Analysts are predicting that Apple will iterate on its popular smartphone in June, releasing the iPhone 5s that will have minor hardware and software upgrades to entice the bleeding edge Apple faithful. If the pattern seems familiar, it’s because Apple did the same thing with the iPhone 4s which followed its predecessor, the “4” in less than a year. It’s unclear whether the iPhone 5s launch will have the same impact as the 4s, which debuted with the popular but buggy “Siri” service. More importantly, Apple-watchers are predicting that the Cupertino company will debut a “lower cost” version of their iPhone in September, specifically to combat Android’s growing market share. An unlocked iPhone typically sells well north of $600 brand new, whereas Android devices can be bought off-contract for less than $300, which is where analysts expect the budget iPhone to land in the pricing wars.
What this means for you:
While most folks are usually more than satisfied with 2-3 year-old iPhones, if you’ve been waiting to upgrade, Apple’s pattern of hardware release usually means that the “s” version of an iPhone is a good investment. If you are still rocking an iPhone 3, the 5s will be a very nice upgrade with a noticeable improvement in speed and functionality. If you are one of the few that tries to avoid AT&T’s and Verizon’s financially-questionable 2-year contracts and you don’t want to plunk down six bills or more for an unlocked 5s, hold on to that older iPhone for a couple more months to see if Apple makes good on the low-cost iPhone in September of this year.