Why I’m Not Upgrading My iPhone

Until two days ago, I was set to buy the iPhone 5. I have the iPhone 4. My phone had started to feel big, and it was slowing down.

It’s been two generations. Why not upgrade? It made sense as a business case. I use my phone often enough that I would save much time from getting a faster phone.

Then two things happened:

1. I watched Jimmy Kimmel fool people into thinking the iPhone 4S was the iPhone 5.

2. I had to upgrade to iOS 5.1.1 to secure my jailbreak.

I’ve realized that the people in that video weren’t so silly after all, and that I’ve been using my phone wrong for years. I’m no longer using a case, and I’ve made it 50% faster (subjective) by restoring it, and turning it off occasionally.

Thanks, Jimmy

I had a good laugh watching people gush over the iPhone 4s. “It’s so much faster than my iPhone 4S!”.

Comments on Hacker News pointed out that most of the people impressed by the “new” iPhone had big cases on their phones. Hmm…I did too. I had an Otterbox case, because I can be a klutz. I’ve gotten in the habit of throwing my phone around, because the case is so tough.

It occurred to me that I probably could be more careful with my phone, if there was no case on it. And Apple replaced it when my screen cracked (even though there was a case on the phone). I could probably get them to do it again, if something went wrong.

The resale value of the phone is only ~$300, so why not use it with no case. The very worst case scenario is a one-off $300 loss.

I’ve really come to appreciate the beauty of the iPhone. Yes, I sound like a fanboy…but it’s a really nice phone. It feels light and smooth in my hand. I can understand why those people thought the iPhone 4S was the new iPhone….they’ve been holding rubber in their hand, rather than sleek glass and metal.

Restoring My Phone To Proper Functionality

As iOS 6 was coming out, the window to upgrade to 5.1.1, jailbroken, was closing. So I restored my phone, and upgraded.

I was blown away at the speed increase. Clearly it had been too long since I restored. Or possibly, too long since I turned the damn thing off.

In any case, my phone is 50% faster. It feels like a new iPhone. If the people in Jimmy Kimmel’s video were used to a bogged down 4S, it makes sense that a shiny new 4S felt like an improved product.

I’m now going to restore periodically, and make an effort to turn my phone on and off every now and again.

I don’t Need an iPhone 5

My phone now feels new. Everything I use it for (calendar, internet, omnifocus, evernote, photos, dropbox) feels instant. I can no longer make the case for upgrading, at least not for efficiency reasons.

And physically, it’s a joy to use. The pleasant feeling of using it is worth the risk of dropping it. From anecdotes, the phone is actually quite durable. I know from experience that the screen doesn’t scratch, at the least.

I will likely get the 5S, or whatever it will be, but for now I’m thrilled to have discovered how good my phone actually is.


I’m Graeme. I’m a self-employed LSAT instructor in Montreal, moderator of /r/LSAT.

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