Despite so few details, are you already planning to buy the next iPhone?

Taylor Martin
 from Concord, NC
Published: July 24, 2012

This industry has sped up tenfold since the pre-smartphone era, and because of that, it's difficult to stay content with a single device for more than a few months. We all are constantly looking to the future to see what it may bring and planning our next move, anticipating the launch of a future phone and saving pennies to buy it once it hits shelves.

One of the most notable examples of this precedes the Apple iPhone launch each year. Long before any solid information on the upcoming device is revealed, hundreds of thousands – likely even millions – of people have their minds set on buying the next-generation iPhone. They are also likely planning to suit up in their finest battle armor and face the masses on launch day.

Unsurprisingly, this phenomenon is already taking place this year, despite being months from really knowing anything about the 2012 iPhone. In fact, the rumors and hype for this year's model started promptly after the somewhat disappointing announcement of the iPhone 4S last year, seeing as most across the Web had predicted the coming of a larger, totally redesigned iPhone 5.

The latest speculation is that the new iPhone (we don't even know the official name yet, Apple really threw us a curve ball with the "new iPad") will feature a similar design to the current one, though it will be taller and feature a larger, 4-inch display with a different aspect ratio. We assume it will still have a Retina Display and that it will feature either the same A5 chipset as the existing iPhone or the A5X as seen in the new iPad. Some speculate Apple will develop the A6 for the new iPhone instead. The next iPhone may have an improved camera, and there's also rumors floating around that Apple will retire the typical 30-pin dock connector for a slimmer, more streamlined 19-pin connector.

All this information only affirms one thing: no one really knows anything about the next iPhone. Everything we "know" is pure speculation that has been based on rumors and the piecing together of "leaked parts" from Chinese e-commerce sites, which have failed us – more than once – in the past.

Regardless, demand for the upcoming mystery iPhone is at an "unprecedented" high. A recent survey performed by research firm ChangeWave, polled results from 4,042 people who were asked about the likelihood of them buying the next iPhone. Of the 4,042 people, 14 percent said they were "very likely" in comparison to the 10 percent in the same study last year; 17 percent said they were "somewhat likely", compared to 11.5 percent last year; 59 percent (compared to 79.5 percent) said it is "unlikely" they will purchase the next iPhone; and nine percent said they "don't know".

So the figure is that without knowing a single detail about it – aside from the obvious facts that it will be an iPhone and be designed and manufactured by Apple, Inc. – over 30 percent of consumers plan to purchase the next iPhone. My question to you is: are you set on the next iPhone, regardless of the details? Or are you waiting on official word to make your decision?

As with most things, I like to be certain before I jump into a deal. The next iPhone is no exception. I carried the iPhone 4 for six months straight – which is unheard of from me. And I have been carrying the iPhone 4S almost nonstop since its release in October 2011. But I'm not blindly saying I will, without a doubt, buy the next iPhone. There are certain things that will have to fall into place before I take the iPhone plunge again, because the software is definitely lacking some. I've been using the iOS 6 beta since the day it was released, and while it's a slight improvement, it's quickly aging and begging for a redesign.

If Apple can up the ante with hardware, I may just buy the next iPhone. That said, they've got a serious task ahead of them. I would prefer a total redesign and a 4.3-inch (or larger) display. But the chances of those two things happening are slim to none.

Getting back to reality, the camera is about the only thing I wouldn't mind Apple leaving alone – the same lens and Sony sensor will do just fine for another year. The display size, however, will have to change. Also, the physical design needs some alterations, the phone needs 4G LTE support and a battery that can support all of the improvements for at least an entire day.

Chances are Apple will deliver, at least on most fronts. And if they do, I will buy one. But there is a fairly large chance that Apple plays it conservative for another year. If they don't deliver, I won't hesitate to pass and will wait to check out Windows Phone 8.

What say you, ladies and gentlemen? Are you buying the next iPhone, no matter what? Or are you waiting to see what it entails? Do you plan on buying devices before they're official? Or is speculation not your bag?

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