Delving behind the iPhone 4S “demand”


Over the past several days several pieces of evidence have emerged that there is overwhelming interest from consumers in Apple’s latest handset, the iPhone 4S — including in Australia.

An Apple statement overnight revealed the company had received more than one million pre-orders for the device globally — topping the previous record of 600,000 held by the iPhone 4. And locally, things appear to be heating up as well. The Sydney Morning Herald has quoted both Telstra and Optus as highlighting a great deal of demand for the handset, which hits stores on Friday. Apparently some “tens of thousands” of customers have registered to receive info from Telstra about its iPhone 4S launch.

All of this is great for Apple, but personally, it leaves me pretty confused. I still don’t believe the iPhone 4S is really a substantial upgrade to the iPhone 4, and there is a great deal of competition out there right now from manufacturers focusing on the Android platform — and more to arrive, with top-end devices like the Nexus Prime and the Samsung Galaxy S III on the horizon. In addition, from my own extended circle of friends and family, I’m not getting a sense that people are excited about the iPhone 4S — with most still seeing it as a minor upgrade to the iPhone 4.

One argument goes that although the iPhone 4S has been panned by many technology commentators (including myself), mainstream buyers are much more interested in the handset — including many of those who previously owned an iPhone 3GS and are shortly coming to the end of their contract. The iPhone 4S might be a logical buy for that category of customer.

And yet, I’m not sure the evidence so far bears this argument out. If you look at the Sydney Morning Herald, a very mainstream Australian publication, most of the comments on the site’s article about the iPhone 4S demand are pretty dubious about the merits of the iPhone 4S, and Apple fans in general.

Another argument goes that many of those placing iPhone 4S owners are part of the massive number of people who don’t currently own a smartphone at all — they’ve still got an old-style Nokia or Sony Ericsson. The publicity around the passing of Steve Jobs and the still-growing understanding of the nature of smartphones may be stimulating these people to upgrade.

However, I don’t buy this argument either. Those “tens of thousands” of people who have registered for more info from Telstra on the iPhone 4S are not likely to be mainstreamers. They’re likely to be geeks interested to see what deals Telstra has to offer on the iPhone 4S.

Perhaps the argument that I am most persuaded by at the moment, is that the so-called “pent-up demand” for the iPhone 4S is not really the same kind of demand that we’ve previously seen for iPhone.

In Australia, we tend to think about iPhone releases as being regular as clockwork. New iPhones get announced in the US, and they then make their way into Australia and other first-world countries in the next month or so.

However, the truth is that this isn’t true for the rest of the world. Wikipedia chronicles the gradual release of the iPhone 4 around the globe — although it hit Australia in July 2010, it was only released gradually throughout the succeeding six months in countries like Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Vietnam and so on, and it didn’t reach India until May 2011.

When it comes to Android phones, of course, the global distribution cycle is even slower and more limited — as Apple’s rivals generally appear to have less manufacturing capacity; and of course they also typically release more than one form factor.

The iPhone 4S will launch faster, in a wider range of countries than the iPhone 4. When Apple launched the iPhone 4, the device went on sale in five countries (the US, France, Germany, Japan and the UK in June), with a total of 88 countries targeted by the end of September. However, the iPhone 4S will be available in seven countries straight away on Friday, with a total of 22 countries being targeted by the end of the month — and presumably many more in the several months after.

Could it be that Apple’s vastly improved global distribution platform is behind the increased iPhone 4S pre-orders? This would explain why the company is seeing such huge levels of raw demand for the iPhone 4 … but also explain why many commentators, including myself, do not expect to see huge levels of demand for the handset in Australia.

It also appears that not all Australian telcos feel the iPhone 4S will be a huge hit. Vodafone, for one, has already signalled it won’t hold a midnight launch party for the device — although it has with previous releases.

Image credit: Apple


  1. I can only speak for myself but I am upgrading an iPhone 3 and an iPhone 3GS to two iPhone 4S models. The 3 is gimped by iOS4 and the 3GS has a dying battery so it is a perfect time for us to upgrade to the next greatest iPhone.

    We’re both heavily invested in the App Store and iTunes so it was an easy choice rather than consider an Android alternative.

    Now hopefully Telstra will get off their ass and allow me to order the phones.

    • I personally have had every iPhone to date. Mostly because no other phone came close to the same performance / quality of the iPhone. (my main metric is “how good is it as a portable web browser” since it is my primary use for such a device).
      In the past, no handset has ever come close.
      These days? My wife (3 days ago) jumped ship to an HTC Sensation, and quite frankly, the “portable web browser” feature is superior.

      Personally, I am waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE HD (mouthful!)
      Same kind of resolution as my current iPhone 4 (though; overkill really) but with LTE.

      I just hope I can convince work that Telstra is a much better network for me to use than Optus.

    • Yeah I read that but I didn’t really agree with it.

      “The other 70 million or so iPhone users have either a 3GS or a 3G iPhone.”

      Yes, and many of those previous iPhone users (in Australia, which is all I know) are switching to Android right now. I know stacks of people who have made the iPhone 3G/3GS to Android switch, typically with a HTC or Samsung phone. This isn’t an easy market for Apple.

      “Over 1.5 billion phones are sold each year and Apple only has about 5% share.”

      I think this is drastically over-simplifying the matter. Apple does not have 5% share of Australia’s mobile phone market — it has a much, much larger share. Asymco, and Apple itself, was including the vast proportion of second or third-world countries here in the tally — we’re not talking first-world countries alone.

      There’s a dramatic simplification going on here. You can’t just collate the figures together and call it the same opportunity.

      • I believe that the primary driver from iPhone to Android among people who are not phone nerds is probably price. The nice chap at the telco store will be showing them the latest Samsung or HTC, it’ll be shiny-enough and considerably cheaper than available iPhones (take a look at the contract options, you can easily save $20/month by going for a mid/high-end droid), so they’ll grab that.

        Most people don’t have the religious connection with their phones. I’ve been helping a neighbour recently with her iPhone 4 and this really struck me. She’s not a phone nerd, just a regular person, and she uses barely any of the stuff that makes an iPhone (or other smartphone) worthwhile. My suspicion is that she is rather more representative of the broad market than any of us are.

        • I don’t agree it’ll be based on price. After playing with HTC and Samsung models recently, I’m betting it will be based on their actual advantages … Bigger screens, more vibrant user interfaces, customisability, different form factors, lack of hardware vendor app lock-in when upgrading … The list goes on.

          These companies are highly aware of Apple’s weaknesses and they are exploiting them to the max. I love my iPhone … But I am pretty sure my next phone will be a Samsung.

          • And the guy in the store — remember, the average punter is not reading lots of reviews, or checking out lots of handsets in the wild — will also point out that the Samsung or HTC is much cheaper.

            I have a Desire. It’s a pretty nice phone. Sense is quite spiffy, until you go off the rails and start using apps that HTC didn’t ship.

            My opinion is that Apple kind of need a larger-screen device, but if they agree with that they haven’t given much indication. And they have a pretty good track record.

      • You wrote that you were looking at “several pieces of evidence” and you were “confused” as to why the 4S is in demand. The Asymco article articulates a few reasons why this might be so.

        Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one. Maybe there is indeed a big demand for the 4S worldwide and in Australia, regardless of what the pundits think, and regardless of your personal anecdotal experience. The 4S has not suddenly become a crap phone because us geeks have deemed that it is not a big upgrade from the iPhone 4. Let me put it this way: If your proverbial mom is in the market for a new phone right now, would she consider the iPhone 4S?

        • The pundits have never been right about Apple products. Steve Jobs’s speech at Stanford reminded his audience to ignore the criticisms of others and follow your vision. That seems to be Apple’s philosophy.

      • So you’re saying that you don’t agree that its possible that 1.4% of previous (Non 4) iPhone owners out there could be waiting to get a 4s and have pre ordered? While an assumption, it think it a safe assumption that a good portion of previous iPhone users would be looking to upgrade if they are out of contract.

        Saying you know a stack of people are/have jumped from iPhone to Android is indicative of the current market place and therefore means the ‘demand’ for the 4s is a beat up, is also dramatic oversimplification

      • The smartphone/iPhone market is much bigger than Australia. Whilst I am sure there are many instances of users moving from an iPhone to an Android, to say this is a wildly significant and systematic trend in the Australian market is jumping the gun a bit. But even then, I would say that your personal experiences (and mine also given my presence on a site like this) would be a fantastic example of sampling bias, and not indicative of what a random person of the street might think.

        The iPhone – as I’m sure many can agree has rave market share in Australia, but for Apple to deviate from a sound and logical business decision that in their opinion will be better with respect to the global market as a whole is what their company is all about. Australia has a highly saturated iPhone market, and it is always incredibly hard to maintain such a dominating one. I’m sure Apple is one to carefully weigh up the implications of their business decisions, and have found that minimal changes will be enough to keep the iPhone users faithful, maintain a decent level of competitiveness to the competition, and understanding of the possible defection of users to Android.

        iOS 5 should also be a significant issue – as one that breathes new life into notifications amongst many other tweaks. I liken Apple’s decision to greenlight the iPhone 4S with iOS 5 to being similar to Google’s decision to give the Nexus S their blessing – a product I would argue as having a marginal improvement to the Nexus One in the same way the 4S is to the original 4; but being released with their milestone software update.

    • I don’t entirely agree with this argument.

      The 3G/3GS owners are the obvious target for the 4S. That much I do agree with. Those people are coming to the end of contracts, or have already had their contract end and may have been holding off on an upgrade knowing there’d be a new model within months.

      Where his argument falls down is with feature phone users. He’s assuming that the competition costs the same as the iPhone. It doesn’t, or at least it doesn’t in the Australian market. The iPhone is a premium product, and there are always going to be cheaper alternatives. Cash-strapped feature phone users are more likely to be pushed to a lower-end Android device right now, that’s what the nice chap at the Telstra/Optus/Virgin/Voda store is going to steer them toward.

      The 4S will do just fine. I don’t expect it’ll do any worse than the mythical iPhone 5 would’ve and it’s a pretty decent incremental upgrade over the 4. It’s enough to have me (presently using Android, but with no religious attachment) reconsidering an iPhone as my next upgrade, if the camera is as good as is being suggested then it’ll be a tough choice between that and (probably) the Nokia 800 for me.

      But I’m a phone nerd.

  2. Sorry, I simply don’t believe that using the Sydney Morning Herald’s comments as a viable way of measuring general consumer interest in the iPhone 4S. It’s a laughable metric, and could easily fall into the category also of the supposed ‘geeks’ or passionate technology fans who seek to express their opinion whenever given the chance.

    I would argue that the general mainstream simply don’t care for such online drivel, and would enjoy the fact that the 4S is Apple’s latest offering, supports all their previously purchased apps, maintains its simplistic interface and high probability that they will not be burned by another iPhone that will be released in 2 months time.

    The asymco article linked in this comment thread is a good one too.

  3. I am eagerly awaiting the 4s. I stupidly got a 3G a few months before the 3GS came out and have been out of cycle since then. My partner and my contracts ended in April but we have been holding out for the new phone. Once we started waiting we didn’t want to cave and get the 4. A lot of people I know are getting out of their 3GS contracts atm so are looking to upgrade.

      • This is not the death knell for iPhones, it is just decision time for those that held off.

        Boils down to this: Some people were unhappy with their iPhones, and just needed an excuse to jump ship. A 4S, without as much magic as everyone was expecting/hoping for will give them the excuse they were looking for.

        Everyone else? They will quite happily pay for an upgrade.

        • No one was looking for an excuse to “jump ship”. The only people expecting “magic” were hyperactive bloggers and spec junkies who gobbled up rumors all over the internet.

          The iPhone 4S is a very powerful phone, with a GPU that just obliterates the competition. It’s good value for its price.

      • Naturally if you are an iPhone 4 user there is little reason to upgrade or shock horror keep using your iPhone 4 if it is working perfectly. ;)

  4. Yep, the ONE MILLION people who placed pre-orders must be wrong.

    The iPhone is a MAINSTREAM device, owned by many millions of people, the bulk of who don’t bother posting comments on websites, they talk about it amongst their friends, and it’s word of mouth that helps to sell things – not link bait stories like this one …

  5. It’s close to (if not already) a fairly mature market now. I wouldn’t be expecting extravagant telco launch parties for new smartphones any more, not even if this were the fabled iPhone 5.

    Android is eating a fair chunk of the smartphone market in Australia, but I reckon that’s as much expanding the market as it is taking iPhone customers. Cheaper handsets, available on pre-paid for not much money or on a low-cost contract, it’s pretty obviously going to bring in a bunch of people who weren’t willing to fork out the $900 for an iPhone. And when your iPhone 3G or 3GS contract comes up, it’s not unreasonable to be looking around at the alternatives, and some of those people are going to switch to something else, quite possibly something much cheaper.

    Add in that the incentives for the telcos are to push Android and downplay iPhone. Higher margin on Android handsets than on iPhone (Apple is not big on discounting!), and it’s a good upsell from the feature phones, gets people using (and paying for) data.

    As to SMH comment threads, it’s generally a good rule to completely ignore them, whatever the subject. Far too easy to get caught up in xkcd 386.

    • “I wouldn’t be expecting extravagant telco launch parties for new smartphones any more”

      You should talk to HTC. Their journo launch party budget appears to know no bounds.

      From the most recent invitation:

      HTC would like to invite you to an afternoon briefing and product demonstration of the HTC Rhyme. HTC spokespeople will be available to discuss additional details around the device announcement over canapés and refreshments at LATTOUF Hair & Day Spa, Sydney.

      The HTC Rhyme is the ultimate stylish device so what better way to celebrate, than with a sublime experience in a world class spa and salon. You will also be treated to the option of a relaxing range of 30 minute express spa treatments* including:

      -Option 1 –Manicure & Pedicure

      -Option 2 – Massage

      -Option 3 – Facial

      -Option 4 – Scalp and Hair Treatments

      *All treatments are customised for men or women – Additional details on available treatments below.

      • Key word was “telco”. OEMs will go probably bonkers with the marketing budgets and journo junkets, but I wouldn’t expect many more of those open-to-the-general-public midnight launch parties.

          • HTC love to go bonkers with these things. Personally I wish they’d spend some of that marketing money on thinking through the security implications of a logging daemon accessible to any app with internet privs instead.

            In any case, there’ll be lots more journo parties. Don’t worry. :)

  6. Does it really matter who/where/why people are buying an iPhone 4S? Fact is, Apple have pre-sold 1 million of them. That’s not 1 million sold to stores where they sit on shelves and maybe half end up with customers.

    Granted, Apple expanded their launch day distribution chain, but does that matter? 1 million phones, pre-ordered, people waiting to hand over cash. The phone isn’t even on demo anywhere to use, yet 1 million are pre-ordered by customers, end users, not stores.

    Compare this to Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy S II – – 3 million were pre-ordered, by telcos, in 120 countries. Apple is launching in just 7, yet managed to pre-order 1 million, direct to customers (not to telcos – just because telcos ordered 3 million, doesn’t mean they were all in customers hands), in under a week.

    And for Australian demand, there’s no proof beyond the Apple online store – everything else is anecdotal and “what I saw”, which is totally useless. Me, personally, I saw everyone buying an iPhone 4S as that’s who I hang around with – so that’s skewed and making the anecdotal evidence useless. However, the Apple online store sold out of it’s initial stock within a few hours. They sold out of stock of an outright, unsubsidised device, costing $800. You can’t argue with the commercial success of that.

    Oh, and good riddance to midnight telco launches. They’re fucking awful.

    • I can’t disagree with you, Anthony. However, I think every time we don’t question one of these Apple press releases or stories about their incredible success, we add to the Reality Distortion Machine (TM).

      My gut tells me the iPhone 4S is going to have a hard time in Australia compared with the Samsungs and HTCs of the world. Sure, it’s still going to do amazingly well. But it’s not going to quite be the field of dreams Apple has experienced over the past few years.

      Do I have any evidence to back this gut feeling up? Absolutely. Optus is now selling more Android phones than iPhones, and I’m sure the same is true of the other carriers.

      Right now, if you pick up an iPhone 4S in a store, and then pick up a HTC Incredible S or Sensation, you are likely going to find the HTC model more appealing. The aesthetics and user interface are just … a step above what Apple is offering right now. And so are many of the specs.

      The iPhone 4 is an amazing phone, and it is the phone I use every day. But increasingly, it is getting left behind right now, and we’re seeing that in the marketplace as well as in my gut feelings ;)

      • “Optus is now selling more Android phones than iPhones, and I’m sure the same is true of the other carriers.”

        Well if we’re going to analyse how Apple sold their phones, let’s delve deeper into that sweeping statement and see how Optus sells Android – there’s close to a dozen Android phones Optus sells, across all price points (pre-paid, low end contract, high end). Up until Friday, there’s only been two iPhones on sale simultaneously – iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. So when you flood the market, it’s no surprise “more” phone are being sold. If selling more units is the indicator of success, then that’s a good result. I don’t know how much profit is made off those phones however (by Optus, or by the handset manufacturers). Apple though, are making shitloads. Depends what we as pundits consider a success (some say market share, some say user experience, some say profit, I dunno what metric to use and how they relate to what’s really important, the advancement of mankind’s ability to communicate and manipulate information)

        “The aesthetics and user interface are just … a step above what Apple is offering right now.”

        Aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder – I can understand if someone doesn’t dig how a phone looks (although, in my opinion, nothing beats the iPhone 4’s design as a testament to mass produced quality), but the user interface on an Android phone, superior to iOS? I dunno man, that comment requires some backing up.

        • Re: User interface; I am specifically talking about HTC Sense here. When your phone background is a delicately blowing haze of fire embers with the stars in the background at night … You come to have an appreciation for how static and dated the iPhone interface truly is.

          HTC Sense is beautiful. The iPhone interface is merely fumctional.

          • Sense is pretty much the best thing going on Android right now, but there’s a price to be paid for the delicately blowing haze of fire embers: it kicks the crap out of the battery.

            The iPhone interface is looking a little dated now. I’d argue that the same is true for Android, even Sense. The iPhone is a grid of icons. Android is a grid of icons plus some widgets. It’s an evolution on the same basic idea, it lets you put some information right up front instead of having to dig around into apps, but it’s still all silos.

            I’m hoping someone makes a serious attempt at “borrowing” from Windows Phone, and I don’t necessarily mean the Metro look.

          • Not only does HTC Sense destroy battery life, it lags and stutters and occupies a significant amount of RAM.

      • Sense is flashier than iOS. Absolutely.

        The hardware, though… I had cause to poke at an iPhone 4 the other day, and it’s a physically beautiful bit of design. The HTC and Samsung handsets feel kind of cheap by comparison.

        I’ve said it here before, but you have to consider *how* the devices are being sold. The carriers are putting Android to the front because it’s more profitable for them and they can modify it as much as they can get away with. Apple doesn’t discount much and they won’t let you change the OS, but not carrying it would be to leave a fair whack of money on the table, so they’ll sell it to you and use the shiny to get you into their stores, where they can point out that HTC device for $20-$30/month less.

        Part of Microsoft’s “problem” is that they don’t let the carrier modify the OS much. They can stick some apps on, but the user can delete them. And the carriers don’t need Microsoft anywhere near as much as Microsoft needs the carriers.

        iPhones will probably go back to being a primarily premium product, and that’s fine. Apple makes a bundle on them and have no need for carrier launch parties or even much promotion. Better to own a smaller higher-margin chunk of the market than have lots of low-margin sales, it’s pretty much Apple’s default.

      • I’m sorry Renai, but the iPhone 4S’s GPU is by far the most powerful on the market. The PowerVR SGX543MP2 is the only dual-core GPU in any mobile device in the world. The iPhone also has the longest battery life of any smartphone, despite having a sub 1500 mAh battery (which is arguably the most important feature of a phone).

        There is honestly no competition in the market right now. Android is simply too inefficiently coded. The OS *still* doesn’t use GPU acceleration for the UI or web browsing. That’s plain amateurish.

        Actually, I could go into extensive detail on why iOS is so much more sophisticated and polished than Android, and if you ask me to I’ll be happy to.

  7. It’s getting easier to extract yourself from the iTunes walled garden. I just managed to move all my music and pics off my 3GS in prep of getting a new phone. I just installed Ubunutu and used the lovely gktpod to remove MY music that I paid for. That is the biggest hold Apple has – and if the tools are readily available (as they should be) then I would imagine that more people would begin to move around. The 4S was clearly a mis-step at a critical time for Apple. Reading the comments here, some think there is no ability for the leader to be usurped. Look at Xbox and PS3. Look at Apple in the ’80s. There are better and better products on the market (marking it difficult for me to decide what I want). Android is OK, WP7 Mango is starting to look like a contender … even the little Nokia N9 has an (odd) appeal. The market will probably fragment and get competitive (here’s hoping – not that Apple tends to like open market competition).

    • I agree. We now have two solid players in the market, plus WP7, which will be a force with Nokia, and there are also still many BlackBerry holdouts. The iPhone 4S might be doing better than expected, but I don’t think Apple can keep it’s featureset largely the same over a two year period without losing ground to the likes of HTC and Samsung, which are innovating continuously.

      • I don’t know that Apple are keeping the feature set the same. They’re keeping the same physical design for the handset, with a spec bump, and they’ve added a bunch of useful stuff to iOS. Without completely retooling the iOS user interface there’s only so much they can do.

        What useful features? iCloud looks like it’ll be *really* handy. Automatic sync of your photos to all your (supported) devices. Take a photo, it’ll be sitting in iPhoto when you get home. Assuming it works reliably that’s a pretty compelling feature right there.

        And they nicked the notification system from Android.

        Remember that Apple have been fairly clear that they’re doing a two-year iteration. You get the big new model one year, then the evolution on that, then the next big new model. Yeah, Samsung and HTC are going to release a boatload of devices in that time, but most of them will be small tweaks and carrier-specific variants.

        I guess I just don’t see this as the big disaster some of you blokes do.

        (And no, I don’t own an iPhone.)

        • Have you seen the iOS notification system? It’s actually much cleaner than Android’s. And Android nicked the system from Cydia, which put out a notification system in 2007.

          What’s hilarious is they see record sales as a “failure”. It boggles the mind how they can contradict reality.

      • The feature set of smartphones is all about the software. iOS 5 is just around the corner. I don’t see how you can say that the feature set has remained largely the same.

        If Apple had demoed:

        1) iOS 5 for the first time, having kept it under wraps until October 4;
        2) a new phone with the exact same hardware as the iPhone 4S;
        3) but with a new chassis;
        4) and called it iPhone 5

        You guys would have been all over it.

    • How was it a misstep when Apple is breaking their previous sales records by 66%? Do you understand how polished iOS is? Nearly every complaint about the OS (except for maps), has been addressed. And the A5 GPU is a monster. I don’t think people understand that it’s more than twice as fast as the SGS2’s Mali 400 GPU.

  8. Why is Vodafone not holding midnight launch equals ‘not all Australian telcos feel the iPhone 4S will be a huge hit’? There could be tons of other reasons that they are not holding the party. All the other telcos in US are gushing about iPhone 4S. Why is it different in Australia? Didn’t several papers said couple of days ago that iPhone is Australia’s most preferred phone? If anything, it will be Australia that iPhone 4S is guaranteed to succeed.

    It is true that I see much more Android phone right now than before, but by the same token, I see far much more iPhone than any other phone out there. Period. Yes it is purely anecdotal, but iPhone is by far the most common phone I see out there – ever since Motorolla Razr…

    And Yes, I am iPhone 3gs user seriously contemplating upgrade. I though about Android phones, but I am the kind of user pretty married to my apps. So it is getting harder to move out of Apple – transferring all the things I have with my iPhone 3gs will be pain for Android phones…

    • everything there, including Siri, is a spec bump, and that’s about it. Renai’s point is that spec bumps are on a <6 month schedule in android land, and Apple took 15 months to do the same. The market has changed, and Apple are possibly not moving fast enough to sustain their level of market impact.

      Also, that graph shows 1gb or RAM, whereas it's being reported widely that it does have 512, the same as the iPhone 4.

      • Sigh. Geeks will never get it. Specs are not what sells these devices to the masses. Have we not learnt anything about the iMacs, iPods and iPads of days past?

        Mark my words. The iPhone 4S will be a runaway success regardless of what us geeks have to say about it.

      • The A5 GPU blows away anything out on the market right now.

        The only legitimate complaint people had was the screen size, but the sales numbers demonstrate that was pure geek-lust. In reality most people want a properly sized phone that fits easily into their pocket.

  9. I have to agree with many of the sentiments given thus far…
    I was in the market to upgrade my mobile to a smartphone and had held off pending Apple’s latest 4S offering.. can’t say I was overwhelmed with this latest product, once all the hype had been swept aside. I think I will either re-consider the current crop of Android offerings or wait a while for Samsung’s Galaxy SIII. The consensus around my social group would indicate similar attitudes…. no biggie, I’ll look elsewhere..
    Of course, something that may have been overlooked, but not mentioned would be the demand created by “collectors” looking to purchase the last Apple product released prior to the death of Steve Jobs in the hope of selling it as a ‘rare’ collector’s item in a few years time :p

    • My recommendation: Pick up a Samsung Galaxy S II in the current sales, then in June next year, when the next crop of awesome Android handsets hit Australia, sell it second-hand for a decent price (there will be plenty of buyers for a Galaxy S II) or give it to one of your family or friends for a small fee and pick up one of the next-generation Androids.

      By then, Apple will still not have launched the iPhone 5 … in fact, it will still be another six months away. And when it does, if you have something like the Galaxy S III or the equivalent HTC, you will still be up to par with the iPhone 5 anyway.

      I am thinking of giving my year-old iPhone 4 to a family member and picking up an Android, to make sure my coverage of smartphones is balanced :)

      • You’re recommending that someone upgrade their phone on a bi-yearly basis. This is unnecessary, especially when smartphones get software upgrades over the duration of their lifetime. Think beyond specs. Think about what the device actually does for you – and that’s all about the software. There will be a time when the hardware will become too slow for the latest and greatest software to run adequately, but that does not happen within six months nor a year.

        • People used to keep phones for 2-3 years. Now many are keeping them for only one year. As the cost of upgrading is continually shrinking and the pace of innovation is continually increasing, the technology buying cycle will only shorten further.

          This is reality. These gadgets are becoming commodities.

    • Are you aware the iPhone 4S’s A5 GPU is more than twice as powerful as the SGS2’s?

      It’s the most powerful ARM GPU on the market.

  10. Tech writer goes from iPhone to any number of Android devices and can’t understand why millions of people don’t make the same decision.

    Developer goes from Windows to any number of Linux based distro’s and can’t understand why millions of people don’t make the same decision.

    Never mind, in a couple of months, your posts can join the hall of fame along with this one that John Gruber linked:

    • Nail.on.head.Seems to me like a replay of the iPad debut.It’s a fail…….oops.

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