Dear tex, should I buy a new iPhone?

Question:
Last Friday, people all over the United States were beginning to get the new iPhone. Is it worth the investment?
-MT

Answer:
By the end of September 12, the date of the iPhone release, most of the western world had heard the details of the iPhone 5. Aesthetically, it was pretty much identical to the 4 and the 4s, Apple just decided to add a larger screen, a better camera, and faster processing on the phone. For the release price of $199, it is comparably priced compared to the release of the other iPhones, but that is still a considerable amount to spend if you already have the 4s. The incremental upgrades may not be worth $200 for just being able to have another inch of screen space, being able to do panoramic photos, and apps to open fractions of a second faster.

However, public response was very positive. One would think that this could be just California hipsters and trend-followers hopping on the bandwagon, hoping to be seen tweeting on their new phone at the next granola and soy festival. However, the financial market responded positively as well. The release pushed Apple’s share price above $700 for the first time ever (just for reference, last year at this time it was about $400). So it was not just the people trying to be seen with the iPhone that were following Apple closely. Apple also sold out of their entire stock within the first hour or so of the release, leaving the rest of America waiting on a cargo ship from China. Needless to say, the United States is an iPhone addicted country.

Ultimately, the investment will only be worth it if you feel like the iPhone can do $200 worth of things that your phone cannot, or if you feel that you will get $200 worth of attention if you’re one of the trend-follower investors. I am sincerely disappointed that Apple has not developed some ground-breaking technology. I feel like a hologram Siri, a nuclear powered battery, and a 3D camera were well within their reach and they failed to capitalize on their opportunity. Maybe next time, Apple, but until then, continue to reap the rewards of incremental changes in products coinciding with an unparalleled increase in share price.


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