iOverkill: The difference between the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5 isn’t worth the extra money

By on October 16, 2012

Side by side comparison of the iPhone 4s (left) and the iPhone 5 (right.)

By Sawyer Schmitt–

Remember when the iPhone first came out? People would joke that it could make waffles, but couldn’t make calls. Then the iPhone 2 rose from the depths, like a metaphorical Persephone, and people flipped for it; the new model was better in every way. Apple hit us again with the iPhone 3… the 4…the 4S…and now here we are, with a consumer culture in bed with Apple (with some pretty serious pillow talk) ready to buy up whatever new ideas or drivel that comes to mind.  That drivel is the iPhone 5.

Don’t get me wrong, Apple makes fantastic products. The iPod revolutionized the music industry as we know it, leading most sales to be digital and beginning what I call the “headphone” age, and what will later be called the “I Can’t Hear You” age, and by people that participated in this, the “EH, WHAT SONNY?” age. Apple revolutionized the tablet, an essentially fancy toy upon conception, into a business must-have.

When these products launched, their success built Apple’s reputation, as it should have, to a ludicrously high point. Company loyalty is another subject, but when people have constant good ideas that turn into revolutionary products, you tend to start to trust them, thus creating a successful business. My problem with the iPhone 5 lies with Apple blatantly taking advantage of this trust to completely overcharge their loyal consumers.

First off, the facts (taken from CNET’s technological assessment of both phones): The iPhone 4S is .82 inches shorter than the new model, .7 inches thicker, and weighs .14 ounces more than the five. Both have one 8 megapixel camera and similar shooting modes.  As far as battery life goes, both are very similar, with the biggest difference being a 25 hour extra standby time, but does anyone leave their phone uncharged and on standby for that long a period? And on the subject of power, toss out your old charging cords, the  five requires a new one.

The 4S contains a processor strong enough to support console, like graphics, according to, and double the RAM the iPhone 3 had. The 5 has an even faster processor, and to this I scream OVERKILL. This new processor will eventually be put to use once developers start to realize its potential, but the 4S will not become antiquated so quickly.

So what exactly are you paying for? A slimmer battery, a more fragile phone (it has a metal back, but isn’t it the front that concerns us?) and possibly some fairy dust. The pricing for the half inch bigger screen, which allows you to see the feet of your LOLcats, and an overpowered processor is nonsensical. A 16GB 4S costs $99, whereas a 16GB 5 costs$ 200, $300 for 32GB and $400 for a 64GB! The screen size is barely noticeable to the general public. When Jimmy Kimmel took to the streets with a 4S telling people it was a 5, participants said that they could see the size change, say it was faster and lighter than their own 4S…the one that rested in their other hand.

The ultimate question here is whether or not to update, and the answer is a ridiculously strong no. You do not need to shell out 200 dollars minimum to obtain these overpriced and unnecessary updates. Don’t support Apple’s exploitation of hype; make them price a product according to its practicality and not its shine. Wait for the iPhone 6 (complete with new dimensional transport!), when the processor will be running apps at full potential. You probably will want to start saving now.

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