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The iPhone 4.

I can wait another year before upgrading my iPhone 3G. If you’ve read my article about the iPad, my reluctance to purchase the latest iPhone won’t come as a surprise. Again I find myself questioning a needless purchase, distancing myself from gadget junkies upgrading to the latest iPhone 4 — many of whom queued for the iPad only a few weeks ago. In his article, Gadget Lust Vs. Good Enough, Paul M. David writes:

As geeks, it’s incredibly easy to get seduced by gadget lust, as our obsessions are stoked by the endless, breathless Internet hype cycle. But as long as they operate, the gadgets already in our pockets and in our communities are good enough.

My iPhone 3G is sluggish at times and forgoes the newer features introduced in later models. The iPhone 4 is a thing of shear beauty, particularly luring thanks to its 5-megapixel camera and Retina display. However, both the iPhone 3G and 3GS are supported by iOS 4 — the very latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system — meaning many of the new features are also available to those using older hardware.

As such, I find myself asking the same questions as Patrick Rhone:

The question I keep forcing myself to ask is do I need it, or is what I have now enough? I currently have an iPhone 3G. It takes great pictures, does email, web browsing, text messaging, runs apps, will run iOS 4 when it is released… I’m going to enjoy my iPhone 3G tomorrow just as much as I did yesterday, I’m going to do the same things with it that I would do with the new phone.

The iPhone 3G still remains enough for me. It was such a step-change from anything I owned previously, that even now it feels ahead of its time. As I resist the urge to upgrade, I’ll be looking forward to the huge leap in performance and new features I can expect should I upgrade next year. After all, the best things come to those who wait.

  • trovster

    I agree. I have a 3GS, so I will get more out of iOS4 compared to the 3G, but although I would like to upgrade I realise – exactly like you said – my current phone is such a massive leap from my previous (and the fact I waited until the third generation) means I can let the new iteration pass me by. I am not interested in FaceTime, but the retina display and speed boost will be impressive when I finally upgrade. All the other features are software based – and I get.

    Written on my iPhone.

  • Tom Beynon

    Having gone from an iPhone 3G to the 4, I’ve gotta say how much of an improvement it is. The camera for one thing is incredible – I never used my 3G camera as the quality just wasn’t high enough but the 4 has negated any need for me to buy a digital camera. The retina display is also very impressive, but I could have lived without it.

    The most important thing for me though is the speed – I got so irritated by my 3G over the past few months as I could barely use some apps before it locked up and restarted. I haven’t been able to induce any slow-down on the 4, it really is very impressive. Another big reason for me to upgrade was the battery life – where my 3G would die after 3/4 of a day under heavy usage, the 4 will last two days.

    Personally, upgrading from the 3G to 4 was a must. I’d definitely have thought twice had I previously upgraded to the 3GS, but the level of improvement from the 3G is seriously impressive.

  • Sam Hardacre

    Agree 100%. In the brief time that I’ve had a play with an iPhone 4 (having already updated my 3GS to iOS4), any thoughts of upgrading early were immediately eradicated. Once I got over the “oooh it’s shiny…” phase, it was little more than what I was carrying in my pocket.

    I’m a little envious of the 3G because it doesn’t support Multi-tasking. In my opition, it’s overrated. I’ve spent more time using it to close apps down completely than what it was designed to do. To me it’s nothing more than a power-chowing pain which you seemingly can’t disable with jail-breaking the phone.

  • Jon Roobottom

    To be honest, other than providing Katie with a new phone (my current 3GS) I have little reason to upgrade. I really love my 3GS, and I’m increasingly put off by the reception problems widely reported with the 4.

  • RibRob

    I upgraded to iOS4 on my 3G and it became practically unusable it was so slow. So if you’ve not gone iOS4, don’t. If you have, i recommend you downgrade to 3 again as it really is much faster.

    On the other hand, if you can go iPhone 4, do, you will seriously wonder how you ever managed with your 3G, they are worlds apart. After initial concern about signing a new long-term contract to get the thing, i’m very pleased i did. I’ve had no reception issues (well no worse than before!) and it’s made using the device a pleasure again…