors 601


    Oct 14, 2007
    You can buy apple care anytime within the 1st years warranty. Currently 02 are selling it at £55.00.

    I mulled over buying my iphone 4 a month ago and can tell you after getting one I dont regret it one bit. The beauty about this phone and apple is that they are ahead of the competition in many aspects. The ios4 is years ahead with the ios5 soon to be released which will add upto 200 additions to the iphone 4 and 3gs. Ive played with a friends developer iphone 4 with the beta version of ios5 on it and its awesome. A whole new notification facility to name one of the updates.

    Ive had my ip4 for a little over a month and Ive not finished tweaking the screens and forming folders. The downloads are endless. I opted for the 16gb black version as this suits my needs.

    I did buy it brand new from 02 but on balance I'm not a student I work and have the disposable income to treat myself.

    Lots are waiting for the iphone 5 and I'm one of them waiting however the new one has to have more to offer as well as aesthetics to warrant me to outlay another £500 + for the handset.

    One thing to note about the ip4 is the antenna gate/ death grip which normally affects left handed users. Ie a finger bridges the gap in the antenna band and you can lose 1 to all barrs of signal, although this is resolved by using some form of bumper. I use the case mate jett which is awesome and decently priced at £40.

    Some have had issues with the home button , I have not.
    The customer service from apple is awesome. So as discussed on many forums if you have any issues then dont go to the network as they will send it away. Go to an apple genius who will normally swap the unit for a mint refurb. You do have to make an appointment first tho.

    I dont know if you have looked at a demo model in the shops yet but beware that the newer models sometimes have a warmer tint to the screens, ie more yellower than the blue hue ones that are on display. I prefer this because I dont need the brightness up as much as the blue hue ones.

    My ip4 normally lasts me 1-2 days after really heavy use so its good to have a phone that will easily see me to the end of the working day.

    And with icloud looming the need to have a pc to sync is fast becoming a memory !

    Shops in the Uk who sell used ip4's are a good choice too as they offer full 12 month warranties too. I cam PM you the name if you want as its not permitted to advertise businesses names on the forum.

    My thoughts are if one waited to see whats new out around the corner then one would not actually make a purchase at all.

    You've played with a friends ip4 so you know what it is capable of and i think you have made your mind up. Also dont expect the ip4 to suddenly drop in price when the ip5 releases as apple products tend to hold their price.

    I'll give you a gentle nudge in the right direction and get one and enjoy it. In the end its only a phone, and I keep having to tell myself that every time it does something new.

    i mean actually being out and being able to access Sky + and set it to record is just one thing I like.
  18. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Thank you so much for the very detailed and long post.

    I've had a look at various iOS5 videos on youtube including WWDC 2011, it looks really promising and I can't wait to try it out!

    As for the death grip issue, my friend had a cheap £7 case on his iPhone 4 - I did not experience any dropped calls or noticeable lack of signal so I don't consider the death grip an issue with the iP4.

    Hmm, the hue on the newer ones seems interesting, I'll have to go to an Apple store and check that out. In any case, if means lower brightness is needed then that means lower battery is consumed and that's always a good thing, right? ;)

    I prefer to buy my products new. I don't know how much abuse the internal components of a used product has had e.g. has the battery been properly maintained etc and I've always kind of had an issue with this. I really take good care of my products and so I prefer buying them new from the outset. Hopefully, despite what some people have said in this thread, my iPhone 4 will be solidly built and will last.

    I do not expect iP4 prices to drop like a stone - as you said, it is an iPhone which is extremely sought after and hence hold their value well (I really want a VW as a first car but unfortunately, they seem to hold their value as well!!). I'm hoping the price will drop a little bit to ease the blow on my wallet!

    The other concern is the A4 chip. I love the fantastic A5 chip in my iPad! I have seen some comparison videos of people comparing the iPad 2 vs the iPhone 4 - the iPhone with its A4 chip doesn't seem THAT much slower tbh. If I do decide to go for the iPhone 4, I hope the A4 chip is strong enough to last a couple of years.

    Finally, if Apple release an iPhone 4S with an A5 chip and price it at £450, I may be able to stretch to this.. here's to hoping Apple price the iPhone 4S/5 slightly lower than the current price of an iPhone 4 like they did with the iPad (£430 -> £400)
  19. Reach9 macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2010
    In America
    Here's a thought. Wait for the iPhone 5 announcement, and then you can go on from there depending on what you like.
  20. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    I still think having to cover this great looking phone up just so it performs acceptably is insulting to the customer. Yet throngs of respondents still lock-step "just put a case on it!". Part of what you buy Apple products for is the great looks and you don't want to be forced to cover it up just so it performs as advertized.

    Here's hoping (nay, expecting) the iPhone 5 will resolve this issue once and for all.
  21. bandofbrothers macrumors 601


    Oct 14, 2007
    I totally agree it should be naked and show off its looks and lines.

    Its not the signal drop issue that has driven me to put a bumper and back shield on it , its also that I want to keep it in as good condition as possible. I like to look after my kit.

    The bumper and shield I use does not really break up the sleep lines of the phone, heres a pic of my set up.

    As Ive said i have not suffered from dropped calls or 3g loss etc when the phone has been naked, I just choose to have a bumper on it for the above reasons. Some have cases that would see it thro a nuclear winter, but thats the beauty of choice !!

    Attached Files:

  22. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I wish I could say the iPhone 4 is long lasting but I can't.

    For some reason Apple put a very unreliable home button on this model. It's a well documented problem. In just over one year I'm already on my third phone, each of them replaced under warranty after the genius at the store confirmed it was the defective button. If you do a search of the forum there's hundreds of posts about it.

    Not one of my prior models had this problem, only iPhone 4. It's very disappointing.

    At least the poorly designed antenna is something that a case will fix. As much as I hate to cover it, I must otherwise phone calls are very difficult.

    Each of my prior models I enjoyed using without a case, too bad this was another step backward by Apple. Especially after I read a few reports that Jobs was made aware of the problem well prior to release. Apparently he was personally invested in the Apple tradition of style over function.
  23. macingman macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2011
    Not necessarily, my iPhone 4 self destructed after a year of use. First the home button, than the lock button, than the screen.
  24. Furifo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    Thanks for all the help guys and please see my edit in the opening post.
  25. Reach9 macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2010
    In America
    I'm going to be very blunt with you.
    Patience is a virtue.

    You'll be kicking yourself in a month when the iPhone 5 is released, and it's far superior to the iPhone 4. It makes no sense paying such a high price for a device that's over a year old, and had the worst publicity an iPhone ever got. You want to pay money, and get your money's worth. Think about it, Apple surely wants to make the iPhone 5 big, to overcome the negativity the iPhone 4 had. There's a reason they spent so long on the iPhone 5, and it's not because of the Verizon iPhone, or the Japanese Earthquake.

    If you wait, you'll be proud of yourself knowing that you had patience, and you would be rewarded with the best iPhone yet. If the rumors are true, then the iPhone 5 will blow the iPhone 4 away. It'll be the biggest upgrade, internally and externally.
    It makes no sense to buy an iPhone 4 now. It might have in March, but not now.

    In short, wait. I know how student life is, but believe me, you waited so long.. you won't be disappointed.

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