Even before the iPhone 5c was released, I had people asking me if they should upgrade. My answer then was in the form of a question. “Are you currently using an iPhone 4s or earlier?” If the answer was yes, then I told them to upgrade. After the iPhone 5c specs were confirmed, however, I modified my answer. “Are you currently using an iPhone 4 or earlier?” If yes, then upgrade.
It really is that simple, for the most part. If you’re in the market for an iPhone, you just want to make sure you’re getting something significant for your upgrade. That’s why the two year plans you’re forced onto us by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are totally cool, as that’s about the lifespan of iPhone technology.
My other general bit of advice is that you always go with the best technology you can afford. In this case, it’s the iPhone 5s. If you’re an iPhone 4s owner, that’s absolutely the route you should go. Because the iPhone 5c is basically just an iPhone 5 in a pretty shell, the upgrade isn’t significant enough to justify it.
Having said that, there’s quite a bit to like about the iPhone 5c. First, of course, are all the colors.
That, of course, is the pink model. It’s also available in white, blue, green and yellow. When I was discussing my iPhone 5c review with my wife, she said, “You should give it a 5. It’s pretty.”
“But I don’t think it deserves a 5,” I explained. “It’s really no better than my iPhone 5.”
“Except it’s prettier.”
“I can’t give it a 5 just because it’s pretty.”
“Yeah, and also, it’s not available in purple. If it were in purple, you could give it a 5.”
I really need to hire my wife to write for AppleTell.
But listen, that’s the kind of thing that’s important with the iPhone 5c. That’s how Apple’s selling it, not on technology. Do you want a faster phone? You get the iPhone 5s and its 64-bit A7 chip over the iPhone 5c’s A6. Do you want a great camera? You get the iPhone 5s and its ƒ/2.2 aperture, True Tone flash, burst mode and slo-mo video over the iPhone 5c’s standard 8 megapixel camera. You want better security? You get the iPhone 5s and its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. You want eventual trade-in value, you get the iPhone 5s.
You want pretty colors? You get the iPhone 5c.
It sounds like I’m down on the iPhone 5c, but fact of the matter is that my wife loves hers, and I quite like it, too. It’s an incredibly well-made phone. The colors are striking, and bold enough to make sure everyone knows Apple is serious about this move. The colors also belie the quality of the phone’s construction, which is as solid as we’ve come to expect from Apple.
What really matters, though, is that those who don’t need the abilities of the iPhone 5s can buy the 5c and still feel like they’re getting something new. That may be be enough to prevent them from looking at newer, similarly priced Android devices.
It’s also worth noting, bizarre as it may seem, how much more natural iOS 7 looks on it. Together, the two feel like Apple has made a significant jump forward, which is ironic considering the iPhone 5s is getting the “forward thinking” campaign.
Of course, the techies inside of us know this doesn’t matter. We know the iPhone 5s is the better phone. But the iPhone 5c is still a good phone, and it appeals to a completely different audience. They may just want their phone to be pretty. It is. But they’re also getting what only a year ago was easily one of the best smartphones on the market, and they’re getting it for only $100 with contract.
If there was no iPhone 5c, my wife would’ve upgraded to an iPhone 5s. But because the 5c is here, it was never a choice; this is what she wanted.
Well, except that she wanted it in purple, of course.
Buy the iPhone 5c
Provides: Smartphone functionality
Developer: Apple, Inc.
Price: 16GB – $99 with contract, $549 without; 32GB – $199 with contract, $649 without