I can't see upgrading to the new iPhone just for a new camera

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: April 2, 2013

It’s spring time, which means there are flowers blooming, the weather is getting nicer (for some parts of the U.S., anyway), and it means we’re closer to an Apple announcement. We know that’s the case because the rumor mill is starting to churn out new reports about Apple’s unannounced device, or devices if you believe the rumors. As we’ve heard in the past, on more than one occasion, it sounds like Apple is gearing up to rock the boat a little bit. Granted, it’s their own boat, and it’s in their own personal pool, but it’s still a boat and it’s still being rocked.

That has to count for something, right?

I’m talking about the most recent report from The Wall Street Journal, at least directly. As our own Alex Wagner reported, it’s believed that Apple is getting ready to produce the next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, in the second quarter of this year, which leads many to believe that it could debut sooner rather than later. How soon? Well, this summer, actually. That would mean it’d debut before the iPhone 5 made its presence known, and even before the iPhone 4S was unveiled.

I saw a few people suggest that Apple could be racing to get the new iPhone on shelves due to competition. With the BlackBerry Z10 on shelves, the BlackBerry Q10 right around the corner, and both flagship devices from HTC and Samsung set to be launched right around the corner, Apple would apparently be wise to pull the trigger and get their new iPhone out of the gate as soon as possible.

That makes a bit of sense. The mobile landscape has changed quite a bit since last year, and especially compared to two years ago. And it’s never been more apparent to me that Apple is now consciously aware of what the competition is doing, and paying attention to it, since the unveiling of iOS 5. So would it be a good move for Apple to limit the time between the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and their iPhone 5S? Maybe.

I don’t think it would matter much if Apple made sure the iPhone 5S was worth having. Even if the device looks like the iPhone 5, their next iPhone has to sell itself. Samsung has confirmed what Apple’s been proving every other year since the launch of the iPhone 3GS: As long as the features are there, then the physical design can be a marginal upgrade from the previous iteration. Or, no upgrade at all when it comes to aesthetic qualities.

Historically, I’ve always owned a different phone when an iPhone has launched. More than that, I’ve never clamored to get my hands on the next big, or minor, version of the device announced. When the iPhone 5 was unveiled, I wasn’t all that interested in picking it up. I don’t even remember which device I was using at the time, but I was comfortable enough with it. But then I picked up an iPhone 5, and I buckled. And now I can’t switch from the platform because the applications are just better for my personal needs.

But with the report from The Wall Street Journal basically telling me that the only real change to the iPhone 5S will be its camera, I can’t help but wonder if I’m going to have that same feeling when I put my hands on an iPhone 5S. Will I succumb to its industrial wiles? Or will Apple finally do what has seemed so impossible for them: Revolutionize iOS.

It’s true that I’ve ever immediately upgraded to a new iPhone, but it’s also true that I’ve never not picked one up. It’s also true that, other than a few random BlackBerry-branded devices of old, and webOS-powered handsets, it’s the device I’ve carried for the longest at any given moment. So now that we’re nearing the inexorable unveiling of a new iPhone, I can’t help but wonder what, exactly, Apple will shove into it to make me not only want it, but pull the trigger on buying it.

Especially when there are so many other options to choose from this time around.

I’m going to try and hold fast this time around, though. I’m not going to sit here and resign myself to buying the new iPhone before it even gets announced. I just won’t do it. There are other options out there, ones honestly worth having and using every day. So, if the iPhone 5S does indeed only have an upgraded camera, it is going to have to be breathtaking for me to seriously consider getting rid of the iPhone 5 for the new device.

Will you consider switching to the iPhone 5S if it doesn’t have any major, revolutionary changes to iOS, and if it really does only have a better camera?