A new iPhone is out and, once again, consumers are faced with choices. I’m not talking about the decision about whether to upgrade in the first place—that’s a different subject entirely. I’m talking about the decision those of us who are definitely upgrading have to make. It’s a decision I’ll call the “three Cs”—carrier, capacity, and color.
If you are already with a carrier, this may be a no-brainer for you. But before you stick with your current carrier because it’s easier than switching, consider your other options. If you’ve been an iPhone owner for a while, chances are your carrier is AT&T, since the first company to compete with AT&T on the iPhone (Verizon) only signed on a year and a half ago. But when you look at what AT&T is offering, it’s actually better than Verizon in some ways. According to the Apple site, Sprint’s plan is the cheapest but only by a few bucks. Sprint offers unlimited text and data but only 450 minutes of talk time, while AT&T offers unlimited talk and text but only 1 GB of data. Verizon is priced similar to Sprint’s but your data limit will be only 300 MB. That’s not much but you’ll have unlimited talk and text, so I guess it depends how you use your phone. 300 MB a month just isn’t enough for me, but you’ll have to decide on that for yourself.
Once again the iPhone is offered with storage choices—16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB. To be honest, I’ve always had the lowest capacity and have never noticed a problem. However, consider how many games, photos, music, and videos you’re currently storing on your phone and decide if you might need more. One HD movie downloaded from iTunes can be as much as 5 GB, so if you’re planning to store a movie or two on your phone for your next overseas flight, you should take this into account.
Keep in mind that you’ll pay $100 for each 16 GB additional your iPhone 5 provides you. It’s important to choose a phone that will hold everything you need for the next couple of years but it’s also important not to waste $100 for something you won’t even use.
As with the 4S, the iPhone 5 is available in black and white. The black version is a combination of black and slate and the white version is white and silver. Of course, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that from the day we buy that iPhone 5, it will be in a case until the day we toss it aside in 2014 for the next version of the iPhone. If that’s the case, all that really matters is the color around the screen.
As iMore’s Rene Ritchie pointed out, the rim around a TV picture is usually black for a reason: it’s less distracting.
This year, however, you also have something else to consider,” Ritchie writes. “Until apps update for widescreen, they’ll be letter-boxed or pillar-boxed on the iPhone 5, which means black bars. Those will almost disappear on a black iPhone 5. On a white iPhone 5, not so much.”
The next big question is, should you buy your phone from Apple directly or through your carrier. And should you buy it online or in the store?
Both of these questions are personal preference, but if you buy it through Apple online, you’ll be asked which carrier you use and the phone will be configured to work with that carrier. Currently, the wait time is three to four weeks for an iPhone 5 online, but you’ll probably find the same wait if you visit your store. So you can either wait a month or so and walk into your store of choice to purchase your phone or you can buy it online and sit back and wait.
The new release of an iPhone is always exciting and this release is no different. A little patience and you’ll soon be holding the latest Apple innovation in your hands.